LETTER: 2 Hoboken council members denounce $117.6M budget approved by colleagues


In a letter to the editor, Hoboken council members-at-large James Doyle and Emily Jabbour denounced the $117.6 million budget approved by the governing body last week, arguing that “a relentless political vendetta” will likely lead to a layoff in the mayor’s office.

Dear Editor,

It’s disappointing, although sadly not surprising, that Councilwomen Fisher, Giattino, along with Councilmen Cunningham, DeFusco, and Ramos, have chosen to support underfunding important portions of the City’s budget in their attempt to force the administration to make untenable choices for cuts, such as the funding of the fight against the Monarch towers on our waterfront.

Their relentless political vendetta against Mayor Bhalla is embarrassing and a detriment to the sound running of our City.

While they blandly describe it as “doing more with less”, these five members of the council have shamelessly targeted certain employees, such as Jason Freeman of the mayor’s office, by cutting salaries from certain offices to such a degree that would necessitate dismissal from employment.

They cower behind statements like, “we did not and cannot cut specific employee’s jobs,” but the reality is that while the council, by law, cannot cut a specific individual’s pay, it can attempt to surgically cut funds to achieve that end.

It is sad when, instead of allowing debate at the Council meeting to discuss the identified underfunding of the budget, including the effective elimination of Mr. Freeman’s salary, Council President Giattino shut down any discussion or dissent and instead rushed to call for a vote.

That lack of respect for the deliberative process, for fellow council members, for the Mayor’s office, and for the budgeting process as a whole reflects poorly on the Council.

Councilman-at-Large James Doyle
Councilwoman-at-Large Emily Jabbour


Editor’s Note: The City Council approved a $117.6 million budget last week, with the five members who voted in the affirmative praising being able to agree on $642,000 in cuts in order to establish a spending plan with a significantly lower tax increase. 

Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/hcvcp/public_html/wp-content/themes/Hudson County View/includes/wp_booster/td_block.php on line 353


  1. Jennifer Gianttino used to be a ballerina in her younger days so she is used to dancing around things. Now at least for awhile as a Councilwoman she is dancing around the truth of her actions. In November she may very well be dancing out of office at the voters request.

  2. Ravi already got caught in this lie on the city email system too boot, but now Jim is fueling that lie! These goons have no shame. The budget isn’t and wasn’t underfunded, the mayor overstaffed his department to put his ‘friends’ on the payroll. The old corrupt politicos are proud of Ravi; he’s playing their game.

    We’re lucky that Jen Giattino stands up to them.

    • You are so right. Bhalla is behaving shockingly, woefully, disgracefully. He is turning over management of the City to a bunch of no-experience goons. Further, he is embracing the proven corrupt Russo clan which has fed off of Hoboken and HHA for generations. Makes my stomach churn. Bhalla so desperately and transparently wants to move on — cannot happen fast enough. Take your 34% of vote and scram.

      • Calling all qualified JUICE BOYS! The Mayor wants YOU! Submit your curriculum vitae (one week of juicing experience.) Only shocking, woeful and disgraceful LIME juicers need apply! Special consideration for applicants in bed with “proven corrupt” vbm harvesters and pay-to-players, and who post vomit on their dead blog! 😂😂😂😂😭😭😭😭😭😜

    • This more crybaby crap out of the mayor’s office. Jim wouldn’t write such drivel. But Jim is playing politics and won’t tell the truth anymore. Hey Jim, tell everyone how Ravi got elected with the terror flier. You won’t do it so you’re DIRTY too! You’re dirty Jim, DIRTY!

      You too Emily!

  3. Did Jim write that on a cocktail napkin or a bar coaster …
    Or did he just have “vJohnHancockijay” write it for him?
    Go home Jim, it’s last call….

  4. 25 years ago today most rational people think OJ Simpson killed his ex-wife and an innocent man and got away with murder He latter claimed he was innocent and was going to find the real murder and even posted a reward.

    In last year in Hoboken a racist midnight flyer referring to Ravi Bhalla as a terrorist on Michael DeFusco’s campaign literature was found on the windshields of cars of residents of the First Ward that Michael DeFusco represents Michael DeFusco claimed he was innocent and claimed the he was going to find the real perpetrator even post a reward.

  5. If you remove the dishonest reference about Monarch that is meant to be a shot a Fisher, what is left? Oh just Jabbour and Doyle whining about how Ravi has to fire their friend Jason. Ravi could have cut his own salary instead or fired Allen or Vijay. But he chose poor Jason. That must suck for him.

    • Ethics dictates that Councilwoman Fisher will have to recuse herself from any decision making on the Monarch or any deal to trade off to trade another City owned property not to build, as she owns two low floor east facing condos in the Tea Building that would lose both their Manhattan views and substantial value if the Monarch is actually built.

      • Duh. Old news. Even hits home more why she wouldn’t cut Monarch spending. So why all the lies from Jabbour and Doyle? Truth and transparency doesn’t seem to matter to those two.

      • Why did the Zimmer appointed planning board fail to act on the Monarch application back when it should have?
        Team Zimmer our bike lanes before the Monarch, buying Union Dry Dock when the FBW warned them it needed to act and pay the debt on Suez for multiple years.

        But hey we got bike lanes, a main Main Street 2years late and 25% over budget, a Southwest “ plaza” ( only got this week and 6 figures over budget ) and millions in redevelopment legal fees to a firm who appear to have more losses for Hoboken than victories.

        Let’s not forget, we still haven’t solved Dawns first battle “ poop tomatoes “ or learning the names of the Beatles ….💩

  6. Actually that’s exactly why Tiff would want to cut Monarch legal spending. Having undermined an opportunity to settle the litigation on far more favorable terms back in 2016, Tiff now wants the City to “exchange” the DPW garage – a $25 million plus value and dump the development on the South side of town to protect her view. She likely fears that the City’s suddenly stronger legal position might cause folks who are not conflicted reconsider the merits of that transaction.

    The Supreme Court granting cert is a big deal. Any experienced lawyer knows that it’s unusual with a unanimous appellate division decision, and it implies that Hoboken has an extremely strong chance to prevail. At a minimum, it means the court believes Hoboken’s appeal raises important and serious legal issues that it needs to resolve rather than just let the lower court decision stand.

    Basically, this unexpected yet welcome decision by the Supreme Court has cut the settlement value of the case in half. At most, the settlement value is back to where it was in 2016 – meaning less than half of the value of the proposed DPW exchange.

    The responsible course of action at this point would be to litigate the case to conclusion. The opportunity to overpay applied for the property will still be there if we lose.

    But Tiff likely wants the City to just drop the litigation and cut the deal – even though the deal is orders of magnitude worse than the deal she and her cohorts on the tea building board opposed in 2016. So sabotaging the City’s ability to litigate would make perfect sense.

    • “Likely wants…” When did you last speak to Councilwoman Fisher Lindastan? Oh you haven’t, you’re just doing your Crazy Sybil imitation blathering on and on making it all up. Aren’t you bored with writing lousy lies? It’s so weak and insipid, not even a low-level lawyer would write them. Limp.

      • My understanding that funds for the Monarch litigation have been cut comes from an email Fisher sent to constituents in which she justified cutting funds for the Monarch litigation by claiming incorrectly that Supreme Court appeals could be effectively done on the cheap.

        Can you explain why she said that if Monarch funds hadn’t been cut? I did not believe that they had been, because doing so is nuts, until I read her explanation trying to defend the indefensible.

        As for the motive I attributed to her, it was clear that was guesswork – my attempt to make sense out of a budget cut she insisted on that is so clearly adverse to both her own interests and the interests of her constituents.

        • Yeah, you should work on your “understanding.” Explain to Dawn Zimmer how you got her into this mess with the guesswork Ravi Bhalla could ever be decent after getting elected with that terror flier.

        • Copy and pasted from Councilwoman Fisher’s email. Where does she say Monarch funds have been cut? Oh yeah she doesn’t. Like your boy Ravi, honesty isn’t one of your virtues Mr. Zimmer.

          “Made up crisis about funding Monarch. The mayor’s letter says there will not be enough funding to continue the Monarch litigation. As noted above, the special counsel budget at $1,020,000 is more than fully funded to address all critical issues facing the City – including Monarch. And to date, less than 30% of this budget has been actually spent. Additionally, counsel has indicated that the go forward costs of the litigation relating to the Supreme Court taking the case will be low because it is an appeal of an already fully briefed case. I have been fighting against the proposed Monarch project since 2011 and I co-founded Hoboken Residents for A Public Waterfront to organize a resident voice to defend our waterfront which now includes Union Dry Dock. Do you honestly believe I would do anything at all to jeopardize these fights? I hope you very quickly say no and also consider why the Mayor would allege that I would.”

    • Someone is doing a lot of projecting onto Tiffanie, LL. We know that you think the deal that the previous mayor crafted was just the most fantabulous thing anyone ever thought of, but it sucked for us in the 3rd Ward.

    • What is a little sabotage when you have two condos in the Tea Building that would drop a fews hundred thou each if their view of Manhattan was blocked. Screw everyone else.

        • Small minds- you thank he hasn’t heard it all before?
          Is mocking his stature okay, but others minority statuses are protected?
          You need to GROW up mentally and take some sensitivity classes

          • Heard it? He has been using it for years to deflect any criticism on his truly nasty disgusting actions both on and off the internet.

      • Thank goodness Tiff has a sponsored horse manure factory attacking and trying distract from the real issues by posting meaningless links.

        Who needs a pricey full time public relations firm like Mike has when you have an obsessed old man and a few permanently disgruntled nuts.