Thursday, November 5, 2015

No Shave November

For the month of November I have put down my razor.  Symbolic of the hair that many cancer patients lose during treatment, I am going to let mine grow wild and free for the month of November.  I'll put my razor down, if you will help support great causes by visiting my fundraising page.  I have opted to do my fundraising efforts through the Matthew Hill Foundation which was started by 8 siblings who lost their father to colon cancer in November of 2007.  They use the funds raised through their Foundation to help support cancer patients, fund research, and promote screening and prevention through the funding of four amazing charities: the American Cancer Society, Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer, and the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.



Please click here to visit my fundraising page and learn more about No Shave November and the Matthew Hill Foundation. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Mayor Labrosse Issues Lie Filled Endorsement for Jason Some

Maybe you received a phone call this evening from John Labrosse endorsing his candidate, Jason Some.  If you didn't, better for you to not have to be subjected to the continued lies and misinformation presented by the present council.

Nunnermacker has called upon the Some campaign to publicly renounce the robo-call and upon Mayor Labrosse to issue a full retraction.  Nunnermacker's campaign stated, "we call upon Jason Some and Mayor Labrosse to PUBLICLY renounce the robo-call made today which contained accusations and statements that were simply not true.  Mr. Some and Mr. Nunnermacker agreed to run a civil campaign on the issues and to break that promise on election eve is simply not acceptable.  While we thank Mr. Some for his private apology, that is simply insufficient.  The citizens of Hackensack deserve more, they deserve a voice, not an echo."

Hackensack Scoop contacted Jason Some for a comment.  Despite receiving a read receipt 46 minutes prior to publishing this article, requests for comment were not returned.

The Citizens for Change, issued a robo-call to residents of Hackensack endorsing their candidate Jason Some for the 2015 Special Election to fill a vacant seat on the Council.  The robo-call was a recording of Mayor John Labrosse.  The robo-call attacks Jason Nunnermacker and Deborah Keeling-Geddis calling them "candidates backed by the Zisa-Hurwitz regime."  What Labrosse fails to mention is that his candidate, Jason Some, is a good friend of the Zisa family (as Some admitted to the Bergen Record in August 2015), is backed by the same political donors as the Zisa's (the Sorce family who has donated in excess of $17,500 to Charles "Ken" Zisa's campaigns has donated $2,600 to Some), and that through Some's relationship with the Zisa family he has an agenda to serve as a "bridge builder" between the Zisa's and the council (as reported in the Bergen Record in August 2015).  In fact, Labrosse "broke bread" with Joe Zisa, former City Attorney, at a Some campaign event on October 26th.  

Jason Some with Joe Zisa at a campaign event on October 26th


Labrosse's recording not only fails to mention the distinct Zisa ties of his own candidate Jason Some but makes stark misrepresentations of Nunnermacker.

First, Labrosse opens by stating "Nunnermacker recently became the Board of Education President and already wants out, our schools are busting at the seams and he has no answers for the taxpayers." Jason Nunnermacker consistently throughout (and before) his campaign has cited the per pupil costs of education in Hackensack and chastised the sitting council for not adequately considering the stress that development will have on the Board of Education budget and classroom needs when they authorize 30 year tax abatements for developers.  Nunnermacker has consistently asked for a liaison to be appointed for communication and collaboration between the Board of Education and City Council to no avail.  Contrary to Labrosse's claims, if anything Jason Nunnermacker is running for council to strengthen the dialogue between the Council and Board of Education to put the needs of our community before the short sighted cash flow needs that the sitting council considers.

Labrosse goes on to say "Nunnermacker has filed a $2.5 million lawsuit by a former city employee against the tax payers of Hackensack, this is surely a conflict of interest for someone looking to serve the tax payers."  Well Mr. Labrosse is correct, Mr. Nunnermacker as an attorney and on behalf of his client has filed a lawsuit against the City of Hackensack.  What he does not mention is that the lawsuit was brought by a city employee who was accused by your Citizens for Change of some sort of soap opera KGB espionage, was called a "coiled snake," had her love life mocked in city council emails that were made public, had her daily lunches and breaks recorded so that the council could scrutinize who she ate with (yes, literally), and was cornered in her office by two council members to be belittled and berated.  Of the Heck Lawsuit, Nunnermacker states, "if the mayor and his council would treat city employees with the respect and dignity they deserve without regard to perceived political affiliation, no lawsuits would be filed against his administration. I of course would stop representing my client and she will retain alternative counsel should I have the fortune of serving the residents as a councilman.  I would also recuse myself from any future action regarding the matter as Councilman Labrosse did when his wife collected $75,000 from the taxpayers."

Now, ask yourself--WHO REALLY IS THE BAD GUY IN DEBRA HECK'S LAWSUIT AGAINST THE CITY OF HACKENSACK?

SAY NO TO THE ZISA'S AND SAY NO TO THE LABROSSE-CANESTRINO-ROTTINO-AMMIRATO-ZISA REGIME! VOTE NUNNERMACKER FOR COUNCIL ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3RD!  (For more on all of the candidates, click here) 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Council Candidate Receives Endorsement, or Does She?

Council-Candidate, though she hasn't gone to either candidates night and is absent from Council meetings to voice her concerns (other than to beat up our Police Department and to attempt to cripple our finances), Deborah Keeling-Geddis has received the endorsement of the Hackensack Education Association.  Or has she? I can't really figure it out....

Deborah Keeling-Geddis is featured in an article published on Bergen Dispatch for having received the endorsement of the Hackensack Education Association.  In the article, a quote is presented from HEA President Chris Ryan.  Ryan says, "The HEA is proud of Deborah Keeling Geddis' commitment to our community both in school and now with her candidacy to serve the entire Hackensack population. Few step up to such challenges, and we are happy to see one of our own offer herself as willing to take on the challenge of elected public office. We commend Debbie and wish her all the luck in her campaign."

The quote reads more like a non-committal kind word than an endorsement. Of the "endorsement," Chris Ryan, the HEA President said: "The HEA has a policy of not endorsing candidates for city office. Since Debbie is one of our members, we offered the statement applauding her efforts, expressing our pride that a member would want to be involved in serving the city, and encouraging any of our other members to serve if they hear the call. But that pride and that praise should not be considered an endorsement. However, we continue to be happy for Debbie, and we continue to applaud her efforts, as we do many others who are running for city office. It is true that that I made that statement for her, and I have made positive comments about Jason Nunnamaker as well. And I'm sure if I knew the other candidates well I would be complementing them too. But praise, while sometimes noteworthy, is not an endorsement." 

A request for comment from Keeling-Geddis also went un answered.  A link to the article has been removed from Keeling-Geddis' Facebook page and replaced with "I'm proud to have the support of my union, the Hackensack Education Association, behind me." I am still not seeing the statement of support, but maybe Keeling-Geddis does.  Well I commend all four candidates for getting involved in the political process and I wish them all the best of luck on Tuesday.  Did I just endorse everyone?

This wouldn't be the first time that Keeling-Geddis misunderstood or misrepresented facts.  Remember when she went to Trenton to try to stop the Finance Board from approving a bond ordinance and misrepresented facts about the police contract negotiations?

While the article that I believe misrepresents the HEA's statement has been removed from Keeling-Geddis' Facebook page, a poster "Sachem Oratam" has taken to Keeling-Geddis' page with their comments.  Sachem Oratam contends that the HEA does not issue endorsements and chastises Keeling-Geddis for misrepresenting the HEA's statement.  Sachem Oratam goes on to criticize Keeling-Geddis' affiliation with ousted members of the administration and questions her motives for running for office which Sachem feels are to further her agenda of politics, favors, and patronage jobs.  Needless to say these comments were removed from Facebook, but Hackensack Scoop has provided them below.  For more on Keeling-Geddis' past attempts at patronage jobs and how this bid is nothing more than a sour grapes attempt to regain a seat at the round table after being turned away by the Citizens for Change, click here. 



Friday, October 30, 2015

Resident Cites Election Law Violation and Requests Investigation of Candidate Jason Some

A Hackensack resident who has requested to remain anonymous has filed a confidential request for an investigation with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJ ELEC).



Jason Some, a candidate for the Hackensack City Council, has published campaign literature that according to the confidential report filed with the Commission violates NJSA 19:44A-22.3 which requires that all campaign literature clearly identifies the person or committe financing the campaign materials and literature.  While the offense carries a penalty of up to $6,000, a review of NJ ELEC final decisions shows that similar infractions have carried fines of a few hundred dollars.

Of the omission, Some states it was an "error" in the printing process.  Some contends that proofs of the material had the disclosure but the printed material did not.  It seems like a pass the buck excuse, so I can't help but say that Some's literature also lacks a Union Bug.  This is notable as Some is backed by the Citizens for Change (current administration) who have appointed Anthony Rottino and David Troast to the position of City Manager.  Both Rottino and Troast have taken a hard line stance in negotiating with our Collective Bargaining Units.  Perhaps Some, the Citizens for Change, and Troast will all take this campaign literature snafu as a lesson in the benefits of supporting union labor.

At a recent debate Some was critiqued for calling the Anderson Street area "blighted."  Some fired back stating that he never referred to the area as "blighted." The piece of literature, which Some has admitted to Hackensack Scoop lacks the required disclosures, calls for aggressive "development to other blighted areas in the City such as Anderson and Hudson streets."  Despite being superficially offended by being "accused" of calling areas of Hackensack blighted, in an email Some says "I did in fact use that term" and went on that "it is a common term used when discussing redevelopment."


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Debate for Vacant Council Seat Held

This evening, a debate was hosted at Temple Beth El for the four candidates for a one unexpired term on the City Council.  The council seat was made available by Rose Greenman's resignation.  Candidate Jason Some was appointed to that seat in April of this year. The candidates had the opportunity to share their platform and discuss issues facing the City of Hackensack.

The candidates vying for the one council seat are:

  • Richard Cerbo, a life-long resident of the City of Hackensack and non-profit fundraiser.  
  • Debra Keeling-Geddis, a paraprofessional in the Hackensack Public Schools.  Debra Keeling-Geddis declined the invitation to the event electing not to attend and share her platform or position with voters.  
  • Jason Nunnermacker, a life-long resident of Hackensack, an attorney, and current President of the Board of Education. 
  • Jason Some, a life-long resident of the City of Hackensack, sales director of the local Some's Uniforms, and current appointed member of the City Council. 


Candidates were presented questions from the audience through the moderator, Larry Eisen.  
The topics discussed ranged from the candidates' qualifications, redevelopment, the controversial settlement agreement with the Hackensack University Medical Center, and relations between the City Council and Board of Education. 

Candidates Qualifications to Manage a Budget in Excess of $100 million
Richard Cerbo admits that he has no qualification to review, analyze, or approve a budget in excess of $100,000,000.  He believes that it would be his place to entrust qualified professionals to advise the Council and explain the budgeting needs of the City to him.  Jason Some relies on his experience in small business and agreed that qualified professionals are needed. Jason Nunnermacker is the only candidate who has experience managing a comparable budget as a member of the Board of Education.  Nunnermacker prides himself on the Board's ability to consistently pass budgets that were zero-based and within the State-mandated caps, unlike the current council.  

Scoop Declared Winner: Nunnermacker

Candidates Qualifications to Negotiate with Collective Bargaining Units 
Richard Cerbo took the position that the City should take a firmer stance with the Collective Bargaining Units and negotiate harder.  Given the give backs and concessions on health insurance and modest 1.5% annual raises under the current police contract, and modest raises in the fire department contract, and the controversy around the police negotiations, this may be a difficult pill for many to swallow--and frankly an unrealistic position.  Jason Nunnermacker was the only candidate with experience in Collective Bargaining Agreements and negotiations having sat on the Board of Education.  Nunnermacker and the Board of Education negotiates with four separate Collective Bargaining Units and handles employment issues with each of those unions every day.  

Scoop Declared Winner: Nunnermacker

Redevelopment and Tax Abatements 
Richard Cerbo sees tax abatements for redevelopment projects as the biggest issue plaguing the City. Cerbo sees the value of tax abatements to attract developers to revitalize Main Street and surrounding areas, but believes that the lavish twenty and thirty year tax abatements being handed out are shifting the burden of future tax increases to home owners.  

Jason Some sees tax abatements as absolutely necessary to attract developers and says that every hammer banging on a project on Main Street is a dollar sign of tax revenues.  

Jason Nunnermacker is a supporter of the redevelopment efforts.  Nunnermacker believes that the redevelopment should be expanded to areas like Anderson Street which is anchored by the NJ Transit train station.  Nunnermacker, however, is the only candidate who understands and articulates the long term effect on the City, and schools, of the tax abatements being offered to developers today.  As the City continues to attract development we create residents, children, and a greater demand for city services and seats in our overcrowded schools.  Where Nunnermacker faults the current council is with their lack of consideration of the mid and long term needs of the City that are created by development projects when granting extended tax abatements.

Scoop Declared Winner: Nunnermacker

Medical Waste Disposal Facility on Prospect Avenue
A resident posed a question regarding the proposed plan of a senior care facility on Prospect Avenue to neutralize medical waste on site.  Cerbo was unaware of the plan while Nunnermacker opposed the plan.  Some was well aware of the plan and cited his communication with the Freeholder John Felice to support the opposition of the facility and protect residents' interests.

Scoop Declared Winner: Some

Relations with Youth, Homeless, and Disadvantaged
Richard Cerbo wants to increase the use of crisis and help hotlines to address drug abuse and help those in need.  Jason Some cites his families mentoring and tutoring program helping the homeless to find and maintain employment as his commitment to the disadvantaged.  Some encouraged soliciting corporate support of the recreation programs to fund additional youth activities to keep the youth off the street.  Some also encouraged more police presence in youth programs to create a culture of trust and support between the police and children of the community. Nunnermacker cited his charitable work and commitment to doing what he can for those in need while seeking to work with the County to enhance programs that are available.  

Scoop Declared Winner: Some 

Hackensack University Medical Center Settlement Agreement 
This year, the City Council entered into a controversial settlement agreement with the Hackensack University Medical Center where the City surrendered long term revenues, the cost of ambulance services were passed on to residents, and several tax appeals were settled in favor of the hospital,  in exchange for a short term cash infusion into the City.  Emails made public reportedly show that the Council had not reviewed and understood critical parts of the agreement and when asked at a public meeting nobody on the council could identify the legal counsel who drafted or negotiated the multimillion dollar contract. Some declined to comment on the process but supports cash payments to the City.  Cerbo read about the agreement but did not know enough to comment on whether the deal was good for the City.  Nunnermacker has been a vocal opponent of the deal and believes that the City residents were sold short by a Council who was stampeded by the hospital. 

Scoop Declared Winner: Nunnermacker

Relations between City Council and Board of Education
Redevelopment projects undoubtedly put strain on our services and already over crowded schools.  The Board of Education has already entered into a $1,000,000 per year contract to rent the Padre Pio School due to overcrowding in the Hackensack Public Schools.  Tax abatements and redevelopment projects need input and consideration of not only the City but also the Board of Education.  Cerbo and Some both supported increased communication, while Nunnermacker demonstrated experience working with the City Council as a Board of Education member to bring about change and progress for the residents of the City.  Nunnermacker cited his work with Mayor John LaBrosse to bring recreational swim at the high school to residents, have city grounds used as playgrounds for special needs students, and bringing a youth police academy to Nellie K. Parker school.  

Scoop Declared Winner: Nunnermacker 


Hackensack Scoop Endorsement:
Jason Nunnermacker




VOTE: November 3, 2015




Sunday, September 13, 2015

Hackensack Elks to host benefit for active duty servicemen and women

The Hackensack Elks have done extensive work in supporting both our active duty servicemen and women and our veterans.  See: Elks Adopt Fort Drum Platoon, Elks and Rotary Team Up to Feed Veteran Families, and Elks Support Veterans (NorthJersey.com).

The Elks have shared a great partnership with the Adopt a Soldier Platoon (AASP).  AASP is a local non-profit organization committed to supporting and improving the morale of our active duty servicemen and women around the globe.  On September 19, the Elks will be hosting a beefsteak fundraiser with all proceeds to benefit the Adopt a Soldier Platoon and their projects in support of our veterans.  In addition to the beefsteak dinner, your $45 ticket includes tap beer, soda, dessert, and a live band "The Doghouse."

For tickets, please call the Lodge at 201-487-0658 or Joe Gentile at 201-914-4612!


Monday, August 3, 2015

First Candidate Files for November Special Election for City Council

On November 3, 2015 there will be a special election to fill the vacancy on the Hackensack City Council created by the resignation of Rose Greenman.  A seat temporarily occupied by Jason Some who was appointed by the council in a "fair, open, and transparent" process.  

The first candidate for Council has formally announced their bid for the open seat.  Jason Nunnermacker, a frequent critic of the current administration filed his nomination petition for the election with more than two times the required signatures (189) to run.  



Jason has deep Hackensack roots.  He is a graduate of Hackensack High School, is a current Trustee of the Board of Education (a post he has held since 2012) and is the current President of the Board.  Jason also serves as a Trustee of the Hackensack Blue and Gold Scholarship Fund and a member of the Hackensack Troast Athletic Club.  

Jason feels that "a person should have a proven track record of dedication, talent, common sense and commitment to open, honest, and ethical government.  My service to the people of Hackensack demonstrates these qualities and is a record of which I am proud."  Jason went on that he is "a voice, not an echo," and is running to be an independent voice who is "not afraid to speak up and provide constructive criticism to point out errors and mistakes" on the Council.  Jason says that "during the past 2 years [he has] observed serious blunders made by this City Council."  Jason pledges to voters to "give the best of my ability to make it a better place to live, work, and raise our children."  

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Two New Suits Hit Hackensack

The sitting City Council ran on a platform of change.  They promised to put an end to political cronyism, the lawsuits, and to curb our astronomical legal fees.  In their two years since taking office, they have failed in each of these three areas.

Two new suits have now been added to the ever growing list of employees claiming retaliation.

Sanitation Worker Files Suit for Civil Rights Violations


Since taking office on July 1, 2013, Councilman David Sims has allegedly been on a power trip and taken it upon himself to meddle in the affairs of the Department of Public Works and Sanitation.  Sims came under fire after allegedly proclaiming to a female police officer that he was the "head nigga," and for utilizing business cards and the title "Police Commissioner" which according to one resident is a chargeable offense.  Many members of the Sanitation and Department of Public Works have come forward asking for Councilman Sims to stop meddling in their affairs and harassing them.

On July 1st, Carl Magby, a sanitation worker filed suit against the City of Hackensack claiming a violation of his civil rights.  Magby alleges that despite his not being involved in politics, Sims has identified him as a supporter of a different political group and he has since been reassigned to a position which significantly reduces his ability to secure overtime and has adversely affected his compensation.

Councilman Battaglia's Wife Gets 21% Raise.  Coworkers File Suit


Councilman Battaglia's wife is a clerk in the violations bureau of the municipal court.  In August of 2013 Councilman Battaglia's wife was given a $10,000 raise and a promotion to "Deputy Court Administrator."  Her promotion was later rescinded, but her raise remained.   After hell was raised by residents, the raise was rescinded, to later be restored by City Manager David Troast.

Today, Mrs. Battaglia's seven coworkers have filed a suit alleging that they have been retaliated against by virtue of this raise.  The suit alleges that despite the position being governed by civil service, Mrs. Battaglia makes $13,000 per year more than a counterpart in her identical job with similar seniority.  The seven coworkers suing the City allege that by choosing not to be involved in local politics (unlike Battaglia) they were retaliated against by not being awarded erroneous raises like Battaglia.

So who do we thank? Battaglia or Troast? After all, Troast exclaimed at a meeting that he gave Battaglia back her raise on his own accord, and not because he was asked ,or told, to.  But something tells me this new lawsuit won't get him canned.  Nor will the medical center debacle.  One would think this dud who was out of work for over a year before being hired by this council has 9 lives. Truth of the matter he has 2 years of unlimited lives.  I guess having a council who can't admit to another hiring mistake and go on to a 5th City Manager in their third year in office is the best job security you can get....

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

LOCAL BUSINESS PROMOTION: Guajillo Restaurant

Ever have a craving for good Mexican food?  Go beyond a plate of nachos or bowl of guacamole and enjoy true authentic, and delicious, Mexican fare at Guajillo Restaurant at 10 Sussex Street in Hackensack!

With generous serving sizes, and the most reasonable of prices, you can enjoy quite the feast!  Check out what we shared on our first visit, all for under $50!

We started out with Al Pastor (seasoned pork) and Fish tacos and an order of homemade Salsa, Guacamole, and chips.  Delicious and fresh are the only words to describe what was delivered to our table.






We went on to enjoy the "Fajitas Mix" which was a "sampler" and the Pollo Mole.  The Pollo Mole was a chicken cooked in Guajillo's signature "mole" sauce which is a combination of cloves, sesame, nutmeg.  The "Fajita Mix" included steak, chicken, shrimp, rice and beans, and a fried egg served over chips and salsa verde.  




We finished with an order of bread pudding which was prepared at the time of ordering, served hot, and complete with a sweet syrup and candied pecans.  I generally don't like sweets, but I will order this time and time again!


We have been back twice since and the food has consistently been fresh and delicious.  

Exclusive through HACKENSACK SCOOP, enjoy this 15% off coupon on your first visit for dinner to Guajillo Mexican Restaurant!  Just print this coupon, put your name on it, and present it at the time of order!



GUAJILLO RESTAURANT
10 SUSSEX STREET 
HACKENSACK
Open until 7:00 pm on Mondays, 8:00 pm Tuesday-Friday, and 9:00 pm on Saturdays






Tuesday, May 19, 2015

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Council Sells Out Residents to Mayor’s Employer, Resident Files Suit

Council remains silent as they are questioned by residents

In 2008, the City Council, under advice of special counsel Richard Salkin, Esq., entered into an agreement with the Hackensack University Medical Center regarding the development of certain properties owned by the hospital.  Under the agreement, HUMC paid $400,000 per year in rent, scheduled to rise to nearly $1,000,000 per year for a 50-year air right for a walk way constructed over Atlantic Street. 

According to Richard Salkin, who largely crafted the agreement, the formula for the annual rent was negotiated by HUMC and tied to the City’s tax rate, which has increased since 2008.  HUMC has seen larger than expected increases to their annual rent for these air rights, and came back to the city to renegotiate.  Using several tax appeals as leverage, HUMC (according to Salkin) “bullied” and “stampeded” the Council into renegotiating the deal out of fear. 

Under the new agreement with HUMC, the hospital will pay the City $4.5 million, they will drop their $3 million in tax appeals, their annual air space rent will be reduced to $200,000 for the remainder of the lease (with no annual increases), and the City will stop being billed for ambulance services (more on that below). 

A key, and very controversial, aspect of the 2008 agreement included the disbanding of Hackensack’s paid-EMS services.  Under the 2008 agreement, HUMC provides ambulance services to the City of Hackensack and bills the City for any fees above and beyond $140,000 (done at gratis) for service billings not collected from patients’ insurance companies.  In the past 8 years, this billings averaged between $15,000 and $20,000 per year.  

Under the new agreement, the City will not be billed for any services, instead all residents will be billed directly.  This represents an additional at least $160,000 in billings for the hospital on the backs of tax payers, all so that the City can save about $20,000 per year.   Despite the agreement being signed, and a resolution adopting it having been passed, the City Manager David Troast (presumably in a lame attempt at defending this terrible BLUNDER) has continued to assert the billing for services is still under negotiation.  Outraged residents countered the Council’s assertion the ambulance services were not openly discussed by pointing to emails circulated in November where HUMC clearly wrote of the ambulance service billing being done direct to residents.

Resident Jason Nunnermacker spoke at the council meeting this evening charging the council with negligence, laziness, and incompetence in their negotiation of this contract.  Nunnermacker pointed the Council’s attention to the fact that the resolution authorizing the agreement was passed in March, however a draft circulated in as early as December clearly reflected the removal of providing free services to residents.  Nunnermacker told HACKENSACK SCOOP, “Incompetence, neglect and laziness run rampant in this administration with the true victims being the City’s residents.  It is sad, and a shame.”

Today, Richard Salkin filed a complaint in lieu of prerogative writ seeking to have the new agreement thrown out by a judge.  Salkin asserts that there are conflicts of interest abound, and charges Mayor Labrosse with a history of flagrant disregard for ethics laws in his serving as Mayor of Hackensack. 

Labrosse, who works for HUMC (and was promoted from a Janitorial position to a white collar title “Safety Inspector” after obtaining the seat of Mayor), and whose wife is a Board of Education employee, has voted on at least two occasions on matters before the Council pertaining to the hospital and voted to approve an $800,000 settlement agreement with the Board of Education last year.  Salkin contends that Labrosse continues to disregard his ethical obligations in this deal with HUMC.  Labrosse was present for closed door negotiation discussions pertaining to the renegotiated deal, and according to the suit was “kept in the loop” on email exchanges post-deal as the Council scrambled to craft talking points around the deal when questioned on the blunders and give-aways to the hospital.

According to Salkin, this renegotiated deal is a $16,000,000 windfall for the medical center.  Salkin is seeking to have the renegotiated deal overturned by a judge for two reasons.  First, Mayor Labrosse’s involvement in confidential negotiation discussions, despite his employment with HUMC.  Second, the technicality that the council has sought to revise an ordinance passed in 2009 (the 2008 agreement) through a resolution, which he asserts is not proper under the law.   Salkin contends that this deal was so hastily negotiated and settled that the city attorney (who has no problem billing the City) only spent 24 minutes reviewing the contract.

When asked by Editor-in-Chief Steve Gelber of HACKENSACK SCOOP, no member of the council, City Attorney Tom Scrivo, and Chief Financial Officer Jim Mangin could not identify who represented the City’s interests as an attorney in the negotiation of this deal.  They pointed the finger at City Tax Assessor Art Karlsson.  When asked if any more than 24 minutes to review the final contract billed by Tom Scrivo was expended by attorneys assisting the City in negotiating this mammoth contract, there was absolute silence.  When Gelber elaborated asking if the City relied solely on our Tax Assessor to review legally binding documents and contracts, the silence continued. 

Salkin told HACKENSACK SCOOP, “The most generous way I can describe the Council’s performance in this matter is collective negligence.”  Salkin, of his suit stated, “I believe that someone has to at least try to stand up for the residents of Hackensack.  For those who are sick of hearing about litigation in Hackensack, I hope they understand that this type of litigation proceeding, challenging the action of a public entity does not seek money damages.  I am only trying to get this God-awful action of the City Council set aside by the court.” 


Jason Nunnermacker, of the suit, stated “I am thankful that Mr. Salkin is looking out for the best interests of the City’s residents, it’s shameful and alarming that this City Council has turned their backs on those they took an oath to serve.” 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Councilwoman Greenman Files Suit

Former Councilwoman Rose Greenman has filed a civil suit in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Greeman is suing the City of Hackensack, Mayor John Labrosse, Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino, Richard Salkin, Art Koster, and Al Borelli in their individual and professional capacities.

Rose Greenman

In her complaint, Greenman alleges that she was discriminated against based upon her national origin, ethnicity, and Jewish faith, which led to her resignation from the council last month.

Despite Labrosse having led the ticket for the slate of candidates that swept into office in May of 2013, Greenman alleges that shortly after the election Labrosse told Greenman that he was “going to make [Plaintiff’s] life a living hell,” because she was “not a real Hackensackian, not a real American.” The claim is actually comical considering that Labrosse ran on the same slate as Greenman, in fact he led the ticket, just a few short months before the alleged comments were made.

Greenman goes on to state that Labrosse refused to allow a rabbi to be present at the swearing in ceremony because a rabbi would make the event “boring.” Greenman alleges that Labrosse has a dislike for members of the Jewish faith because he owned a fish market in Teaneck that failed as it was not kosher certified and the large Jewish population of Teaneck would therefore not shop at his establishment.

Greeman goes on to state that at a political function held at a church, Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino stated “the holy water will make you fizzle and melt into a puddle of scum.” On a separate event Canestrino allegedly criticized the display of Hanukkah decorations stating “who cares about Hanukkah anyway.”

Greenman goes on to accuse Canestrino of posing as an online forum poster “Ethel Rosenberg” and criticizing Greenman. Ethel Rosenberg was an infamous American-Jewish woman executed for conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union, “moreover, the online comment…questioned whether plaintiff was a ‘Manchurian candidate…’ planted…by the ‘KGB.”

Greenman accuses Canestrino and Labrosse of blocking Councilman David Sims (the second highest vote getter) from being Deputy Mayor due largely to his color. Greenman states that the pair repeatedly referred to Sims as “dumb” and “stupid” and stated they would rather have constituents (which she alleges they called “Niggers”) riot than name Sims the Deputy Mayor.

In August of 2014 the City Council passed a resolution ending the payment of health insurance benefits for council members and part-time workers. Greenman alleges that this was a retaliatory act for her attendance and vocal opposition of a bond ordinance (and bashing of the PBA) at a Department of Consumer Affairs hearing in Trenton. Greenman alleges that this was done to target her as she was the only member of the council affected by the decision as all other members of the council received tax payer funded insurance through their own employment, or their spouses’ employment at the city or board of education.

Greenman goes on to accuse Al Borelli of intimidation and improper use of city zoning laws to harass and intimidate her regarding her allegedly improper use of her apartment as a registered place of business. A violation cited by residents Richard Salkin and Jason Nunnermacker.

In an ironic twist of fate, Richard Salkin (who as a public official sued me for defamation) is named as a defendant and charged with defamation (by this public official) due to his comments calling Rose Greenman a “sociopath” and law breaker. In response, Salkin states “Rose Greenman’s lawsuit is beyond frivolous. I expect it will be dismissed in short order. As a taxpayer I can only hope that the City does not reward this nonsense with any kind of settlement.”

Requests for comment from Labrosse and Canestrino were unanswered.

Of the suit, resident Regina Dipasqua says “this complaint is the definition of frivolous…sanctions are in order for her and [her attorney] for wasting government resources on this.” Dipasqua says the case is full of he said-she said and “she has a real proof problem with these allegations.” Dipasqua went on that “I certainly hope nobody is going to consider settlement.”

Monday, April 20, 2015

LOCAL BUSINESS PROMOTION: The Artistic Giraffe

Painting parties, fundraisers, and night outs are becoming more and more popular.  This winter, I took my mother to a "paint night" at a local chain art studio.  Neither one of us had ever painted on a canvas before and we expected, well, not much for our artistic abilities.  We could not have had a better time and with the step-by-step instruction over a two hour paint class, our paintings actually looked quite good!

This past weekend, we went to a birthday party at The Artistic Giraffe, 193 1/2 Main Street.  The experience was completely different--better!  Needless to say, next time we paint again, it will be with The Artistic Giraffe!



At the chain art studios, classes are run as a step-by-step tutorial where the class paints the same picture.  It can be quite frustrating to stalk the schedule of the studio looking for a picture that you want to paint--too get sold out before you can register for a seat.  Not at The Artistic Giraffe!

At The Artistic Giraffe, everyone chooses their own painting.  There are hundreds available for you to choose from, or you can even bring your own picture or landscape to paint.  Stephanie O'Connor gives a quick crash course in drawing followed by a tutorial in painting and mixing colors.  Over the next two and a half hours, she somehow gives individual attention and assistance to every one of the class attendees.  It is truly amazing considering there were 48 people in attendance for our class!

And all this at almost half the price of the big chain competitors.  The standard class rate at The Artistic Giraffe is $25.  And you can bring your own food, beverages, etc.

We were a party of ten, and everyone had an amazing time.  If you are looking for a fundraiser idea, a fun night out, or even a new hobby, The Artistic Giraffe will not disappoint!










The Artistic Giraffe 
 193 1/2 Main Street 
Hackensack, New Jersey 07601 
Phone: 201 – 362 – 3462 
Email: TheArtisticGiraffe@gmail.com





Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hackensack Rotary holding annual raffle for scholarships!

The Hackensack Rotary Club is holding their annual raffle to benefit the High School Scholarship Fund.  Hackensack Rotary scholarships are made available to graduating seniors who are residents of Hackensack.  Last year, the Scholarship Fund awarded more than $21,000 in scholarships to local High School seniors.

Raffle tickets are $10 and can be purchased from any Hackensack Rotarian or by emailing hackrotarytix@gmail.com.  Each raffle ticket has six chances to win.  Drawings to win $200 will be held on April 23, May 7, May 14, May 21, and June 12.  On June 18th, a $1,000 winner will be drawn.



Monday, April 6, 2015

Councilman's spouse has rescinded raise restored

Sorry loyal readers, things have been a little hectic lately.  But your tips have all been logged, your gripes with the council duly noted, and HACKENSACK SCOOP is on it....



Remember that time that Anthony Rottino, Rose Greenman, and their minions fabricated that the Hackensack Police received a 22% increase?  Well don't count on it, cause it just ain't true (see: Hackensack Police got a 22% raise? Don't count on it!).  Maybe they were all just making a stink because they were a little upset that (in their eyes) the PBA got 1% more than Councilman Battaglia's wife.... Yes, a Councilman's wife was arbitrarily awarded a staggering 21% raise (a 21% raise that no one else in her department received)... Yes, again, you read that right, 21% (see: Councilman's wife receives 21% raise)!

After HACKENSACK SCOOP released that story, there was public outcry.  Former City Attorney and Municipal Prosecutor Richard Salkin dutifully led the crusade to reverse this outrageous, fiscally irresponsible, and arbitrary increase of salary.  For months Salkin came to every meeting demanding not only answers, but a recision of the raise.

The City finally relented, well kind of.  The city did not reverse the raise, instead they reduced Maria Helena Battaglia's salary by $4,000 (reducing her raise to 13%).  They also charged her back the prorated portion of $4,000 that she had already received.   Rather than admitting the raise was egregious, the City's position was that the salary for Battaglia's position was limited by ordinance, and the 21% raise pushed her salary beyond that cap.

Well, just as the smoke has settled and they thought no one was looking...... City Manager David Troast has authorized that Maria Helena Battaglia not only get back that $4,000, but is given a RETROACTIVE raise for the 2014 year.


While it is said that City Manager David Troast is advising all department heads to cut their budgets by 10% and rumors of layoffs and consolidations buzz the halls, he has authorized an arbitrary 21% raise (RETROACTIVE FOR A YEAR!) for a Councilman's wife!

Is Kathy "THE MONEY GIRL" Canestrino really watching the City pocketbook?  Certainly she can't know about this.  Right? Perhaps it slipped by because she was just too busy selling the city on why we need to spend $100,000 to LOOK INTO building "Estadio de Battaglia."  Yes, we are spending $100,000 to talk about building an indoor soccer stadium (sorry, multi-purpose dome--four council members, a city manager, clerk, and attorney couldn't come up with the term "recreation"when voting on the resolution).

If I didn't know any better, this looks like nothing more than insider politics (with $110,000 of your tax dollars) to win over an estranged political ally, and his once so loyal vote.....



MORE TO COME.....

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Local Resident Hosting Benefit for Parkinson's Research

When Christine Cavallo's mother, Grace Rose, was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, it was an eye opening event for her family.  When Christine was later diagnosed herself, she started Team Rockin' Roses to raise funds for Parkinson's research through the Parkinson's Unity Walk.


On Friday, March 20, 2015, Christine will be hosting a fundraising event for her team, Rockin' Roses!  They are asking for your help to bring the world a step closer to being Parkinson's free! 

Whether you are a child, adult, a fitness enthusiast, a dancer, or just looking to help, there will be something for you at the Rockin' Roses Parkinson's Fundraiser.  There will be 1 hour of Zumba with Osydancing and partying with DJ Gigi, there will be video games for the kids, and plenty of food from around the world!  Consultants from Jamberry Nails, Touchstone Crystals, and Mary Kay will also be on site.

The fundraiser will be held this Friday, March 20th, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Knights of Columbus (105 Grove Avenue, Maywood). 

If you are unable to attend, but would still like to help, please visit the Rockin' Roses fundraising page for the Parkinson's Unity Walk!


Friday, March 6, 2015

Is Zisa's record of lawsuits against the city about to be shattered?

Hackensack has the motto, "A City in Motion."  It seems to be more of "A City of Commotion."  During Ken Zisa's downfall, more than 20 police officers sued alleging retaliation and civil rights violations.  A report received by Hackensack Scoop seems to indicate that a new wave of lawsuits may be hitting the city thanks to a recent Internal Affairs complaint lodged by Captain Thomas Salcedo. 

You may remember Captain Thomas Salcedo as the former head of Internal Affairs under Ken Zisa's reign over the department.  This is the same Thomas Salcedo who was made a mop of by attorneys during departmental hearings and depositions as he testified to falsifying his employment application and pretending to live at Captain Tomas Padilla's home on Bonhomme Street to meet residency requirements during hiring.  Salcedo who was hired under a false application (something Prosecutor John Molinelli just indicted and tried an officer for) was only given a verbal reprimand by disgraced former Chief Ken Zisa.

Salcedo is reported by several Hackensack Police Officers to currently be under investigation for improper use of sick time.  It is also reported that he had a departmental hearing on the matter on Wednesday.  Yesterday, reportedly as retaliation, Salcedo lodged an internal affairs investigation against 27 Police Officers alleging that they have improperly used their sick time to extend their scheduled time off. 





This antic will undoubtedly open the city up to a new round of litigation as it is reported that a local attorney has already been retained to defend these 27 officers against these accusations.  There are already reports that more than half of these officers have consulted an attorney to bring action against the city and Thomas Salcedo for abuse of power and retaliation.  

I wonder if Captain Thomas Salcedo puts as much time and effort into police work as he does into scheming against and reviewing the personnel files and records of his fellow officers? By Salcedo's own admission on his complaint, he does not have access to these records. What made him think it was ok to access prior records to lodge this complaint? Perhaps that is the real matter Internal Affairs should be looking into (the improper access of records) especially in light of other officers personnel records, GPS records, and activity sheets improperly being disseminated to members of the media. 

Another thing, police department records are not allowed to leave the building. How many hours did Salcedo spend on the tax payers' dime preparing the research for this complaint? As Chief of Detectives, what authority/permission did Salcedo have to do this research and access these records?

If the City Manager and City Council are serious about putting an end to litigation and doing the right thing for the Hackensack Police Department, maybe they should buy out and force retire any subversive members of the department who continue to expose the city to litigation.