As if our Mile Square hasn't had enough drama so early in our election season- in comes local businesswoman Karen Nason to shake things up!
Nason is the owner/chanteuse of Hoboken Hot House, a sweet cafe/performance space on 2nd and Monroe. And boy, girlfriend can sing.
Has Hoboken ever had a singing mayor?
Nason also was the owner of FUSE- an event space in the First Ward, which closed, after a zoning battle with the city. In short, Nason needed a conditional use variance to host private events in the R-1 residential district; the HR wrote that the "issue seems to come down to language that is missing or nebulous in the city’s zoning ordinance." Nason balked at getting the variance, citing the cost and her past contributions to the Hoboken community. The experience left Nason furious- at the City, and especially the mayor. No, Nason's not shy about blaming Zimmer for the demise of FUSE.
What was First Ward Councilman DeFusco's position?
DeFusco agreed with the City's zoning enforcement, telling the HR that it was "correct due to a “caveat”.
So, those are possible reasons Nason has taken the plunge into Hoboken's mayoral race.
My first thought when I read the news was, who does she hurt- Zimmer or DeFusco?
Okay, nobody knows the answer. But GA was interested to discover Nason's ties to 'old Hoboken'; she's a good friend of Freeholder Anthony 'Stick' Romano and her husband is former Hoboken Zoning Board Alternate Frank DeGrim. DeGrim also served as Treasurer for A Smarter Future, Stick's 2015 BoE slate, and the campaign account appears to still be open.
In fact, on January 27, 2017, DeGrim filed a 48-HR ELEC for (3) donations from Anthony Romano made in 2015. The amounts of Romano's contributions are $1,000 (Oct 24), $600 (Nov. 2) and $400 (Nov 4).
Treasurer DeGrim never filed a single R-1 ELEC report for A Smarter Future, so it is impossible to see the flow of money in and out of the campaign; the donors, the disbursements, the contribution amounts, and the account balance. But he appears to still be managing the finances of that campaign account.
DeGrim is also Treasurer of Nason for Mayor. The D-1 was filed on Feb 22, 2017 (Frank, you have to file the full bank account number without redactions).
So... two months after A Smarter Future's November 3, 2015 election, DeGrim was nominated for ZBA Alternate #4 by Tim Occhipinti and Mike Russo; he won on an 8-1 vote.
Stick Romano... Mike Russo... same constituency as DeFusco.
The candidate and her family's friends and/or alliances may (or may not concern) the DeFusco folks.
But now there will be (at least) 2 anti-Zimmer candidates campaigning on how much Zimmer sucks, how she should be laying new water mains herself.
Who knows, maybe a few more residents will hop into the race- it's still early. But Nason is smart to throw in now... she will have plenty of time to get her name out there.
What GA really finds interesting is that though Stick's run is uncertain (looking unlikely), a good friend has picked up the gauntlet.
Who knows if that means something or means nothing. That's the weirdness of Hoboken..
What's unique about this Mile Square City, is that folks engaged in politics in any way, shape, or form know each other, some very well. Hoboken's political world is weird, insular and most of all, we don't want outsiders picking our next Mayor.