Monday, October 28, 2013

Is that what they really think of the residents who care?

I have written twice now criticizing the council hiring political allies and insiders to fill roles within the City.  If you have missed those stories, click here and here.

I can't help but wonder if it is a new policy that all OPRA requests are reviewed and handled by the City Attorney as the majority of my OPRA requests have resulted in communications with Mr. Scrivo the City Attorney.  Seems like it could get expensive if such is the case.

Now, I was especially troubled by two hires.

CFC campaign consultant hired by City Council 

My first concern was over the hiring of Thom Ammirato the Citizens for Change paid public relations/campaign manager for the position of Public Relations consultant for the City.  I have noted the potential conflicts that arise out of the CFC cheerleader becoming the voice for the City, especially a voice that was notably brash and confrontational with voters before the election.

Below please find some communications between Mr. Ammirato and a concerned citizen who was concerned over how the City was being portrayed in the media with regard to relations with the homeless.  When this resident points out that the media is being disseminated through social media channels and the Bergen Patch, Ammirato asserts that he has "more important things to do" than think about how far this "bad press" had spread.  Au Contraire sir, that should be a very real concern of yours...

 Mr. LaBrosse, the Mayor, rather than worrying about the validity of this residents concerns and addressing them wanted to do "damage control" and stop a resident from further questioning.  I suppose it was only ok for residents to come to meetings and banter with the council when "it was the other guys?"

Now to add insult to injury, Ammirato advises LaBrosse to "cut the cord" with this resident.  He weighs in that: 


So much for an inclusive government valuing and embracing the opinions of the residents.

CFC insider and transition team leader hired by City

The City Council also hired their transition team leader and CFC insider Anthony Rottino for the newly  named post of "Director of Economic Development."  I requested copies of the contracts and applications for a number of positions within the City.  Seems like a reasonable request, right?  Mrs. Canestrino doesn't seem to think so.  

Is Anthony Rottino the go-to-guy?  Was he hired as the City Manager, the City Attorney, the Public Relations consultant, and Director of Economic Development?  Perhaps Mrs. Canestrino just feels that Mr. Rottino is the Council Consigliere and needs to be consulted on all matters?

Maybe the fact no other job applications were filled out is because this really was what it smells like, the hiring of a political insider.  The very thing that the CFC slate promised to put an end to.  

I wonder if Mrs. Canestrino feels she was just a "real pain in the ..." before she was on the council, or if she had a genuine concern for and interest in the operations of her city?  She sure didn't think my research was a "real pain in the ..." before she was contributing to the POLITICS.  No, instead she wanted to use it to advance her mission....

Is this the Open Government that we voted for?


  1. Steven, it's time to show Mrs CANESTRINO just how much of a pain in the ass you can be.

  2. Just remember how little support you gave to me, a truly independent candidate in the council election.