What Happened to Mike Novak?

 Then-mayoral candidate Peter Camarrano announcing his slate on March 3, 2009. left to right: Angel Alicea, Francis Rhodes-Kearns and Mike Novak

Novak: Before (2009- May/June 2011):

Novak was an increasingly vocal critic of the Zimmer administration, a Tweet-o-holic of anti-Zimmer vitriol, and held weekly Saturday morning strategy sessions attended by Frank 'Pupie' Raia, Perry Belfiore, Lane Bajardi and Mike Russo at his Marine View Plaza office.

Here's what Da Horsey wrote on Sept 21, 2010:
Mike Novak is one notable person in town who has been active in trying to take some big shots at Mayor Dawn Zimmer, first in supporting Kim Glatt's mayoral bid last fall after his close alliance with Peter Cammarano ended with him walking around shell-shocked for some time after the FBI's Hoboken visit. His entry now on behalf of Tim Occhipinti could very well be full throttle.
An Occhipinti donor, participant in political strategy sessions, GA had written about Novak's rising partisan political activism, noting that his anti-Zimmer rhetoric was anti-Hoboken;  his arrows at the Zimmer administration were hurting the small business community,  running counter to his mission as President of Hoboken Chamber of Commerce.

For example, Novak tweeted:

From Novak Sandbags Hoboken

And said this to The Wall Street Journal:

From Novak Trashes Hoboken in the Wall Street Journal

That was quite a funeral dirge for our main street played on the pages of the premier business newspaper in America. By the President of our Chamber of Commerce.  Yikes.

Now here he is on Twitter, bemoaning the lack of "Holiday decorations" on Washington Street...

Novak's Tweet

And shortly after, THIS appears in HOBOKEN411...


As GA mentioned, Novak was a prolific Twitterer,  much of it critical of Mayor Zimmer:

...and critical of her allies:

Hey, that's ME!  The son-of-a-bitch.

Well... GA discovered something very interesting as I went back to look for old Novak tweets. Just the political ones.


All of them.  

Here's a side-by-side of old screenshots next to screenshots of the same 'page' taken today. The ones highlighted in yellow were scrubbed.

WHY would Novak scrub all references to his involvement in political activities, political operations,  and coordination with Mason, Bajardi, Hoboken411, Tim Occhipinti, Mike Russo?

Does he know something NOW the rest of us are going to find out later?* 

(*Hint: think 'Frog March')

Novak: After (May/June 2011 - Present)

 Novak's twitter activity decreases nearly 75%.

He is nowhere to be found on the political scene.    And AWOL in his role as President of Hoboken's Chamber of Commerce.  Absent in the debate on food vendors (trucks)  and absent from last Saturday's small business event.

Here is what one Hoboken small business owner had to say on Patch:

I agree with Chadwick.  Novak should step aside and let some else with drive and passion take over.

Well folks.  There it is.  The riddle of Novak, 'before and after'.

Which leaves this question...

What might have happened in... oh... late May to have caused the defection of Mike Novak from Hoboken political life and from his former political allies?



  1. Well it is after Thanksgiving so he should be armed and ready to complain about the lack of Holiday decorations on Washington!

  2. Who is second in command at the chamber of commerce and when is NOvak's term up?

  3. 2 words. Get a pen so you can write them down. I'll wait.


    Deep. Throat.

  4. May 23rd Shop Hoboken event. No show.

    Month-long debate on food trucks. No show.

    Small business Saturday(the event he twitched, ie, tweeted + bitched) about above. No show.

    And my personal favorite. The Hoboken Chamber of Commerce has 24 tweets this year that mention Robert Menendez. Michael Novak has 20. Senator Menendez came to town Nov 21 to promote Small Business Saturday. Novak, once again, was a no show. Couldn't walk 2 blocks for his hero?

    Before May 20th, the Hoboken Chamber averaged about 49 tweets a month. Since then, they've averaged about 7.

    Not as much to talk about...?

    Oh, it's soooooooo over.

  5. Excellent points, Info.

    Notably a missed opportunity to schmooze with Menendez, who was a guest at his W Hotel holiday bash last year. Avoiding a photo-op with the Senator?

    That speaks volumes.

  6. No-show NOvak also has a reputation for joining every board of every organization in town, perhaps to serve as a platform for his failed-to-launch political career.

    After he does nothing (or does damage) he resigns and leaves multiple new enemies in his wake.

  7. I want to add a few things and I am grateful to have a post of mine put on this site, thanks. If you strip away titles and positions of people and you leave them as regular people they are still humans, friends, colleagues, fathers, brothers etc etc. My frustration is not at Mike Novak as a person, he is a decent guy deep down, I've met him in the past however once people get titles and responsibility and then they fumble, botch or neglect these, especially when people's life savings and careers and passions are on the line something has to be addressed. We've all been in this situation before, myself included. All of a sudden you take on a role and out of nowhere all this stuff comes at you and it is too much and you either step aside and let someone else do it or you keep a title and sink it, which is what Mike is doing and it is not fair to the 100's maybe 1000's of people in town. There is nothing wrong with not being a leader of a COC anymore. It is ok to step aside and let someone with heart and passion fuel the town in to success. If he stepped aside and let someone else lead us in to the future, I would have even more respect for him. We are a giant team and the never ending time out isn't helping us win.

    We are all good people, just sometimes we let things get in the way. I understand there is political barriers here and that's cool however businesses should be represented by someone who doesn't have gripes or hang ups. Cash pays our rents, our employees, our costs, our bills and without money we may all sink and we as a business community need a leader, which I feel Mike is not. Thanks for letting me comment. Rory Chadwick

  8. Rory, thanks for posting.

    You are indeed a magnanimous chap, and sound like the kind of fellow who should be President of Hoboken's Chamber of Commerce instead of you-know-who. I say, go for it.

    I do disagree with you on this- I don't believe we are all good people. Some of us are selfish narcissists, sociopaths and just plain rotten-to-the-core. Some of us belong in straitjackets and padded cells. With electrodes hooking us up to a zapper. Some of us think that laws are for other people or for suckers. And some try to kill a hospital and throw thousands out of work and wreck the finances of a city because they CAN.

    No Rory, I don't think we're all good people.

    I also am not sure Novak is a decent person deep down. Maybe if one digs deep enough... but there are people better suited to take the COC presidency so he should do the right thing and move aside.

    1. Agreed! I would recommend looking into Mike's personal life some more...you'd find loads of juicy material to work with.

  9. Whatever one thinks of Novak (not much in most people's case), it's clear that the job of president of the chamber of commerce would be best handled by someone who is FAR less political, can work with whomever is in office and doesn't have a political ax to grind.

    It is very clear that our retailers are suffering and I have to believe that businesses without storefronts are hurting too, not only due to the economic downturn, but also due to the greed of commercial landlords, a lack of marketing and promotion and an inability on the part of Novak to work with Director Forbes and our current administration.

    Hoboken's business and retail community has many rich and diverse threads which can be brought together by the right leader into an amazing, cohesive weave from which we will all benefit.

    The C of C should host a dinner, give the man a plaque and ask him to step down already!

  10. I agree, he should step aside and allow others to fulfill his commitment. I still believe he is a good person when you strip away the "taking sides" and the "politics". If the were no politics or sides in town, there would be no blogs right?

    I am certain Mike is reading these comments. I wish he would do the right thing and step aside and let 1 of 40 qualified people do what he has not. Stepping aside is a respect not a tragedy. He would make more friends being a MAN and stepping aside rather than being a COWARD and keeping the title.

  11. All well & good, Rory. You seem to be trying to offer an extremely empathic perspective on the man in question.

    Nevertheless, part of being a mature & decent human being is taking responsibility for one's behavior.

    With Hoboken's crew of political players, there's a very, very long-standing disconnect on that one.

  12. Maybe if he could keep his dick in his pants....

    1. so true!!! I'd love to hear if you have any thing further to say on this front...

  13. Ewww! We know he is a dick, but he has one too? Anyone know who the baby-mama is?


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