Liston KOs Mason in Round 1

No, no... not THAT Liston.

THIS one: Hoboken's Business Administrator Arch Liston.

On Wednesday night, he scored a City Council  knockout in the first round-  Councilwoman Beth Mason didn't know what hit her.  Not even the referee, Council Prez Ravi Bhalla, could get her back on her feet. After a verbal pummeling from Liston- a volley of right jabs then a  left upper cut,  she was down for the count.

Unfortunately for Mason, she's not quick on her feet, and the speech written by her minion neither floated like a butterfly nor stung like a bee.  Instead it stank up the room for a couple of seconds like passed gas. Then disappeared.

But not Liston's.  His words hung in the air, magnificently.

Liston was not having any of her bullshit that night; the snotty, imperious, disrespectful tone, the nonsense blame-mongering, the indolence (work is for the little people), the farming out of labor to consultants.... all which Liston summed up with one word:  GAME.

And then, he let one fly....BOOM!  That one shocked GA.

See for yourself, presenting...the Wednesday Night Knockout

And in the left corner... City Councilwoman Beth 'Sneak Attack' Mason... in the right, Hoboken BA Arch 'The Body' Liston...


Mason: Council President, I could ask a question there are more to ask, and actually GETTING information is only a START to being able to ask questions. Being kept in the dark is when you CAN'T ask questions. I have to.

Liston: Believe it or not my phone and my email works if you had questions you can contact me at any time as other Council members do on a regular basis and I will answer your question. Don't come to a meeting and say I have a question when I am available all during the week and anytime you want to contact me by email like I said and I'll be more than happy to get your answer. Coming to a meeting and saying I have no information and I (garbled) a question...I"M NOT PLAYING THAT GAME... That's a game. Oh, please. It's not a game? I'll take a vote, I'll take a vote of the majority. Can I have a vote of the majority to see if that's a game or not?

Referee Bhalla:  Director, Director Director...

Mason: Council President, please.

Referee Bhalla: Let's let Councilwoman Maosn proceed. Thank you, Director.

Liston: It's a GAME!

Mason: It is not a game.

(Liston shouts something)

Referee Bhalla: Director,Director...

Liston: It's a GAME!

Referee Bhalla: Please... Councilwoman... sorry.

Mason: The public... I represent the public- not you.  The public has a RIGHT to know what questions I wish to ASK and they have a right to have the answers. NOT BEHIND CLOSED DOORS IN YOUR OFFICE OR or on a TELEPHONE.

Liston:  How about an email? I'll make it public. Email is public. Email is public. You have no problem, you have no problem opening other email. You can have mine too. I'll give you mine. You can have mine. You have a question? I'll make it a public document, I'llk put it on the web site for you if you have a question. Not a problem!

Referee Bhalla: Councilwoman Mason, continue.

Mason:  It seems to be difficult to do such.

Referee Bhalla: Well he's answering your questions.

(long pause)

Mason: I think there's an item here which kinda gives the impression or the attitude of what is going on. When you take $600 in a line item transfer to cover QUOTE "immaterial budget error".

Cunnigham: $600? 

Unidentified: In a $100 million budget?

(LAUGHTER from spectators)

Mason: And it's actually disturbing that someone would LAUGH and say that's immaterial for SOME people that's a week's salary. A WEEK'S SALARY for some people. Excuuuuse me, I have the FLOOR. (reads a written speech)... I can't support that resolution.

Liston:  I'll bet you spent more than $600 to have someone write that for you.

Mason: Excuuuuse me?

"Excuuuuuuuuse me?"
Referee Bhalla: Hold on, hold on.

Mason: All due respect, I write my own stuff, Mr. Liston.

Liston: Oh, I believe that.

Referee Bhalla: Ok, we're getting off-topic here. There was a mention about City Hall layoffs, I would say if it weren't for four city council members refusing to vote for a garage bond refinance we wouldn't be stuck with a 4.5 million budget gap that causes a necessity for increased taxes or layoffs.  So don't direct responsibility on the mayor. The responsibility if there are layoffs are squarely on four members of the city council. I just wanted to address that issue becuase it was raised by Councilwoman Mason.
(Bhalla stands up)

Referee Bhalla: It looks like you knocked her out, Arch. When are garbage pickups here?  Is it too late?  Somebody please call over at Sanitation to see if we can bag her and put her out.  And get the procedure for disposing Hazardous Waste.  Do we hose her down first? Or stuff her in then hose down the bag? Just make sure she's not recycled.  
OK, GA made up that last one.  But the rest of it will go down in Hoboken lore as the Wednesday Night Knockout.

Three cheers for Arch!


  1. he WENT THERE, ha!! "you have no problem opening other emails...", LOL!! oh man, liston is my hero.

  2. Anyone know which video (part 1, 2, etc) it's on from the meeting? What minute mark? I would love to see that.

  3. Hi, Donna.

    Part 2. Starts at 1:34:27.



  4. Does this exchange make Mason and Liston "Arch" enemies?

  5. There's something in the air, a change of mood, a palpable restlessness. Ms Mason's corny nonsense isn't making it through customs anymore. Mr Russo and Mr Occhipinti's longwinded missives are becoming real snores. No one is even wasting their breath refuting the crazy ranting anymore. Maybe it's just shear boredom of the played-out, but the Old Guard has really lost it's spark and it's intrigue and it's so played out, so disingenuous that everyone reasonable is nodding off and on the wavelength of, "hey look, come on already, let's just call this what it is, a game...".

    We really have quite a race now for "sexiest person in Reform".

    Here's to adding an Arch Liston tee-shirt to this year's "must have" holiday present list. I know Mr Liston has just "had it up to here" with the BS, but the reality of that moment visited in this post was such good karma, I really must salute him for seizing such an air-clearing moment.

  6. Me too, ply. I love your analogy that her "corny nonsense isn't making it through customs anymore". How true.

    Do you know I once had my banana seized at Kennedy airport? A Dept. of Agriculture Inspector's dog sniffed it from inside my suitcase. It was terrifying! I thought I'd be arrested right there.

  7. This just in over teletype:
    Wanted: Avenger, Grafix. Female. Interstate transport of banana, crossing a state line in the execution of a bite to eat. May be seen putting toppings on cereals or feeding monkeys at the zoo.
    Please consider suspect healthy, well nourished and prepared for snacks on the fly.
    Known aliases: Chiquita, Tropic Ana, Ban Ana.

  8. True story, ply. I was returning from Venice. (Italy, not Cali), and forced to surrender my banana to the authorities.

    You can call me Chiquita- I like that.

  9. Stop the presses! New headline:

    "Tropical Produce Moll "Chiquita" Avenger Detained at Italian Airport Attempting to Export Banana Revolution to US, Arrest Subject to Ap-peel, Search for Second Banana of Bunch Still Fruitless"

  10. I had a good laugh again, reading the transcript....Liston was the best part of the boring meeting, I'm glad he didn't take Mason's b.s.

  11. yes, hadenough. Unscripted Mason is syntactic disaster. Pure nonsense and revealing all the same- that's what's clear in a transcription:

    "I could ask a question there are more to ask, and actually GETTING information is only a START to being able to ask questions. Being kept in the dark is when you CAN'T ask questions."

    Can anyone explain that word-pile?

    Is that some garbled attempt to explain to the public why she hasn't contacted Liston with her alleged questions?

    Deconstruct it- it makes no sense at all. Actually, if one felt "kept in the dark" that's WHEN that person would be asking questions. RIGHT? But she frames it like some conspiracy to keep her (and THE PEOPLE) uninformed.

    Always the victim.

    Liston was a HOOT. Best line of the night: "You have no problem, you have no problem opening other email." Go, Arch!


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