Saturday, April 22, 2017

Councilman DeFusco Threatens to 'fire' ZBA members based on their VOTE



Oh, boy.  Folks out there are buzzing about this one.

Councilman Mike DeFusco's Shake Shack Suicide Mission on Facebook took a decidedly dark, authoritarian turn yesterday.

I never thought I'd say this, but even Beth Mason had the brains not to publish her vendettas against particular board members online under her own name- she had surrogates for that.

So, can a sitting City Council member threaten to axe members of an autonomous, quasi-judicial board because he does not like their vote on an application?

Since when did a Councilperson use his/her position to publicly bully and intimidate members of an autonomous board to 'get in shape' and vote the way he wants, or else get axed?

Hoboken's Corporation Council needs to look at this one.  I believe this is a serious ethical transgression by an elected member of Hoboken's Legislative body.  Corp Council can decide if censure is in order.

I hope ZBA members show up at the next Council meeting to address this egregious threat against their municipal service by a sitting Council member.  

Of course, when it is time to appoint ZBA members, one hopes the Council takes a fair, impartial view of the qualifications of each applicant, and not subject incumbent applicants to a witch hunt. At least that should be their public position.

Councilmembers have no right to terrorize board members based upon their vote.

This is so outrageous, and a window into the authoritarian, immature mind of a person who aspires to be Hoboken's Chief Executive; somehow, his political rise has swollen his head 3 sizes too big. What GA sees is an intolerant, thin-skinned official who seems to surround himself with sycophants and cannot debate with his critics.

Yes, not only am I- a constituent- blocked on his Facebook page, but it appears he has scrubbed my comments.

That is the measure of an authoritarian. Think like him, vote like him, believe his propaganda (107-11 Washington Street= Shake shake... NOT!) or be scrubbed.

Scrubbed from Facebook, Scrubbed from the Zoning Board...

Does Hoboken need a leader like this? We already have one in the White House.

49 comments:

  1. Let's say someone who lives near the rejected application was very pleased by the rejection. Now let's say the re-application is approved. Doesn't that person have a case based on Defusco's public efforts to intimidate the ZBA into "voting his way"?

    Also, is there a path whereby this applicant could end up in front of the City Council? If so, hasn't Defusco crossed more than a few lines in weighing in so prejudicially in the matter as a city councilman?

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    1. Once Denied a variance can't go to the council - only on approval, any commissioner knows that. LAst winter the City Council tossed 2 great commissioners and Demoted 1 to Alternate, based on their voting records- it's nothing new
      This applicant can easily knock a few sq ft and reduce the apartments, hide the trash bins as requested and then go to ple Planning Board.

      The Rock Climbing Gym,West Elm,Trader Joes and Anthony Pinos new place were all variances granted based on the tenants who had contracts with a contingency upon City approvals- that's how it works in business

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    2. Um, not true. I was on the ZBA board that approved the "Trader Joes" building. The variances was approved with x Sq footage of commercial/retail space- that is it. Not my experience that a named tenant to occupy a commercial/retail is pitched to the zoning board without testimony from a rep of the tenant. Unless, of course the applicant is the tenant, like the Biergarten, which our board approved unanimously.

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  2. Application corrected! It was supposed to say WankShack not ShakeShack! We are ready to sign on the dotted line and move in! Wanky Burgers for everyone! Now available in both regular and gross!! Fake news!! Sad!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  3. I'm going to fart. GA
    Bet line I've written in a while

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  4. I've lost a trustworthiness.. and a tampon
    GA
    #bigladyProblems

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  5. I hope I don't get my big ass sued again
    Once a liar , always a liar
    GA . Xoxo

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  6. Interesting, whenever I do a post that goes straight to DeFusco's credibility, your sorry North Bergen ass comes to spam my site with juvenile dreck. Maybe folks should see why I disable Anon commenting, when I do. So, go play North Bergen DeFusco fan, and show Hoboken voters how DeFusco's people roll.

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    1. Disable whatever you want!! My gosh so hysterical. All you do is delete delete delete when you do not get your way. I'm just warming up. I don't need anon to comment someone call a whambulance for GA who has 17 followers each with 4 names. Sad life you have. All alone in htat house with those fucking cats and your computer, wasting away, locking yourself in your room to duke it out as your only form of attention getting.

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    2. These sorts of tactics didn't help Mason and they sure as hel won't help Mike. But they sure do make Mike look like a complete asshole!

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  7. Hey, this sight is one gal's musings, so suggesting that a city council member will take a board member's voting history into consideration when their term is up is authoritarian could be easily viewed as the musing party's opinion.

    I'd disagree. I hope that city council members review zoning board members' voting history when those members re-apply. If there is a member on that board that's never seen a variance they didn't like, I sure hope the city council member tosses them at the first opportunity.

    Seems more like the issue is a differing ideology with this councilman than anything authoritarian. Heck, the Mayor always tosses board members when she disagrees with them. She even tosses them if they are not one of her supporters.

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    1. Nice SPIN, 11:37. That is NOT what DeFusco said, but good job.

      Council persons' deliberative process may include supporting persons who have the same philosophical agreement with them on the granting of variances. That is done privately with decorum, not on Facebook.

      Amazing and without precedent that I am aware of, DeFusco has PUBLICLY threatened RETRIBUTION for specific members of the ZBA for their vote on ONE project. On Facebook!

      I get it, you think you are clever, and are trying to muddy the point.

      This is about a Councilpersons misconduct- threatening members of an autonomous board... on FACEBOOK!

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    2. Lay with dogs, expect fleas.

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  8. What a hypocrite - he wants an autonomous board and wants to get rid of people who disagree with him. Seriously, he is doubling down on stupid yet again. He has the maturity of a 2 year old. I guess he just can admit he is wrong.

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    1. Zimmer wants to get rid of people that disagree with her.

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  9. In tennis this is called an unforced error. Completely inexplicable why he's doing it. But now he's stuck with it.

    We see a 2-pronged damage control strategy so far.

    1) Silence contrary opinion on facebook.

    2) Spam this blog with adolescent gibberish that only makes him look worse.

    Might want to work on a 3rd prong.

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    1. He already has prong 3 - get Tony Soares, Liebler and company to back him up. That really tells you how badly he screwed up.

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    2. Do you mean reform icon Tony Soares? His loyal voting block in town is HUGE, Mike's a shoo-in for mayor if he's got the Soares political juggernaut behind him. Zimmer might as well resign now.

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    3. 6:17- Swibo's spam-monkeys are 3rd grade dropouts.

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    4. Swibo? you mean the HCDO political consultant who is tied to half that room last monday? Funny, he's likely to work for the new machine candidate. DeGise, Stack, Kenny and Roberts don't support reformers unless it's tied to their interests. Kenny ( who was Roberts right hand man even when the state came in and got them to look the other way at the DCA for many years ) has a law firm making a shitload of money ... None of the options I hear are reformers. People rather have parking, potholes filled parks and stable taxes. Beating the drum of Russo did it, Roberts Did it, Soares cut a deal ( even though he got a 9-0 vote the second term by every Zimmer council supporter ) ... I'm for Nason!

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    5. I would certainly take Nason over DeFusco but neither one can even come close to Zimmer. Just say'n

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  10. Half of Hoboken thinks Mike's a phony and the other half will find out.

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  11. How much jail time for candidates who take money from straw donors? Wondering...

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  12. Mike's got competition.. Another guy in the First Ward gonna announce next month or June. Hates Zimmer. Got charisma and enough $ to self finance.... buh bye Mikey

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm... I heard an unconfirmed rumor that Terry C might put someone up against Mike. She hates his guts.

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    2. Anyone that "hates" Zimmer probably sucks just as much as Mike. I can respect disagreeing w/ Zimmer, but hating someone who quite honestly is lightyears ahead of any Mayor Hoboken has seen in decades, honest and relatively competent is a bit out of bounds for anyone who values those traits in a mayor. But I can see why the slimebuckets Zimmer and reformers have replaced might hate her.

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    3. Hate and charisma are oil and water.

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    4. So Mike's out of town money from friends and relatives is dirty but Bhalla's is ok?
      Union money is okay for Phil Murphy but not for anyone opposing Zimmer?

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    5. 10:52- all depends if its legal. taking money from straw donors is illegal and politicians have gone to jail for it. youre jumping to conclusions- did anyone say mike's money was dirty except for YOU? consciousness of guilt a little? Certainly a competent investigator could find out if anyone's taking dirty money.

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    6. Mike DeFusco was part of Peter Cammarano's transition team, before he was arrested by the FBI, resigned, plead guilty and went to prison.

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  13. Has anyone read the thread below Mike's facebook post? I just did...
    https://facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=435239760146408&id=124377881232599&ref=m_notif&notif_t=feed_comment_reply

    It starts: "Hoboken said "NO" to a SHAKE SHACK downtown, on Washington Street."

    It ends: "The denial on the grounds I suggested above prevented the restaurant use -- an application is voted on as a whole. Further, Shack was a point of discussion amongst the commissioners and applicant, I didn't haul it into the conversation."

    In between he calls Shake Shack a "confirmed tenant" a half dozen times.

    On Friday, Shake Shake released a statement "We had no plans for that location."

    Huh?

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    1. Trader Joes tweeted the same thing a year ago... Apple says they arent leaving the GM building but filed for a Demo permit on it's glass cube.... The PR depts dont released a location until one is SECURED and has it's permits. That's a fact- because if they are denied bad press always happens whether they are approved or denied. Just my 1/4lb of beef

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    2. if that's the case ANON did the Applicant have permission from Shake Shake to go public- especially having the Applicant go public at a government hearing?

      Did the APplicant have permission from Shake Shake to use its logo on renderings used to persuade officials to get the project variances?

      Did Michael DeFusco get permission from Shake Shake to announce they were "in contract" or a "confirmed tenant"?

      Sounds like the Applicant AND DeFusco screwed the pooch. If Shake Shake did not want to go public before any ALLEGED deal then why did everybody on the applicants side including defusco shoot off their mouths?

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    3. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out Shake Shake does not locate in towns like Hoboken. They want lots of foot traffic 7 days a week thru lunch and dinner. That means major cities near loads of office buildings or shopping malls. Same goes for Apple. I saw some twit on facebook claim Apple was coming to town also and Zimmer scared them off and laughed so hard I fell out of my chair. Mike, the twit that thinks Apple is coming and so forth don't seem to get that Hoboken is not big enough or draw enough traffic to support businesses like Shake Shack and Apple. That is why so many storefronts are empty! Well that and the obscene rents which compound the problem.

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    4. Of course they had permission. Idiots

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    5. Permission is not needed or even asked for when people are making crap up. Idiot!

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    6. It's likely that Mike DeFusco has pissed off SHAKE SHACK by turning what may have been a quiet negotiation into a public fiasco. It's likely the Mike DeFusco had NO PERMISSION from SHAKE SHACK to blast this out on FB... the project can always retool and go back to the ZBA. But now that Mike DeFusco blew it up into a political controversy he scared them off for good.

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  14. My private fantasy is that Mike is a secret double agent, cause otherwise, what an twit (or twat in the British sense).

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  15. DFM was the developers tool when he sat on the zoning board. Once a tool always a tool. Now DFM's swapping gossip with a sitting pro-development commissioner who undermined his own board by opining on his facebook page against his board majority and giving DFM cover... and bad SHAKE SHACK information.

    Why is a sitting ZBA Commissioner facebooking about ZBA votes????

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    1. Sad. In my 4 years on the board (and under intense pressure by political hacks, online threats and 2 Resolutions) I never discussed ZBA business outside the chambers, certainly did not utter a word online.

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    2. You never had to be removed from an application hearing for conflicts ?
      Congrats

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    3. Phil Cohen is right
      Glad he's speaking up and acknowledged it's a Shake Shack

      Delete
  16. I would offer there is a difference in council members evaluating qualifications and voting records when considering appointments (that of course is their obligation) and reminding the public and sitting ZBA members of that obligation when specifically criticizing a specific decision. Hard to argue that his timing was not intended to send a clear threat to future no voters that his opinion needed to be followed or appointment (or reappointment) would not. I guess he just wanted to talk about his powers of appointment in the abstract. Pandering to the development community. Threat to the independence of an independent quasi-judicial board. Didn't see or read the papers but he knows best having spent half a decade on the zoning board, granting every variance ever requested and ignoring the fundamental zoning principles. This guy is a world class jerk and dangerous. God forbid he is ever sworn in as mayor or for that matter reelected.

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  17. I hear Sacco is not happy with all the negative blowback.

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  18. Terri C getting involved in politics ? That's a first in over 10 years lol
    Should have planned that 2 years ago .. what is she gonna do as a retiree now lol

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    1. Terri C 's facebook page still says she is on the City Council. She is very bitter over her being voted out of office and her family's continued loss of control in Hoboken. I wouldn't be surprised if she puts some of her considerable wealth behind her son's political ambitions.

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  19. If gramma can't operate FB she shouldn't be on city council

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