A fly on the wall at Sacco’s annual mayor’s ball: Fulop vs. Balmir is only part of the story


At North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco’s annual extravagant mayor’s ball, while drinking, dancing and eating were certainly high on the priority list, don’t kid yourself into thinking no one there was talking politics. 

Sacco ball

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Since lately everyone and their grandmother has been complaining that North Hudson is so boring they might have to gauge their eyes out to remember what excitement feels like, I’m hearing a familiar face may be announced as the new West New York Business Administrator in the next week of so.

That’s it, just a sneak preview for now, but remember that Matthew Watkins last day on the job in West New York was October 2, opting to take a pay cut to be the new Bloomfield BA. Watkins currently lives in the Essex County municipality.

On a similar note, I think I know who will be replacing the WNY Department of Public Works Superintendent Silvio Acosta. I’m not positive yet, but it definitely will NOT be former Commissioner County Wiley.

That’s another bad rumor that got out of hand in West New York. I know, you’re stunned. I’ll give you a moment to recover.

There is some serious chatter that Bayonne Councilman-at-large Juan Perez is considering calling on Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari for a championship rematch five years in the making.

Schillari beat Perez in November 2010 after the incumbent was ousted by the Hudson County Democratic Organization, via The Jersey Journal. Perez re-emerged last year as a council candidate on Jimmy Davis’ ticket and we know how that story ended.

Hudson County Sheriff’s Office Det. Mark Borchert has already announced his intentions to beat his boss at the polls next summer, which is ironic considering that Schillari was an undersheriff to Perez when he was elected.

A few people asked me if Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop’s attendance at Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s fundraiser for her five council candidates was a formal endorsement. I explained that if it was, I would’ve presented it as such.

Supposedly, Fulop didn’t particularly care for the coverage either, though. Oh well, what else is new? Should fundraiser coverage have disclaimers from now on? I don’t know, I’m asking.

To be perfectly honest, I’m pretty tired of seeing Fulop getting practically buried alive after metaphorically putting Freeholder Gerard Balmir’s (D-3) head on the guillotine for what many are calling petty reasons.

The Star-Ledger’s Tom Moran was the most recent culprit of trying to remove Fulop’s head from his shoulders over the subject, the fourth editorial about the Fulop-Balmir falling out, which has also spurned a handful of news reports.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Fulop called Balmir the most disloyal, dishonest person he’s ever met since his wife took a job with Senate Pres. Stephen Sweeney’s office (h/t Politicker NJ).

Fulop and Sweeney are prepping to square off in the Democratic primary portion of the 2017 governor’s race, though former U.S. ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy and state Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20) are both planning on gumming up the works (that’s right, gumming up the works).

Also note that Fulop, Balmir and Jeff Dublin – the deputy executive director of the Jersey City Incinerator Authority who Balmir defeated in last year’s freeholder race – all attended the Sacco powwow on Thursday.

Dublin was acknowledged by emcee Donald De Leo as a former freeholder, prompting me to look Balmir’s way, who had a big smile on his face and applauded with the rest of the dignitaries gathered around the podium.

Also keep in mind that Balmir got a big hug and a hearty handshake from New Jersey/Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie – a trend that seemed pretty consistent for him throughout the evening, so Gerry was treated as anything but a pariah.

As a matter of fact, I even heard that he was even able to leave the Venetian without anyone slashing his tires or putting a potato in his tailpipe.

Seriously though, a number of politicos in the room expressed that they’re genuinely perplexed about the situation, since Fulop had went and made a non-entity political entity an entity overnight, also making Sweeney look like the good guy to some extent.

Back to Dublin, if you recall, he previously told Hudson County View that he is still well-suited for county government and strongly implied he wants his freeholder seat back whenever it becomes available.

Wondering who Dublin, once a staunch ally of ex-Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, is supporting in the governor’s race? Thanks to a loyal Hudson County View, wonder no more:


Ah, imagine elections, or even politics in general, without the Internet? That must’ve been really boring and uneventful.

Balmir declined to comment on the situation after Wednesday’s meeting of the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders, though sources close to him have told me over and over they have no fear of a recall and his game plan is to simply continue to serve his constituents.

This flap hurts Fulop, no doubt about it, especially after the prisoner re-entry debacle and the still yet to be seen abolishment of the JCIA.

But still, given that we could be a full calendar year away from him declaring his candidacy for statewide office, this is hardly the death stroke for his political ambitions.

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