Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What the Hackensack reporter missed last night

A homeless man complained about wild dogs to Hackensack City Manager Stephen Lo Iocano, left, and City Council members during the public portion of Tuesday night's meeting.

Hannan Adely, The Record reporter assigned to Hackensack, was nowhere to be seen on Tuesday night, when the City Council approved the first step in the redevelopment of Main Street.

Did she cover the council meeting in Hackensack, Minn., a vacation paradise in the heart of 10,000 lakes?

In answer to questions from a resident, Zisaville City Manager Stephen Lo Iocano said the city budget was supposed to be introduced on Tuesday night, but would be delayed until the next meeting. 

He declined to say whether the property tax rate  would be going up.

The Record's property

Lo Iocano said city officials have had discussions with North Jersey Media Group about what will replace The Record's landmark building on River Street, but he wasn't at liberty to reveal them.

But he said the building has been "decommissioned" and will be torn down. There have long been rumors that a Walmart would go up on about 20 NJMG acres.

Council candidates

Scott Young and other members of Hackensack Citizens for Open Government -- candidates in the May City Council election -- were in the audience, and appeared to be attending their first council meeting.

Before the meeting started, they exchanged information about their favorite sandwich and empanada shops, instead of discussing ordinances and resolutions.

It remains to be seen how "open" this slate of 5 will be. 

They are backed by the same Democratic Party officials who were the power behind Ken Zisa, the former police chief and ex-state assemblyman who was convicted of official misconduct and insurance fraud last May.

In Hackensack, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Labrosse's wife 

During the public portion of the meeting, the wife of Councilman John Labrosse and another woman harangued city officials about astronomical legal bills, but Laborsse remained silent on that issue.

Later, Labrosse, the only incumbent seeking a second term, praised the city's sports teams.

Officials say the city is evaluating new Dodge Charger Pursuit police cars with both V-6 and V-8 engines before deciding which will replace the V-8 powered Ford Crown Victoria, rear.

Padilla payout

The council approved the payment of several accounts, which were listed without details, including $173,329.61 described as "payroll."

The city manager said that is the retirement package for Tomas Padilla, the police captain who served as interim chief after Zisa was suspended without pay.

But it turned out that at the last meeting, the council approved another package of about $240,000, then described as Padilla's package.  

I did see the reporter for the Hackensack Chronicle at the meeting, so residents might eventually learn what took place.

Today's paper

The best story on Page 1 today is the obituary of Muriel Bachant of Bergenfield, the mother of triplets, whose husband was killed during World War II before he met his daughters.

Governor Christie is howling after The Record uncovered nearly $1 million in contributions from North Jersey-based companies to the Christie-boosting Republican Governors Association (A-1).

Gas-guzzling news

Drivers of SUVs and other gas guzzlers are howling about the rising price of gas, while drivers of hybrids and other fuel-efficient vehicles are laughing as they drive past gas stations (A-1).

Hybrid drivers get a second break -- toll discounts with a Green E-ZPass.

Red-eyed columnist

Road Warrior John Cichowski continues his campaign against red-light cameras by slamming extra revenue for towns as "greed."  

He calls lead-footed drivers who blow through red lights "unwilling donors" of that revenue, when he should be condemning them as road menaces who injure and kill law-abiding drivers.

Cichowski and other morons need to recognize that dysfunctional home-rule towns desperately need the revenue from red-light cameras.

I wish there were a dozen red-light cameras in Hackensack -- with the revenue from them dedicated to property tax relief.

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