This Saturday is Hoboken’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. Last year, the city instituted a zero-tolerance policy for those who take things too far. $1,000 fines were cited for 560 people, which netted the city more than $550,000. In today’s Jersey Journal, Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason didn’t earn herself any brownie points among the locals and taxpayers by saying, "We shouldn't be thinking of this as a money-making proposition."
Especially on the heels of recent coverage in both the Star-Ledger and New York Times pointing out that Mason has filed numerous lawsuits seeking public access to municipal records against the City of Hoboken, Board of Education and Hoboken University Medical Center. Mason has made more than 125 requests for tens of thousands of pages of documents, which has already cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. She has filed at least 6 lawsuits and lost all but 2 of them. Some have pegged the cost to the taxpayers at $250,000 and counting. Moreover, a multi-millionaire herself, Mason is also seeking to have the city foot the bill for her own attorney’s fees in the matter.
Mason has been very public about her mayoral ambitions for 2009. If she keeps filing – and losing – lawsuits against the city, she’s going to have to bank on Hoboken's holiday revelry getting more and more raucous to pick up her legal tab.