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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 possibly until December 31, 2013.

Without a majority on the council, many votes could result in a 4-4 stale mate.

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. 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.

Hobokeneer December 21, 2012 at 06:17 PM
I applaud Jay Rattigan for his honesty. The only problem with his analogy is that it is the City of Hoboken that is being held "prisoner" as a result of these games, not the poor council minority. You approve of their "dragging this case through the courts" but this political game -- and that is all it is -- costs the taxpayers real money. I do disagree with you on why they will never enjoy the council majority again. The reason they will never get the Council Majority again isn't because the voters aren't smart (like you are smart Jay). The reason they will never enjoy the council majority again is because the City is tired of this crap, and wants their public servants to work for the public, and not to work for themselves.
Jay Rattigan December 21, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I do not know Carol Marsh and have no knoweldge of her personal circumstances. That said, I really wish she resigned sooner so there could be an election to determine her seat. Would have been beautiful to have Jim Doyle annihilate the Old Guard candidate.
demosthenes December 21, 2012 at 08:17 PM
I have no idea what the mayor and her team would rather have done but I seriously doubt she would have trembling in fear at the prospect of a special election this past november. particularly when her opponents' key operatives didn't even know we were having an election this november since they think november elections are quite rare. Soeaking of breaking the law, did Mr. kleinman tell you about the time he helped break the law by lying to the City Council with respect to an illegal early retirement program that ultimate cost the taxpayers $4.2 million? I'll bet that's where his expertise in statutes of limitations comes from since he probably was marking the days off on his calendar until the statute of limitations on malpractice ran out.
MadisonMonroe December 22, 2012 at 07:21 AM
Yes, the Mayor won on issues and candidates she supported in November (including rent control...why she thinks private homeowners should underwrite "poor" people is beyond me but she is a left-wing liberal so what else can I expect?) However, she and her comrades did not have a crystal ball when they decided to appoint Mr. Doyle. Of course they wanted an appointment rather than an election, and did what was necessary to make it happen, including breaking the law. And once again the lie is perpetrated by Mr. Horse that the judge "ordered the full council to vote." No, he ordered them to meet, until that ordered was stayed. The only order the judge made was to remove Mr. Doyle from the council because the vote that put him there was illegal. After decades of cronyism and corruption in city hall, one would think that following the Rule of Law is the most important consideration. But the Mayor has a cadre of followers who routinely make the argument that the end justifies the means. Same old, same old.
CuriousGal December 22, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Mr. Doyle is a fine choice worthy of consideration by the entire council but let's calm down on the drama of the city being "held prisoner" and all the the other ridiculous rhetoric. The city council voted unanimously to appropriate $2.55M in Emergency Appropriations to Pay for Sandy Damage this week. So, there IS cooperation on the council. A 100% of the time? No. But there IS cooperation for Hoboken's common good. Perhaps, instead of trying to simply ram things through the council with a majority vote or with questionable legal advice, there should be more communication, compromising, and negotiating. Maybe then we would have a 9th council person. Dawn and the council majority depended on an interpretation of the law to push their choice through, now they are being hampered by an appeals process to the law based on that interpretation. Resolving arguments via the courts is a reasonable way to proceed when there is no other avenue to a resolution. I would suggest more communication, compromising, and negotiating and less litigation if at all possible.

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