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- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - X
SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD : Monday
OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE HOUSING : August 4, 2014
AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF HOBOKEN : 7:30 p.m.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - X
Held At: City Hall
Council Chambers
94 Washington Street
Hoboken, New Jersey
B E F O R E:
Carmelo G. Garcia, Executive Director
Chairwoman Dana Wefer
Vice Chair David Mello
Commissioner Robert Davis, III
Commissioner Jean Rodriguez
Commissioner Judith Burrell
Commissioner James Sanford
Commissioner David Dening
A P P E A R A N C E S:
CHARLES P. DAGLIAN, ESQ.
Attorney for the Board.
PHYLLIS T. LEWIS
CERTIFIED SHORTHAND REPORTER
CERTIFIED REALTIME REPORTER
Phone: (732) 735-4522
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CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. We are going
to bring this meeting to order.
Please settle down, so we can stand and
salute the flag.
(Pledge of Alliegance recited)
(Applause)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I would like to
advise those present that notice of the Special
Meeting of the Housing Authority of the City of
Hoboken has been provided to the public in
accordance with the provisions of the Open Public
Meetings Act.
Notice of this Special Monthly Meeting
was published in The Jersey Journal and The Bergen
Record on Saturday, July 2nd (sic), and notice to
the general public of said meeting was sent to the
City Clerk of Hoboken with a copy of the agenda to
be placed on the aforementioned bulletin board.
I direct the minutes of this meeting to
state that I have announced that adequate notice of
the meeting had been given as required by the Open
Public Meetings Act.
COUNCILWOMAN MASON: Chairman, if I
might, a point of order.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Yes.
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COUNCILWOMAN MASON: Thank you.
I would like to put on the record that
this meeting is in violation of the Open Public
Meetings Act, as the public is not allowed to be
totally present at it and have been sent outside, so
they cannot participate in the meeting properly.
It also was not fully announced as to
the agenda as required for Special Meetings.
Thank you.
(Applause, cheering and whistling)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director Garcia,
will you please call the roll call?
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: On the roll
call, Ms. Rodriguez?
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: Here.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Mello?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Present.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Dening?
COMMISSIONER DENING: Here.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Davis?
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: I'm here.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
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Commissioner Burrell?
COMMISSIONER BURRELL: Here.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Sanford?
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Here.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Wefer?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Here.
Okay. The first order of business on
our agenda tonight is the election of a Secretary
Pro Temp, and the reason for that is because under
our -- under state statute and under our contract,
the Executive Director is the Board Secretary.
However, tonight because the resolutions concern the
Executive Director's employment with the Housing
Authority, it is prudent to elect a Secretary Pro
Temp, so right now I would like to open nominations
for the Secretary Pro Temp.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair -- Madam Chair --
COMMISSIONER DENING: I would like to
nominate David Mello --
MR. COLLECIO: A point of order --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director?
MR. COLLECIO: -- a point of order --
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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- Madam
Chair, just for the record, I present an objection
to that because as per my employment contract, as
you are aware and under the bylaws, the Executive
Director is the Board Secretary.
I am still serving in that capacity at
the moment, so I think it would be premature for you
to basically remove me as the Secretary when, in
fact, the next item on the agenda is the resolution
concerning the letter of need and not a conflict
with respect to my employment contract.
So I would say to you that, again, you
are doing this improperly by removing me as
Secretary when, in fact, you are aware that the
bylaws and my employment contract recognize the
Executive Director as that of the Board Secretary.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director Garcia,
would you like to call the vote when we do the
resolution concerning the letter of need?
MR. DAGLIAN: I think what the Director
is suggesting, Madam Chair, is that under the
bylaws, the Chair shall be the Secretary. So I
agree with you that the point of the resolution that
comes to the situation terminating his contract, it
would be a conflict only in that he would have to be
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certifying as the Secretary. You certify the -- you
certify the resolution, so I think his point is that
in the agenda, the resolution concerning the letter
of need should be moved before the election of
Secretary Pro Temp --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I'm fine with that.
MR. DAGLIAN: -- and then the Secretary
Pro Temp, and then the other two resolutions.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: So in that case,
should we suspend the agenda?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Yeah.
Madam Chairwoman, I move to suspend the
agenda for the purposes of switching items two and
three on the agenda.
MR. COLLECIO: Chairwoman, for the
record -- for the record, Chairwoman --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I second that
motion.
MR. COLLECIO: -- I would like to just
point out for the record, Chairwoman, I have serious
concerns about the safety of the people --
VICE CHAIR MELLO: We need to call --
we need to call a vote on what has been first and
seconded when it comes to the suspension of the
agenda.
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CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: We can't have
members of the public coming up to the microphone
and interrupting the Board's proceedings.
If you have any safety concerns, please
bring them to the attention of one of the officers
stationed around the room --
MR. CAMPOS: We just did, and the chief
asked to put it on the record. The chief asked to
place it on the record.
MR. COLLECIO: I would like the chief's
opinion on the record of whether this meeting is
safe enough to continue.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director Garcia --
VICE CHAIR MELLO: All right.
There is a motion on the floor and a
second to suspend the agenda.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chairwoman, I will defer to -- since it is a public
safety matter, I am going to defer to the Chief of
Police with respect to whether or not --
THE AUDIENCE: Chief.
(Applause and cheering)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Are you saying you
won't call the vote?
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: As I noted,
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Madam Chair, for the sake of public safety because
we are placing the --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Are you going to
call the vote?
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- Madam
Chair, for the record, as a matter of public safety,
I would like to ask the Chief of Police whether or
not, on the record, we are in any way in violation
of the -- is this a hazardous condition. Is it, you
know, proper to have --
A VOICE: Here is the Chief.
(Applause and cheering)
CHIEF GARCIA: Is there a question?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: It is not a question
from the staff.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: No. This meeting is
being disrupted --
MR. COLLECIO: My question was: In
your opinion, is it safe enough in this room and
outside to continue the meeting over the capacity of
185, with not allowing the rest of the public in
under the Open Public Meetings Act --
CHIEF GARCIA: Right now we are doing
our due diligence to make sure that everyone is safe
in this building and keeping the capacity to its
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limits, whatever that limit is.
If you are telling me it is 183, I
don't even know if that's the number --
A VOICE: It's 189.
ANOTHER VOICE: 189.
CHIEF GARCIA: All right. 189.
They have a -- they have a screening
facility outside that has a counter on it. It
counts every person that is coming in.
I have a number of officers here to
ensure that the aisles are open in case we need any
emergency type of vehicles, like an ambulance or
medical attention in here.
The problem -- the problem that we do
have right now, and I am bringing this to your
attention, is that there is no speakers out there,
and the general public that is out there wants to
hear what is going on in the meeting.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right. That's
right.
CHIEF GARCIA: Excuse me.
THE AUDIENCE: Shush.
CHIEF GARCIA: The issue with that is
that they cannot hear anything that is going on in
here. They want to participate. I can't let them
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in the building because of the capacity in this
room, so there are issues that we had addressed
earlier.
If this meeting must go on, can we look
for a larger venue?
(Applause and cheering)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: This is disrupting
the meeting right now. We've discussed this
privately. I think it is time that we move on with
the Board business.
CHIEF GARCIA: Okay.
But the Board business is going to be
stated at this moment, I will the keep the meeting
going, and I am informing you that if it becomes a
public safety issue, that I will be speaking to you
again on the matter.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. Thank you.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Of course. Thank
you.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. There is a
motion on the floor to suspend the agenda. It's
been motioned and seconded, so that we can consider
the letter of need before the election of a
Secretary.
Director?
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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: If I may
request, who made the motion?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: I made the motion --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I seconded it.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- who was
the second?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I seconded it.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Chairwoman Wefer was
the second.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Okay.
So the motion that you are voting on --
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Is to suspend the
agenda --
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- is to
suspend the agenda and --
VICE CHAIR MELLO: -- and switch items
three and two in the agenda order.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Mello, do you want to be the Board
Secretary?
Do you want to be Board Secretary?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: No. I thought you
were asking me a question. I was trying to give
clarification.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: No, no. This is the
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motion to suspend the agenda.
Can you call the vote?
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Well --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: This is the
motion --
THE AUDIENCE: We can, we will, watch
us. We can, we will, watch us. We can, we will,
watch us. We can, we will, watch us. We can, we
will, watch us.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Roll
call --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: This is a motion to
suspend the agenda --
THE AUDIENCE: Let them in. Let them
in. Let them in. Let them in. Let them in. Let
them in. Let them in. Let them in. Let them in.
Let them in. Let them in. Let them in. Let them
in. Let them in. Let them in. Let them in. Let
them in. Let them in. Let them in. Let them in.
Let them in. Let them in. Let them in. Let them
in --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay --
THE AUDIENCE: -- let them in. Let
them in. Let them in. Let them in. Let them in.
Let them in. Let them in. Let them in. Let them
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in. Let them in. Let them in. Let them in. Let
them in. Let them in.
OFFICER: Hey, Guys --
A VOICE: Quiet.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: I can't
hear.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: This is a motion --
Director --
THE AUDIENCE: Let them in --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. We are going
to proceed with the meeting.
If you continue to disrupt the meeting,
you will be removed.
OFFICER: Just so you know -- I don't
need a mike. Just so you know, they have the
authority, one person on the table has the authority
to tell somebody to leave if they are being
disruptive during the meeting --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
OFFICER: -- so all I am saying to you
is: If you don't want to leave, let them do what
they got to do.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
OFFICER: They can't continue the
meeting if everybody is yelling.
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THE AUDIENCE: This is not fair. This
is not fair. This is not fair. This is not fair.
This is not fair. This is not fair. This is not
fair.
(Audience continues to talk at once.)
(Officer confers with the Board)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: So let's settle
down, so we can move on with the meeting.
MR. CAMPOS: May I address,
Chairwoman --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: No.
MR. CAMPOS: You don't want any help?
I am trying to help.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Right now we need to
move on with Board business. I have asked the
officers that if people are yelling out --
(Audience continues to yell and
scream.)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- if you disrupt
the Board meeting by chanting or coming up to the
microphone, we are going to have to have you
removed.
A VOICE: We can't hear you.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: If you can't hear
me, that means you need to be quiet.
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A VOICE: Maybe you can chant.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: There is a
resolution -- there is a motion. There is a first
and a second. The motion is to suspend the agenda,
so that we can consider the resolution concerning
the letter of need.
(Audience yelling at once.)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director Garcia,
please call the vote.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: I am going
to put the volume up.
(Audience continues talking)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director, Director,
please call the vote.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: On the
vote --
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: What are we voting
on?
We're voting to suspend?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Yes.
Ms. Waiters, please be quiet --
(Audience all talking at once.)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- Ms. Waiters.
(Audience all talking at once.)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
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Commissioner Mello?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Please be quiet.
(Audience talking at once)
(Chief Garcia confers with the Board.)
OFFICER: Close the door.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Please come to
order. Come to order.
We are moving on with this meeting. If
you are speaking, I will point at you. I will warn
you, and if you continue speaking, I will have the
officer remove you.
Director?
(Audience talking at once)
A VOICE: We can't hear you.
(Audience talking at once)
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Okay.
MR. COLLECIO: Another point of order.
Now, that they closed the door to the
outside --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director, please
call the vote.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Rodriguez?
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: What are we
voting on?
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(Audience cheering)
A VOICE: To suspend the agenda.
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: Yes.
MR. CAMPOS: Excuse me --
(Audience talking at once)
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Folks, we are going
to proceed with the meeting.
Mr. Campos, please sit down.
MR. CAMPOS: Chairwoman, wait for --
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Mr. Campos, please
take your seat.
MR. CAMPOS: -- there hasn't -- the
Open Public Meeting Act hasn't been read. It hasn't
been read. I did not hear anybody read it --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Please sit down.
Yes --
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Thank you. Thank
you --
MR. CAMPOS: -- so this meeting has not
been officially called to order.
So all I want to do is address and get
people to calm down, so we can hear you.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Mr. Campos, thank
you.
MR. CAMPOS: You're welcome.
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So why is the Chairwoman telling me to
shut up? That is disrespectful. That is
disrespectful.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Mr. Camps --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MR. CAMPOS: Wait one second. One
second --
A VOICE: Quiet.
MR. CAMPOS: -- all of you, let's do
this the right way.
Your voices will be heard if the
Chairwoman so allows. Nonetheless, since the Open
Public Meetings Act hasn't been read into the
record. My suggestion is that the Chairwoman pick a
venue that will allow for everybody to participate
in this meeting.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MR. CAMPOS: Guys, guys, guys, we want
to make sure this is a safe meeting. We want to
make sure that everybody's rights are protected. We
want to work together, but we need the cooperation
of the Chairwoman. We need her to listen to reason.
We need her to listen to reason.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. Now it works.
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Please sit down.
MR. CAMPOS: The meeting hasn't been
called because the Open Public Meetings Act hasn't
been read --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Just because you
didn't hear it doesn't mean it wasn't read --
MR. CAMPOS: Has anybody heard it?
THE AUDIENCE: No, no, no.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director Garcia,
there is a motion and a second on the motion to
suspend the agenda, so we can do the resolution
concerning the letter of need before the election of
a Secretary Pro Temp.
Can you please call the vote?
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: I have been
calling the names.
Commissioner Rodriguez?
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: Yes.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner --
THE AUDIENCE: It's not fair. It's not
fair. It's not fair.
(Audience talking at once)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
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Commissioner Mello, I did not shut the microphone
off. I turned it on.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: I'm sorry?
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: I heard you
say that I shut the microphone off. I did not. I
turned that one on.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: I said no such
thing.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: You are
such a liar. You just told Chairwoman Wefer that --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- come
on --
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Let's continue with
the meeting. Let's continue with the meeting --
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- own up
to it. Own up to it.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: -- I own up to
everything that I say.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: That's a
lie. You are lying right through your teeth.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Commissioner
Burrell, this is a motion to suspend -- are you
going to call the vote?
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: I asked
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Commissioner Rodriguez.
Are you going to do the vote?
Are you going to do it, or do you want
me to do it?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: You can do it.
THE AUDIENCE: It's not fair.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Again, I am
doing the vote. If you want to basically take
charge, or essentially what do you want me to do --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Call the vote.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Okay.
A VOICE: Please call the vote.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Rodriguez?
I think you have answered three times.
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: Yes, I did.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Commissioner Davis?
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Yeah.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Mello?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Yes.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Dening?
COMMISSIONER DENING: Yes.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
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Commissioner Davis -- I mean Burrell?
COMMISSIONER BURRELL: Yes.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Sanford?
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Yes.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Wefer?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Yes.
Okay. So the resolution that we are
going to consider --
THE AUDIENCE: This is not fair. This
is not fair. This is not fair. This is not fair.
This is not fair. This is not fair. This is not
fair. This is not fair. This is not fair. This is
not fair. This is not fair. This is not fair.
This is not fair. This is not fair. This is not
fair. This is not fair. This is not fair. This is
not fair. This is not fair. This is not fair.
This is not Fair. This is not fair. This is not
fair. This is not fair. This is not fair. This is
not fair. This is not fair. This is not fair.
This is not fair. This is not fair. This is not
fair. This is not fair. This is not fair. This is
not fair. This is not fair. This is not fair.
This is not fair. This is not fair. This is not
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fair. This is not fair. This is not fair. This is
not fair. This is not fair.
(Chief Garcia and Chairwoman Wefer
confer)
THE AUDIENCE: This is not fair. This
is not fair. This is not fair. This is not fair.
This is not fair. This is not fair. This is not
fair. This is not fair. This is not fair.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. Let's settle
down. We are moving on.
THE AUDIENCE: This is not fair. This
is not fair. This is not fair. This is not fair.
This is not fair. This is not fair. This is not
fair. This is not fair. This is not fair.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Officer, please
remove them.
(Board members confer)
(Officer and Board members confer)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Officer.
(Chairwoman confers with officers)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. So the first
resolution concerns asking Hoboken for a letter of
need, so that the Housing Authority can apply for
the FRM-PHA grant through the --
MR. COLLECIO: For the record,
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Chairwoman --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I'm sorry.
MR. COLLECIO: -- members of the public
are being left out of the meeting. Point of
order --
(Audience talking at once)
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Sir, please --
MR. COLLECIO: -- point of order,
Chairwoman.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: -- please step away
from the microphone, Mr. Collecio.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam,
Chair, Madam Chair, a point of order.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, Madam Chair, as the Board Secretary -- as the
Board Secretary, Madam Chair, the speaker is not
working outside.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: There's a lot of
things going on --
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- as the
Board Secretary, I have to report that is a problem,
Madam Chair, of the Open Public Meetings Act. Madam
Chair, it is a violation of the Open Public Meetings
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Act.
As the Board Secretary, I am advising
you that the speakers outside are not working. You
are disenfranchising the public of this meeting, and
that is something that I am required to tell them as
the Board Secretary under the bylaws and under my
contract --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I move to table the
resolution concerning the letter of need for our
next meeting.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: I second the
motion --
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chairwoman, I cannot hear with everybody talking --
VICE CHAIR MELLO: -- I second the
motion.
There is a motion and a second to table
the letter of need.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Again,
Madam Chair, excuse me. You are violating --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I'm going to give
you plenty of time to speak.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- what are
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you trying to do?
There is no need for you to disrespect
me in that manner.
Madam Chair, I am telling you as the
Board Secretary, that it is my fiduciary
responsibility to tell you about the current concern
with the fact that the speakers outside are not
working.
Secondly, there is a public safety
issue at hand, and that is my prime responsibility
to tell you that we need to remedy the situation
before you continue.
(Applause and cheering)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: There is a motion
and a second on the floor to table the resolution to
our next Regular Meeting.
Director, please call the vote.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: I can't
hear you.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Please, please be
quiet in the back.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Rodriguez?
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Commissioner Davis?
Commissioner Mello?
Commissioner Sanford?
(Audience yelling and screaming)
THE AUDIENCE: Do the right thing. Do
the right thing.
(Officers conferring with Board)
THE AUDIENCE: Do the right thing. Do
the right thing. Do the right thing. Do the right
thing.
(Officers conferring with the Board)
THE AUDIENCE: Do the right thing. Do
the right thing. Do the right thing. Do the right
thing. Do the right thing. Do the right thing. Do
the right thing. Do the right thing. Do the right
thing. Do the right thing. Do the right thing. Do
the right thing. Do the right thing. Do the right
thing. Do the right thing. Do the right thing. Do
the right thing.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. Director,
please call the vote on the pending motion.
(Officer and Chairwoman confer)
THE AUDIENCE: Do the right thing. Do
the right thing. Do the right thing. Do the right
thing. Do the right thing. Do the right thing. Do
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the right thing. Do the right thing. Do the right
thing. Do the right thing. Do the right thing. Do
the right thing. Do the right thing. Do the right
thing.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Call the roll.
Director, there is a motion pending to
table the letter of need resolution until our next
regular meeting. Please call the vote.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
THE AUDIENCE: This is illegal. This
is illegal. This is illegal. This is illegal.
This is illegal. This is illegal.
(Chief Garcia and Board confers)
THE AUDIENCE: This is illegal. This
is illegal.
(Audience cheering, yelling and
screaming)
CHIEF GARCIA: I am going to ask for
order in this courtroom.
(Audience continues to yell and scream)
CHIEF GARCIA: I am going to ask you to
exit this courtroom now and do it in an orderly
fashion, so I can make a determination as to when
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this is going to happen.
Thank you very much.
Kindly go outside through the exit,
please.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
(Board members confer with Chief
Garcia)
(Audience excused at approximately
eight p.m)
(Recess taken)
(The following takes place at
approximately nine p.m)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Is there a motion to
come back from recess?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Motion.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Second.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: All right.
The Director is not here right now, so
I will call the vote.
Commissioner Rodriguez?
MR. DAGLIAN: Madam Chair, you cannot
start the meeting until the members of the public
are allowed back in.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: They are not --
MR. DAGLIAN: They're not coming in?
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CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- they're not
coming in?
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: They are going to
let them in in a second.
CHIEF GARCIA: They are being logged
in.
MR. DAGLIAN: They're being logged in?
CHIEF GARCIA: They're being logged in.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: They're being what?
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: They're being
allowed in.
MR. DAGLIAN: They're being allowed in.
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: But they have
to get checked by the cops or whatever.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Can we come back
from recess or --
VICE CHAIR MELLO: We're not going to
come back from recess until the people have a chance
to --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Oh.
MR. DAGLIAN: Not if you are going to
discuss any business, the members of the public have
to be present.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay.
CHIEF GARCIA: Unless if you are going
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to call the meeting, I'm not going to call them back
in.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. But I just
wondered if we could come back from recess.
MR. DAGLIAN: It would be better if you
don't come back from recess. That way there is no
discussion.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I thought they were
already letting them back in.
(Recess taken)
(Audience present)
(Audience talking at once)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. Folks, let's
come to order. Come to order. The meeting is going
to resume. If you are talking, please stop.
(Audience talking at once)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Chief, Chief --
CHIEF GARCIA: Yes.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- would you like to
say anything?
CHIEF GARCIA: I don't have to --
well, this meeting is going to be adjourned again.
I expect everybody to be orderly. If you are not
orderly, I will have the officers escort you out.
All right?
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I am letting you know now. Enough is
going to be what is required on that fire
department's occupancy, and that is going to be it.
If anyone usurps the meeting, they are going to be
asked to leave.
Do we understand the rules?
Yes?
COUNCILMAN RUSSO: Chief, how is the
Board going to handle the members of the public that
would like to speak that are not in the room
because --
CHIEF GARCIA: That question has to
be --
THE AUDIENCE: Shush.
CHIEF GARCIA: -- I had only heard the
answer -- the question, but I don't have the answer.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Where is the sign-in
sheet?
A VOICE: Right here.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Why don't you pass
it around?
It can get passed outside, and people
can sign up.
(Audience talking at once)
(Board members confer)
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MS. REYES: If they are only allowed to
stand in the hallway, and most people are outside,
because even if they are on the list, they wouldn't
hear that they are being called to speak.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: What we will do is
we will exhaust the list of the people that are in
here --
MS. REYES: They don't know if they
want to participate. They're up here for our
meeting. This is a Housing Authority resident --
CHIEF GARCIA: I can't put anybody
beyond that number.
MS. REYES: -- but they can move the
location --
CHIEF GARCIA: If you want to -- if you
want to leave to allow someone else to come in to
speak, that is fine.
MS. REYES: I would be more than happy
to, but that is not the problem.
This is a violation of our rights of
the Open Public Meetings Act --
CHIEF GARCIA: I understand that
and --
MS. REYES: -- and I hope that the
members are looking at this because they don't
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have --
(Everybody talking at once)
CHIEF GARCIA: If you have any issues,
you know the legalities that you have before you.
Take those issues to those particular areas. All
right?
Right now, I am trying to have everyone
orderly, so we can have a meeting, all right? And
that is what I am asking.
Thank you.
THE AUDIENCE: If you are going to have
a meeting, you make that lady up here --
(Audience talking at once)
CHIEF GARCIA: All right. The other
issue is that --
MS. GUILLARD: Don't speak to my face,
understand? Don't whisper.
CHIEF GARCIA: The problem is that he
can't --
(Audience talking at once and
conferring with Chief Garcia)
CHIEF GARCIA: -- so I have asked you,
so I will make sure that --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. Let's bring
this meeting to order.
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Is there a motion to return -- is there
a motion to --
(Audience talking at once)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Please be quiet.
Is there a motion to return from
recess?
COMMISSIONER DENING: Motion to return
from recess.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Second --
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Second.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: -- I second the
motion.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Rodriguez?
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: Yes.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Mello?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Yes.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Dening?
COMMISSIONER DENING: Yes.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Davis?
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Yeah.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
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Commissoiner Burrell?
COMMISSIONER BURRELL: Yes.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Sanford?
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Yes.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Chairwoman
Wefer?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Yes.
Before we recessed, there was a motion
pending on the floor with a first from Vice Chair
Mello and a second from me to table the resolution
of need until our next meeting next week, hum --
VICE CHAIR MELLO: The next Regular
Meeting.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- for the next
Regular Meeting, which is next Thursday, so we need
to call the roll call on that.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: The motion
on the floor is to table the resolution of need.
And, Madam Chair, just bear in mind, that there was
a timeline I think, which I shared with you with
respect to that. So just be aware that if the
resolution of need goes first to this Board and then
to the City is not on, we might not meet the
required deadline that Mr. Fox has shared with you.
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CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Thank you, Director.
My understanding is that it is going to
be on the City Council agenda on Wednesday, so I
think that this might be superfluous at this point.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Okay.
So on the resolution on the table of
this resolution: Commissioner Rodriguez?
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: Yes.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Mello?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Yes.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Dening?
COMMISSIONER DENING: Yes.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Davis?
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: No.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Burrell?
COMMISSIONER BURRELL: No.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA:
Commissioner Sanford?
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Yes.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Okay.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Yes.
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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Oh,
Chairwoman Wefer.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay.
The next item on the agenda is to elect
a Secretary Pro Temp to consider the resolution for
terminating the contract of Executive Director
Carmelo Garcia.
Director, do you have any objections to
electing the Secretary Pro Temp at this time?
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: The only
thing that I would object to is that, again, I did
not get a Rice notice, Madam Chair, with respect to
the resolution that is on the agenda to terminate my
contract --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Right.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- and as
you are aware, my lawyer, which I had requested due
process and fairness to be represented, and he is
not available for -- he had a family vacation, which
he spoke to Thomas Abbate, the lawyer for the
Housing Authority for yourself, requesting that an
adjournment be made for the purposes of having my
representation here. Unfortunately, I can see that
that is not being granted.
And furthermore, as the Board
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Secretary, being the Executive Director, as you
know, and we have gone over this already, but for
the record, we are proceeding with something that --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director, you are
going to have ample time --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- for the
record --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director, you're --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Wait until --
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, you asked me --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director, Director,
I asked you --
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- you
asked me -- Madam Chair, you asked me a question,
and if you would allow me to finish my answer, then
you would understand what I am saying.
So I do object to the election of a
secretary for numerous reasons.
Number one: I told you I did not get a
Rice notice to have my employment discussed.
Number two: Because the Board
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Secretary is the Executive Director under the bylaws
and per my contract, and because I have not been
terminated or the contract has not been terminated,
therefore, I would technically still be doing Board
Secretary work --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Do you want to call
the roll call on the next resolution?
THE AUDIENCE: No, no, no.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, you asked me for my objection. I am sharing
with you my objection, and I am asking you to
respectfully honor my objection under the basis and
on the grounds of again due process and the fact
that the violation of my First Amendment rights, the
violation of the fact that there is no Rice notice
that was given to me for purposes of having this
discussion --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. Thank you.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Madam Chairwoman?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Yes, Vice Chair
Mello.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: I would move that we
call the question on an item that originally
appeared as Item No. 2 and is now moved to Item No.
3 on this suspension of the agenda, and we vote on
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the election of the Secretary Pro Temp taking into
consideration the comments by the Director, I do not
feel in any way that we violated the First Amendment
rights of the Director by having the election of a
Secretary Pro Temp at this time, and I would like to
call the question, please.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: We need a motion.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Motion.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: A point of
order, Madam Chair --
COMMISSIONER DENING: Second.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- a point
of order --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director, please
call the vote on the motion to elect a Secretary Pro
Temp.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Is that
Commissioner's Mello's legal opinion?
Is that his legal opinion?
Because I know he is not a lawyer, so I
just wanted to make sure on the record that what you
stated for the record --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director, please
call the vote.
THE AUDIENCE: No, no, no.
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(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director, please
call the vote.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- Madam
Chair, I have presented my objections, and I am
asking you to retort my objections to confirm
whether or not you have properly Riced me in order
to proceed with these proceedings, and that entailed
you selecting a new Board Secretary Pro Temp.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director, are you
going to call the vote or should I call it?
THE AUDIENCE: No, no.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Before I
call the vote, I am asking for a response to my
question and objection --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: You are going to
have ample time to address the Board before we vote.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Mr. Daglian, do you
want to tell everybody to vote on --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MR. DAGLIAN: The question is you are
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calling --
(Audience yelling and screaming and
drowning out the Board members)
THE REPORTER: I can't hear you. I
can't hear you.
MR. DAGLIAN: -- I was reiterating the
legal opinion that I had just gave you about an hour
ago. That's all I was doing. I was just
reiterating the same opinion.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: So he was
sharing the opinion that he gave you with me.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Can you call the
roll, please?
THE AUDIENCE: No, no, no --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I am calling the
vote.
THE AUDIENCE: No, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
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CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Come to order.
Thank you.
Since the Director will not call the
vote on this, I am going to call the vote. The
question --
THE AUDIENCE: No, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Please come to
order. Please come to order.
THE AUDIENCE: No, no, no, no.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, Madam Chair, I am not refusing to call the
vote.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Are you going to
call the vote?
Officer, Officer --
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, I am willing to --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Officer, officer.
THE AUDIENCE: No, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
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no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no.
(Audience cheering and talking at once)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Please call the
vote.
THE AUDIENCE: No, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no any
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,
no.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I will clear the
room again.
(Chief Garcia confers with Board
members)
(Chief Garcia confers with Executive
Director Garcia)
(Audience continues to yell and scream)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Settle down. Please
come to order, so the Board can proceed --
THE AUDIENCE: No.
(Audience continues to yell and
scream.)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- please come to
order.
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Okay. The motion that is on the floor
and that the voting is to be called on is opening
nominations to elect a Secretary Pro Temp.
Director, will you call the vote on
that without commenting?
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, I am looking -- Madam Chair, with everything
happening, I am looking for the article relative to
the bylaws and under the Open Public Meetings Act.
I am looking for the article.
Unfortunately, because of the melee
that had ensued earlier and because of everything
going on this evening, I cannot promptly locate
that, and I want to again recite to you that --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- I
feel -- I feel that you are coercing me to do this,
and I am -- I have given my objection on the record.
You are coercing me to do this, and I just want to
be able to --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Mr. Daglian, you
advised us earlier that there was a conflict with
the Director calling the vote on the resolution to
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terminate him.
MR. DAGLIAN: What I had said --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MR. DAGLIAN: -- what I had said was
that he is -- under the bylaws, the Secretary has to
be the Executive Director. For that resolution, you
may want to have a pro temp, because it is to
certify. But if there is an issue with the Rice
notice, where you can't have -- get the vote on that
resolution, then you cannot -- you should not
because the bylaws say the Executive Director shall
be the Secretary --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: There is no issue
with the Rice notice.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Yes, there
is an issue, Madam Chair. I am sharing my objection
now because you are outright -- you have misspoken,
and you are outright saying something that doesn't
exist right now. Whether or not what you say --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: There is a motion on
the floor --
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- I did
not --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- we need to --
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- Madam
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Chair, Madam Chair --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- vote on the --
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- first of
all, Madam Chair --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- you are
obstructing that --
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- no, I am
not obstructing.
As the Board Secretary, I have a
fiduciary responsibility as the administrator to
administer the meetings -- as the Board Secretary, I
have a fiduciary responsibility first and foremost
to tell you that there is a public safety situation
at hand. This is a dangerous situation, number one,
and you are excluding and disenfranchising the
public from participating, the residents from
participating in this meeting --
(Audience cheering and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- so you
are excluding them. You are excluding them.
Number three -- number three: I have
given you, Madam Chair -- number three, I have
presented my objections to you asking for a response
on the record as to what I have presented --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director, you are
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going to have plenty of time to speak on the
record --
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, Madam Chair, you are looking to take an
action on the agenda that I am objecting to as per
the objection --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: And your objection
is noted --
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- and I
objected to it.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- please call the
vote on the --
THE AUDIENCE: No, no, no.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- Madam
Chair --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- please call the
vote. I have asked you ten times to call the vote.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- Madam
Chair, don't say that. You are lying about -- you
are lying about that I've been directed ten times.
I am trying to respond properly, which
I have the fiduciary responsibility to do so, and
you are not allowing me.
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You are putting pressure on me. You
are coercing me, and this is what you are doing, and
this is what you have been doing --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. I am going to
call the vote --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Record the vote.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Please settle down.
Officer?
Please settle down. The motion and the
second is to elect a Secretary Pro Temp.
I nominate Commissioner Sanford.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
VICE CHAIR MELLO: I second the
nomination of Commissioner Sanford as the Secretary
Pro Temp.
(Audience continues to yell and scream)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I'll call the vote.
Commissioner Burrell?
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, I did not refuse to call the vote --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
(Board members confer)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Please settle down.
The Board is trying to conduct its business, and we
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can't hear each other. Please settle down.
THE AUDIENCE: No, no, no, no.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
COMMISSIONER BURRELL: Yes.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Commissioner Davis?
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Nope.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Commissioner Dening?
COMMISSIONER DENING: Yes.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Commissioner Mello?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Yes.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Commissioner
Rodriguez?
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: No.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: And I, Commissioner
Wefer, vote yes.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: The next resolution
before us tonight is a resolution --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- Chief Garcia,
Chief Garcia, Chief, Chief, there are two women that
are out of order right now, because they're yelling
out frequently. This one right here in the green
dress and the one in the back --
CHIEF GARCIA: Which one?
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(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: The one that is
yelling now.
You have both been warned.
Please remove them.
Ma'am, I am going to have to have you
removed --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- okay. Please
come to order, so that the Board can continue its
regular business.
The next resolution before us tonight
is the resolution terminating the contract of
Executive Director Carmelo Garcia.
THE AUDIENCE: No, no, no.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Please come to
order.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Chief Garcia, the
woman in the third row back, she has to be removed.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: I'd like to
make a motion to adjourn this meeting.
(Audience applauding and cheering)
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Second.
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(Board members confer)
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: There is a
motion to adjourn the meeting.
Is there a second?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Please settle down,
so we can call the vote.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Is there a
second on the motion to adjourn the meeting?
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: I seconded it.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Second.
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: James, I was the
second.
(Audience continues to yell and scream)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Call the vote.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: I am calling the
vote.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Please settle down
until we call the vote on the motion to adjourn.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: There is a motion to
adjourn and call this meeting to a close or to
continue it at 10:30.
This meeting is potentially --
(Audience continues to yell and scream)
VICE CHAIR MELLO: -- Folks, I am not
going to speak over anybody --
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COMMISSIONER SANFORD: So on the
motion --
VICE CHAIR MELLO: -- wait.
Ladies and gentlemen, if I could please
ask for your quiet, so that this Board can take a
vote.
For those who didn't hear or weren't
aware, a motion has been made, and that motion has
been seconded to call this meeting, either to
suspend this meeting or move this meeting to a time
certain, but to end this meeting of this night, but
we cannot take that vote if people do not get quiet,
so I am asking the people to please quiet down.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Let me ask you a
question.
Mr. Daglian, can we continue this
meeting?
THE AUDIENCE: No, no, no.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: There's a motion to
adjourn the meeting --
(Mr. Daglian is speaking, but the court
reporter cannot hear him with the audience yelling
and screaming over him)
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Motion to adjourn
and reschedule.
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(Audience continues to yell and scream)
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Call the vote,
Baby.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: I will call the
vote.
May I please have quiet, so I can call
the vote?
May I please have quiet?
(Audience continues to yell and scream)
Commissioner Burrell?
COMMISSIONER BURRELL: Yes.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Davis?
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Yes.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Dening?
COMMISSIONER DENING: No.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Rodriguez?
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: Yes.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Sanford is voting no.
Commissioner Mello?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: No.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
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Wefer?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: No.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
(Chief Garcia confers with Board
members)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director Garcia?
Director, do you wish to conduct this
in open or closed session?
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, as you know, again, I have not been properly
Riced, okay?
I don't have my legal counsel this
evening here.
You have a major public safety issue
going on, and for the safety of the residents, I
only ask that, again, as the Board Secretary, as the
Executive Director is still the Board Secretary for
the Hoboken Housing Authority, I would say to you to
do the right thing and vote in conscience and
adjourn this meeting.
And the Chief, I would ask him to
presume that this right is now a major public safety
issue.
Madam Chair, I would ask you to adjourn
this meeting and give me my due process and the
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fairness that I deserve under my employment rights,
under the Constitution, and I would ask that you do
the right thing and adjourn this meeting.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director, do you
want --
(Applause)
(Audience applauding, cheering and
yelling)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- Director, do you
wish to have the resolution discussed in open or
closed session?
I didn't receive the Rice notice back
from you --
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, you did not receive any Rice notice from me.
Madam Chair, I did not sign for anything. I was not
given anything, Madam Chair. It was clearly shared
with the attorney, and it was recognized, and I
thought that that tonight would be adjourned on it,
and you are not doing that.
I am under duress at the present
moment, and given the circumstances at hand with
this public safety concern, I cannot think straight
at this juncture to properly represent myself, and I
know you are not listening to me because you don't
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care, and it is disrespectful, and all I am going to
say, Madam Chair, is that, again, I was not given my
Rice notice. Therefore, I will not answer that
question.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. Well, we will
do this -- under the law, default is in closed
session.
Is that correct, Mr. Daglian?
Under the law, the default is closed
session, and the employee for open session, is that
correct?
MR. DAGLIAN: The employee has to make
the decision to have the discussion in public.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. So if the
default is closed session, then I move that we go
into closed session.
THE AUDIENCE: No, no, no.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, I will say that --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: I will have
it in public, Madam Chair. I'm telling you that I
did not get Riced, and I would have the -- I will
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have it in public. I will have this discussion in
public --
(Audience cheering and applauding)
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: We will go into
closed session --
(Everybody talking at once)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Again, this
is part of the process. Let me tell you that I will
have this discussion in public --
(Audience talking at once)
(Board members confer)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Do any Commissioners
wish to speak on this resolution?
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I asked if any
Commissioners wish to speak on this resolution.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, did you acknowledge my response, Madam Chair?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: That you wish to
have this discussion in open session.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: You
acknowledge it.
MR. DAGLIAN: Under the Rice case --
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CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I'm sorry?
MR. DAGLIAN: -- I think he has a right
to speak first before you speak --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I can't hear you.
MR. DAGLIAN: -- I said under the Rice
case, the employee has a right to discuss and speak
first before the Commissioners speak.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. That is fine.
Director Garcia, would you like to
speak first or last?
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, again, I don't know what your charges are,
because I haven't been given cause. I haven't been
given charges. I don't know anything about the
reason for the termination. Therefore, I cannot
properly speak, other than reading on the record
what I sent to you earlier today, and I will read
that for the record.
"Dear Chairwoman Wefer" -- "Chairwoman
Wefer,
"I was shocked to learn that you
orchestrated a hearing for my termination without
adherence to the procedures set forth in my
Employment Contract."
(Audience talking at once)
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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Guys, don't
worry about it. This is -- unfortunately, they have
done this, and it is an outright injustice and
inequality.
(Audience continues to talk at once)
A VOICE: Shush.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: "In Article
IX of my Employment Contract, you were required to
notice me of any action with a written complaint,
and were further required to give me thirty days to
prepare a defense."
You have failed to do that.
"In clear violation of the plain terms
of Article IX, you have not provided me with this
due process. As you know, my attorney spoke to Mr.
Thomas Abbate, Esquire, on July 30th, 2014 and
formally requested the public meeting be adjourned
for thirty days. The reason for this adjournment
was because my attorney was on a preplanned family
vacation, and further because I was being deprived
of fundamental fairness by not receiving the process
guaranteed by my employment contract."
THE AUDIENCE: That's right. What
happened? That's right.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: "Despite
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over a year of litigation of my whistleblowing
claims, you have continued to subject me to, and
escalate, an already hostile work environment" --
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- I have
spoken this evening.
"I view this continued escalation of
hostility as retaliation against me for:
"Exercising my rights guaranteed by the
New Jersey Constitution to free political
association without retaliation.
"My public advocacy on behalf of
Housing Authority tenants.
(Audience cheering)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- and
support for improving housing continues to provide
tenants with better accommodations.
"My legal proceeding against Mayor
Zimmer, who you have aligned yourself with as was
documented in the local media.
"Your attempt to wrestle control of the
Hoboken Housing Authority's appointment process for
Mayor Zimmer because the Hoboken Housing Authority
is an autonomous agency with a prerogative to
control its own appointments."
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And you are aware that there have been
numerous legal opinions issued by general counsel
and special counsel advising me that I am the sole
appointing authority. That, in fact, even though
you have violated my contractual rights, you have
breached it over and over.
"My service as an Assemblyman
representing the 33rd District, where as Mayor
Zimmer supported Ravi Bhalla," "who is also your
ally" and friend.
"As I have been wholly deprived of the
rights secured under my Employment Contract, these
circumstances suggest you have an ulterior motive to
obtain my termination."
THE AUDIENCE: Yes, that's right.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: You are
coercing me to participate in this process.
"It is regrettable that such factors
could even affect management decisions in the
Hoboken Housing Authority" --
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: --
"especially since I have continuously acted as an
advocate for the public" --
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- and as I
noted, I wanted to give you, and your response, you
have not afforded me that, I am presenting to you
again this evening the opportunity to do the right
thing, adjourn this proceeding, so that I can be
properly and fairly addressed in my due process.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
(Audience cheering, yelling and
screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: You also
have chosen to add a resolution appointing an Acting
Executive Director, whom you also cannot do because
there is a personnel matter that that person will
not be available to you, therefore, leaving the
Housing Authority with no Executive Director.
THE AUDIENCE: Oh, no. You scare me.
(Audience talking at once)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: You have
this evening created a situation that I find
alarming, and that as the Executive Director of the
Hoboken Housing Authority and as Board Secretary,
you should reconsider what you are doing at this
moment, because you have placed the welfare, health
and safety of our residents at stake.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right. That's
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right.
(Audience talking at once)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: So in
conclusion, please, Madam Chair, I implore you to do
the right thing and, Board Members, to do the right
thing on what is happening here this evening.
That is my statement for the record.
As counsel advised you, because I have not been duly
and properly Riced, this proceeding should not
continue.
(Audience talking at once)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Thank you.
I would like to make clear for the
record that this resolution is to terminate under
Article IX, Section C of the Employment Agreement
between Director Garcia and the HHA, underlying
Section D provides the Board can unilaterally
terminate a contract with 120 days notice --
THE AUDIENCE: No, no.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- under a different
clause, the Board may terminate within 30 days
notice, but that requires a hearing and formal
charges. Only Article IX, Section 3, unilateral
termination with 120 days notice is being considered
tonight.
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Concerning his Rice notice, I sent the
Rice notice to Director Garcia on July 24th to the
Housing Authority offices. I sent it via certified
mail, return receipt requested, and regular mail,
and I do have the return receipt back, so it was
signed for and picked up at the Housing Authority
office by the woman who works at the front desk.
This is an unusual situation because
the Board is conspicuously aware that Commissioners
voting "yes" on this resolution risk being sued.
That threat has been widely disseminated and even
reported in the local paper, so I think it is
important to create a record to memorialize current
HHA conditions and the context that Commissioners
are aware of as we consider this resolution.
The contract at issue, it's not
entirely clear who drafted this contract because Mr.
Daglian has a very sizable claim that he did draft
the contract, and then at the last meeting that he
didn't draft the contract. At the February 2nd,
2013 meeting, Mr. Daglian said that he did.
Regardless of whether --
MR. DAGLIAN: Chairwoman, I --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- he drafted it --
MR. DAGLIAN: -- I have been an
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attorney for 30 years. I have never had any
accusations of integrity or ethics against me. I
will not allow this Board to do that --
(Audience cheering, yelling and
screaming)
MR. DAGLIAN: -- I have always taken
the position that that contract was drafted by Mr.
Garcia's attorney.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Madam Chairwoman --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: We have the
transcript here, if you want to go into closed
session --
VICE CHAIR MELLO: -- Madam Chairwoman,
may I interject one question directed to our
attorney?
(Audience talking at once)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, can we have order on the floor?
(Audience continues to yell and scream)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Excuse
me --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: The problem with
this contract is that it is, in my opinion, unlawful
on its face. Under New Jersey law, an Executive
Director cannot be given more than a one-year
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contract unless an Executive Director already has
five years of experience as a Housing Authority
Director, an Executive Director with a contract.
When this contract was signed with
Director Garcia, he didn't even have one day.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, a point of order, Madam Chair --
(Everyone talking at once)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- a point
of order, Madam Chair, a point of order -- Madam
Chair --
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: Excuse me,
Madam Chair. He did have experience before because
he was an interim with Mr. Robert DeVincent.
(Applause, cheering and yelling)
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: He was there.
All right?
I don't know where you are getting your
information from, but you are mistaken.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair -- Madam Chair, a point of order on that.
Just for the Board's edification,
number two -- number one, this contract was approved
by the then Commissioner of DCA, Commissioner Gorro
(phonetic).
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Number two: This contract was prepared
by my own personal lawyers at the time, which was
Florio.
And number three: I did have the
experience, plus the graduate degrees with the
accredited time for that. As you know, you
literally are credited when have graduate degrees,
and I had the experience as a Deputy Executive
Director, so all of those factors came into play.
And if this contract was not valid, the Commissioner
of DCA would have never approved that contract nor
would he have signed off on it.
(Applause and cheering)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: So, once
again, you have misspoken, and that is a lie. What
you said is not true --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: But, Director, you
can have as much time as you would like to reply,
but while I have the floor, you don't interrupt me.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, a point of order. Madam Chair, a point of
order --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
(Everyone talking at once)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- Madam
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Chair, you made -- Madam Chair, if you make a
statement -- if you make a statement that is untrue,
and given the duress that I have --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Point of order --
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- Madam
Chair, and given the duress and stress that you have
placed on me in your decision --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- since I am not
allowed to have the floor uninterrupted by you, I am
going to make a written statement for the record,
and I am going to ask that you call the vote on the
contract --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Are you
denying me -- are you denying me my fair due
process, Madam Chair?
I didn't understand what you just said.
What did you just say? I didn't
understand you.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I said that I was
not being allowed to have the floor uninterrupted by
you, so I am going to submit my written statement
for the record.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, I would like to respond to the point of
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order.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: It is not a point of
order. It's not a point of order --
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: But
clearly, and I did have a point of order for
clarification --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I am calling the
vote.
THE AUDIENCE: No, no, no, no, no.
(Audience yelling and screaming, and
Board members are talking at once)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Director --
Director, is there something more that you wanted to
say for the record?
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, I am confused, Madam Chair.
I don't even know what process you are
voting on right now. Is it fairness or is it
equality?
What are you trying to tell me?
Explain what you are trying to tell me.
(Board members speaking at once)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: You have the floor.
You have the floor to speak.
What do you want to say for the record?
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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: First of
all, Madam Chair, again, you --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- you did
not give me the Rice notice. I asked for this to be
discussed in public.
You are advising me that you are voting
on Article IX, by which in Article IX, removal or
termination, which general counsel two years ago or
a year and a half ago when Former Chairman Stuiver
tried the same thing, clearly went on record and
gave a legal opinion stating the intent for those
closed session minutes, and the intent was that the
120 days for unilateral termination was applicable
to that ending of my contract.
So how are you interpreting now that
article, that you are not giving me an opportunity
at all, you just want to sever the contract under
that article, is that what you are saying?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: That is what this
resolution is that is being passed.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, I will refer again to the fact of what I read
into the record, and I will state that I could not
get a representation for this because you have
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denied me that opportunity.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
(Applause and cheering)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Mr. Sanford, call
the vote.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Is there a
motion?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Do any of the
Commissioners wish to speak?
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Yeah.
I just want to know, and I know we've
thrown this Rice thing at Mr. Garcia. Jake tried to
do, and now you're trying to do it.
Article III, it says what?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I gave you a copy of
the contract.
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: And it says what?
So we are going to cut him off just for
that?
The Rice has not been properly served.
We have an improper meeting again. We are doing
everything, what seems to be illegal as hell in this
place --
THE AUDIENCE: Yes, yes, yes.
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(Audience applauding and cheering)
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: -- and I just
can't figure it out. I just can't figure it out.
You are not allowing him -- are we not
allowing him to -- why do you want him gone?
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: If I could have the
floor --
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: I can't hear. I
can't hear.
THE REPORTER: I can't hear either.
THE AUDIENCE: Shush.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- if I could speak,
I would be more than happy to put my thoughts on the
record. Director Garcia has been interrupting me,
so I am happy to speak --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I will continue --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- so for the
record, I would like to read into the record the
article number of the certified letter, return
receipt requested, that was sent to Director Garcia
on July 24th and signed for on July 25th. That is
70120470000165970926.
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VICE CHAIR MELLO: And that's the
article number.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: And that is the
article number.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Madam
Chair, it should have been sent to my house --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- it
should have been sent to my home address or
personally hand delivered, just for the record.
Just for the record, it should have been hand
delivered,
We went through this. We went through
this when Former Chairman Stuiver attempted to do
the same thing, okay, and that is why I am telling
you this, because I have learned from that
experience of what should have been done.
And, again, you sent it to the Housing
Authority address. We get hundreds of pieces of
mail, if not a thousand pieces of mail, you know,
within days, so I did not get it.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay.
So do you want to speak, Ms. Rodriguez?
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: Why don't you
let the public speak before we vote on this?
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CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: The public portion
will be after the vote.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
(Everyone talking at once)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. Do any other
Commissioners wish to speak?
Okay. Mr. Sanford, I move to adopt the
resolution to terminate the contract of the
Executive Director Carmelo Garcia pursuant to
Article IX, Section C of the Employment Agreement
between him and the HHA.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Is there a
second to the motion?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: I second the motion.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Motion seconded.
THE AUDIENCE: No, no, no, no, no, no,
no, no.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: On the roll
call, Commissioner Burrell?
COMMISSIONER BURRELL: Yes.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Davis?
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: No.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
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Dening?
COMMISSIONER DENING: Yes.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Mello?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Yes.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Rodriguez?
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: No.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Sanford votes yes.
Commissioner Wefer?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Yes.
The motion carries.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: The next resolution
on the agenda is a resolution appointing an Acting
Executive Director, so I put two resolutions in
front of you. One of them is to appoint Emil as
Acting Director, and the other is to appoint Richard
Fox as Acting Director.
Both of them are for a period of two
weeks, so it would just be for a few days --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: -- since Director
Garcia has said that Emil will not be able to do
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that, I move to adopt the resolution that would
appoint Richard Fox as Acting Executive Director.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: I second the motion.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: There is a
motion on the floor.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: On the roll --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
(Board members confer)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Richard Fox is our
current principal of Hamilton Management Solutions,
and he is willing to do it for two weeks.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Commissioner
Sanford, please call the vote.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Call the vote?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Yes.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: On the roll,
Commissioner Burrell?
COMMISSIONER BURRELL: Yes.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Davis?
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Nope.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: What did he say?
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: He said no.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
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Dening?
COMMISSIONER DENING: Yes.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Mello?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Yes.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Rodriguez?
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: No.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Sanford votes yes.
Commissioner Wefer?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Yes.
Okay. We are up to the public portion.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Mr. Garcia, do you
wish to speak?
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: I will let
the public speak first, and I will speak last.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Zigby Cheatam.
Zigby Cheatam, you have the floor.
MR. CHEATAM: Good evening. Good
evening.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Mr. Cheatam, your
time is running.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
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(Pause while they fix the microphone)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. Let's come
back to order, and Mr. Cheatam has the floor.
(Audience continues to yell and scream)
(Board members confer)
MR. CHEATAM: Good evening,
Commissioners.
My name is Zigby Cheatam.
(Audience continues to yell and scream)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Quiet, please. Let
him speak.
MR. CHEATAM: I live at 320 Marshall
Drive, Hoboken Housing Authority.
I am not going to address you as
Chairperson. I am not disrespecting you as a
person. You have a cavalier and a callous attitude
towards this concerned situation that you have
actually generated and caused at this meeting, and
it is appalling, and it is sad to carry on that. I
see this evening is deplorable.
You are very intelligent people, but
you seem to appear as though you are not concerned
with the legality of what is going on here, and you
want to do exactly what you want to do, and that is
not according to Robert's Rules.
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Yet, you still -- you proceeded with
terminating this man's contract, which is illegal,
and every meeting that you had since you have been
the alleged Chair has been illegal.
You have been conducting your meetings
under the auspices, control and advice of this man,
who himself is a fool and a leader, you see, and it
is a shame. But, as I said, you can do what you
want to do, but not as long as you want to do it.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right. That's
right.
MR. CHEATAM: You are in that chair,
and the way that you got in that chair, your fall
will be just as expeditious as well because it is
illegal, and the world is seeing what you are doing,
and you can't continue to have a callous and
cavalier attitude towards what is going on here
because you are dealing with people's lives, and
that is the bottom line.
And this lady here is a puppet, and it
is a shame --
THE AUDIENCE: She's a traitor.
MR. CHEATAM: -- that she continues to
do what you want her to do. She is your puppet, Mr.
Mello, as she does what you want her to do, and that
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is a shame.
The world sees this. The world sees
what is going on here today, and the world sees what
has been going on here for a long time, and it is
not going to continue to do what you want to do.
You will be deceived -- you will be removed from
that chair soon, believe that.
Thank you very much.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
(Applause and cheering)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Patricia Waiters?
MS. WAITERS: Patricia Waiters.
Patricia Waiters.
I need peace and quiet. This is going
to be the first time I say it nice and slow and
respect my whole entire five minutes.
First, let me apologize for this rude
behavior and the efforts that every resident came
out tonight to make, because I am not wasting my
energy on you. Every last one of you, with the
exception of Ms. Rodriguez and Mr. Davis, I want to
thank you for your indulgence as Commissioners.
I don't know Mr. Fox, but for him to be
happy to take this position, whoever he may be, I
hope you fire Mr. Fox because it's a disgusting
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shame. Mr. Fox is not going to do no more than
Carmelo would have done, if you had allowed him the
resources and worked with him. You have no reason
whatsoever to remove him, and I wrote down the
subjects and titles that you alleged that he didn't
have enough experience. You know, this is the words
of Mayor Zimmer. All of this is Mayor Zimmer.
(Applause and cheering)
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
(Audience talking at once)
MS. WAITERS: No municipality -- what
municipality do you go to and see these police
officers and this many residents without saying
anything?
So if you look at tonight and show me
the disgrace that she took a known disregard for
these concerns. This is demeaning to Carmelo. He's
the Executive Director tonight, and tomorrow he
stays home. You got your mayor sitting out there
for a long amount of time because you didn't provide
the resources for him. You voted against every
contract.
You have been here three months, and
you was proud to let you tell you tonight, you are
Carmelo's secretary. You would be proud to take
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somebody's else's seat --
THE AUDIENCE: Yes.
MS. WAITERS: -- and you still took it
over, and you had an opportunity to show integrity
tonight, and you didn't. So you sit on this Board,
and you got to look at these residents' faces and
fake like you are going to serve as Commissioners,
okay, but this is only the beginning.
Do you really think we are going to
allow you to come into our city and take a known
disregard to our feelings and our emotions?
And you --
(Audience applauding, yelling and
screaming and drowning out Ms. Waiters who is
speaking)
MS. WAITERS: -- and all of your
friends laughing in our faces, the way we get
emotional here.
You guys got family.
Dave Mello, you showed us a thousand
men. Wednesday you were so happy to tell you what
we think because you all thought you had control.
You know you had the majority.
But I am asking these residents
tonight, do no more energy put into you guys. It is
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about the law now. This is disgusting. There is no
way for you to tell me, you can pick who you want to
get control, and these residents --
(Audience cheering, yelling and
screaming over Ms. Waiters who is speaking)
MS. WAITERS: -- they are not. I am
telling them the truth, and what you see tonight is
just a small portion. You ain't going to have
enough people. I don't care if you call New Jersey
Transit or the National Guard, we live here.
(Audience cheering, applauding, yelling
and screaming)
MS. WAITERS: They have families, and
it is not fair. It is not fair.
You put our Chief tonight in an awkward
situation, and that's not fair. We are all here to
support our residents. You got it twisted. Your
unthwarted mayor, and we're going to take her out.
(Audience cheering and applauding and
yelling)
MS. WAITERS: I am going to ask for a
recall, and I hope these people comply with me. I
won't even waste my energy on you, like you whisper
and coach her and laugh in our face and take a known
disregard, and we live here, and it is disgusting.
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You don't give two cents about those residents in
the Housing Authority, not two cents, and you want
to talk about he don't have experience?
Are you serious?
And you deceive the public that make it
seem like he did so many violations. Everybody is
sitting here. Dawn Zimmer supported your campaign,
illegal -- illegally. He voted on contracts
illegally, but you don't mention that, and you still
let them --
(Audience talking over Ms. Waiters)
MS. WAITERS: -- what you did to Mr.
Garcia, please believe me, this is not a threat. We
are not taking the law into our own hands, but you
will not serve as our Commissioners down here, if I
have something to do with it.
(Audience applauding, cheering, yelling
and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Arlette Braxton?
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MS. BRAXTON: Arlette Braxton, 310
Jackson Street hopefully. I may not be there too
long.
Anyway, I am here --
THE AUDIENCE: We can't hear you. We
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can't hear you.
MS. BRAXTON: -- I am here on Carmelo's
behalf, Mr. Garcia.
I think what you guys did tonight was
really wrong. You are sticking in someone who I
believe don't care any more about us than you guys
do, and in my heart there is really -- I mean,
outside of Jeanne and Rob, you guys are the
greatest. You deal with us all the way. You've
supported us, and we are very proud of you two.
THE AUDIENCE: That is right.
(Applause)
MS. BRAXTON: You are a waste. You are
a waste of a human being.
Judy, you grew up in the Housing -- you
didn't grow up in the Housing Authority, but you
grew up around the Housing Authority. All I am
saying is you did grow up in the Housing Authority
because you literally stayed in my mom's house while
your mom worked. And for you to sit there and watch
what they are doing to us, it is sad. It is sad. I
wouldn't expect that from anybody.
But, you know, the one on the end, like
none of you give a damn about us. The purpose of
you coming here and being Commissioners, I always
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thought was -- I was a Commissioner, and I was for
the residents, okay? I helped them as much as I
possibly can, but we don't get that from none of you
guys, and that's the sad part. None of you care.
You sit there with a smile on your
face. You sit there, and whatever Dave whispers in
your ear, you jump to it, and then you got your
husband over here texting you. It is really sad
that you are not woman enough, you are not woman
enough to stand up for yourself or stand up for us.
Why are you here with us?
For an apparent reason, the mayor has
you. The mayor has you. I don't know who got you.
You two are puppets, so you know, I hope --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MS. BRAXTON: -- I hope that you do
decide to keep us because you know what?
I realize one thing, you are trying to
get rid of Mr. Garcia. Then it goes to his
management. Then it goes to the maintenance people,
and that is not going to do anything, so the next
thing is the land is up for sale, so for all of us,
look out and try to find some place to live.
Actually we are going to get -- we're
going to get boxes, and we are going to get a box
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and put one outside of Dave Mello's building.
We will definitely find out where you
live.
And I know we are going to find out
where you live, and we will put one in front of your
house, so we all have apartments next to you.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
(Applause and audience yelling and
screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Beth Mason.
(Audience talking at once)
(Applause - yelling and screaming)
THE REPORTER: Could you please tell
everyone to be quiet, so I can hear what the
speakers are saying?
THE AUDIENCE: Shush.
THE AUDIENCE: Patron of the mayor.
THE AUDIENCE: Yeah.
COUNCILWOMAN MASON: Someone said it
earlier, that this is bigger than any one person.
This has been an ongoing calculated attempt to
actually destroy this city by dividing and
conquering it by each Board meeting, breaking the
law in terms of open meetings, and taking away the
public's civil rights to hear what their appointed
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and elected officials do.
(Applause and cheering)
COUNCILWOMAN MASON: This was
supposedly a Special Meeting, but nobody could get
the resolution.
Boy, it is so funny when we get to the
Council meeting, and we have stuff, you sit there
and say, "I don't have it yet."
(Laughter)
(Audience talking at once)
COUNCILWOMAN MASON: To hold -- to hold
a meeting, where there were more than a hundred
people outside that could not get in here to see
what you were doing is unacceptable.
THE AUDIENCE: Thank you. Right,
right.
(Audience talking at once)
COUNCILWOMAN MASON: In addition, we
had a person who actually was in a wheelchair and
couldn't get in here because the elevator is broken,
so we denied the public's civil rights to be able to
see these meetings, but you didn't care. You
actually voted against terminating the meeting --
(Audience talking at once)
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Quiet, people.
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COUNCILWOMAN MASON: -- which is
actually shocking to me, but I guess it shouldn't be
because we started with the City Council, and all of
that stuff and $2 million in lawsuits that we can't
seem to get out of, but we are also now taking it to
the Board of Ed, and we're taking it now to the
Housing Authority.
Where is it going next?
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
COUNCILWOMAN MASON: It is crazy.
(Audience talking at once)
COUNCILWOMAN MASON: I had hoped that
we actually would have people --
THE AUDIENCE: Shush, shush.
COUNCILWOMAN MASON: -- I actually had
hoped that elected officials and their appointed
representatives actually cared about the people
instead of about the totalitarian dictatorship that
you are keeping here.
So on that note, I sure hope that this
changes, and the fact that we had more police
officers in the space than we had residents is
amazing.
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: How amazing. How
amazing.
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(Audience cheering and applauding and
talking at once)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Barbara Reyes?
MS. REYES: I would like to have Chris
Campos to speak on our behalf.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Oh, Chris Campos is
on a little later.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MR. CAMPOS: But she wants me to speak
on her time.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
(Audience speaking at once).
MR. CAMPOS: Later I will let her speak
on my behalf. It's okay.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. You can
speak.
MR. CAMPOS: Thank you. Thank you,
Chairwoman. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank
you.
(Applause)
You know, the Bible says that our
battle is not against flesh and blood, but it's evil
and wickedness in high places.
(Audience yelling at once)
MR. CAMPOS: Councilwoman Mason just
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made a very pointing point, and I don't want it to
be missed.
Every place we look in Hoboken, whether
at the Board of Education, at the layoff of
transportation aids, whether at the Housing
Authority, whether at City Council, and the million
dollars that you just had to pay out to Angel Alicea
for the discrimination that he suffered at the end
of this administration, this city is crying and has
no burn and hero filled. The city is begging to be
heard. The residents are being divided, and yet our
mayor stands silent, absent, conspicuously absent.
Chairwoman Wefer, you have waged your
own political war. From the beginning before
your -- your -- your bottom was even warmed in the
seat that you sat in, you already had a political
agenda that you were going to pursue.
You were just pursuing the political
agenda that was started when our --
(Audience continues to talk)
MR. CAMPOS: -- excuse me, guys. I
want you to hear this -- when our righteous
Director, and I say "righteous" because, you see
democracy is not sexy, but these residents are here
in full force because they believe in their
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Director. We fought a battle ten years ago to get
rid of a Director, and the residents came out to get
rid of the Director, protesting to get rid of
somebody that was stealing and violating.
Yet, they came with their voices
huddled together at 10:30 at night.
You had the audacity to move a meeting
from the Housing Authority, where you were supposed
to be an independent agency, to the City Council
Chambers, to make it a little bit less comfortable,
a little bit less open, and a little bit less free
for all of us to convene, but the residents will not
be denied. The residents will not go away.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
MR. CAMPOS: Chairman Wefer, it is just
heartbreaking to see a fellow barrister, a quote
unquote, lawyer have not one iota, one inkling, one
scintilla of sincerity with respect for a contract.
What is at issue here is not what
Carmelo allegedly has done. It is your political
desire to pursue an agenda that is absent the public
interest.
THE AUDIENCE: Amen.
MR. CAMPOS: What you have been doing
systematically and methodically is what my friend
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Perry Belfiore likes to refer to as rocking the boat
and claiming a storm is coming.
THE AUDIENCE: Right.
(Audience talking at once)
MR. CAMPOS: You created these
allegations about what Mr. Garcia hasn't done and
what Mr. Garcia isn't doing, and what hasn't been
made, but yet still you have not waited for any
findings. You have nothing to show of substance,
only unsubstantiated allegations, and you still move
to terminate his contract, once again, placing the
Housing Authority at peril.
Litigation is coming. The Housing
Authority will have to pay eventually, and I just
wish, I just wish that those Commissioners who voted
outside of the opinion of legal counsel, outside of
the opinion of the DCA, outside of letters from HUD,
I wish you were held personally accountable. I wish
you would be held personally accountable.
(Applause)
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MR. CAMPOS: Mr. Mello, wow --
THE AUDIENCE: Disappointment.
THE AUDIENCE: It's okay. It's okay.
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(Audience talking at once)
MR. CAMPOS: -- you have really
developed an ability to speak with conviction on the
lies that you speak with.
Mr. Mello, I have heard you from the
dais down at 221 Jackson and 220 Adams lying to the
residents repeatedly, and you sit there with this
arrogant, smug, disrespectful face and texting and
whispering and talking, ignoring the residents, but
see, joy comes with the morning.
(Audience cheering and applauding)
MR. CAMPOS: You see, we are a
community of faith. We believe that evil and
wickedness will have to answer one day.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MR. CAMPOS: All you did was -- all you
did was crucify a man to resurrect the community, so
with that in mind -- with that in mind, I will wrap
it up, Chairwoman. Thank you for your indulgence
this evening.
Thank you so much, Madam Chair.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MR. CAMPOS: Commissioners, I will tell
you, all you did was unleash a community, and it's
not just this community, it is the Charlestons that
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come in --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Mr. Campos, you are
well over your time. Please wrap it up.
MR. CAMPOS: -- sooner that you
think --
(Audience yelling and screaming over
Mr. Campos, who is speaking)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Thank you.
(Applause and cheering)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Mr. Campos, Mr.
Campos, would you like to have the audit findings?
MR. CAMPOS: Are you finally going to
give me something?
I will get it, don't worry about it.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: You can have this.
MR. CAMPOS: I'll get it. Don't worry
about it.
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Madam Chairwoman,
one question.
Did everyone outside get a sign-up
sheet?
We don't know.
MR. CAMPOS: I do want a copy.
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: We seem to be
closing the list, but I don't know if everybody
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outside has gotten to sign that list.
(Everyone talking at once)
MR. CAMPOS: Please let Ms. Reyes speak
on my behalf.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Yes.
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Madam Chair, we
didn't get that list outside.
Did that list get outside to the people
who are waiting outside?
You can't know without making sure.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I think everybody
signed up.
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: I don't believe
so.
(Board members talking at once)
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Joe Branco?
Oh, I'm sorry.
(Audience and Board talking at once)
A VOICE: Chairman --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: We had a sign-in
list for like three hours.
(Audience talking at once)
THE AUDIENCE: Some people haven't
signed.
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CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Mr. Branco, you have
the floor.
MR. BRANCO: I am just waiting for you
to control the meeting.
Do you have it under control?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: You have the floor.
MR. BRANCO: Thank you.
Joseph Branco.
I just wanted to let all of the
residents know if you guys went to the room tonight,
and who was actually smirking every time they were
attacking Carmelo Garcia, they were right there,
Ravi Bhalla, Councilman.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MR. BRANCO: -- they were smirking.
The city community that we live in, that they think
this is funny, I don't know how they think this is
funny. But Dave Mello and Wefer was also smirking.
This is funny to you guys, right?
For absolutely no reason, but it is
okay for you to break the law. You can hire a law
firm without going through the procurement process.
You can call them up and make your own deals with
them, but that is okay. Nobody did that. There
were no findings. If there were findings, you
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wouldn't be paying him 120 days. You wouldn't be
giving him 120 days, so it would be a completely
different meeting.
THE AUDIENCE: Um-hum.
MR. BRANCO: So just to add on to what
Mr. Campos said, I really do hope you guys have your
own attorneys, because as you disregard the rules of
Corporation Counsel and went against what he said,
and the rules of HUD, I personally want to be there
when all of you guys get dragged through court --
(Applause, cheering and yelling)
MR. BRANCO: -- because, Mr. Mello,
from the beginning, from two years ago, what you
always talked about was his salary. You always
talked about his salary, Dave.
Who cares, because he makes more money
than you. Is that what you really care about, how
much he makes?
Is it?
Is it?
Huh?
(Audience continues to yell and scream)
MR. BRANCO: And then the last meeting,
I got to tell you, you amazingly said that I said
something about your family, Dave, and I didn't say
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anything about your family. You know that.
I wouldn't speak about your family, but
since you did accuse me of speaking about your
family, I want to bring to everybody's attention
here, Dave Mello is the Chairperson on the Housing
Authority, right, and he talks all of the time about
the students that he teaches in The Bronx, and that
most of them could be Housing Authority residents,
right, because they are less fortunate than
everybody.
(Audience talking at once)
MR. BRANCO: You know, Dave lives in
the Sky Club.
What do you make?
You make 78,000 as a teacher and 25,000
as a councilperson?
You almost hit the hundred-thousand
dollars, right?
Now, on the Hoboken Moms Group, he
has -- they are trying to sell a seven-year-old
Bugaboo carriage for $200 --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MR. BRANCO: -- instead of giving it to
one of these residents that need a carriage, do you
need $200 for a carriage?
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What is wrong with you?
(Audience cheering and yelling)
MR. BRANCO: Give it away to charity.
Do you know what charity means?
Charity starts at home first. Then you
give it away.
Don't accuse Mr. Garcia of making more
money than the vice-president of the United States,
and then you try to sell a 200-dollar,
seven-year-old Bugaboo?
What's wrong with you?
Give it away to these people. That is
a disgrace.
(Audience applauding, cheering and
yelling)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Barbara Reyes?
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MS. REYES: Barbara Reyes, President of
the Resident Advisory Board for the Hoboken Housing
Authority. I am the president of that board.
THE AUDIENCE: Shush, shush.
MS. REYES: First of all, I really want
to address Executive Director Garcia.
I would just like to thank you, because
regardless of what these people have said and the
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allegations that they have put against you, you can
walk out of this room with your head high and the
residents behind you.
(Audience applauding and cheering)
MS. REYES: We will stand behind you
whether you are our Executive Director or not. We
know what you have done for the Housing Authority.
We thank you for having put your sweat, your family
to the side for us, and we respect that. That is
what we expect of the new Executive Director, and we
as the Resident Advisory Board will make sure to
hold them accountable.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
MS. REYES: You have been a mentor, and
I can't thank you enough for everything that you
have done for us, and we will stand behind you.
(Applause)
What you guys have done today has been
a disgrace to the City of Hoboken, to the residents,
to the most vulnerable population of this -- this
city. You have taken no regard for any of us.
I apologize to the Hoboken Police
Department, who was put in this situation.
What I find funny is that had this
happened at a Board of Education meeting, or had
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this happened at any other meeting here in Hoboken,
the meeting would have been cancelled and
rescheduled. But because we are not good enough for
that, so just like I said to you guys outside, this
is just the beginning. We must get united. We need
the residents to stand behind the Resident Advisory
Board and the Tenant Association, and we must stay
united in order to fight this.
We will personally take this wherever
we have to take it. We will hold you Commissioners
accountable, and again, this is just the beginning,
Mr. Garcia, I am sure you have a lot on
your plate right now, and you know which way you are
going. The residents are going to put everything up
on the table, and we are going to do what we have to
do to make sure that our rights are protected and
our civil rights are never violated again.
(Applause and cheering)
Ms. Wefer, I would just like to ask
you, we have the daughter of our Executive Director
here who would like to say a few words. Although
she has not signed, I believe that is the least that
you can do.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
(Applause and cheering)
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MS. GARCIA: My name is --
(Audience yelling and screaming over
Ms. Garcia)
MS. GARCIA: -- Garcia.
I just want to say what you have done
here is a grave injustice to the people of this
community --
THE AUDIENCE: Yes.
MS. GARCIA: -- and you needn't to rush
on any politics, because democracy is for the
people, by the people --
THE AUDIENCE: That's right. Yes, it
is.
MS. GARCIA: -- and I wish -- I wish I
could be there when the -- when the wrath of Tyler
Goldson, cold heart --
(Audience yelling and screaming over
Ms. Garcia)
MS. GARCIA: -- but unfortunately, that
is a road that you are going to take alone.
And you, too, Mr. Mello, I hope today
that you go home, and you can't sleep because when
you realize what you have done is a terrible thing,
and my father is a great and righteous man, and he
will rise above this regardless. You will not bring
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him down.
THE AUDIENCE: All right.
(Applause and cheering)
MS. GARCIA: And we can, we will, watch
us. You are going to watch him succeed, and I hope
that -- I hope that you see that, I really do.
(Applause, cheering, yelling and
screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Gilbert Moore.
MR. MOORE: Gilbert Moore.
I used to live in Hoboken, and Hoboken
got a little bit too expensive for me, and I had to
move out.
I'm here on behalf of Carmelo Garcia,
who I grew up with all of my life, who has been a
role model, him and his older brother, Sammy, to us.
And it is unfortunate that, you know,
you guys sit here, and you make these decisions, and
I think that, like he said, there is a whole bunch
of allegations that have been put forth and that
were said, but I think, you know, to take away
politics, and if you are going to persecute the man
because of what he has done, I think that this whole
Special Meeting for his termination should be held
off, and make sure that you have those facts, and so
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people doesn't make the stipulation that there is
politics involved, because as we know, this is
Hudson County, and politics are involved.
A couple of you guys, I have a
Facebook, and it has Mayor Zimmerman (sic) and
couple of you guys, and a lot of people are on
there, and I am a big advocate for children. I'm a
teacher in Jersey City. I work two jobs. I bust my
ass for my family, and just like this man right
here, he busts his ass for everybody in this Housing
Authority.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
(Applause)
MR. MOORE: You guys -- you guys put
him in a situation.
When you had Troy here, who was
embezzling money and left the country and took all
of this money and left the Housing at a disarray,
and you brought this man here who lived in the
projects, who grew up in the projects from Hoboken,
who, you know, Garcia, and you know as a teacher,
you try to give -- you try to tell your students,
listen, we are going to give you all of the
opportunity and give you all the resources. That is
the man who did it. He did it. From a single
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parent, his mom bust her ass for him and his older
brother.
Went to college, paid for college on
his own, did work, you know, and he rised up, and he
is from the projects. He is from the essence of
what Hoboken was all about --
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
MR. MOORE: -- because you want to know
something, as you see what is going on, Hoboken's
changed. And even though we embrace change and
change is good, but now the change of all of those
high priced condos that you guys can't seem to put
people in, because the only real people from Hoboken
are in the projects, because if you don't make a
certain sized salary, you can't live in Hoboken.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
MR. MOORE: You can't.
And you see this man, he is busting his
ass, and if he wasn't doing a good job, I don't
think you would get this repercussion behind him.
You wouldn't get it.
So if politics is not in your agenda,
and you are saying politics has nothing to do with
this, why not just take the politics aside and
persecute the man on what he did and what he didn't
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do. If you are saying that he took money and the
Sandy money was done, fine.
I know you guys are doing the audit.
Until that audit comes out and presents that
concrete evidence, let that man do what he's got to
do. Because if you did that, then you won't get the
repercussions that you are getting now, because the
same thing happens in Jersey City.
We know what is going on, and it is not
fair. It is not fair at all, because when you keep
putting the people that you want in there, and you
keep playing the politics game, and I see politics
play both sides, they could be your friend that's
called friend of me's.
Do you know what a friend of me is?
It's your friend, but he's also your
enemy at the same time.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
MS. MOORE: And that's what you create.
You got to stand aside. You got to stand for
something.
It is not right for you to persecute a
man, because he don't get along with the mayor. It
is not right, because guess what?
The same thing that Mayor Zimmerman
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said that Christie was doing, she is doing to this
man right here, and it is not fair.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right. That's
right.
(Applause and cheering)
MR. MOORE: Now, I am no longer from
Hoboken. I am no longer -- but I am the person from
the outside looking in, and I am telling you what it
is looking like. It is looking real political. It
is looking -- I am telling you because, guess what?
Zimmerman, I guarantee you, Zimmerman
is not going to be a mayor for her next term. It is
not going to happen.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MR. MOORE: I am telling you right now,
because Zimmerman -- Zimmerman came to me in Jersey
City and asked me to help her in Hoboken. That is
how much power I have political-wise in people that
I know and votes I get, because it is all about the
votes. It is not about who we know. It's about how
many votes you get.
And these people right here -- and just
to let you know, guys, all residents of Hoboken, I'm
going to tell you right now, if you have something
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that is in your apartment that is not fixed, and you
put -- and I'm telling you right now -- put the
paperwork in, and if it is not fixed when your rent
is due, you take that rent money and put it in the
bank. You don't pay your rent.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: You need to wrap it
up.
MR. MOORE: You don't pay your rent
until it is fixed. You put that money into a
bank --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Please wrap it up.
You are over five minutes.
MR. MOORE: -- I am going to call you
because we grew up. I love you, and I look up to
you, and I wish you all of the best, and you know my
number if you need me any time of the night, I am
here, Baby.
(Applause)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Kayela Colon.
A VOICE: Ms. Colon, is she here?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Is Ms. Colon here?
A VOICE: No, she's outside. She left.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Margie Biart?
(Applause and cheering)
MS. BIART: Margie Biart, 415 Marshall
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Drive.
I'm not going to get upset because you
know what? None of yous are worth it.
Right now, you took out this Director
that we have. Now that the projects is clean, that
our condo is clean, that everybody can walk in that
project, that years ago nobody was able to do this,
that he has made this place that now your friends
are walking with their kids in there, and they take
their dogs there. Now you want to get rid of him.
You understand?
You know what?
I thought that when you were elected
was to help us, but the minute that you swore and
you took that oath, you came in with a bitchy
attitude.
I am saying it like it is. You
understand? Because it might be the last time that
I talk here. I am going to say the way I feel.
You have no consideration for us. You
have no consideration for us. You, of all people,
you know what, I am not even going to talk about you
because you know what, for me, you are zero to the
left.
(Audience cheering yelling and
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applauding)
MS. BIART: You understand, nothing,
because you didn't do nothing for us. I am not
asking you to kiss nobody. All I wanted for you to
do was be fair. That is all I wanted yous to do is
be fair. And if you had something against that man
there that you can prove, then you could have gotten
rid of him, but up to this day you don't got Jack.
You don't have nothing.
So how are you going to accuse
somebody, send them to jail without taking him to
court?
You understand? That is what you are
doing. That is what you are accusing him.
You coming up with saying he did this,
he did that. Could you prove that he has done it?
When you come up with the proof, then
you take care of it. But you have no proof. So for
you, he is guilty.
You know why he is guilty?
Because the minute that you walked
inside of housing, yous came with an agenda, and
your agenda was to try and get rid of that young
man, because since she can't do it, you are there.
But remember like that man said,
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election comes again, and the same way you walked
in, you are going to run out. Instead of walking,
you can run out, because you know what, you know the
signs that we got out?
We got kids making signs, thinking that
they are going to break down -- that they are going
to tear down the building. That is how the kids are
living now. They think they are going to end up
without a home, and this is the feeling that you
have given to our kids.
I know you don't care. You know why,
because you are a cold assed bitch.
My name is Margie Biart and thank you.
(Audience cheering and yelling)
MS. BIART: Excuse me, excuse me.
Mr. Garcia, could you run for mayor?
(Applause)
(Audience talking at once)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I would just like to
say for everybody's edification that the audit
findings I believe are on the website now, so you
can check those out.
Gail Johnson?
A VOICE: She's not here.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: David Liebler, is he
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here?
MR. LIEBLER: David Liebler, Hoboken
resident.
THE AUDIENCE: Shush, shush.
THE REPORTER: Can you just spell your
last name for me?
MR. LIEBLER: L-i-e-b-l-e-r.
Two years ago, Jake and Dave Mello
tried to oust Carmelo and failed, so this has
obviously been a Zimmer priority for some time.
The last Board -- this is actually the
last Board that she doesn't have 100 percent control
of, and I am sure beyond the scenes her candle
works, and the real idiot mayor, Stan Grossbard, is
thrilled about this tonight.
Now, let's discuss what I thought were
some of the online allegations about Carmelo
accepting political donations from businesses that
did work for HHA after Hurricane Sandy.
If this was actually done and
actually -- I mean, if this was illegal, you would
not be throwing this kangaroo court tonight. You
would be arresting Carmelo and throwing him in jail.
THE AUDIENCE: Yeah.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
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MR. LIEBLER: But now, considering that
Zimmer put Dana Wefer and James Sanford on this
Board, she has the control. Two more want to be
politicians, who are just looking to pad the resume
and get closer to Zimmer, so they can gain
additional support for one of their next political
steps.
What the hell do either one of you know
about the HHA and the issues these people face every
day?
(Applause)
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MR. LIEBLER: People who sit on Boards,
so that they can only help themselves are truly
disgusting.
Now, you are telling me that Zimmer
never accepted donations from people that did
business in this city?
Come on. She spends millions of
dollars of taxpayers' money on Wall Street annually.
I OPRA'd it, and I found out that she spent over $2
million a year five years -- four years ago. This
is what we know about.
How about the property appraisers, the
planners' expenses, on and on and on?
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You are telling me that she doesn't get
donations from friends that do business with the
city, the unions, the lawyers?
Come on. Let's not be this naive.
What about all of the political
donations that Zimmer accepted from people who are
now sitting on Boards of each town -- of our town?
You are looking to fire the one person,
the one person, who has been doing good in the HHA,
the one person who actually cares about the
residents, the one person who has fought for new
housing, the one person who brought in additional
police, and now what I am hearing, there is no money
for additional police.
Folks, keeping it down safe goes hand
in hand with having good schools. These are
priorities for a town to succeed.
Without additional police in the HHA,
you are putting the HHA residents at risk, as well
as the balance of Hoboken.
Gangs, drug deals, plenty of quality of
life issues the HHA faces each day, and without the
proper police support, we are creating many problems
that do not need to exist.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
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MR. LIEBLER: Now, I know many of
you -- I know many of you have never even read a
single page of Vision 2020 because you cannot get
over the fact that it wasn't Zimmer's plan. But
what really makes me angry is that none of you care.
(Applause)
No one exempt Carmelo, for all of the
work that went in this plan, he received disrespect,
angry bloggers condemning his plan because they
thought he would profit on this, which was untrue.
Roman Bryce to this day has lied
countless times on his blog about Vision 2020,
writing that the HHA projects would be expanded.
This is untrue, if you actually read
the latest plan.
Zimmer loves to hire planners and
basically where is her plan for a new HHA?
It has taken five years for this nitwit
mayor --
(Applause and cheering)
-- to even have another meeting about
the Northwest Redevelopment.
It has taken seven years to attempt to
create the southwest park, which is no closer to
completion and will become the most expensive and
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the smallest park in Hoboken, if it ever gets
created.
THE AUDIENCE: Yes.
MR. LIEBLER: How many meetings -- how
many HHA Meetings in the last seven years has Zimmer
attended?
THE AUDIENCE: None.
MR. LIEBLER: What are you doing, Dave
Mello, other than being a rubber stamp for Zimmer
for the residents?
(Applause and cheering)
MR. LIEBLER: Why are you even on this
Board and not fighting for them?
What a waste of time to sit on a Board
and absolutely do nothing for the residents instead
of picking out one person that is trying to make the
HHA better.
Dana, I gave you a break when I first
met you six months ago when I went to that HHA
meeting. I knew you were a two-time loser
freeholder candidate.
(Applause and cheering)
I asked you -- I asked you at this
meeting -- at that meeting, I said I would do
nothing --
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CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Your time is up.
Wrap it up.
MR. LIEBLER: -- yeah, I'll wrap it up
when I am finished.
(Audience cheering, yelling and
screaming)
MR. LIEBLER: This is nothing more than
retaliation for Carmelo's lawsuit against the
mayor --
(Audience yelling and screaming and
drowning out Mr. Liebler)
MR. LIEBLER: -- to get control.
Tonight the residents of the HHA lose. The
taxpayers of Hoboken, which I am one of, lose. Just
like Angel Alicea's one-million-dollar legal
victory, I am sure Carmelo will win his.
(Audience applauding and cheering)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: You're going to have
to wrap it up.
MR. LIEBLER: We all lose, Dana. We
all lose.
You are risking, if not already done,
the biggest lawsuit this town has ever done.
Why?
Because of your inexperience.
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James Sanford, I honestly don't know
what the hell you are doing on this Board.
(Applause and cheering)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Wrap it up.
(Applause, cheering, yelling and
screaming)
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: I would just
like to state for the record that I have over ten
years experience in working for the city.
THE REPORTER: I can't hear you.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Theresa Castellano.
COUNCILWOMAN CASTELLANO: I am Theresa
Castellano. I am the Councilwoman of the First
Ward. This is my fifth term as Councilwoman.
THE AUDIENCE: Amen.
(Applause)
COUNCILWOMAN CASTELLANO: Thank you.
And there is a lot of ugliness going on
here tonight, and it is all provoked by this -- by
this Board, by you people.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right. That's
right.
COUNCILWOMAN CASTELLANO: Dave and Rob
and Jeanne, you're awesome. You're awesome. Thank
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you.
To this crowd, I am so proud, I have
really been so proud of those two --
(Applause)
-- our true Hoboken residents.
I understood that the Zimmer faction
couldn't care less what I have to say or what
anybody else has to say.
I am here on behalf of my residents, my
friends, my neighbors, and my Hoboken family.
Tonight you did what you were told to do, which is
the reason you were appointed. Zimmer finds people
who can be easily manipulated to carry out her
plan --
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
(Applause)
COUNCILWOMAN CASTELLANO: -- and you
all fall under the category of sheep. You have
"sheep" written on your foreheads. You have no
integrity at all.
The object of this exercise here was
gaining control of the Housing Authority, plain and
simple, and to appoint a friend eventually.
Anyone, who had the title of Executive
Director, Carmelo, would have been the target. It
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didn't really matter, although there were some
political overtones and undertones.
And to see the letter of need all of a
sudden on the agenda, remember the words of Stan
Grossbard, remove Garcia's name and replace it with
Zimmer, and then it is a go.
(Audience all talking at once)
COUNCILWOMAN CASTELLANO: Should you
approve, since you took over the agenda -- I am
reading this actually, because I am afraid of what I
might say. I am a person who does not say bad
words, but you guys, you guys would make a saint
curse --
(Audience all talking at once)
COUNCILWOMAN CASTELLANO: -- and what
you did with the letter of need, so now you have all
of these people groveling and begging and pleading
for months, for months, to put that on the agenda,
and now you get rid of him, and you put it on the
agenda.
You need a -- you really need a
humanity check. There is nothing going on between
here and there. You guys have no souls. I don't
know if you have any blood in your veins, but what
do you expect from a bunch of sheep?
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THE AUDIENCE: Baah, Baah.
(Audience talking at once)
COUNCILWOMAN CASTELLANO: Taxpayers, I
don't know if it is true, but there is a possibility
of a major lawsuit on the horizon, which is also a
Zimmer montra. Sue, lose appeals, appeal, sue again
over and over, make your attorney friends rich as
the Hoboken taxpayers suffer for your incompetence.
Millions of dollars being lost, and no regard for
the burden placed on the taxpayers.
It is us versus their mentality that
exists here that destroys communities. Hoboken has
always been a densely populated burdened city. I
have been told at times that there is diversity.
Over the years, we have lived side by
side with many different ethnicities and religious
backgrounds, and now you come here, and you don't
want to accept us?
The Zimmer strategy is divide and
conquer. You are not dividing us. You are uniting
us.
(Applause and cheering)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: I would just like to
say really quick, a letter of need, that is
something different. It is different --
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THE AUDIENCE: Oh, come on.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Kevin Groomes.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Madam Chair, one
word. Mike Russo and Anthony Romano would like to
speak, but they didn't get the list.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: The list was open
for like three hours.
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: No, but we -- we
can get the chief. He said that the list would go
back outside.
(Everyone talking at once)
THE AUDIENCE: Russo, Russo, Russo.
(Applause and cheering)
COUNCILMAN RUSSO: I guess I'll have to
speak.
Dr. Michael Russo, Hoboken Third Ward
Councilman, here in the City of Hoboken.
You know, it is funny because I sat on
that Board, and there was a point where politics
came into it, and I was replaced. I was replaced
with another former -- another councilman, and I
understand that. That is the business we chose.
But the one thing that I never did when
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I served on that Board was for politics to enter any
decision that I made while I served. I thought
about every one of these people every time an issue
came before the Board.
It is the exact opposite when all of
you vote, it is all about politics, and never about
the residents ever. I have never seen you do one
thing as the Chairwoman.
Now, you were here a short time, and I
understand that, but there is nothing that you have
done that bettered their lives.
There is nothing that you have done
that has improved their homes. Nothing, nothing.
And I'll bet dollars to donuts, that as long as you
are on this Board, there never will be, because it
is all about politics with you. It's all about
politics. That's a shame,
(Applause and cheering)
I showed you the utmost respect when
you came before the Council. I came to two Housing
Authority meetings and asked to speak. The first
time you shut me down, and this time you attempted
it, but I wasn't going to have it, okay?
So I promise you this: That if you
don't get your head right, you will never succeed in
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politics. You will always be a loser. You will
always be a loser.
Think about the people you serve,
whether it's elected or appointed, and I promise
you, you may be able to change your outcome, change
that destiny, but right now it is a sad day for you.
It really is.
Thank you.
(Applause and cheering)
THE AUDIENCE: Occhipinti, Occhipinti.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Only people who are
on the list can speak. We are not doing this.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
COUNCILMAN OCCHIPINTI: Would anybody
like to give me your time?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: You don't have the
floor. Kevin Groomes has the floor --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
COUNCILMAN OCCHIPINTI: I respectfully
ask for a few minutes to speak --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Then you can speak
to them after the meeting.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
THE AUDIENCE: Let him speak. Let him
speak, speak, speak, speak, speak, speak, speak,
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speak.
COUNCILMAN OCCHIPINTI: I am going to
speak. You can have me removed by the police
department, if you would like.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Okay. Officers --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
COUNCILMAN OCCHIPINTI: Mr. Groomes
allowed me to speak in his stead.
Will that be allowed?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: That's fine, yes.
COUNCILMAN OCCHIPINTI: Thank you.
Thank you, Kevin.
I don't even know where to begin
tonight.
Hold on a minute.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
COUNCILMAN OCCHIPINTI: I don't even
know where to begin tonight. I have seen so many
disturbing things, it is almost difficult to get
your head around it.
It seems that the Housing Authority
under your leadership is not about the residents.
THE AUDIENCE: Nope.
COUNCILMAN OCCHIPINTI: You want it to
be about contracts, and one of your lawyers and your
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friends. You want control over Vision 2020, or
wherever we are going to go with that.
There are Commissioners that we can't
even get your opinions on what you see is the future
of the Housing Authority, when we know it is in dire
need of rehabilitation because you want the power
and control over that. You have no attempts to
actually work with our Executive Director. Since
you got on this Board and took control, you had a
political agenda from day one.
It has been very disturbing because you
are helping to do what we see all across this city,
which is to destroy the fabric of this community.
It's happened at the Board of Education, when your
allies wanted to terminate the bus drivers and aids
that served the most needy children of this
community.
THE AUDIENCE: Yes, yes.
COUNCILMAN OCCHIPINTI: I really don't
even know why you are here. I would love to know
why you are here. I don't know how you go to an
event down at the Housing Authority field, the newly
renovated Mama Johnson Field, thanks to the Board
before you came along --
(Applause)
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-- and then you walk amongst the
residents and talk to them and learn what is going
on.
You alienated yourselves,
Commissioners. I don't understand how you are going
to get their trust back. I don't think you will
ever. It is done, and you have five-year terms,
five-year terms. It is inconceivable to be so
against the residents, it really is, so it is about
power, contracts, lawyers, development. It's not
about you --
THE AUDIENCE: Discrimination,
racism --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
COUNCILMAN OCCHIPINTI: -- but the
most disturbing thing is I didn't hear tonight,
because there is a lot of fear going around with
people fearing for their apartments and their
housing --
THE AUDIENCE: That's right. That's
right.
COUNCILMAN OCCHIPINTI: -- but not one
of you Commissioners stood up and said, "Fear not,
because your housing is not going anywhere."
None of you ever said that, not a
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single one of you.
(Applause)
If anything, you continue to exacerbate
that fear. You are all failures as leaders --
THE AUDIENCE: Yes, yes.
COUNCILMAN OCCHIPINTI: -- failures. I
don't know how you proceed. But at some point, I
said this to you before down at the Housing
Authority Meetings, you need to look inside that
mirror, see the person you are and what you are
doing, and remember why you are here. You are here
to serve the residents, the people.
I know you guys have smug faces on, and
you could care less, but these people right here,
that is why you are here. That's why you're here.
(Applause)
So please, you have all terms ahead of
you, get together and don't forget why you are here.
(Applause)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Beckis Cvetd.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: You are very out of
order.
THE AUDIENCE: Let him speak.
FREEHOLDER ROMANO: Anthony R. Romano,
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Hudson County Freeholder, proud member of the
Hoboken Police Department.
(Applause and cheering)
Good evening, Members of the Board,
good evening to the great residents of the City of
Hoboken and the Hoboken Housing Authority.
(Applause)
I am not going to mention, I'm not
going to -- here is my concern, as an elected
official. My concern is what is going to be the
day-to-day happenings to the people that live in the
Housing Authority.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right. That's
right.
FREEHOLDER ROMANO: We need to work
with the people because I know myself and other
elected officials, we are going to be there to hear
complaints, so we want to know that there is an
ongoing process to continue serving the residents.
That is the most important thing that we ask.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
FREEHOLDER ROMANO: Above all,
everything else, the contracts, I want to know, my
grandmother lived in the projects. I was down
there. My aunt babysat. I was of the second
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precinct, where our second precinct was like Fort
Apache because that is where people came in where
there was safety, so that is what this is about.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
FREEHOLDER ROMANO: If there is
disagreements, I personally feel there should have
been negotiations or discussions and talks with the
Executive Director, if there were problems. It
shouldn't have happened like this. There should
have been a larger facility. It should have been
foreseen that the high school would have been a
better place, because there was a large turnout and
in consideration of all the people.
THE AUDIENCE: Right, right.
FREEHOLDER ROMANO: But the key is
here, we cannot have the vision. We have to work
together. If this city is going to survive, people
that are here now, moving in now, moving in ten
years, have to understand and apply for the people
that work here.
I have been a recipient, as Councilman
Russo said, politics is one thing. We accept that.
That is the name of the game, but the other area is
get the communication process going. Walk out to
the people, meet the people, get phone numbers.
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This is important. This is what it is all about.
What happens when politics, as they say
here, politics always comes in. That is the way it
is in life, but please, I implore you, I ask you to
work with the people and understand their problems
and let's keep it going, keep the projects moving in
a forward direction. And if there is going to be a
new Director, at least let's have some kind of
process where he knows what the plight and the
problems are and what goes on, and we don't want any
more lawsuits. The city cannot afford any more.
I thank you for your time and
deliberation.
And I am also proud of the Hoboken
Police Department --
(Applause and cheering)
-- because they kept order here, and
they took a lot of abuse here, and they didn't
deserve it, and it should have never happened like
that.
(Applause and cheering)
(Everyone talking at once)
VICE CHAIR MELLO: I cannot read the
first name, but the last name is Gonzalez it
appears.
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THE REPORTER: What is the name?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Anita Gonzalez?
(Audience yelling and screaming)
THE REPORTER: What is the name?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: It appears to be
Gonzalez. It's very cursive, so it's a little hard
to read.
I believe it's Anita Gonzalez. It's
very cursive, and I'm having a hard time reading it.
(Audience all talking at once)
VICE CHAIR MELLO: All right. Bora
Allavardo is the next one then.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Please state your
name for the record before you speak.
If you can, just please state your name
for the record before you speak.
Thank you.
MS. BLANCO: My name is the same as
before, Melissa Blanco, 1125 Park Avenue.
I sincerely hope that the rose -- the
illegality -- excuse me -- I am getting warm now --
Ms. Castellano, God bless. She said that this
brings us together. I did not know Carmelo or any
of these folks before this. But what I do know is
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Hoboken, and I hope if the media is listening, this
is a lesson to people to go out and vote.
What happened when you allowed a group
of people to go change laws and call them legal
ordinances in violation of federal and state laws,
dismiss your competent people, and each of them file
lawsuits and appoint incompetent directors, puppets,
and what was the word that they used on their
forehead?
THE AUDIENCE: Sheep.
MS. BLANCO: Sheep. Sheep.
To walk and build their resumes, have
aspiration, know nothing and be careful to even
criticize, because that is what is called B.S. on
your audit report. You know, you put in a comment
on The Forum and, you know, the next day they are
taking another action.
Well, you get groups, and this is -- I
know the maneuvers, and people rot because you read
any of the -- and this mayor -- this is what you get
when you get a mayor -- she is having a
misinformation campaign and driving all sorts of
illegal actions.
So let me tell you briefly what -- I am
very familiar with the Banana Republic. I have
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known quite a few of them, and believe me, some of
these folks get back in office afterwards, but
that's another thing, so here we go.
Welcome to Hoboken, New Jersey, where
raises are given to directors who have --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Can you please face
the Chair? Face the Chair.
MS. BLANCO: -- oh, you know, let me
give you some respect.
But before you forget this, let me say
it is a disgrace to the American Bar Association and
the Bar of New Jersey for what this woman is trying
to do and who knew that the state --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Address the Chair.
MS. BLANCO: -- who knew that -- I am
going to turn in circles, okay?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Address the Chair.
MS. BLANCO: -- I am going to be very
fair.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MS. BLANCO: I am facing you, and I'm
in a circle, so I am sorry. Let me get back to you.
This is a disgrace, and who knew that
the Meeting Act, the Public Meetings Act, actually
needed to have a switched road, so that when you
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approach the councilwoman and say, ma'am, it is a
law that we be allowed to have all of the public in,
that you get speakers or you get a bigger room. And
she says, "Oh, who knew that there would be this
many people," when you knew the people. You didn't
ask them for respect.
When you break the law and proceed
anyway, nothing you do is legal, and I would ask the
residents of Hoboken besides being --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Please address the
Chair.
MS. BLANCO: -- to be aware -- there is
a camera on the chair -- do you have a camera here?
Oh, okay.
So I am sorry you distracted me. I
thought it was the public portion.
And the Chair also seems that it is
appropriate for her to interrupt and interject, so
let's call it B.S. on that audit report. That is
outlandish.
Every time there is a maneuver by the
state, this is another Banana Republic technique
that they use. They know they did something wrong,
the state or the feds move in, and rather than wait
and coordinate, they will get five meetings of the
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small group that voted for Zimmer and take actions,
and this is what a vote is. HUD steps in. HUD
wants to do what they need to do.
He has had successful audit reports.
You mentioned some audit report. Bullshit. There
is no process --
(Applause and yelling and screaming)
MS. BIANCO: -- it is more of our money
that is wasted. That report is invalid, just like
an illegal -- I am calling it invalid because in the
finance world, it isn't valid, just like what you
are trying to do with the contracts and your
bullshit with the experience and the law --
(Audience yelling and screaming)
VICE CHAIR MELLO: You are well past
your time. You are well past your time.
MS. BIANCO: To summarize -- to
summarize, why don't you look at that spot on the
ceiling again, please.
To summarize, you -- you know, this
is -- Mr. Mello, I am trying to wrap it up.
Mr. Mello told me that he could help
out, and just to reiterate, everyone said that he
can -- believe me, he said, well, try me out, I will
help you out. He tells me no, I don't have to.
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I wrote him a thoughtful
well-researched -- I don't have to address you --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Your time is up.
Please yield the floor.
MS. BLANCO: Your time is up. This
whole Board's time is up.
(Applause and yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Renee Johnson?
Nana Walker?
(Everyone talking at once)
MS. JOHNSON: My name is Yolanda
Johnson, and I am a resident at the Hoboken Housing
Authority.
One thing I want to address, I want to
talk to Mr. Carmelo.
Sweetie, when Hurricane Sandy came, it
was flooded out there. We didn't have no lights.
We didn't have no food. We didn't have anything.
You came out of your house. You came
down to help us. You gave us blankets and food and
made sure that we had lights. You helped us. You
did. You did.
(Applause and yelling and screaming)
MS. JOHNSON: Besides that, besides
that, that man, you see him every day. He says
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hello, and how are you doing.
We know who you are.
I never seen you, even though I don't
go to the meetings, and the reason why I don't go to
the meetings is because I hear about you guys. I
think it is very disrespectful, and I just met you
today. I am not trying to jump at you, but when I
seen, you act like this nonchalant attitude, like
it's all about you, but it is all about the
residents.
We are here. We are the reason why you
are all sitting up here today, every last one of
you. Okay?
But at the end of the day, we will
suffer, but you know what?
We are going to hold it together, the
same way like they said you got on this Board, it is
the same way we can get you off. But I want to
know, how to get them off.
I want to know what we got to do. I
want to know who is devoted. I want to know when
HUD is coming down. I want to know when HUD is
coming down to talk about the Plan 2020. I want
HUD. I don't want you to tell me nothing. I want
HUD to tell me because right now, the whole night,
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all of yous were looking everywhere and you were
playing with your phones. I think that is so
disrespectful.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
(Applause and cheering)
MS. JOHNSON: You might be high in
education. You know what they always said?
People with high education got no
common sense.
(Applause and cheering)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Nana Walker?
A VOICE: She's not here.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Brian Murray?
THE AUDIENCE: He's not here.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Gina Praylow?
(Applause)
MS. PRAYLOW: Gina Praylow, P, like in
Peter, r-a-y-l-o-w.
Hi, I just want to say good evening to
everybody.
First of all, I wanted to give honor to
God tonight who is the head of the meeting.
Although we think things are not going to work out
for us, Carmelo, he has the final say.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
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(Applause)
MS. PRAYLOW: He has the victory.
First of all, I just wanted to say, I
just wanted to piggyback off of everybody, because
the things that were said by Chris and everyone was
said eloquently, and I just wanted to piggyback off
of that. But what I want to say to you guys is:
Judas kissed Jesus on the cheek. We know who that
is. We know who that is, so we know who turned on
Jesus. Okay?
THE AUDIENCE: That's right. That's
right.
MS. PRAYLOW: You are the weasel, and
you are the monkey.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
MS. PRAYLOW: "All around the mulberry
bush, the monkey chased the weasel. The weasel
thought it was all in fun, but pop goes the weasel."
And your day will come.
(Applause)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Lisa Smith?
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MS. SMITH: Good evening. I am not
here to offend anybody.
THE REPORTER: Please state your name.
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MS. SMITH: My name is Lisa Smith.
I am a Hoboken resident, single parent.
I raise my son.
I met Mr. Carmelo. He's a very nice
guy.
Look, I have been in trouble with the
law. I lost a lot of lawsuits, but I wake up, and I
dusted myself off again and I tried again.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
MS. SMITH: Everybody in Hoboken
Housing is family, okay?
If you get to know me, or I get to know
you, we are not bad people.
Mr. Garcia, I mean, whatever the
situation may happen, I mean, I don't know what
happened, whether the lawsuit or whatever, we always
take it all, but we get up and we fight again.
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
MS. SMITH: So I'm not here to
disrespect none of you all here, but there will be a
lot of loss in Housing, because Mr. Garcia was the
best Executive man I ever known, and I have all
respect for him.
(Applause)
If you see Mr. Garcia, I still say he
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is still the Executive of Housing. Nobody can
replace that man.
Have a nice evening.
(Applause and cheering)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Melissa Blanco.
VICE CHAIR MELLO: She just spoke.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Dorothy McNeil?
A VOICE: She left.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Lora Arrington?
A VOICE: Not here.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Daniel Rivera?
John Rodriguez?
THE AUDIENCE: Everybody left.
THE AUDIENCE: You can't read?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Not this
handwriting, no.
(Audience yelling and screaming)
MS. PRAYLOW: I just wanted to say that
you is violated, and we all should see a lawyer
because our constitutional rights have been violated
tonight because all of the people were not able to
attend this meeting.
It was unlawful. When you have a
public meeting, everybody should be accommodated in
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the public meeting. This meeting was closed off due
to the capacity, and everybody who feel that their
family was violated and was not allowed to attend
this meeting, you better seek some legal action
against this meeting, because this meeting is not
fair.
(Applause and cheering)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Is there a motion to
adjourn?
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: Hold on,
Madam Chairwoman, you will not deny me the
opportunity to speak.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Oh.
(Applause and cheering)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: I will
start by saying, Madam Chairwoman --
THE AUDIENCE: Shush, shush.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- you and
Dave Mello have so much hate in your hearts. You
have truly been classics, and you have deliberately
discriminated against me, violated my rights, but I
am proud to be a whistleblower. I am proud to be a
whistleblower against Mayor Zimmer, her husband, and
what you guys were up to, because when you tried to
install your own law firm the last time, Ravi
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Bhalla -- is Mr. Bhalla still here?
(Audience yelling and screaming)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: He became a
partner at that law firm, and he tried to do the
same thing again and violated the federal laws.
Yet, you tried to accuse me, but you
hypocritically did something that you know you did
not have substantiated, and you were wrong, and you
tried to make these allegations, and you tonight had
a resolution to appoint the CFO who was responsible
predominantly for all of the things that you tried
to say I did wrong. That is irony.
And then tonight, you had your husband
threaten me with his -- downstairs when you were
talking about my employment contract in public
downstairs with people waiting on the line and in
front of your husband, talking about my employment
contract or my matters in public downstairs.
Then you had Bill Cricket and Roman
Bryce, Mayor Zimmer's paid operatives, be with your
friends who disrespected my wife and assaulted my
wife. You did that tonight, and yet, you acted so
callously thinking that you will get away with this
injustice that you have caused.
(Applause and cheering)
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You have only ignited the fire in my
bed. All you have done is united and resurrected
and empowered this community, not just the residents
of the Housing Authority, but nonresidents of the
Housing Authority --
THE AUDIENCE: That's right. That's
right.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- and I
promise you, I promise you that with every fiber in
my body, with every last breath that I have --
THE AUDIENCE: That's right.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- that I
will continue to fight to protect these people,
because I know what you are up to, and I exposed
Mayor Zimmer's play. It wasn't just politics.
There was an attempt, and there will probably still
be attempts to displace these families, and because
you couldn't get control of the professionals, you
retaliated, and it was a sheer retaliation,
harassment. You have over and over done it with
just malice, deliberateness, but you got to live
with that, not me.
You've got to wake up every morning and
look at that face, and I am proud of these people,
which you disenfranchised tonight, the public, but I
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love you guys, and I love you for what you have
done --
(Applause and cheering)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- I love
each and every one of you for coming out tonight,
and for my children, who they won't forget this
night, and you better remember them. You better
remember them because they are not going anywhere,
and I am not going anywhere, so you can't deny me
what I know is coming.
I have said to them, the Lord is with
me, and my people are with me.
(Applause and cheering)
You tried over and over again, Dana
Wefer, to assassinate my character. You have tried
with malice. You have tried to hurt me, and tonight
to gash in against my livelihood, which is fine, but
you have violated my rights constitutionally, and
you have violated my employment contract, and this
meeting is a an illegal meeting. And I will remind
you that the action you have taken, and I hope that
Councilwoman Mason goes after you guys legally for
the violation of the Open Public Meetings Act and
what you have done here tonight, and you were
willing to put the people in jeopardy, the safety of
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the people, so you can accomplish what you wanted to
do, Mayor Zimmer's mission.
And you have to sleep with that, you,
each and every one of you, and I know that it will
be on your conscience, and I know that it will haunt
you, and I know that legally I will make sure that
each and every one of you will be held accountable.
(Applause and cheering)
Commissioner Dening, you can laugh all
you want. This is not a game, nor is it a joke.
You can laugh all you want, but at the end of the
day, I know that my people will prevail, and I will
prevail, and you will be held accountable. Make no
mistake about it, Commissioner Dening.
So I say that I am proud to be a
whistleblower, because I exposed Mayor Zimmer, Stan
Grossbard, Ravi Bhalla, and all of your friends and
political allies, I exposed them, and I am not
afraid, and I fear not, because all I know I have to
drive me is my faith, my energy, my actions, and my
resolve, and that is what is in your eyes right now,
the acting for fear.
That is what you got in your eyes right
now, Dave Mello.
Ms. Wefer, that is what you got in your
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heart, hate.
And listen, I will tell you --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Your time is up.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- I will
tell you that is my love and faith and hope that
will still survive and help these people get to
where they got to go.
And I will say, as you have told me,
"Wrap it up, wrap it up" --
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Your time is up.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: -- I know.
So tonight, you are not a dictator.
You are not a dictator, and you have many lives that
you have accounted for, and you have had much B.S.
with your whole design and orchestration in trying
to make me look bad.
And guess what?
At the end of the day, you thought that
you could break me. You thought that you could
break me. And you bent me, but you will not take
away what God has given me, and that is to serve
these people, to serve these people, to serve
them --
(Applause and cheering)
-- so as we said once, and I will say
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it again loud and proud, let it be a course in your
hair. We can, we will, watch us. We can, we will,
watch us.
THE AUDIENCE: We can, we will, watch
us. We can, we will, watch us.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARCIA: God bless.
(Applause and cheering)
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Motion to adjourn?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Motion.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Is there a second?
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Second.
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Commissioner
Sanford, please call the vote.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Burrell?
COMMISSIONER BURRELL: Yes,
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Davis?
COMMISSIONER DAVIS: Oh, yes.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Dening?
COMMISSIONER DENING: Yes.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Mello?
VICE CHAIR MELLO: Yes,
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COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Rodriguez?
COMMISSIONER RODRIGUEZ: Yes.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Sanford, yes.
COMMISSIONER SANFORD: Commissioner
Wefer?
CHAIRWOMAN WEFER: Yes.
(The meeting concluded at 11:30 p.m)
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C E R T I F I C A T E
I, PHYLLIS T. LEWIS, a Certified Court
Reporter, Certified Realtime Court Reporter, and
Notary Public of the State of New Jersey, do hereby
certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate
transcript of the proceedings as taken
stenographically by and before me at the time, place
and date hereinbefore set forth.
I DO FURTHER CERTIFY that I am neither
a relative nor employee nor attorney nor counsel to
any of the parties to this action, and that I am
neither a relative nor employee of such attorney or
counsel, and that I am not financially interested in
the action.
s/Phyllis T. Lewis, CSR, CRR
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
PHYLLIS T. LEWIS, C.S.R. XI01333 C.R.R. 30XR15300
Notary Public of the State of New Jersey
My commission expires 11/5/2015.
Dated: 8/6/14
This transcript was prepared in accordance with
NJ ADC 13:43-5.9.