The Zombie Message

The Zombie Council: Mason, Russo, Occhipinti and Castellano

That's the message the FOUR Undead  sent last night at the City Council.   ONE of the messages, anyway.

GA counted six.

You see, the UnDead are petulant.  And calculating.  

To boot, one of the FOUR is not a great thinker.  GA affectionately calls him the Golem of the Dark Side. (A Golem is a anthropomorphic creature from Jewish folklore made from inanimate matter- like clay or soil - that mindlessly serves its creator)

Can you guess which of UnDead GA means?

(Hint: he totes his brain to meetings on an external hard drive and it (the brain) makes fabulous artichoke dip.)

So  last night's City Council meeting was attended by FIVE living, breathing  City Council persons and FOUR of the Eternally Damned. All FIVE of the pulse-bearing Council members with beating hearts voted 'YES'  on a line-item transfer of funds to cover $450K in outstanding legal bills from LAST YEAR.

All FOUR Zombies voted 'NO'.

And the measure FAILED.

Yep, the Zombies said 'NO' to paying Corporation Counsel Mark Tabakin's firm,  Weiner Lesniak, LLP, for work performed, as well as 'NO' to paying Scarinci Hollenbeck, among others the City has hired as outside counsel. (Remember Donald Scarinci was the general counsel for the HUMC until he flounced off on July 16, 2011, slamming the Hospital Authority, 2 weeks before the hospital filed for bankruptcy)

So what messages did the Zombies send by by stiffing our lawyers on their fees?

(1)  If you want to get paid in Hoboken, you play by Zombie rules.

The Zombies want Mark Tabakin to quit.  They are setting the stage so that only their 'friends' will be willing to come in as attorneys.  That way, the Zombies can control things again.  GA was told by a source that Hoboken is having a hard time attracting outside counsel. Of course.  Because the word is out that Zombies won't pay lawyers who are not 'friends'. 

Do you know about the Zombie Game?  It was 'allegedly' played in City Hall for years, prior to the efforts of Mayor Zimmer to put the kibosh on it.

A 'friend' sues the City for some alleged infraction, often frivolous (like Billy Campbell, former PIO ), the City attorney would hire an “outside counsel” (read “politically connected law firm”) and that outside counsel would allow the suit to drag on and on and on and on, billing hourly.... ka-ching ka-ching. (with the benevolent approval of the city attorney *wink* *wink*)

All this time the politically connected outside counsel is making campaign donations and wining and dining the various politicos whose approval was needed to get and keep the “outside counsel” designation.

After enough money has been sucked from the city’s coffers, a suitably generous “settlement” is EVENTUALLY arranged with the assistance of the plaintiff’s attorney.

From the “settlement” pot: (i) the plaintiff’s attorney gets his cut of the settlement for his fees, as the case was taken on a contingency basis; and (ii) the “friend” gets his slice; and (iii) and the various politicos that make this merry game keep churning all get a taste; and (iv) the outside counsel gets a new case and the Zombie game begins again.

This was risk free litigation, with the costs of the litigation essentially funded by the City. There was no hurry to bring the case to resolution, legitimately, when the billing is hourly and the results are guaranteed by the City’s coffers. The rules of the Zombie game make sure that everyone gets paid in the end.

Interesting side note: GA heard the Billy Campbell case is not going according to Zombie-Plan.  Were the Zombies calling the shots he may have already WON a big, whopping settlement.  And that's what they want- to call the shots again.  Mark Tabakin stands in the way.

(2)  Zombies drive up legal fees.

This is a fact.  A source tells GA that municipal work was never risky. A lot of firms have lower rates for municipal work because theoretically such work eliminates a large part of collection-risk.

Enter Hoboken, and it's City Council with its FOUR Zombies.  Zombies delay the payment of legal fees.  Zombies stop payment of legal fees.  Thus, Zombies drive up the legal fees.  

Because the hiking of fees account for the risk factor that they will not be paid in a timely manner. This is true.  Did I tell you my source was a lawyer?

(3)  Zombies Drive up Taxes. 

What happens to the credit rating of a city habitually late with paying it's bills and/or stiffing its vendors?  Does it get better?


It TANKS.   For every downgrade in our credit rating there is a corresponding uptick in the interest rate that we have to pay on any bonds that are used for capital improvements.

Higher interest means higher taxes.  The council should be doing everything in it's power to protect the credit rating in order to reduce taxes.

 Zombies don't care.  They want higher taxes so you'll get pissed at the MAYOR.

(4)  Zombies Cause Litigation.

Isn't that obvious?  A law firm that can't collect fees from the City for work performed is going to SUE.  Which is what the Zombies WANT.

So while they create scenarios which place the city at risk of litigation, they blame the Mayor for the so-called abundance of litigation, and refuse to pay our attorneys...

Further, the Zombies would LOVE Scarinci to sue the City-- to tarnish the Mayor's successful sale of the HUMC.  The Zombies would like nothing more than to throw mud all over this great Zimmer-Tomarazzo-HMHA achievement.  If Scarnci sues, the Zombies can revive the  their Hospital Authority smear campaign and mar the Mayor's political victory FOR Hoboken.

(5) Zombies Reduce Tax Relief.

Must I tell you this?  When the Zombies voted "NO" on a simple, cost-free garage bond conversion from non-taxable to taxable status, it cost Hoboken taxpayers $4,500,0000.  You didn't feel a thing, right?  Because that cash came out of the City's cash SURPLUS.

Which means less tax relief for you.

Where do you think the $450K that the Zombies are withholding from the City's law firms and other vendors is going to come from?

From our 2011 surplus.

So what have we learned?

Zombies work AGAINST Hoboken,  AGAINST the taxpayer and AGAINST 'normal' procedural  governing practices...

(6)  Zombies work for the benefit of... ZOMBIES.


  1. Zombies here,
    Zombies there,
    Zombies obstruct Hoboken budgeting,
    with a certain brain eating flair!

  2. This is consistent with patterns for at least two of these inept imbeciles: Beth Mason is notorious for not paying people employed at the Masonic Temple and Michael Russo reportedly didn't pay the maintenance fees when he owned a corporate condo in The Citadel.

    With Mason's husband's bottomless checkbook, Castellano's inherited real-estate wealth, Russo's living off the public for several generations and Occhipinti's subsidized apartment, to say that these four have a distorted and perverse sense of how to honor contracts, who and when to pay for services and the value of the public's money, is an understatement.

    1. Well said as usual, Oracle.

      Well-entrenched/enabled patterns of getting something for nothing, along with a long-standing disconnect between behavior & consequences. All part of the individual & collective sociopathy.

      Do hope the Mason recall effort is moving forward.

  3. Excellent analysis, GA. And the only solution is a 6th vote. And the only way to get it before 2015 is to recall Beth Mason. Plus, I'd love to see her running for Assembly with a recall hanging in the air. Apart from that headline the only thing people in the Heights will know is that she hands out $20 bills taped to glossy fliers about her "achievements."

  4. Beth Mason will be the Assembly's Sara Palin. Who wants to deal with the dangerous stupid sociopaths after the pathetic Republican failure?

  5. In the wake of all the failures, personal and political, that represent the inept, corrupt narrative of her sad, little life, is Beth Mason so delusional to believe she could be elected to the assembly?


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