North Hudson Sewerage Authority Commissioner Libero Marotta, who represents Union City, took Hoboken Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla to task for being critical of the NHSA board without ever seeing him at a meeting.
At Thursday night’s meeting, Marotta made it a point to express his displeasure over the fact that Hoboken residents talked disparagingly about the practices of the NHSA board at the last city council meeting where Kurt Gardiner was appointed to the board – replacing longtime member Frank Raia.
“I think these comments that were made out of Hoboken have no basis in fact. I don’t know why they were made. I don’t know if they were political in nature,” Marotta said just before the meeting, where a $51 million budget and 4.5 percent water rate increase were approved, concluded.
“But I think they were an insult, not only to the board, but to our executive director and engineer, but also to the other mayors – the other three mayors that are a part of this organization.”
Before calling it a night, he specifically called out “one of the council people in Hoboken” for claiming the NHSA board meeting only last 20 minutes, which is why it appears more transparency is needed.
At the January 20th Hoboken City Council meeting, Bhalla said “you know, we’re talking about … the sewerage authority appointments and who should go do what but know one talks about the issues.”
“And transparency is another issue I’m concerned about, too. I hear these meeting are done 20 minutes: boom, they’re out of there by 7:20 [p.m.]. (Laughs) Well where do these decisions get made?”
Bhalla added that that there is little way for members of the public to know what is actually being discussed during the subcommittee meetings of the NHSA – which are voted on at the regular meetings without a clear idea of what was previously discussed.
“You know this is a $50 million authority, I think their annual revenue is about $50 million when I read their last audit, and my understand is their subcommittees are very influential in the operation decisions of this authority and the decision of those committees are ratified at the meetings, but the actual discussions are somewhat behind closed doors.”
Marotta was visibly heated when addressing Bhalla’s recent remarks.
“My response to this gentleman, whose never been at one of these meetings – to my knowledge, and I’ve been here quite a few years – that before he starts talking politically, he better know what he’s talking about. And he doesn’t know how this organization functions.”
“We have other meetings than just this monthly meeting of this board. We have meetings of the committees where a lot of work is being done. In fact, tonight’s meeting is a reorganization meeting, which should’ve taken 20 minutes, but I look at the clock and I see we’re over an hour.”
Bhalla declined to comment further when reached by Hudson County View.
Maybe if Bhalla saw his role as more than a chance to get a job at a politically connected firm and shuttling donations for legal contracts amongst counties in new jersey he would have time to look at the Sewage Authority’s website for the plans he is talking about.
Didn’t he also say he supported another commissioner to extend his term?
That commissioner would be part of the same group Bhalla is attacking.
What a total sleazebag!
The NSHA raising rates 4.5% without any advanced notice or public input ain’t exactly being transport.
How much will it increase the average household’s bill ? They ain’t saying.
I think Leibro Morotta is just POed that his good buddy Frank Raia didn’t get to continue on the Board with his grandfathered in health benefits and is taking a cheap shot.
Common for Hoboken to make comments of with no basis in fact for political purposes. All fluff to install KURT Gardner whom no one ever wanted to serve any role in Hoboken or Hudson County politics.
2:38 am!!!!! Please get some sleep. Everyone is worried about you.
As for you questioning others about their political roles are you the same person who couldn’t get 30 neighbors to sign your petitions to run and then claimed heat exhaustion? If so, you may want to back off a bit seeing as how a trained chimp could get the necessary signatures in a day
I think Kurt Gardiner in his protest run for Freeholder generated over 1700 votes. That’s 1700 votes more than you’ll ever get no matter how much nutty stuff you say.
Hoboken has brought politics into the North Hudson Sewer Authority for the first time witch is a big mistake for Hoboken because they have always been the biggest benififactor in this regional authority. With a vote to pass resolutions 7 out of 9 are needed. The commissioners from the 4 towns have always looked out for all the ratepayers in the service area when voting on projects and Hoboken has always gotten the bulk of projects . Maybe It’s time Hoboken leaves the regional and forms their own sewer authority to play politics.
Bhalla provides a rubber stamp for the Grossbard-Zimmer admin and knows little to nothing of this board yet chooses to project his own lack of ethics onto another.
The largest fixed cost is debt service and the authority is compelled by federal and state regulations to continually upgrade the system under consent orders . All the Monday morning quarterbacks in Hoboken starting with the Mayor and all her little flunkies on the council . Bhalla and the rest of the know nothings only care about the power, not about the professional job being done. Wake up Hoboken
Bhalla, the Zimmer Contract /Poker dealer probably just wants a fellow Democrat from Monmouth County or Bergen County to get the Sewer work so they can donate to his election fund.
It seems the only time we get emails from Bhalla is when there’s a fundraising event of his or Zimmer’s coming up