Hoboken's water main politics

photo credit: The nice SUEZ worker who let me have these pics. 
When Hoboken residents wake to hovering choppers, we know it can only mean water main break.

Then we'll wonder how our buses, trains, schools are impacted and if we'll have water.  If so, must it be boiled?  What color will it be?  (We love our brown showers.)

It's a way of life in a City with a 100+ year-old water supply system.

According to a Hoboken historical website: "Hoboken's first mains were laid  in 1857. The mains which connect with the reservoirs and which enter the city through Willow Avenue and Park Avenue, consist of a 12-inch, a 16-inch and a 24-inch, the combined capacity of which to the north line of the city is 12,000,000 gallons per day.... The water supply to the city is still further guarded by the fact that three separate lines of mains, a 20-inch, a 24-inch and a 36-inch connect directly the Water Company's main pumping station at New Milford..."

Unfortunately, the City sold away rights to our water system in 1994; there are 7 years left on its contract with SUEZ.

Tick tick tick... CRACK! SPLASH! There goes another one!

Until Hoboken gets our water system back, the City is financing some infrastructure repairs: the Washington Street water main upgrade (financed by a $7M low-interest loan) and $5.2M in other upgrades. Also, the Mayor is renegotiating Hoboken's contract with SUEZ, requesting "$1 million annual payments for repairs and upgrades to the City water main system."

In the meantime, whenever a water main goes POP,  so do the mayor's opponents!  

Plaintiff Carmelo Garcia: "Time for a new Mayor!"

Time for a new mayor!

Presumptive mayoral challenger Councilman Mike DeFusco: "This is not normal!"

Prospective mayoral challenger, Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano... ummm, nothing.

But here's his 2017 campaign cup:

Councilman Mike Russo gets Honorable Mention for keeping his constituents informed on social media without using the emergency to take shots at the mayor.

Hoboken people, listen to me. You need to sign up for the City of Hoboken's Nixle Alerts to stay informed about our City's emergencies, in real time. 


  1. Defusco's getting himself lumped in with the biggest snake in town. Who is advising him? He just looks like an ambulance chaser.

    1. Ambulance chaser is a good description... I hope it sticks.

  2. Anyone want to guess how big a check Mayor DeFusco would write to Garcia to settle out his bogus lawsuit? If I were him I'd want a new Mayor too. Didn't he tell Horsey he was "entitled" to a settlement.

    I wonder if DeFusco is calling Suez "the Water Company" because after a year on the Council he doesn't know the name of the company that the Russos gave the store away to. I doubt that Mike is telling the truth about the Council no being briefed. I'll bet they've been briefed by the City's lawyers in closed session which is how they are supposed to be kept in the loop about confidential negotiations. But given the Russo family's role in the existing stinky travesty of a contract that many think cannot be explained without considering the possibility of a bribe given that Anthony Russo went to jail for taking bribes, and Mike's own videotaped acceptance of Solomon Dwek's bribe offer, it certainly would be understandable if the Mayor chose not to keep the corruptocrats on the council in the loop in real time.

  3. DeFusco needs issues to run on, needs to oppose Zimmer wherever he can. Stick wants it to fall in his lap. One's trying too hard, the other not at all.

  4. What Defusco doesn't seem to realize is that even $5 million to repair "priority" water mains is a drop in the bucket to what is needed for any sort of widespread replacement. Heck you can spend 10 to 20 times that and even if you replaced half the pipes in the entire city, you'd still have only a 50% shot at preventing the next break. I really wish that our local representatives weren't devolving back into the bad old days of using any news item to take uninformed cheap shots at who they perceive to be their "political opponents". Luckily that sort of pandering is becoming less and less effective and helps the rest of us see their true ambitions.

  5. Ruben should consider another run.

    1. The reliable insider info is that Romano will not run for mayor and "Stick" with trying to stay a Freeholder.
      The Old Guard politicos of Hoboken don't trust DeFusco after taking on and dispatching Castellano with Zimmer's help, so they would try to draft Garcia as their sacrificial lamb.

      Russo still wants to be mayor like his father and while he knows he has little chance of winning against a very popular Zimmer this year. He has little choice in waiting for four years for his shot, so it is to his advantage to have Zimmer reelected with the hope she will then not run again.

      The Old Guard objective in November will be to try to concentrate their efforts at trying to unseat one or more of the At-Large council seats.

  6. And the JJ's favorite anti-Zimmer guest columnist got his chance to dis the mayor on the local ABC news today too.

  7. OK, I've given him enough time and made enough excuses for him. When you start aping Carmelo Garcia on Twitter, it's time to write the guy off. We gave you a shot, Mike. We gave you lots of support. Sorry it didn't work out. Bye bye.

  8. Nixel Alerts?! You wouldn't have gotten any nixel alert about the water main break, nor any update. No thanks, Nixel has turned into the Mayor's self-congratulatory apparatus and I suspect it'll only get laid on thicker and thicker from now until November. No thanks, I'll wait wait for the Mayor's fall marketing flyer (the one where she takes credit for everything on the taxpayers' dime). I can only handle so many doses of propaganda.

    1. 9:47- I get it, you don't like the mayor. Moving on- YES I got a Nixle Alert (below). Now, WHY would you want to discourage ANYONE from using Nixle's notification service, which is NOT the "mayor's apparatus" but is used nationwide by local police departments, county emergency management offices, municipal governments and their agencies.

      That's a pretty bitter, selfish anger you've got there- putting your hatred of the mayor above the safety of Hoboken residents, by discrediting Hoboken's local emergency notification service. Shame on YOU.

      From: "City of Hoboken, NJ"
      Date: Feb 28, 2017 4:55 AM
      Subject: Community Message: Suez Water responding to broken main at 5th Street and Willow Avenue
      To: grafixavenger666@gmail.com

      Message sent via Nixle | Go to nixle.com | Unsubscribe

      Tuesday February 28, 2017, 4:51 AM
      City of Hoboken, NJ

      Community: Suez Water responding to broken main at 5th Street and Willow Avenue
      Dear Nixle User,
      Suez Water is on the scene at 5th Street and Willow Avenue to isolate and make repairs to a broken water main. Willow Avenue and Clinton Street are currently closed between 6th Street and 4th Street. Any ETA for repairs is not available at this time. Updates will be provided at www.hobokennj.gov as information becomes available.
      For full details, view this message on the web.

      Sent by City of Hoboken, NJ
      94 Washington St, Hoboken, NJ 07030
      To manage your email settings, click here. To update your account settings, login here.
      If you prefer not to receive future emails, unsubscribe here.

      Powered by Nixle. © 2017 Everbridge, Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Garcia commenting on anything is pretty funny considering the absolutely shit job he did at the HHA.

  10. Mikey is a young man with a burning ambition and thinks that whining and sniping is the way to succeed. You would think that he would understand that aping the tactics and tone of the former holder of the First Ward Council seat is not the best course of action. Truthfully with no accomplishments of his own and none on the horizon what else can he do but snipe from the sidelines along with the usual constantly disgruntled group.

    Carmelo is Carmelo and has long been recognized as a pompous jerk and feels compiled to prove it at every opportunity.

    1. Carmelo was ALWAYS a SHIFTY and SHADY, SCUMBAG and a Jerk - even when he hosted certain folk's parties and spoke at their baby dedications.

  11. Congratulations Mike, given your recent behavior I can add you to the list of people that will never get my vote for Mayor.

    DeFussco you get to join the likes of Russo, Romano, Garcia, and Ramos. Good company you're keeping these days.

  12. Dumb move on Defussco's part. He comes off as immature and clueless.
    If he's looking for a platform,he should find one and post about his goals. Sniping like a yappy dog does not show leadership qualities. Its petty.

  13. Mike's machinations make me severely question his maturity, judgement and his choice of political friends and allies. None of which bodes well for his future political ambitions. I cant imagine what he could possibly do to undo the self-inflicted damage that he has already caused.

  14. I will point out yet again that Mike made it a point to not have an nasty campaign against Terry (who deserved a nasty campaign). Now barely halfway through his first term on Council he lays blame for all the longstanding long ago created current problems on Zimmer. DeFusco has become Terry 2.0. Attack Attack.

    DeFusco has even less of record to run on than Zimmer did when she first ran.
    He's not done much. He sat there year one, and this year he's a pit bull.

  15. So let's all praise the mayor for being in office for eight years and doing nothing to address the water main system. You all really get fiesty when it comes to DeFusco for speaking out -- his post isn't negative, it's a check on executive authority...which is what he's there to do. Everyone relax.

    1. The mayor hasn't done "nothing." DeFusco posted campaign rhetoric- cheap shots at the mayor. He took the color out of his pic, made it black and white- a slick touch.

    2. Yes the Mayor who brings in a 200 million dollar federal grant for flooding infrastructure clearly doesn't care about infrastructure.

      How foolish did you think that would read before you posted it, a lot or a whole lot?

    3. divided by 3 cities... and the check has yet to be written

  16. So is Defusco's idea to pull a Beth Mason and go full out old guard support and hope his fading reform credentials holds up long enough to get the votes?

    If Defusco is counting on Mikey Russo, whose cousin he kicked out of office, to make him mayor he might be really surprised on election day to see his old guard ticket did better than himself.

  17. I had the opportunity to watch the video from the City Council meeting last night and I must say Councilman DeFusco was way out of line. I have to wonder if he acts, reacts and takes the same tone in his business life, he would have to do more than make a half hearted apology at the end of the meeting.

    Also I noticed he had to do a good deal of backpedaling on his inflammatory political Facebook posts.

    1. Mile Square View this morning posted a letter that was given to all the City Council BEFORE DeFusco pulled his stunt for the TV cameras and it clearly shows that there was no other option open to the City. MSV poster _indie tried to make excuses but facts got in the way.


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