The Hackensack City Council has apparently suffered a fracture. Mayor John Labrosse and Kathleen Canestrino have presumably called for the removal of Thom Ammirato (The Write Associates) as they have publicly stated that Ammirato will no longer be handling their public relations matters. However, they have presumably not mustered the votes to remove Ammirato as he remains a city contractor.
Leo Battaglia is a long time ally of the Canestrino's and Citizens for Change, he unsuccessfully ran for council with Kathleen's husband Emil, several times. When directly asked if Ammirato will continue to write statements and press releases for Councilman Battaglia, Battaglia quickly remarked "YES."
After years as allies, why the sudden swift divide? Maybe Battaglia didn't feel he had enough of a "say" in city matters? Perhaps Canestrino and Labrosse remarked that a 21% raise for a councilman's wife was inappropriate, that it opened the council up to bad press? As this is a personnel matter that the council can not comment on, perhaps we will never know if this is a piece of the puzzle?
Councilman's wife gets $10,000 raise
I wonder what the monthly payment on a Mercedes E350 is? Do you think it equates to about $769.24?
Councilman Battaglia's wife (Maria Helen Battaglia, MHB) serves as a Clerk Typist in the Hackensack Municipal Court. This year (after Battaglia's being elected to the City Council) Battaglia's biweekly pay increased from $1,867.68 to $2,252.30. That equates to a monthly increase of $769.24 and is a staggering 21% or $10,000 per annum raise.
What is with this divide?
The Citizens for Change are clearly undergoing "growing pains." Having put their faith in (and given too much power to) unknown out-of-town political operatives, they are (hopefully) attempting to right their early wrongs and take back the City of Hackensack. If Battaglia is attempting to "flex some political muscle" and show Canestrino and Labrosse he can "stand on his own two feet," I think he is choosing the wrong battle. Ammirato, who is the presumed target of subpoenas served by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, is not exactly the smart pick of issues stand up for. In an election year, these subpoenas are undoubtedly going to get a lot of press. Without a miracle, that "YES" can most definitely mean a swift end to a political career......