Whether the change was for the better depends on who you are, what you believe and what you expect. My thoughts:
Nationally: Hell, NO!
|If this were a movie, GA would love watching Trump get played by Putin. Terrifyingly, it's not.|
Locally: Hell, yeah!
As for 'right direction-wrong direction' for 2017, GA thinks that locally we are going in the right direction, nationally we are headed off a cliff into a fiery chasm filled with boiling, hot magma.
So, keeping it local, here are a couple of things to watch in 2017:
The mayoral race. GA has heard there is Dark side grumbling about Stick Romano's indecision; apparently he has not told his peeps yet whether he's going to run against Zimmer.
What's taking so long?
Speculation is that the BoE race, backed by Romano, Russo, Raia, Mason (the most prominent or wealthy denizens of the Dark Side) was viewed as a litmus test of Romano's political strength in a citywide election. FAIL. Even worse, the one BoE candidate that Romano and Russo threw all of their GOTV effort behind came in last place. Even a late, massive moola injection from Dark Side ATM Beth Mason did not help, not one bit.
Further analysis of why the Dark Side performed so miserably in the BoE race: their vote-farming operation was decentralized this year after farming management abstained. Without the farming organization, it fell to motivated individuals to pick up the slack. The 'official' reason the farmers dropped that ball promoted by the Dark Side (GA heard, too) was that Russo and Romano wanted to 'own' the victory.
Is anybody buying that? Since when has the Dark Side ever cared about how they won an election, as long as they won?
The more likely scenario is that the HHA farming operation was curtailed due to fear that the D.O.J. was watching.
Which makes you wonder whether that was a feeling or someone was tipped off about an ongoing investigation/ area of federal/state inquiry? Which leads to more speculation about who might have passed that on. An informant? Was someone who's been flipped tipping off friends?
Who knows. That kind of thing is unverifiable.
The DOJ does not discuss ongoing investigations except for one stupid fuck named F.BI. Director James Comey. We only know what we know: facts like a former Hoboken City Council President is looking at serious jail time in a federal prosecution on a criminal matter. Facts like the former Council President was the Chief of Staff for an Assemblyman who,is being sued by the agency he once ran for alleged procurement improprieties worth millions of federal dollars. Those are facts, and so is election time vote farming. So...
Well, back to the 2017 mayoral race... stay tuned.
NHSA appointment. GA hears there is (at least) one new applicant for North Hudson Sewerage Authority (NHSA) Commissioner Tony Soares' vacant seat. I don't know anything about this applicant except for what a source told me: "...years ago he got a lot of shit for suggesting the water monitoring devices... it seems he is very qualified, I believe he suggested the initial monitoring of water flow prior to the building of the pumps." GA will have more information in 2017. Stay tuned
Mason Civic-Newton Lao Combo: A reader sent me this pic the other day- it's taken at the threshold of Beth Mason's storefront space on 11th Street, off Washington. Notice anything unusual?
The mailbox indicates that location receives mail for both her taxpayer-subsidized 501(c)3, Mason Civic League and her business entity, Newton Lao Leornard and Locke, LLC.
Then why do the Mason Civic League's 2015 federal tax returns give this mailing address?
The mailbox proves that her taxpayer-subsidized charitable organization, a 501(c)3, Mason Civic League, shares office space with her business entity, Newton Lao Leonard and Locke.
Nothing is wrong with that as long as taxpayers are not subsidizing her for-profit business activities.
To put it another way, it must be fully clear and transparent to taxpayers that they are not underwriting Mason's private business expenditures.
The taxpayer-subsidized Mason Civic League must file the proper tax form (for a charity with gross receipts greater than $50,000), give it's true and correct mailing address, and provide all accounting of receipts and expenditures, thus providing full transparency to Hoboken taxpayers. We shall find out in 2017. Stay tuned.
And on that note, people...
GA wishes you and yours a very Happy New Year.