Hoboken council appoints Kurt Gardiner, beating out Frank Raia, to NHSA


The Hoboken City Council surprisingly overwhelmingly approved the appointment of Kurt Gardiner to the North Hudson Sewerage Authority, replacing 27-year incumbent Frank Raia – the current chair of the board.

As Hudson County View previously reported, the council was slated to vote on a five-year appointment to the North Hudson Sewerage Authority from February 1, 2016 through February 1, 2021.

Raia, a NHSA board member since it’s inception in 1988, seemed like the academic choice since his term expired at the beginning of next month.

However, Gardiner, a former freeholder candidate, threw a monkey wrench into the machine by submitting an application for the NHSA seat less than two weeks ago.

This fact was not lost on several residents who addressed the council before the vote. Many also questioned why Brian Assadourian, whose term doesn’t expire until February 1, 2018, submitted an application on Friday.

However, Assadourian was not nominated: 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher nominated Gardiner, seconded by Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla, while Councilman-at-Large David Mello nominated Frank Raia, which was seconded by 5th Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham.

After Gardiner received the appointment by a vote of 8-1, with only Cunningham voting no, we caught up with both Raia and Gardiner to get their reactions.

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  1. Not fit to serve a position of fiduciary responsibility Fisher and pay-to-play Bhalla vote yes. Residents, non-voters, you are the overwhelming majority. Don’t allow negative demonizing election dollars put incompetents and crooks into making decisions on our crumbling, unsafe and imploding city.

  2. I used to think Melissa Blanco was someone to be contended with given her ever-present vehement anger.

    But now I see her as one of the best friends reform has. She makes the other side look clueless, incapable of forming a meaningful argument, and too lazy to work at it. Just a bunch of vaguely defamatory allegations that are infinitely better suited to the people she supports.

    If Zimmer were so inclined, she should pay Melissa.

    • And as if to prove my point, like clockwork, Melissa Blanco provides another vaguely defamatory allegation, implying that someone somewhere said that someone somewhere was being paid off. Documentation? Names? Anything sounding anything at all like a real event or proof? Don’t hold your breath.

      Here’s something real. Frank Raia is an extremely wealthy developer. The conflict of interest for such a person to be on the NHSA in the first place is staggering. Flooding worsened markedly after Raia built his Shoprite with no drainage whatsoever. Melissa has no issue with any of that that.

      Mike Russo, who ran unopposed, paid $14,140 to 244 campaign workers in the November city council election. Most of these “workers” did not even live in his ward. This is a well-established practice in Hoboken for election day vote-buying. Tim Occhipinti in 2010 had 575 “campaign workers” while only getting a total of 1240 votes. Hundreds of those “workers” voted by VBM @ $40 each; 4 even swore out affidavits that they were paid to vote. You can guess the rest.

      Melissa also had no issue with Russo’s need to buy 244 “campaign workers” while running unopposed. But she wants to tell you that someone somewhere said someone somewhere was paid off.

      Like I said, she’s one of the best friends reform has. Zimmer should pay her.

      • Friendslikeyou,

        You are so correct. I like to think Cunningham won in such a landslide in the 5th because of this person being so against him.

        Whatever you are doing Mel B keep at it. You have that magic touch!!! HAHAHAHAHA

  3. It was the $5000 contribution that Raia made to Cunningham which Cunningham used to buy votes at $150 per head at Fox Hill, that allowed Cunningham to be “virtuous” and keep his dirty promise to Raia.

    • Congrats Mel B. You just graduated from Palin-esque nonsense to some comments that may just land you in a heap of trouble in court. I wish you well. Whatever you do, get a better attorney than your heroes from the SLAPP suit did. Those guys are gonna be paying down that one for quite some time

  4. For a guy that drinks dusk to dawn at area bars, the council made a good choice. Nothing like a drunk on the board. Isn’t this the same person who for 10 years talks about killing Beth Mason and anyone else who opposes the mayor?

    • Defamation, yes. Facts, no. That’s our Melissa.

      She now accuses Frank Raia and Peter Cunningham of being in a criminal conspiracy for election fraud. The maximum personal contribution to a candidate is $2600. Russo, Gonzalez and Mason would have crucified Cunningham if Raia (or anyone) gave him $5000. Melissa then accuses Cunningham of buying votes. Does she realize that both of these men can sue her for those statements alone? Probably not.

      Looping back to reality for a moment… does Melissa Blanco care that Beth Mason contributed $11,200 for attack fliers for Carmelo Garcia (just check the Keim’s 10/30 ELEC report for the Real Democrats of Hoboken – whose name is on the attack fliers). Does Melissa care about that? Heck no!

      It’s for this reason that I really hope Cunningham and Raia don’t sue her – even though they could. She’s worth more to reform just making these idiotic statements night and day. A LOT more.

      • Mel B, please call us as soon as possible. We are of the belief you are gonna need a lawyer very soon.

        I would ask if you have proof of your accusations, something elec reports would make very easy, but then I read a bunch of your posts. Proof or evidence doesn’t seem to exist in your head

        Please call us asap