Promises, Promises

Today I find myself on the same side of an issue as... Beth Mason.

Now, before my pal Da Horsey hauls off and writes another one of these, declaring me a traitor to all things fluffy and good, or a water-carrier (substitute "Hermes" for "water") or a defender of Klaussen-patronage and slayer of bunny-rabbits, let me explain.

While 2nd Ward Councilwoman Mason is manipulating the issue of property-tax relief like Silly Putty, rolling it over the pages of H411 to reproduce the distortions there, she's got the right issue.

My reform friends, do not dismiss the issue out-of-hand because of it's source.

When Fiscal Monitor Judy Tripodi came to town in 2008 to cleanse out Hoboken's choked innards and fill an $11.7M budget gap gifted us by outgoing Mayor Dave Roberts we all knew what was coming.

Here's what Doctor Judy prescribed for our chronic overspending and it's resultant budget condition:

Well, we took it like... men and ladies because it came with a qualifier: TEMPORARY.

TEMPORARY tax hike. The 4th quarter of 2008... it hurt, but we were promised it was TEMPORARY.

OK, well, shit happens. The coastal fringes of Hoboken are falling into the Hudson. We need a cash reserve to cover retroactive raises for public safety union members. We don't have a COMMUNITY SWIMMING POOL, our town has an embarrassing TIN BUCKET instead- for kids only- which is tantamount to child abuse. Call DIFYS, someone.

So... Hoboken's entire available $12 million dollar budget surplus (NOT $20 million, Ms. Mason... stop repeating that or your nose will grow like Piniocchio's) can't be handed back to taxpayers. But how about a GOOD FAITH percentage of it for tax relief, with a proposal for staggered reflief phased over, let's say 3-years, to bring us BACK to where we were? And to fulfill a PROMISE made to the taxpayers of Hoboken.

I applaud Mayor Zimmer and the City Council for this era of sound fiscal management and responsibility. And 4th Ward Councilman Mike Lenz is a critical player in the way forward for our town's fiscal restoration. We need to elect him in November.

That said, our coffers runneth over. Good.

There are multiple uses vying for this money. The one that must not be forgotten is the promise to our stressed-out, over-burdened taxpayers.

Let's get it on.

(Update, 9:30 am)
Da Horsey has an excellent piece today where fiscal oracle Lenz sends the Mason-H411 '$20M budget surplus' spin-missile spiraling in flames down to earth. CRASH.

Lenz tells Da Horsey, "So, cutting through the misleading claims, our surplus is actually just under $12 million." Thanks, Mike.

Problems can't be fixed nor promises kept on a foundation of lies.

As long as you all understand who's serious about taking care of this city and who's snowing you.


  1. I guess the trend is to post the same comment on multiple sites.

    The cat is certainly out of the bag by now and they say there is no such thing as bad publicity. Can we just stop talking about Ms. Mason now? I mean really.

  2. ply, are we a little cranky today? GA's not a trendsetter nor trend-follower.

    This is my personal rubber room in cyberspace sometimes to vent, sometimes to yak, whatever's on my mind -- in other words, a pure blog, not a news vehicle. I write for my own amusement not to stake out new frontiers, so redundancy is a given. Anyone can drop in if they're interested or exit if they're not.

    Should I put a warning label on future Mason appearances? I would do it 'cause I like you.

  3. P

    Don't mess with my bud GA, especially in her own little corner of cyberspace. Very bad manners. Keep it up and I will drag KS over here and give you the Guest II smack down.

  4. I must admit on a re-read that is some kinda cranky post I made. My bad, I guess I'm putting out fire with gasoline. Which brings us to your new gravatar. Awesome. I want to have a tee shirt made up with that red backgrounded picture of Che Guevara on the front and your gravatar on the back.

    To your last point, I will only need a warning label if you decide to cater your content to the likes of me.

    In closing here's a Che quote dedicated to you:
    "Many will call me an adventurer - and that I am, only one of a different sort: one of those who risks his skin to prove his platitudes."

    Have a great day.

  5. Hey khoboken -

    Talk about bad manner's - thats the second time you used me in the same sentence as Guest II. Golden rule, my friend.

    Anyway, I'm not stupid enough to mess with GA. I know who's packing heat around here.

  6. P

    We are fine, I meant it in a humorus way. Forgot to add the smiley face. :) :) :).

  7. Ah ply, no worries. You da bomb.

    Speaking of cranky, in hindsight I thought my original post on the birthday card misfire was a bit... cranky, so did some serious editing yesterday. Chop, chop, chop!

    Thanks... I thought it was time to change up the avatar. If you too wish to roast in the Hell-fires, send me your pic and I will stick you there, horns optional.

    khoboken, no kidding about the "little" corner!

  8. At the risk of sounding like a shill I'll give you my $.02. Relief should be on the way. Nearly all the departments cut their budget over the past year. Refinancing the garage should save us several hundred thousand a year, as does ending a developer subsidy, the municipal worker and police cuts will save several million.
    Plus the reserve lets avoid expensive borrowing waiting for taxes to come in. Even Mike says we should consider returning a small part of the surplus, but lets not raise taxes in the future for a big cut today.

  9. Add into that the non recurring 4M paid to cover the pension from Roberts adn I say that Hoboken is fast on track to getting back into shape. Imagine that, with a rookie mayor, in the worst econdominc climate and in a state that is hemorrhaging revenue and slashing local aid. By accident or design (and does it really matter if our mayor has a little angel of luck sitting on her shoulder), Mayor Aurora Dawn has done pretty good. Even a blind squirrel eventually finds a nit, and I am not saying that Aurora Dawn needs any corrective lenses.


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