February 23, 2011

City Council, Corrupted! (Pamphlet #2)

Nothing is more vile to the Hoboken resident than the rotting stench of moral fiber.  Yet that is exactly what one must inhale each and every time the Hoboken City Council calls itself to order.  I ask, fellow neighbor, have you recently tormented yourself with an encounter of this borderline farcical committee of the whole?  If your answer is in the negative, then I implore you take exposure of the deplorable state of our most highly esteemed governing body. But, it is, perhaps, more steam than esteem, and such a very wicked steam at that!

Watch from home on public channel, take part in the live stream where fellow citizens along with you gasp in virtual horror, or fully take measure of your daring to feel the misery of a shattered government with an uncomfortable seat in the pews of our desecrated chambers every fortnight, being the first and third Wednesday of each month. You have paid dearly for this privilege, after all.

What could one expect to learn from subjecting oneself to such an horror? Dear neighbor, T.Paine does not endeavor to entitle this pamphlet in vain! Surely expect to witness, for which you and I have contributed our taxes to entertain, nothing less than the social spectacle of a City Council that regularly operates yet consistently fails to function! And worse, our City Council has as of late entirely managed to twist itself into a selfish, irrelevant, vile corpse of a limp, motionless body. Behold, but please do hold your nose!

If we residents of a proud city were to search for the source of the cancer that has set in to consume the substance that once made the City Council a limber body, to what can we attribute the embarrassing crumbling of our legislature? My dear friend, surely you have already turned wise to my questions of rhetoric! Yes, again, the title tells the truth, for our City Council is plagued by the onset of decay from being corrupted.

“Explain yourself, T.Paine!” you declare, “For we are a strong community with a proud history and our numbers are dependably growing all the while!” Without haste, friend, shall I make the case for why we have found ourselves with a CORRUPTED LEGISLATIVE BODY! First, recall, if you will, the argument of Pamphlet #1 “Old Hoboken Is A Lie”, wherein the author concludes that the treacherous manipulation of the innocent resident by way of the “Old Hoboken” lie is an undefined fabrication of our city's modern aristocracy, the so-called “Entitlement Class”. They, who believe an unspecified time endured here or family control of our city's coffers ENTITLE them to continued, perpetual, and unlimited subsidy and priority before the rest of us, have also presumed themselves to be positioned high above you and I.  That first pamphlet also identifies the lustful heart of the Entitlement Class aristocrats to be positioned at the dais of the City Council; wherewith, does not the potential to fondle the swollen purse strings of our city reside in the authority of that vaunted body?

Found there, are they, and insistently for far too long! On the founding of our nation, in 1775, your faithful T.Paine vividly declared that the individuals chosen for a representative democracy must regularly be rotated whence was said:

“...because as the ELECTED might by that means return and mix again with the general body of the ELECTORS in a few months, their fidelity to the public will be secured by the prudent reflexion of not making a rod for themselves.  And as this frequent interchange will establish a common interest with every part of the community, they will mutually and naturally support each other, and on this depends the STRENGTH OF GOVERNMENT, AND THE HAPPINESS OF THE GOVERENED.”

Now, my Hoboken neighbor will surely attest to the logical nature of this concept of rotation! For the effect of success, health, and happiness, must not we cause in all kind of metaphor to till the soil, open the windows, visit new places, discuss varied subjects, even change undergarments!

Over the course of ten years time, this city has seen its greatest growth in prosperity coupled to its most horrendous plummet in fiscal imprudence. Indeed our cup runneth over, yet the MISMANAGEMENT WAS RIFE beyond reproach. All the while, the promises and commitments to the community of the entrenched Members of Council ring hollow. Examine the arguments for exposing the DESIRE FOR PERMANENCE by which various Members of Council have permitted themselves lie fallow without substantial action or service to anyone but themselves and their entitled brethren, and discover how putrid is the odor when public officials fail to cleanse.

An Argument For Exposing The Desire For Permanence By Endowment:
Do not endeavor, humble neighbor, to unbury the original platform of such an historic creature as the corrupted Members of Council.  Perhaps it is nothing of issue that these individuals are so closely related in family, and that multiple others of the same family are also securely employed by we taxpayers. T.Paine need only rely on that coincidence for its face value.

In truth, it is not necessary to go beyond a few City Council meetings to see the confusing stagnation that has become of the persons who, despite a vote in unblemished lockstep with their patron Entitlement Class masterminds, once and still yet somehow declare themselves as an independent voice. “I will vote consistently as I always have,” declares one with pomp and pride when given the floor, until alignment with one's political faction of the day, rather than an original policy stance, necessitates an unabashed shift.  Thenceforth, let the obscure, unsubstantial rationalization pour in advance of a contradictory mark in the clerk's ledger.

Perhaps more consistent is the complete absence of a policy stance whatsoever in exchange for a consistent commitment to offer up any and all gifts within their powers to the loyal and the bequeathed. Independent indeed!  If that is to mean, free from the obligations of a well run city government in exchange for a continuously well run re-election campaign.

The RECIPE FOR PERMANENCE is well shared amongst the modern aristocratic leadership of the Entitled Class: Speak the circuitous message, shoot with a clever snipe, and oscillate dependably in the context of friendly local advocate to obtain the election day returns from which a happy constituency is made, good of the city be damned to the good of the vote. To such a state, how does one arrive? Ride aboard the gravy train of entitlement and be sure to grab up alongside you all those who promise to serve and pledge faithful allegiance!

An Argument For Exposing The Desire For Permanence By Strategic Stagnation:
Some Members of Council have managed to walk the tight wire of careful allegiance where others have slipped off in poorer form. In recent months, calmer demeanor and quieter tone may have lulled some to think on certain Members of Council a moderate or unaligned. This could be true if it were not that for every vote cast by the Council majority the same vote tips the balance in their favor.  It, in fact, reliably makes the majority.

Consider, neighbor, campaign promises espoused by the strategically stagnant in 2007, to:

“...continue to be fiscally conservative by not relying on one-shot revenues, limiting expenditures, and providing [an] efficient government,”

Yet the mayor supported and endorsed by the same from whom this was promised leaves a legacy of doing just the opposite!  And therein lies the crux of a stagnant tenure: allegiance consistently, with the rare divergence on trivialities to maintain the condescending hypocrisy of an independent proclaim. There is, in fact, no independence from the HEIRS TO ENTITLEMENT, Sir. And there is no circumventing the obligations to the MODERN ARISTOCRACY.

On the fringe, rarely quoted, the RECIPE FOR PERMANENCE here is to hide behind the boisterous and accomplish next to nothing.  In other words, stay out of the fray.  Meddle with the trimmings, Sir, but fool us not with a claim to autonomy!  I then ask, wherein does the priority lay when little done does a stagnant representative make?

An Argument For Exposing The Desire For Permanence By Feigning A Champion:
Despite being convicted by the FBI for taking bribes, some Members of Council share in the stock of a mayoral legacy notorious for ignoring Hoboken residents but for self-gain, which undoubtedly included awarding countless city jobs in return for support and votes, resulting in a bloated city payroll that, to this day, represents over two-thirds of the city's annual budget. So large is this cost, that all the taxes collected from we residents can not cover all payroll costs. Yet, every time a mayor endeavors to responsibly shrink staffing to reasonable levels, the champion pretender takes to the streets with a rabble-rousing mantra that colors a mayor cruel and fashions this Member of Council the protector, nay, PATRON of all residents. The poor community result, in fact, is primarily protection of HIS job and increased taxes to the residents. Surely those few who were to lose their jobs would also benefit, but wherein does the general public benefit from such strategy?  Alas, after all this time, the goals and aspirations of some Members of Council have not changed, and more importantly, have gone nowhere. Stay the feigned champion, yet do nothing much for the city as a whole.

Consider, in 2003, the statements of a newly elected Member of Council on a "champion" platform:

“...that he does not have any intentions of laying off "rank and file" employees but would seek after eliminating high priced political contracts, cutting two director positions, and freeze the salaries of the mayor, directors and City Council.”

"[The Mayor] tries to play the hero but in reality it's his out of control spending and insufficient management that is really putting these jobs in jeopardy,"

Now I ask of you neighbor, does this cry sound familiar? Why is it not in fact EXACTLY the same impotent diatribe spouted to this very day! What use is the word without the action to back it up? And after all this time, would not one have had the opportunity to make good on such assertions?  Perhaps the trouble being that focus was fixed elsewhere on enrichment via exclusive public contracts for family, protection of loyal friend and family with tenured public positions, and ensuring a subsidized residence for self and defamed progentors in so-called “workforce” housing while simultaneously aspiring to drive the ultimate of luxury vehicles and maintaining an extravagant second home on the shores of Jersey?
Or perhaps we are mistaken, unfairly dwelling on but one topic and failing to credit the activities that would extract purported champions of Hoboken from the proverbial stagnant swamp of SUBSIDIZED ENTITLEMENT?  To that end, but consider other ambitions excerpted from the same post-election article where the feigned champion:

“...proposes to build a neighborhood 400 car parking facility at the old 'Mercury Building' site, at 722 Grand Street.” 

"...is in favor of using the Hoboken High School lot for a large scale affording housing development [yet] the school district plans on using that site for an elementary school and open space.”

So, in 2003, the feigned champion espouses a platform of at least two instances AGAINST open space in favor of popular causes of the day, yet in 2011, the opposite argument is now made on a platform FOR open space.  And what has been accomplished in the seven years time between?  There has been NO MOVEMENT on this front, friends.

The RECIPE FOR PERMANENCE here is to boisterously position oneself as the hero of the day unconcerned if the morrow require a complete reversal of position.  Does it need further explaining that when one walks up one stair and then down it again the end is the same as the beginning?  There is no champion other than the champion of SELF FULFILLMENT.  The seat is as stagnant as 722 Grand Street remains today!

An Argument For Exposing The Desire For Permanence By Treachery:
To the end is left the most vulgar of stagnation; that is, when it is not a matter of time nor even the object of outward ingratiation to feed one's family and followers of entitlement, but of a self-obsessed vanity that leads one in pursuit of entitlement (and here is meant mostly the “title” part) ends by any and all means necessary, including the complete abandonment of morals, principle, and honest support of reform. 

Do not think, fellow resident, that the vulgar plague of our governing legislature is limited to only those who have embedded themselves years ago at the spout of the city's frothing coffers. No, the most vivid and lascivious example of our City Council being corrupted – in the definitive sense of the word - is the manner by which those deceptively installed pretend to still carry the mantle of reform, yet align themselves with the very legions by whom true government reform in Hoboken has for so long been stifled.

To be assured how much of a reversal former advocates for open government have taken, witness only this month Members' of Council selfish efforts to spoil the objectivity of a well-respected good government group by cashing in on a yet fading reformer reputation and urging their hands in distancing themselves from the very policies that brought them said respect. I ask you, was this action in the spirit of open government or open chequebook? While the ultimate decision and actions of that group are undoubtedly made by itself, can anyone argue that they were entirely independent of the constant railing and tantrum that has become the more regular disposition of the increasingly tyrannical ex-reformer?

Add upon that mounting heap of unbecoming conduct a unilateral sweep at recent City Council meetings where the procedures change to suit the needs, the rules are blatantly disobeyed in full display, and reminders from legal representation about the need for consistent protocol are altogether ignored.   All in the lockstep ARISTOCRATIC ALLIANCE OF ENTITLEMENT, mind you, did not object to these deviations from rule of law. Nay, each one looked down and hoped to move swiftly away from each divergent act.

And then, dear neighbor, the need to justify self-interested actions overstepped the need to uphold the march of reform.  The RECIPE FOR PERMANENCE here is to parse the content so it suits to fit, blurt the erroneous statement so attentions are diverted, and argue in prepared statement that if wrong was done in the past, then wrong should be acceptable to continue on in future!

If there is a God in heaven, where, oh where, have we arrived but not at the very ditch of rotting moral fiber? Turn the proverbial soil upon it my friend before we are all dragged there down! Is not the cast that, by its words, claims independence and the caste that, by their actions, claim entitlement one in the same? In all this is argued to you, dear neighbor, that a politician need not secure ANY PROGRESS if the objective is to stay put. And stay put they all have for far too long. The distance from the true needs of the constituency has lengthened to beyond the horizon, while the depth of political trickery has buried the original causes and intentions of the representatives.

We no longer have genuine individuals who confidently connect to our needs; rather, we suffer the misery of a misguided and out of touch legislature that pushes an AGENDA OF SELF FULFILLMENT at the expense (and such expense is meant figurative and literal) of the very constituents to whom they took the oath of service.

Patriots, believers in democracy, and supporters of reform in Hoboken, we must unite and take action!  We must eject the limp corpses of elected officials who are still yet fiery red with the fury of self-fulfillment. You and I must together UNITE AND RESIST those who silently claim to believe themselves entitled to the fruits that are due all of us in reasoned moderation based on sound policy. We must do this or watch Hoboken plummet back into the wicked, evil, corrupt ways of the past.

No, "Old Hoboken" is a lie, and the self-ordained political aristocracy of entitlement- or the foot soldier betrothed thereto - who stops you on the street, in the deli, or at the polls to convince you otherwise in hopes of your vote, is a liar.

No, City Council is corrupted, and it must be purged this Spring of the putrid, unscrupulous members who once promised to represent all our best interests but have since then taken the twisted path of self-preservation by endowment, strategic stagnation, feigning a champion, and treachery!

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