After reading last week’s article on prospective mayoral candidates, I felt compelled to respond to county employee and Hudson County Democratic Organization ally Michael Lenz’s regrettably sexist and derisive remarks about Councilwoman Mason’s bona fides as a reformer.
Having been heavily involved in Carol Marsh’s mayoral campaign four years ago, I proudly worked alongside Lenz and a united Hoboken reform movement toward attaining change in Hoboken. By the time the movement splintered, I had enrolled in an intensive grad-school program, which I saw as an ideal opportunity to stay out of politics and above the fray for the time being. I valued the chance to maintain good relations with a wide range of people who were no longer on good terms with one another, and perhaps even help to eventually get people back on the same page.
Watching and listening to events over the past year, however, I have felt myself coming down off that fence and no longer able to give Mr. Lenz the benefit of the doubt. I truly am sad to say this because Michael is someone whose company I once sincerely enjoyed. Unfortunately, he is also someone who has repeatedly proven that any grandiose talk of a “greater good” he stands for appears to be mere cover for what he’s really out for – himself.
Lenz, who four years ago created a textbook example of how to lose a perfectly winnable election, did one thing extremely well during the Marsh campaign – he chased out the door numerous people with strong talent and desire to help us. I am not referring exclusively to one incident in particular, but rather a steady string of volunteers who came into the campaign office eager and able to help and left jaded and turned off. I would even count myself among people who came off that debacle feeling used, abused, underappreciated and in no hurry to get back into politics anytime soon. Observing Lenz’s behavior in many of these instances, I came to suspect that he would rather lose an election than win without getting full credit for it.
Now, Councilwoman Mason is making waves in Hoboken, making a difference and making a name for herself, quite deservedly. She is bringing a level of commitment to public service I have not seen in this city in the seven years I’ve lived in the area. She is not aware that I am writing this letter. Because she’s gotten to where she is without Michael Lenz running the show, he appears to be resorting to spewing envious bile when he should be lauding her for accomplishing things he once claimed to stand for. Instead, all he seems to stand for these days is old-boys-network jobs, sexist “Roberts in a dress” jabs and hypocritical accusations of machine alliances. I find it curious that Lenz would invoke Mayor Roberts as a negative point of reference being that he managed his first campaign, inadvertently (if not intentionally) helped re-elected him in 2005 and now works for the organization that backs him.