Fisher, Giattino clash with Bhalla admin over being asked to leave Hoboken City Hall

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Hoboken Councilwomen Tiffanie Fisher and Jen Giattino are again clashing with Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s administration for being asked to leave City Hall yesterday – an action the mayor’s office says was justified but remains under scrutiny from council members.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“It is alarming that the administration ordered our removal from City Hall while we were helping a Hoboken resident at risk of losing his home,” the councilwomen said in a statement.

“As duly elected representatives and active members of the city’s government, we will continue to be a presence in City Hall and we will not tolerate nor be intimidated by this attempt to prevent us from doing the job we were elected to do – representing and advocating for the residents of Hoboken.”

The duo continued that they considered this action to be “bullying” and a “misuse of power” by the mayor’s office.

However, city spokesman Vijay Chaudhuri painted a very different picture, claiming that it is not unusual for individuals that do not have appointments scheduled in City Hall to be asked to leave – also claiming Fisher owes Business Administrator Stephen Marks an apology for her behavior.

“The Council members dramatic claims, as per usual, are disingenuous. The Business Administrator has received numerous complaints from City Directors that these two Council members in particular repeatedly abuse their status and barge into their offices unannounced, disrupting staff always without appointment,” he explained.

“They were asked if they had an appointment, and if not to politely vacate the building due to the Business Administrator’s policy requiring an appointment to see City Director and staff. Unfortunately, Council member Fisher hours later verbally berated and cursed at the Business Administrator in public during his lunch break. She owes the BA an apology for her utter lack of professionalism and meltdown.”

In response, Fisher said that she happened to see Marks walking past her during lunch and they had a “perfectly constructive conversation.”

“When Director Marks happened to walk by me at lunch at Madison yesterday, where I was sitting outside with a friend, I said hello and then asked him about the removal order and he told me he was just following directions,” she said.

“We then continued our perfectly constructive conversation, as usual, and discussed other city business including the planned upgrades for the intersection of 14th and Shipyard Lane. The only meltdown happening is Vijay’s.”

Additionally, 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco, a frequent critic of Bhalla, couldn’t resist entering the fray on this one.

“… It’s … very troubling for the Mayor’s taxpayer-funded spokesman to accuse Councilwoman Fisher having a ‘meltdown,’ because this kind of tone smacks of the type of misogyny many women in leadership positions receive all too often,” he said, noting that the council is willing to work with Bhalla on major issues but also need to hold him accountable for his actions.

Needless to say, Chaudhuri was not impressed with this take on the situation and was happy to return fire.

“Mike DeFusco has no business lecturing anyone – as observers of Council meetings see firsthand, his constant belittling and mansplaining of Councilwoman Jabbour displays his frequent lack of respect for women,” he retorted.

The six ward council seats are up for grabs in November. DeFusco is the only council member to have announced his re-election bid thus far, but Fisher and Giattino are expected to follow suit sooner than later.

16 COMMENTS

  1. What manner of fascist behavior is this? Who believes the mayor’s office versus the people acting to serve Hoboken with dignity and class?

    Not me. Vijay should be ashamed of the stupid, vicious lying. After what his boss did lying about and trying to stab Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro in the back we shouldn’t be surprised.

    The mayor’s office acts like its a mob entity not temporary holders of authority. Absolutely disgusting!

    • Is this the over the top kind of horse manure internet comments that Fisher begs people to support from her pet attack blogger ? As usual DeFusco couldn’t resist getting in on the drama.

      The drama will be standard SOP until the November elections.

    • Everyone involved in this ugly police action needs to be held accountable? Who gave the order to remove council people who were in City Hall to help a Hoboken resident? When did visiting City Hall and the rent office become a crime? Hoboken Police must investigate this and find out. Then Ravi Bhalla better fire them!

      • hh is too prone to using words like dictatorship, gestapo, stasi and police state to describe minor issues to be considered reliable. hh has also made countless defamatory accusations about the terrorist flyer without presenting a shred of evidence. can’t be trusted.

        • Throwing council members out of City Hall helping Hoboken residents is “minor?” Ravi has some weird people pushing propaganda for him. Hoboken horse is prone to being right for as many years I’ve been reading, six years. Ravi is the beneficiary of the terror flier but where’s the evidence of anything defamatory? You must be confused with Ravi’s crazy operative who defamed everyone.

          • a case in point. automatically calls people who disagree with him ravi’s staff. evidence for this? none. same way he has no evidence for saying ravi is behind the flyer. hh thinks using words like gestapo and dictatorship to describe asking people to vacate is ok. talking about himself here in the 3rd person. you get the idea. hh is not a credible source. not a very credible liar either.

          • GA has been out of commission for months but still covered Calicchio more thoroughly. She has the guilty plea and a breakdown of the elec report by paid voter. MSV just has the usual self-congratulation but no real effort. Instead of addressing that deficiency, he’ll do some name-calling and accusations.

  2. Is this a reflection from Ravi Bhalla or by his staff to Ravi Bhalla?
    Either way, this is way beyond the pale. You don’t throw council members out of the building who are working to assist residents. That’s insane and this is unacceptable. Is this an order from John Allen ordered Stephen Marks to do this? There’s one way out of this Ravi, fire John Allen! Or it’s you being fired.

  3. Considering the arrogance and self-importance Fisher and Giattino constantly flaunt at council meetings, I find their conduct less than surprising. I hope it taught them a lesson not to barge into people’s offices unannounced but based on the reaction, they appear to believe that their status as elected officials allows them to do whatever they want. The only one defending their ludicrous actions are their paid political blogger (who has already commented here, and likely will again) and morally corrupt councilman Mike Defiasco… That should tells me all I need to know.

    • Look, the mayor’s staff is trying to do damage control here. Unfortunately, it’s their actions doing more damage. Entertaining in their misogyny surpassed only by stupidity.

  4. Why are we supposed to care? Let em make an appointment next time like the rest of us lowly citizens have to do to meet with a City Hall Director. Who else would crash somebody else’s meeting then writes a whiny press release because they weren’t welcome? Nobody. Does Pelosi crash meetings at the White House? Those Hoboken councilwomen should learn civility, protocol and save the press releases for matters that affect their constituents, instead of matters that hurt their pride.

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