A smart politician knows when to shut up.
Enter Tim Occhipinti!
The transcript of the 8/4 HHA Special Meeting not only includes impassioned speeches by the public, you can read the manufactured outrage of City Council members: Mike Russo, Terry Castellano, Beth Mason and Tim Occhipinti.
What GA finds interesting is how three City Council members: Russo, Mason and Castellano, offer no defense of Executive Director Carmelo Garcia, no words of personal support, no praise for his management, no plea for the Reform Commissioners to change their position and keep him. None.
None mention Carmelo Garcia by name nor title. What does that tell you?
Russo uses his 5 minutes to admonish the Board members; an overture of sour grapes about ED Garcia's failed Vision 20/20. He tells them, "There is nothing that you have done that has improved their homes. Nothing, nothing. And I'll bet dollars to donuts, that as long as you are on this Board, there never will be, because it is all about politics with you. It's all about politics. That's a shame... So I promise you this: That if you don't get your head right, you will never succeed in politics. You will always be a loser. You will always be a loser."
Mason rants about the Open Public Meetings Act and comically about -of all things lawsuits: "...we started with the City Council, and all of that stuff and $2 million in lawsuits that we can't seem to get out of, but we are also now taking it to the Board of Ed, and we're taking it now to the Housing Authority. -- I actually had hoped that elected officials and their appointed representatives actually cared about the people instead of about the totalitarian dictatorship that you are keeping here."
Mason is so notorious for funding politically-motivated lawsuits targeting the Zimmer administration and its supporters, Executive Director Carmelo Garcia tells the crowd:
"And I will remindyou that the action you have taken, and I hope that Councilwoman Mason goes after you guys legally for the violation of the Open Public Meetings Act and what you have done here tonight, and you were willing to put the people in jeopardy, the safety of the people, so you can accomplish what you wanted to do, Mayor Zimmer's mission."See that? The Executive Director publicly calls upon Mason to "go after you guys legally"- because that is what she does and everybody in public life knows it. Ka-ching!
Mason does not utter the name "Carmelo Garcia" nor does Terry Castellano, who whacks Reform Commissioners with a verbal broomstick, belittling them as "sheep," having "no integrity" and "no souls" and venting her anger at the mayor with an "us vs. them" tirade. She is angry but not because the Executive Director was about to be fired, she is angry at us (or are we "them"?)
So, those 3 Council members appearing (technically) at a rally on behalf of the Executive Director avoided mentioning him, did nothing to defend him nor his tenure at the HHA.
In steps Timmy!
Doofus makes a beeline to "Vision 20/20". He accuses the Commissioners of wanting control of the HHA contracts, wanting control of Vision 20/20 and blames the Board for "not working with our Executive Director."
Tim gives an emotional defense of Executive Director's management of the HHA; Timmy wants the floor so badly, he calls for the police to remove him if he can't speak! Wow, can I some mustard with that bologna?
In any event, Occhipinti owns his words.
And now, as Newark HUD pulls back the curtain on the management of the HHA, Tim owns this, too.