Stack Bought the Cow, But Where's the Milk?


GA had told you that Union City Mayor Brian Stack crept quietly into Hoboken last Thursday, May 30 for a meeting with Zimmer's challenger Ruben Ramos and HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia.

Coincidentally, Garcia was picked by Stack to run for 33rd District Assembly and Garcia is pulling out all stops to break ground on Phase I of the Vision 20/20 massive redevelopment project .


The Vision 20/20 proposal shows the current number of  HHA units (about 800) expanded by at least 25%.  Phase 1 is a 44-unit building with a $1,000,000 fee for the private developer RPM.  The fee is to be split between RPM and the HHA. There are 25 buildings in the proposal. 

25 x $1,000,000 = $25,000,000  
DEVELOPER'S FEE (projected)

$25,000,000 divided by 2 = $12,500,000  
CARMELO'S FEE (projected)... oops, I meant "HHA" fee

And that's just for starters...  imagine all cash to be squeezed from myriad building contracts during construction.  ka ching

 No wonder the HHA Director wants these plans to go through and no other...  because lower-density  town home development is the new model for public housing, not building blocks like the ones Garcia is trying to push through.   Wouldn't HHA residents prefer to live in town homes? 

But it is THIS plan which Carmelo Garcia and Mike Russo are desperate to shove through quickly.

Unfortunately for Carmelo, his desperate midnight pitch at the May 15 City Council meeting for a  30 Year PILOT and the Resolution of Need to begin Phase 1 of Vision 20/20 failed.

So on May 30, Brian Stack came to Hoboken for a meeting with Ruben Ramos and Carmelo Garcia.

GA wonders if Stack isn't just a little concerned.  Ruben 'arranged' the Carmelo pick.  With both the City Council and Mayor putting the brakes on the Vision 20/20 proposal Stack may be thinking:

 I  bought the cow, but where's the milk?

So what's this 'application' GA heard that Carmelo was sending and why the secret meeting with Stack?  A reader speculates:
The grant application for Stage 1 of Vision 20/20 was due Friday (May 31).  The developer almost certainly didn't want to file, since a failed application would reflect poorly on them - they made a point of stressing to the City Council what a great record they had of success in grant applications.  You build that record by only filing very strong applications and they know this application will almost certainly fail given Zimmer's opposition and the failure to obtain City Council support.

This meeting was almost certainly to discuss what to do - whether they should apply anyway and hope Stack could "pull strings" to get the application granted.  Without 20/20 Carmelo is useless to Stack.

Yup, Stack could yank on those teats as hard as he might, but find them udderly dry without the buy-in of the Mayor and City Council.

That's why GA expects Ruben will get plenty of help from Stack.

And why Russo, Ruben and Stack are patrons of GA's Recall Beth Mason 2013 Gift Shop.


  1. Stack does not have control over Hoboken elections and Applied Housing with their current fair market rentals is not the automatic vote machine it used to be. Garcia will win with the Union City Vote alone. Ramos and Buono are in the same boat with Mason.


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