Hoboken City Council Seat Could Remain Vacant For Another Year
The city council will not be voting to appoint Jim Doyle to an empty council seat on Wednesday night.
Hoboken's City Council could be on lock-down for a while.
The city's governing body — which is made up of nine members — currently has an empty seat, that could remain vacant for months, possibly until December 31, 2013.
Without a majority on the council, many votes could result in a 4-4 stale mate.
Jim Doyle, who served as councilman for two meetings after replacing Carol Marsh, has been removed from the council after the minority council members sued over his appointment.
The council minority, made up of mayoral adversaries Theresa Castellano, Beth Mason, Michael Russo and Tim Occhipinti, claimed that Doyle's initial appointment was illegal because he received only four votes to appoint him, rather than the required five. Appointment Judge Peter Bariso agreed with them, ruling that a majority was needed and the first 4-3-1 vote didn't suffice.
And while Appointment Judge Peter Bariso ruled on Friday that all eight members were required to be present on Wednesday night to vote on Doyle's appointment for a third time, the vote has been postponed.
The minority council members who sued their council colleagues, as well as corporation counsel Melissa Longo and city clerk Jimmy Farina, appealed Bariso's decision.
"The vote will not occur until the Appellate Division decides whether it will entertain an appeal at this time on the issue of whether Hudson County Assignment Judge Peter Bariso had the authority to order the re-vote," according to a city announcement.
If a re-vote is in fact not permitted, the seat will be empty for 12 more months, and Doyle — or other candidates — will have to be elected in the elections scheduled for November, 2013. This is also when Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the three at-large council members are up for re-election.