GA sees that Horsey has posted texts from First Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco explaining his 'present' vote on the 'eminent domain ordinance' at last week's City Council meeting.
In fact, GA swapped texts with Mike on the same subject last Thursday morning. Then, the Trumpocalypse landed with a soul-crushing thud.
Well, back to the Hoboken scene.
GA really didn't understand why Mike voted the way he did. Instead of pouncing, GA wanted to hear what he had to say, and that was one of my questions in Thursday's text-exchange. Not surprisingly, what Mike told Horsey concurs with what he told me- parts are identical (I have italicized those.)
Oh, and since writing about DeFusco triggers F-Bomb drops on my voicemail, can the F-Bomber change it up a little this time for variety? Like this:
F*ck you, GA
I hope I ruined your day
So, in his own words Councilman DeFusco:
GA: ...throw me a crumb. When are you announcing?
Mike: I've enjoyed reading about what everyone says I'm going to do, but my mind right now is on advancing my approved resolution to help businesses and ground-floor uses, into ordinance.
GA: Got it. *wink* I don't see how you'll have opposition on your effort. Who was co-sponsor?
Mike: Jen was co-sponsor and the vote was unanimous.
GA: On first reading, you voted "present" on the eminent domain ordinance. Is that different from abstaining?
Mike: "Present' in my opinion, is different from recusing oneself. Whereas I would recuse myself due to a conflict, I voted 'present' to indicate support of a second reading but a concern with access to information. Specifically, the Council request our annual debt statement and audit and neither document was provided prior to the vote. Casting a 'yes' vote on first reading without that data is a populist vote, rather than a vote based on financial data and potential impact on future municipal budgets.. Everyone wants an expanded park (I really want bocce courts) so I'm looking forward to working with everyone to chart the right course of action.
GA: Ah, did you mean to say "abstain" instead for recuse"? It's not clear why you needed those docs, but I'll take your word for it! What has Academy asked the city for, in exchange for 'giving' Hoboken the lot?
Mike: The Council's request to see our current debt servicing is so that if a deal is reached, and if it comes back in front of the Council to fund, we can actually pay for it. This isn't a vote on who likes parks and who doesn't, it's about how we're going to expand a park and do so without impacting our city in a negative way. Negatives to me are increasing residential bulk to offset cost, a technique that was used for decades to the detriment of our City. On the flip side, the other negative is a very real potential to engage in a litigious battle that we may not win.
GA: Ah, so you think at the end of litigation the city may not even get the park?
Mike: It's certainly a possibility but I hope calmer heads prevail and that the City and Academy figure this out amicably.
GA: Hi Mike. I see MSV has posted his text conversation with you, so I'll do same which concurs.
Mike: Per Stephen Marks, the debt statement and audit for 2017 I'll be available prior to next council meeting. Those are the documents I'm looking to review.
GA: Don't you mean for 2016? 2017 is less than 1 month old!
Mike: I'm just going off information that Director Marks has provided. [screencap]
GA: Thank you. Are you sure no audit/debt docs were provided before last week's meeting? Perhaps you didn't get them in time or missed them?
Mike: We were provided with the city's bonding capacity, not current debt statement or audit. Just trying to do my homework.
GA: Sure. Lotta skeptics out there... count me in. Hey, I'm not a bullshitter and that's the truth unless I'm bullshitting you. I am not! Do you know what Academy would like to build if they 'give' the city their lot?
Mike: Unsure why there are skeptics but as long as the reporting is fair and facts are relayed correctly, I don't mind a healthy debate. Once I have the requested data I'll be much more comfortable to make an informed decision. The first I heard Academy had a proposed plan was when it was announced at the Council meeting by their architect.
GA: Fair enough. Well, I am a skeptic by nature... I think you're doing a very good job so far.