Quotes of the year A compilation of the best-said comments, and who said them


“If a wall falls down or a sewerage pipe breaks, that’s an emergency. I’m not sure that’s the case in this situation.” – Freeholder Al Cifelli, in April, as freeholders attempted to determine what constitutes an emergency expenditure.

“They are extra slow. They’re senior citizens.” – Freeholder Maurice Fitzgibbons, in support of a measure to increase time at a Kennedy Blvd. crosswalk.

“If picket lines go up in Lincoln Park, first I’m going to go down there and picket with them. And then I’m going to come back here and find out why we didn’t do what we said we should do.” – Freeholder William O’Dea after freeholders fought to get basic rights for workers included in a contract for an ongoing project at Meadowview Hospital in Secaucus.


“The library set a number of 4,500 Guttenberg residents that use the library. That can’t be possible. Out of 8,200 residents, 4,500 use the library? My library card is probably in that list and I haven’t been there in 10 years.” – Guttenberg Councilman Javier Inclan, in June, over the battles between the North Bergen Free Public Library and the fees it charges the township of Guttenberg for using the library.


“They are actually saying that I faked my cancer.” – Mayor Anthony Russo in June on rumors allegedly circulated by his political enemies.

“They can’t just say that this was a typo and move on. What if I wrote a check to the city for my taxes that read $12 instead of $1,200? I would not be able to say, ‘oops, it was a typo.'” – Michael Baldassari, an uptown resident, after learning that a garage scheduled to be constructed at 916 Garden Street would have 5 inch walls rather than 5 foot walls as area residents were originally promised. The zoning board said that it was a typo in January, prompting Baldassari’s anger.

“I’d rather see him keep his speaking parts in the movies and cut him out of his speaking parts at the City Council.” – City Councilman Tony Soares, in February, on the fact that Mayor Anthony Russo’s speaking part was cut out of “Restaurant,” a movie set in Hoboken.

“You have to feel it in your hands. You have to know how to shape it, and when to shape it with your hands. It’s something you feel, not something you know.” – Angelo Lisa, the co-owner of Lisa’s Deli, in March, on how to make fresh mozzarella.

“This lease is really unfair. They want to charge us for pets. It’s $100 for a dog. $25 for a cat. The drug dealers can stay, but they want to charge us for the goldfish. Next, I bet they are going to start to charge us for the rats and the roaches.” – Lynda Walker, an outspoken Hoboken Housing Authority tenant, in March, on a new lease HHA managers hoped to have residents sign that would charge for pets and for luxury items like more than one television set.

“She kept harping that it was intentional and that [Roger] Clemens was a bum. Over and over again. So I moved out. I’m staying with a friend of mine until it’s over. If I want to stay engaged to Tara, it’s best that I stay away now.” – Hoboken resident Mark Calabrese, concerning the World Series between the Mets and the Yankees in October.

Jersey City

“People who have lived there for 10 minutes are telling people what’s best.” – Council President Tom DeGise, in October, on Heights residents trying to stop the paving of a cobblestone road.

“They have better success adopting beaten animals than healthy animals.” – Councilman Mariano Vega, on the Hudson County SPCA on Johnston Avenue, in July.

“Oh yeah! This is ‘COPS.’ Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do ….” – A Greenville resident, while being searched for gun possession, in July.

“I can’t say I ever had a Teletubby talk bad to me.” – Hoboken toy store owner Joe Falzarano, in May, after a Jersey City resident claimed that a Teletubby she bought at the Newport Mall had said something that sounded like, “I got a gun.”

“I would say, ‘slow-ass train.” – Evan Simko-Bednarski, a Bayonne resident, on what to name the light rail.

“The movie can suck, but the popcorn’s gotta be good” – Jersey City resident and talk show host Pat O’Melia

North Bergen

“Are you incoherent? You don’t answer questions. Give him a jolt and see if he’s awake.” – North Bergen political activist Edward “Bo” Scannavino to Mayor Nicholas Sacco at a Township Council meeting in October.

“They come and make outlandish charges and it’s not worth it for me to comment. If I get into a debate with them, it serves no purpose. So I choose to sit there and ignore the accusations. The comments have no basis and I’m not going to give the comments any dignity to answer them.” – North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco, in response to Scannavino’s attack. Sacco believes the motives of Scannavino and his allies are political.

“We have to see what effect there would be with a big dog, like a pit bull or a Rottweiler, being in the same dog run with little dogs, like a poodle. There are a lot of things to consider. This is not going to happen overnight.” – Thomas McCann, the director of the Hudson County Parks system, about building a dog run inside North Hudson Braddock Park in February.

“The Indian films are funny, cute and romantic. The stories touch you and move you. They also follow the laws of our culture, teaching you respect and teaching you to respect the culture. It’s important for all Indians to have these films, to have the chance to see these films. I’m happy that we have them here in North Bergen.” – North Bergen resident Havram Garad.

“It has to be more than 40 times. I run for everything. I have never run for governor. Maybe that’s the next one. You might say I lose. Rather than running, I lose.” – North Bergen resident Herb Shaw, concerning running for the North Bergen Board of Education in April. Guess what? He lost again.


“I didn’t give residents the new map because the Keystone Committee never gave me the new map and said ‘Anthony, mail this map.'” – Town Administrator Anthony Iacono, in October, when several residents found out they had been given an outdated map of the Keystone Metal Finishing plant contamination plume.

“The police department asked him to do an interview. It is clear that he was upset and probably didn’t mean it. The fact is he made a threat and the police need to take it seriously.” – Town administrator Anthony Iacono, in response to police charges that were filed against a resident for making threatening-sounding remark at a council meeting. The case was later heard in West New York, and the charge was dismissed.

“Many people don’t realize how fast they are going.” – Councilman John Reilly, in April, after the Town Council asked police to crack down on speeding cars.

“As someone who has lost a child, I don’t want to have to face some parent who has lost a loved one because of some terrible accident.” – Mayor Dennis Elwell, in response to environmentalists’ complaints when he asked that the canoe launch in Laurel Hill Park be closed.

“I gave it my all. A lot of people voted for me to represent them.” – Dawn McAdam, after losing her race for 1st Ward council in November.

Union City

“The mob rule may apply at your homes or in the streets, but not here.” – Then-mayor Rudy Garcia, after members of the crowd at a September Board of Commissioners meeting began chanting, “Rudy must go!”

“This is not Brian Stack’s City Hall. It is the people’s City Hall” – Mayor Brian Stack, in November, about the open-door policy he initiated after becoming mayor of Union City.

“We got a chance to see that police aren’t that bad.” – Marcos Soriano, a senior at Emerson High School, who filled in as deputy chief of police when the high school students took over City Hall for a day on May 5.

“Demographics and stuff.” – Former Mayor Rudy Garcia, in July, when asked what type of work was performed by HART Associates, a supposed political consulting firm hired by the Union City Democratic Organization that is currently under investigation by the Attorney General’s Office.


“He had his arm around my neck and the other arm around my arm. It was very cramped, like I was in a fetal position. I was so close to him and I wanted that, because I wanted to feel his every move. I could actually feel his heart pounding. I had so much going through my mind, a wave of emotions. I wanted to go home and take care of my daughters. But I also tried to reason with him.” – Weehawken native Maria Sangillo Zone, a Court TV reporter who was held hostage for four hours by convicted murderer Kenneth Kimes in a New York prison in October.

“When you’re the first, you’re the first forever. I guess that will appear on my obituary. Seriously, I’m proud of that fact. I came on to an all-white male Supreme Court. Now, we have three women, one of whom is the chief justice. And there’s one African-American. That’s one of the greatest changes I’ve seen.” –Supreme Court Justice Marie Garibaldi, upon the Weehawken native’s retirement from the bench in February.

“This little kid, maybe about seven, comes up and tells his mother, ‘That’s the guy from last year, the guy who ate the bee.’ Last year, there was a bee near the grill and I chased it away, but I made it look like that I caught the bee and put it in my mouth. I guess I made an impression on the kid. But that made me feel good.” – Jon Zeeb, who volunteered his time as a cook at the Weehawken Day Festival in October.

“It was more like 15 seconds. Someone owes me the other 14 minutes and 45 seconds.” – Firefighter Steve Hegarty, who appeared as a contestant on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” in July, when asked about his “15 minutes of fame.”

“I voted for Al Gore because of the death penalty. I’m against the death penalty and that was the biggest issue for me. I also think Al Gore would make better choices for the country.” – Fourth grader Eric Petrie, 9, who became very interested in the election.

West New York

“There are million-dollar homes on the waterfront, and affordable housing on this side. This is a good combination.” – West New York Mayor Albio Sires at the July groundbreaking for the city’s multi-site affordable housing project.

“Isn’t that in Hoboken?” – Eric, a New York City resident, when asked if he knew where West New York was.

“This program keeps kids off the streets and also puts some money in their pockets.” – West New York Recreation Director Dennis DeSocio, in July, about the town’s summer recreation program and the young kids that work with the program.

“Safety has to come first, even though it may cause some inconvenience.” – West New York Business Administrator Richard Turner about the increased security measures taken by the city for the Fourth of July activities on the waterfront.


© 2000, Newspaper Media Group