DISHONEST GOVERNMENT, HIGHER TAXES
THE LABROSSE YEARS: CORRUPTION, CHAOS, ECONOMIC DISASTER AND, WORST OF ALL, A CITY DIVIDED
Four years ago, Team Labrosse swept into office as “reformers,” promising honest and open government, and lower taxes. Four years later, the facts reveal a very different story; one of a corrupt political machine that regularly disregards legal and ethical obligations to line their own pockets and those of their friends while fiercely using their power to destroy the lives of those who challenge them.
They have traded tens of millions of dollars to Hackensack University Medical Center for a salary increase and promotion for Mayor John Labrosse in his personal employment at HUMC. They have paid thousands of dollars to settle a lawsuit filed as a result of an illegal raise given to Councilman Leonardo Battaglia’s wife in her City job. They have given away millions of dollars to developers in tax breaks on projects that had already been in the works for over five years and were clearly being pursued without giving back a single dollar of our taxpayer money. They attempted to sell off our Sanitation Department to their cronies and put 31 employees out of work despite the proposal costing more money than is currently being spent. That proposal was only stopped after a groundswell of opposition scared them off. Under the administration of the Labrosse Political Machine, Hackensack has truly become a CITY FOR SALE.
Their disastrous and embarrassing record is the result of corruption, malice and incompetence. We have not only had the opportunity to watch them in office, but we have learned a lot about them through the many lawsuits which have been filed against them for retaliation and unlawful conduct.
According to one former City Manager in sworn testimony, the Labrosse Team had a “hit list” of career city employees who they planned to go after before they even got sworn into office, planning to replace them with their cronies. Victims of retaliation and harassment filed lawsuits and received millions of dollars in settlements from taxpayer funds with the city facing millions more in pending lawsuits.
Beyond the tangible acts and items described below that comprise the Labrosse Team record of Dishonest Government and Higher Taxes, their efforts to divide our community in an attempt to somehow gain a political advantage is truly disgraceful. Never has Hackensack seen such a continual stream of venomous attacks launched by the elected officials whose responsibility it is to unite us.
The Labrosse/Canestrino campaign, itself, is an admission that their record is one of failure. There has never been another example of a campaign in Hackensack history where the incumbents launched their own re-election bid with negative attacks on virtually everyone who is not supporting them. And that’s a lot of people. Incumbents running for a new term have always focused on their own record of accomplishments instead of launching incessant personal and political attacks on others. They ought to be ashamed of how they’ve conducted themselves both in office and during their campaign.
Hackensack is clearly at a crossroads. Already, the damage done by the Labrosse Political Machine will require a lot of work for a new administration to begin to mend. Four more years of the Labrosse/Canestrino style of political and personal attacks along with their reckless and illegal spending might break Hackensack beyond repair.
Let’s examine their record.
They have regularly crossed ethical lines and committed acts that are outright unlawful. Mayor Labrosse has politicized the Mayor’s office unlike anything seen in the history of Hackensack. He regularly launches political attacks against his perceived adversaries during regular public meetings of the City Council. When questioned about it, Labrosse shrugs his shoulders and says, “Sorry, that’s politics.” It’s hard to tell if he doesn’t really grasp how wrong his conduct is, or if he just doesn’t care.