Hoboken's budget blunders released, pols exposed

Hoboken's budget blunders released, pols exposed

U .S. Rep. Albio Sires of West New York attended the Hoboken St. Patrick's Day dinner on Feb. 22, and he brought his own leprechaun who had no pot of gold for the Mile Square City.

Yet, as transcripts of the June 6, 2008, state Local Finance Board meeting reveal, the panel's chairman and sprite, Richard Turner, who also doubles as mayor of Weehawken, had offered the Mile Square City council members something better than a pot of gold. He gave them priceless advice - approve the municipal budget already. Unfortunately for Hoboken taxpayers, it was ignored.

City Council members Beth Mason, Dawn Zimmer, Peter Cunningham, Michael Russo and Theresa Castellano were all present, according to the transcripts released by The Jersey Journal's HobokenNow blog. After reading the transcripts, you come away wondering "what were they thinking?"

At one point, one of the council members told the state finance panel that the state rejected a budget amendment because it was submitted to the state on the wrong paper size. Judy Tripodi, who was assigned by the state to oversee the city's finances, called the assertion ". the most absurd thing I have ever heard in my life." Tripodi still had much of 2008 left for her to spend in Hoboken, so she may need to re-evaluate that statement.

How did Turner put it? "Everyone in the state does it - 565 municipalities now have a budget. The only city that does not is Hoboken ."

Well, actually, there was an exception, Camden, which is the second poorest municipality in the state, as the Local Finance Board members put it. I can see everyone equating Hoboken with Camden, and that is exactly what the City Council tried to do.

Most of the time the council members tried to blame the administration, but Turner and company said once the City Council got the budget, it was their responsibility. Then toward the end of the session, the "leprechaun" made a telling comment about how much time the state staff has with the Mile Square City.

" . They have spent more time on Hoboken, on the City of Hoboken, in the last month than they have had to deal with Camden or Irvington or Paterson, or any of the hard-pressed cities in the state, and that's strictly a lack of will and getting the job done ."

This is an election year. See the transcripts at http://www.edmecka.com/pdf/dca_transcript/DCARranscriptone.pdf  Just hit the link and read it for yourself.

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