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Money might be missing from union treasury

HOBOKEN - The union that represents school cooks, maintenance workers and building engineers are meeting with members tomorrow over concerns that money may have gone missing from the organization's coffers, school officials confirmed yesterday.

Mason loses court case to get city records. Other appeals still pending by activist-turned-councilwoman

2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason

Hoboken’s Corporation Counsel Steven Kleinman was pleased with the court’s recent decision to knock down 2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason's appeal of a case against the city to get information on the city's park plan.

Before Beth Mason became the city's 2nd Ward councilwoman last summer, she had filed a number of lawsuits to force the town to give her various records.

But last week, she suffered a legal setback when she learned that a year and a half after losing one of her suits against the city in the Hudson County Superior Court, three judges from the court's appellate division reaffirmed the previous decision, knocking down her appeal.

Not so fast! Developer and resident file joint lawsuit against city over sale of municipal garage

At the December 13, 2007 Hoboken City Council meeting, Hani Ahmed warned that the Hoboken Municipal Garage deal would be challenged in court.

During a meeting last August, Developer Michael Kasparian, the owner of MDK Development, which previously placed two bids to purchase the city’s Municipal Garage site last year, questioned the city’s planning consultant Gordon Litwin over why earlier bids were disregarded by the city. MDK filed a lawsuit against the city earlier this week in which it alleges the city’s actions in the bidding process to be in violation of the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law.

THE GARAGE – Hoboken’s Municipal Garage, at the corner of Willow Avenue and Observer Highway, is costing the city $102,000 every month to lease, and if the current agreement survives the lawsuit, will one day be home to a 12-story, 240-unit residential complex.  
Just over a month after a divided City Council designated a developer to build housing on the Public Works Garage Site on Observer Highway, a competing developer and a Hoboken resident filed a joint lawsuit challenging the city's bidding process and choice of developer.

Developer MDK Development LLC, which bid $5 million more than the winning bidder for the site, is asking the Superior Court of New Jersey to order Hoboken to undertake a new RFP (Request for Proposals) process and force the city to return any bid security it has received from the chosen developer.

Zimmer reaches out

Zimmer reaches out
Tuesday January 29, 2008 PM JJ

Fourth Ward City Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer sent out the following press release regarding this morning's fatal fire at 1203 Washington St.

Dear Neighbors,

This morning I talked with seniors, single mothers, and families in shock from the trauma and loss of their possessions to last night's fire. Hoboken's Public Safety Director, Fire Dept., Police, and Emergency Management, together with the NJ Chapter of the American Red Cross are working together to address the immediate needs of the fire victims. There's no official number at this time, but there may be an estimated 35 homeless families as a result of this fire.

State Police investigate arrest of protesters at Corzine talk

NJ State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes yesterday ordered his division's internal affairs unit to investigate the arrest Saturday of two protesters at Gov. Jon Corzine's town hall meeting in Cape May County.

"The superintendent has ordered the review and wants to have definitive answers," said Capt. Al Della Fave, a State Police spokesman. Investigators "are looking into what transpired. It's the responsible thing to do."

Conservative activist and former gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan and Atlantic City area radio personality Seth Grossman were arrested by local police Saturday outside Middle Township High School.

After four days of public scrutiny, the township and school district announced Wednesday night they were urging the municipal prosecutor to drop the charges. In a joint statement, they also blamed the arrests on event-security guidelines issued by the State Police.

Corzine: Gadfly's arrest not my doing. Local top cop calls it school district's call

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Gov. Jon Corzine insisted yesterday his office had nothing to do with the arrest of conservative activist Steve Lonegan at a town hall meeting in Cape May County, even though the mayor of Middle Township said local police acted at the direction of the governor's staff.

"All I know is they were doing what they were told to do," Mayor F. Nathan Doughty, a Democrat, said. Asked who had told them what to do, he said, "The governor's people."

Corzine was adamant in rejecting Doughty's claim about Saturday's arrest at Middle Township High School. Lonegan was arrested moments before the start of the town meeting at which the governor was to explain his plan to increase tolls on the state's major highways.

"That's just nonsense. It's nonsense," Corzine said. "I'm not going to be embarrassed by it. I can't find anybody that was around that said anything like that happened. Most of the staff was with me."

Police promotions at Hoboken City Hall

Police promotions at Hoboken City Hall

Wednesday January 23, 2008 Jersey Journal

Public Safety Director Bill Bergin addresses the crowd
while Police Chief Carmen LaBruno looks on.

Family, friends and lots and lots of Hoboken cops showed up for the swearing in of 14 new Hoboken police officers and promotions.

Some of Hoboken's future finest.

The 14 new cops are as follows: Francisco Rosa, Andrew J. Perez, Ralph F. Gallo, David DiMartino, Casandra Casella, Wilfredo Gomez, Frank R. Francolino, Bret A. Globke, Adam C. Colon, Christopher J. Markey, Daniel P. Chirino, Josue Velez, Jonathan E. Mecka, Madhu R. Cohan.

Note: Anthony Olivera was scheduled to be sworn in today, but was not. Bergin refused to say why; he said "he may be sworn in at a later date" and that there were some "unforeseen circumstances" regarding his hiring. Hmm...

The five patrolmen promoted to rank of sergeants are: Joseph P. Leonard, Donald R. Rosso, Roy A. Haack, Danilo Cabrera and Thomas M. Kennedy, Jr. The two sergeants promoted to lieutenant today are Steven V. Drasheff and Kenneth F. Ferrante.

Congratulations to all the new recruits!

Hoboken to hire 15 new cops tomorrow

  • News Item
  • January 23, 2008
Hoboken to hire 15 new cops tomorrow Tuesday January 22, 2008, Jersey Journal Fifteen new cops will be sworn in tomorrow in an official ceremony at City Hall, said Public Safety Director Bill Bergin today. At tomorrow's ceremony,...

Chop, chop, chop. Council proposes $2M in cuts to $87M budget, but finance director says they're not all feasible

In an attempt to curb spending and reduce a proposed municipal tax increase, Hoboken's City Council Revenue and Finance Committee introduced a plan at Wednesday night's council meeting that if adopted, could reduce the proposed $87 million city budget by approximately $2.4 million.

The budget is now six months late, as local budgets often are, as mayors grasp at revenue deals in order to hold off politically unsavory tax increases.

However, this time, the council, members of the public, and the administration have suggested specific cuts.

Hoboken has go-ahead for 'gotcha' cam signs

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HOBOKEN - A new state law has given a green light to the city's plan to install two traffic cameras to catch drivers cruising through stop signs.

Hoboken has always maintained that the cameras would be legal, but the law, signed by Gov. Jon Corzine this week, removes any lingering doubts, said Hoboken Corporation Counsel Steven Kleinman.

"It's clear that these are now expressly permitted by law," he said of the law that allows municipalities to install cameras at traffic signals.