Friday, November 1, 2013

Do we have a City Council or is this the Kathy and Anthony show?!

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.

Well another contract has been awarded, and we are seeking another full time employee, let's take a look.

City Hires Municipal Auditor and Financial Advisor

At the October 22nd City Council meeting the council hired DiMaria and DiMaria at an estimated $100,000 cost.  

Well, I don't have to look too far to find a reason that DiMaria and DiMaria may have been the chosen candidate.  A $2,500 campaign donation can go far in terms of a return on investment.  Does anyone else know where they can find a 40 to 1 pay off? 

When was Anthony Rottino hired? 

I think we have all come to terms with the fact Anthony Rottino was hired as a political insider.   But, when exactly was he hired? According to the advertisement for the position, resumes were being accepted from August 7 through August 12.  At the August 20th meeting of the Council Rottino had not yet been hired, according to the city Mr. Rottino began work on August 26th.

Then why was Kathy Canestrino (Deputy Mayor) discussing redevelopment costs and working on spreadsheets with Mr. Rottino before the City even closed the job listing?  On August 10th Canestrino and Rottino were discussing estimated redevelopment costs!

On August 14th, Mr. Rottino was asking when the 210 Main Street potential developers wanted to have a meeting.  City Manager Stephen LoIacono has said at public meetings that the decision was made after the August 20th council meeting.  Did Rottino and Canestrino know that he was getting the position before the City Manager?  Why would Mr. Rottino be included in this 210 Main redevelopment meeting if he hadn't been hired as the Redevelopment Director?

But does Mr. Rottino's input go further than redevelopment?

The city advertised for the position of City Manager from July 29 to August 29.  There is no doubt that the council has interest in hiring a new City Manager, but why didn't they?  An email I received from an OPRA request which was redacted may possibly be the answer.  

After a challenge to the redaction of this entire email, City Attorney Scrivo sent me a "modified" redacted copy, see below. 

The Scoop has received reports from two sources indicating that at the time of the redacted email (which coincides with the job listing for City Manager) Anthony Rottino was acting as a conduit reaching out to Mahwah's Town Administrator Brian Campion (who had resigned, then later withdrew his resignation, from Mahwah) in an attempt to bring him to Hackensack to serve as City Manager.  Is that who was the favored candidate to replace LoIacono? Is this email why LoIacono is still serving as Hackensack's City Manager?  

The city council is also looking to hire a Chief Financial Officer.  See the job listing below. 

Resumes were not being accepted until the posting on September 13.  But did Mr. Rottino, in consultation with the new Municipal Auditor DiMaria and DiMaria, have the favored potential candidate before the new council was even sworn into office?  It would sure appear that way from emails received by the Hackensack Scoop! 

Who are these people you may ask.  In the above thread "Avides" or David Sireci sent his resume to Frank DiMaria of DiMaria and DiMaria and indicated that he "should get grade this Wednesday...."  What grade is that?  According to the attached resume, Mr. Sireci was awaiting his Municipal CFO certification, he had just sat for the exam! 

Now maybe it is just me, but I don't want the municipal auditor recommending the CFO, isn't that a little bit like the fox watching the hen house?

Is there a new queen in the making in Hackensack?

Now there is an old adage to "follow the money."  The money has shown the political favoritism in this new council's hiring, and it is Mrs. Canestrino who has told us all that she is the money girl. 

except from

It sure looks like Mrs. Canestrino and Anthony Rottino are the ones calling the shots in the City of Hackensack.  Can it be there is a new queen in the making in Hackensack?

Can it be?!?!

If my memory serves me, these are all the things that Mrs. Canestrino used to complain about--all the things she vowed to stop.  None of us liked it when the Zisa-Hurwitz regime were buttering their bread, does it make it better now that it is just a new group?  I don't think so.


  1. after reading your blog, i give you lots of credit... the information you have gathered is very insightful. but what is your endgame? is your goal to inform or embarrass... are you planning your own campaign for office...just curious...

    after all of your exhaustive research will you be satisfied if nothing changes? you make many valid points about the new hires and the timeline you pointed out was great! but what changes??? everyone you mentioned is still happily employed and everything you point out really means nothing if nothing changes....

    one final thought... i would love to see my nephew become a police officer (maybe even an SRO someday, lol)... after he takes the civil service test in a couple of weeks, do you think it will help if i make a $2,500 donation?

    1. I provide information, what the public and the voters do with it is up to them.

      When I like something I say so (and give credit ). When I don't, I speak up.

      I have no agenda.

      Granted quality people are needed for positions in this city, and I do not question the merits of any candidate for any position that has been filled. But why have a "fair and open hiring process" if the positions have already been filled? I take great offense to watching candidates for office stand on their soap box and condemn the past council for the same things they are now doing.

      As far as if my intent is to embarrass, that is not my place. My dad always told me if you go around digging other people a hole you are bound to eventually fall in.

      Best of luck to your nephew, and thanks for reading the Scoop.

  2. Ask Mr.bataglia about his wife get a bigger position, and more money because its his wife and he could do that was that raise approved by him or the council????