Hoboken spokesman Juan Melli leaving City Hall to start consulting firm


Hoboken spokesman Juan Melli is departing City Hall when Mayor Dawn Zimmer does, instead opting to start his own private sector and political consulting firm. 

From left to right: Gov.-elect Phil Murphy, Hoboken city spokesman Juan Melli, Mayor-elect Ravi Bhalla and Mayor Dawn Zimmer. Facebook photo.
From left to right: Gov.-elect Phil Murphy, Hoboken city spokesman Juan Melli, Mayor-elect Ravi Bhalla and Mayor Dawn Zimmer. Facebook photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

In a Facebook post last week, Melli announced that he is launching Progressive Strategies, which will specialize in message development, political strategy, press releases, speech writing, website design, social media and much more, according to their website.

“I’ve really enjoyed working as Communications Manager for Hoboken and will be staying on through the end of Mayor Zimmer’s term. Years ago when she interviewed me for the position, I admitted I didn’t know how to do half of the things I thought the job entailed (as it turns out, there was a lot more I didn’t know),” he wrote.

“She said I could do it, and I’ll always be thankful to her for putting her trust in me. I can honestly say I looked forward to going to work *almost* every morning, and I’m going to especially miss all my great colleagues who made the job fun.”

Melli, the BlueJersey.com founder and also a former PolitickerNJ writer, has served as the city’s chief communications director since May 2010.

A spokesman for Mayor-elect Ravi Bhalla, who will take office in January, did not immediately return an email seeking comment regarding who would be replacing Melli.

Earlier this week, Bhalla’s camp announced that former running mate and attorney John Allen will serve as his chief of staff. He will start his new gig under Zimmer on December 4th.

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  1. There is nobody who is so detached from the community as is Melli. He is unwelcoming to citizens who go to City Hall for help. He is the face of an obnoxious Zimmer Administration. Hopefully Ravi comes up with someone more personable and intelligent.

    • this is good feedback. you’re not one of the crazies here who are praying for failure (and who will answer this comment proving it). give the new mayor a chance by reaching out. maybe hook up with one of the transition teams in your area(s) of concern.

    • Yeah, reach out to the NJ Transit transition team for Ravi Bhalla Towers.
      Oh wait, that’s a Ravi PAC. They don’t want to hear from you but they are taking political contributions on behalf of the Bhalla inauguration.

          • I hope that PAC sues your sorry a$$. How many people/entities have you accused of this crime? Sloppy, reckless, malicious… I guess going from a barn to a jail cell is trading up!

          • I hope they find the graphics person who the group hired for both racist flyers. The one attacking Italians ( Defusco Crime Family ) featuring mostly Italians and Hispanics littered around central Hoboken as well as the re-print of the Defusco flier that Bhalla is shopping around now for publicity while tarnishing Hoboken and giving the world the impression this is a racist little backwater town.

  2. I think it would be hard to find someone more intelligent than Mr. Melli given that he has a PHD from Princeton. His job wasn’t constituent services but perhaps you can be more specific about what community you feel Juan, his wife and their 2 born and raised children aren’t connected to.

    • He didn’t finish Princeton, he left after 2 years. Rutgers undergrad, then Princeton for 2 years, then left and finished MBA at Rutgers. He misrepresents his education a little but education is irrelevant these days. Guy is also a giant ****. On a side note how is this even relevant news? Who cares he is stepping down?

      • You are wrong – Mr. Melli has a PHD in engineering from Princeton after graduating first in his class from Rutgers. He does not have an MBA from Rutgers or anywhere else.

        It’s only important in the sense that you seem to have a need to lie about it. Why is that?

  3. Juan Melli served well and knows it’s time to get out. The crazies aren’t the people already trading everything in Hoboken not nailed down to advance Ravi Bhalla up the ladder. What they did with that inside job on the flier is an utter disgrace. What will they say when the truth of it comes out?

    • The list of screen name personalities keeps growing: Smarty Jones, KaiserSozey, RaviBhalla Conflicts, Pyrhic Win, Ravi Deal-a-thon, Toxic Avenger, Death & Stupidity, Sore Sybil’s Bitter, Lake Como, Reform Traitor Nancy… Sybil the Horse has Multiple Screen Name Personality Disorder.

      • I’m fond of Ravi Deal-a-thon. That’s my friend on the Bhalla campaign. Hey, I made a great deal and so did my law firm. I love Sybil’s Cave and the cave dwellers all love the deal! Wait until we announce the NJ Transit deal. You’re gonna love that deal too!

      • Gee, you would think someone who spent 4 years almost losing everything would respect the privacy of online free speech. It amazes me how one individual continues evil posts and attacks on other Hoboken moms, friends and neighbors.
        She trolls facebook, copies (EX) friends posts and shows them to Bhalla for a response which she then creates a hit piece from.

        While most were enjoying the holiday with family she was cooking up more hate and division.

        Hope the HPD reveals the flier creator and ALL those involved soon- that would be a great Christmas present to Hoboken!

          • Nancy thinks every comment she dislikes is by peops running other sane websites. She’s still butt hurt she got busted in that Al Jazeera propaganda video and called out for all her lying on election day. No one told her to do that ridiculous crap, she does it eagerly.

            Why doesn’t she accept what she’s done and learn to stop instead of smearing more people worse than Lane and Perry? How does that redeem her to anyone other than the people who encourage her ugly vileness?

            It’s bizarre how she trolls people on their Facebook pages for more hit job material. I don’t think Lane and Perry ever did that when they smeared people and that’s really saying something. Maybe a shrink can help. Let’s hope.

          • Must be a sad existence to have lost every friend in the past 5 months on behalf of a politician who won’t remember the super fan who trashed everyone in his path.
            What a shame…

          • Only a white supremacist thinks video of a man in a turban hugging a white woman is propaganda. Jen would have lost anyway. But you made sure she lost by a 2-1 margin with posts like this and got paid a grand to do it. Great job.

  4. Is it true more information found its way to the Hoboken police about the culprits on the Ravi flier? Who benefited from it? Why is it the Ravi insiders trying to shut down the investigation?

    • Bhalla wants the flier investigation stopped. It’s part of last week’s Sybil the Horse lie that Bhalla created the flier.

      Last week’s other lie from Sybil the Horse was Bhalla wants Russo to head the city council.

      Tomorrow’s Sybil the Horse lie is still being made up.

        • “Rumor is” Sybil the Horse has no credible sources left (nobody who has real infirmation will talk to him anymore)… just an echo chamber of operatives who use his ghost town of a blog to launder “rumors.”

      • Ravi has not been accused. No mayoral candidate was accused from what I’ve seen of doing that flier on Ravi days before the election.

        Russo is definitely in with a council vote behind Ravi. Deal was made. He was being pushed for council president but that got blown up last week. Everyone was talking about it over Thanksgiving.

        Horse gets blamed for being right but the criticism is interesting as it’s not what he said. Boy does he get Sybil angry though. Oh and that new website, the Hoboken Resistance. It’s issues based but she’s really hating on that. Maybe because of this story showing her as an Al Jazeera propagandist.
        Oh the irony is rich:


        Myself, I prefer reading better websites like this one and where issues are discussed without all the bile and hate from a rabid fan club with multiple screen names talking to each other. But some may enjoy the entertainment value as Ravi created quite a wretched stew for himself.

          • No one linked to Sybil’s Cave. The Hoboken Resistance & Advocate website has no affiliation with Nancy. Who else would do an Al Jazeera propaganda video for Ravi? No one sane, that’s for sure.

        • Roman, you are such a conspiracy theory-luvin dumb a$$. You are Lane Bajardi minus 50 IQ points. Have any of you smear artists- I include Kurt, and Tony, who has also posted false statements online- for the facts surrounding your theories? NO one has ever asked me what happened.

          Let’s have the pretend interview, the one any credible journalist would have conducted.

          Roman: So, what were the circumstances surrounding your videptaped Bhalla hug.

          Nancy: That was Friday, Nov. 9. I was returning from a colonoscopy – my gastroenterologist is in Manhattan. I had an escort with me at the time. I was weak and a little woozy. We walked up from the PATH on Washington Street. Vijay called out my name. I turned to hug him. Then saw Ravi on my left side. I was thrilled to see him and walked right over to hug him. I did not see the camera. They were Reuters, which has a worldwide distribution. As for English AL-Jazeera running the video- who the hell would care but a white supremacist like yourself, and apparently Kurt, the fake progressive. Oh, and insults are protected speech, as are your whacko conspiracy theories.

          Roman: Thank you, Nancy. Boy, am I an a$$hole.

          Nancy: You sure are!

  5. Juan was a talented guy and worked hard for the city. He did not set policy, Mayor Zimmer did. He was a communications director that expanded Social media, provided a ton of information on the City of Hoboken’s website, developed the near real time HOP bus tracker, and the Hoboken 311 ticket system which went well beyond his job description.

    I wish Juan the best.

  6. I’m Nancy and I have no life, I just come up to Washington St to hug Ravi for Al Jazeera TV because he has no other friends.The rest just voted for him because Dawn begged them or promised bus driving and librarian jobs, maybe even millions in legal contracts? The Chief of p2p supposedly is already pissing off a transition team committee so much so, they have Bhalla, Zimmer and Cohen on damage control to prevent them from quitting!