Hoboken, Council members Phil Cohen, Emily Jabbour, and Joe Quintero are asking colleague Tiffanie Fisher to halt “irresponsible conduct and abusive behavior” related to city business, to which the councilwoman responded.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“In the past week alone you: (1) publicly harangued, insulted, and berated members of the Planning Board; and (2) leveled wild and unsubstantiated allegations against other elected officials with whom you disagree,” the trio wrote in a letter to Fisher.
“This comes on the heels of just this year: (1) filing frivolous litigation against the City of Hoboken as a citizen that was dismissed with prejudice; (2) initiating meritless investigations of city employees you dislike at taxpayer expense; and (3) routinely accusing Mayor Bhalla of illegal activity and referring him to the Attorney General for investigations.”
Prior to Monday’s session, Fisher sent out an email blast that was titled “Tonight – Help Fight the Bad Guys,” which spoke about the “political influence” behind the Story application mentioning Bhalla, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33), and Hoboken Assistant Corporation Counsel John Allen.
“The only thing a high-volume dispensary will do at this location is enrich elected officials and their friends,” she wrote in part in the lengthy email.
Her three colleagues, all close allies of Bhalla, in particular took umbrage with her messaging on legal cannabis.
“Perhaps most concerning, is your repeated use of fear and paranoia to manipulate residents in service of your political agenda. You have characterized hard-working union members as ‘outsiders’ in Hoboken who are to be feared,” they also wrote.
“You stoke fears that cannabis, a legal product in our community, is attracting ‘the wrong element’ to Hoboken which will be less safe because of cannabis customers who are ‘outsiders’ and will destroy our neighborhoods. As you know, cannabis users are our neighbors, our friends, and our family members. Whether in the brownstones or in the Housing Authority, Hoboken residents regularly enjoy this legal product.”
Additionally, they cited a resident who wrote to the city council, who allegedly said “fear mongering and over-exaggeration are the tools of the desperate.”
In response, Fisher wrote off their remarks as political posturing with many inaccuracies.
“My colleagues should fight harder for good government principles instead of against and heed their own words instead of intentionally trying to mislead the public to score political points,” she said in a statement.
“I’m not going to fix all of the defamatory statements they made except for one – I never called cannabis applicants “bad guys” just the elected officials trying to enrich themselves and their friends at the expense of the public. I fully support our new, legal cannabis industry and the laws put in place for its responsible governance.”
The Hoboken City Council will convene this evening at City Hall, 94 Washington St., at 7 p.m. and the meeting will also stream live on the city’s Facebook page.