It finally happened.
Denied an endorsement by her old ally, Hoboken Council President Jen Giattino this evening lowered a meat cleaver on her relationship with the Councilman Ravi Bhalla-loving Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
Bhalla and Giattino have been warring over the scraps of Zimmer’s empire, each attempting to shoulder that portion of the city otherwise known as the reformers. Giattino made the point tonight that she will no longer play footsy with the mayor, who shocked the council president when she suddenly announced her decision not to pursue reelection, then snubbed Giattino by backing Bhalla.
“For the past several weeks I have been reviewing in subcommittee Mayor Zimmer’s proposal to extend the Suez Water contract with the City of Hoboken,” Giattino said. My fellow finance subcommittee colleagues, Councilmembers Cunningham and Fisher, and I had raised a number of concerns to the Administration – in particular the approximate $8.35 million liability that had not been previously disclosed to the public. In an email to the Administration on August 30th, we expressed this concern and requested a meeting with the City’s auditor to review the accounting, disclosure and appropriations treatment for the liability.
“The Administration declined our request,” Giattino added. “The auditor and the City’s financial consultant attended last night’s council meeting and after hearing both speak on the matter, my concerns are now greater that the substantial liability has not been properly accounted for and that an independent investigation into this matter is warranted. I cannot speak for them, but I am confident that the majority of the City Council feels similarly.
“I am also offended by the prepared remarks read by the Mayor at the meeting, attacking me and my council colleagues and alleging the concerns raised by the council were politically motivated,” the council president added. “I am disappointed that after over six years supporting her and her agenda, that Mayor Zimmer would feel compelled to make such politically charged and baseless statements. She should know that I will always challenge and engage in healthy debate to ensure we are doing what is right, and what is best for Hoboken. I am hopeful that all involved will consider the best interests of our residents and work to resolve this serious matter.”
Giattino wasn’t the only one who went on offense on the item.
Mayoral candidate and Councilman Mike DeFusco earlier today called for an independent investigation into the recent revelations that the City of Hoboken is carrying an $8.35 million liability to Suez Water, a sum unaccounted for in any recent city budget, or listed on the city’s audit.
DeFusco branded Giattino, Zimmer and Bhalla to mutual disdain.