The trouble with Santa Claus

The Hoboken Republican Club went after U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez several weeks ago because he dared to suggest that Santa Claus may soon find himself floating on a melting piece of Arctic ice the way thousands of polar bears have been doing lately, apparently due to global warming.
Some people don’t even believe in Santa Claus, but the Hoboken Republicans don’t believe in global warming, and decided to treat Menendez the way villagers did Chicken Little in the fairy tale after he dared to claim the sky was falling.
While there are a handful of scientists who claim global warming is a fallacy, many of these are connected with industries that would be hurt if regulations were imposed to curb the things that are believed to be causing the problem.
The real significance isn’t the fact that the floodwaters relating to global warming aren’t yet licking at the doors of the Hoboken Republican party club house, but that they feel free to openly attack Menendez, suggesting that state Republicans will be mounting a serious campaign beyond Santa Claus with the hopes of unseating Menendez in 2012. This also suggests that the flap over whether Santa’s workshop will have to move south to drier ground when the North Pole ice cap evaporates is simply the opening salvo in a campaign to undermine Menendez’ credibility.

Can Republicans resist putting Sacco and Stack together?

The big question concerning state Republicans over the next few months involves redistricting. While the committee to determine new state legislative boundaries is divided equally among Democrats and Republicans, the deciding vote if the committee is deadlocked will be made by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.
Rabner is a Democrat, but he worked with Republican Gov. Christopher Christie when Christie was still U.S. Attorney, and it is possible that he will give Christie what he wants most: power to redraw lines in Republican favor, similar to the political revolution that happened after the 1990 U.S. Census, allowing Republicans to seize control of both houses of the legislature.
If the Republicans take control of the committee, can they resist the urge to redistrict state Sen. Brian Stack and Sen. Nicholas Sacco into the same district, causing significant turmoil among Hudson County Democrats, who will be forced to pick a side?

No matter how good you are – salary cap

Christie’s attempt to limit the salaries of school superintendents and other administrators does not bode well for Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who supported Christie and now can’t seem to actually find anyone willing to work in the Hoboken school district for the reduced amounts Christie is proposing.
While Christie’s motive is to help cut the costs of operating schools and then reduce property taxes for local residents, this philosophy flies in the face of being paid what you’re worth or at the going rate. If a potential candidate for a superintendent’s position knows that there is a limit to what he or she can earn, why take the job at all? How does one district attract quality candidates, when every district will be paying largely the same salary? This, of course, is an argument we have heard before when it comes to federal stimulus money going to needy corporations. What Christie is basically saying is that no matter how much better qualified a superintendent is, how good a job that superintendent does, he or she should get no more the most incompetent superintendent in the state.
Secaucus Board of Education Trustee Tom Troyer, a Republican, said this cap could put districts at risk of losing qualified people.
In the end, you get what you pay for, of course. Maybe superintendents should consider becoming free agents the way players do in baseball?

Will Troyer become board president?

Troyer, meanwhile, has other issues on his plate this year, such as whether to seek and accept the position of school board president if it is offered. A well-known political critic, he said as board president he would have to curb some of his political activities simply because the new position would make it appear as if he was speaking for the entire board.
Meanwhile, Secaucus Democrats will be facing tough decision of their own this year, trying to rebuild their party after losing the November elections to the Take Back Secaucus independent slate.
First of all, the Democrats need a new leader, and although 3rd Ward council candidate Mark Bruschino has been trying to put together something for the next election slightly less than two years from now, the most likely Democratic leader would be Richard Steffens, a former councilman and acting mayor, if he is willing.

Beth Mason to become council president in Hoboken

Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason was named the new council president this past week, after her loss to Zimmer in the 2009 mayoral election. While some believe Mason may still have a tough fight to keep her 2nd Ward seat in the upcoming May elections, the position of council president isn’t going to hurt her, and her role in the 4th Ward special election this past November has won her some very powerful allies.
The other big question in May will be whether or not Michael Lenz will attempt to take back the 4th Ward seat he lost in that election to Tim Occhipinti.

Was a deal made to keep the peace among Democrats?

Freeholder Bill O’Dea’s being named freeholder chairman may signal a peace treaty among Hudson Democrats, paving the way for a smooth primary in June. O’Dea was rumored to run against County Executive Tom DeGise if the Democrats dump state Sen. Sandra Cunningham from the official Democratic line.
Former Bayonne Councilman Gary LaPelusa said he is not running for the state Assembly against Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell in the June primary. But reports suggest that former Hudson County Sheriff Juan Perez might run for the seat at a Republican next November.

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