Want a Hoboken Zoning Board seat?

12/2/2009:

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Four ZBA Seats (supposedly) up for grabs

While members of the Hoboken City Council have known about the upcoming vacancies at the Zoning Board of Adjustments for a long while, the announcement just went live on the City website yesterday – giving applicants just one week to submit their notarized submissions. Additionally, I had to stumble across this while browsing around – because City Officials have found it difficult to send communications to Hoboken411. So much for the “spirit of transparency” that was gleefully touted while they campaigned for your votes. What is this? Hoboken, Russia?

Anyway, “Applicants who would like to be considered by the Council for one (1) of these seats must submit a notarized application to the City Clerk no later than December 8th, 2009. Prior applicants may be considered at the discretion of Council Members unless such applicants withdraw from consideration by notifying the City Clerk’s office.”

Word on the street is, that #1 Zimmer supporter Phil Cohen is at the top of the list, and is there to pay back whomever Zimmer, Cunningham and Marsh owe. And don’t be surprised if Rami Pinchevsky puts his name in since the 4th Ward seat is taken. Another name that might surface is Ann Graham, who’s a big Mike Lenz groupie. Current alternative Mike Novak probably wants a permanent seat, but will likely be banished from City Hall faster than you can say *cough*Cammarano*cough*.

The ZBA Appointments will be “discussed” at the next Council Meeting on December 16th.

Disappointed with whole Appointment Process

Speaking of appointments, Hoboken resident Rachel Goldberg expressed her disappointment in Mayor Dawn Zimmer, and how the current adminstration is blowing their chances at transparency and open government, citing the justification that has been provided “are valid arguments for the Roberts administration’s definition of transparency and open government.”

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Not just a few…

“As a resident of the Fourth Ward, I am deeply disappointed in Mayor Zimmer and the newly elected City Council members for the hasty and secretive process used to select a representative for the Fourth Ward.

Mayor Zimmer and the City Council have an unprecedented opportunity to model governmental transparency and accountability. Unfortunately, they chose to follow the model of a closed culture driven by cronyism. An open public forum would have provided residents an opportunity to voice what they are looking for in a representative. Publically posting the position, as done for the unpaid Board seats, would have encouraged the public participation so vital to our democracy. Unfortunately, none of the newspapers even had time to publish the meeting agenda, so it was only by word of mouth, or by searching the city website, that a constituent might know the Fourth Ward seat would be decided at this meeting.

Council members defended their selection process with a variety of assumptions. They assumed that “everybody” knew the position would open immediately; that “everybody” knew how and when to send a resume and lobby council support; that “everybody” knew the process would be no different from the Roberts administration. Unfortunately for Mr. Lenz, this lack of transparency did little to legitimize his selection as a “reformer”. I am not naïve enough to believe the outcome would have been different, as this was clearly a repayment of Mr. Lenz’s previous political support. However, had the administration even attempted to model a transparent process it might lead us to begin to believe the campaign promises that stuffed our mailboxes for the past six months.

I would strongly recommend the Mayor and Council read Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals,” an adept analysis of the Lincoln administration. President Lincoln was successful because he surrounded himself with people willing to challenge one another, often with conflicting viewpoints. I would have preferred to see a slate of candidates that included both genders, and exemplified the racial and political diversity of our wonderful neighborhood, instead of a group of the Mayor’s most visible and vocal supporters. It is my sincere hope that Mayor Zimmer, Council President Cunningham, Council Vice President Marsh, Councilman Bhalla, and Councilman Mello revisit their own campaign promises, and hold themselves accountable for fulfilling them. I hope that other constituents will join me in holding them accountable.

Rachel Goldberg

Leave a Reply

9 Comments on "Want a Hoboken Zoning Board seat?"

krewedetat
Member
krewedetat

According to the city’s website, Graham is the mayor’s representative on the Planning Board.

upyurs
Member
upyurs

Let’s see four openings. here is my Pick for Ms Zimmer and Mr Cunningham’s 3X5 cards. Open government, transperency, Cohen, Graham, White and Pinchevsky. Long shot Ceechio

plywood
Member
plywood

I am not suggesting turning of heads or the elimination or reduction of constructive dialog.
The point is this appointment was not legally structured to be a special general election. The Zimmer friendly on the council of course went in with a plan, who wouldn’t, they worked hard for the majority they now enjoy. It’s our job to get out and vote for our council people during general elections. Research them before voting for them, and then keep our eyes open. If we then think they are doing something underhanded, vote them out. Or prosecute for that matter. But it seems they followed the law here, right? Should they go beyond the pale of the law to lose their majority?

plywood
Member
plywood

Not to pile on, but since we’re three years out from the next election, can we keep the partisan bickering down to a dull roar for at least the first two years? Let’s just examine the merits of the arguments for awhile, maybe? Let’s move on without the who’s with who this week, the politics are both amorphous and tedious.
Yes, the Lenz appointment seemed like a back door deal, but if that’s the way the law works,that’s it. Let’s take it easy on the utopian fantasies. It would seem that anyone who was politically involved knew the 4th ward seat had to be filled in time to get their hat in the ring. But ultimately it was going to be an inside deal.

Stevie I Wonder
Member
Stevie I Wonder

Are you suggesting that residents turn their heads away while the local government does what it wants? That’s the problem we had with the Roberts administration. I’d suggest we turn up the volume even more now. Being a politician isn’t supposed to be a cake walk job. Leave that to the cake boss, not the city boss.

In response to plywood who said:
Not to pile on, but since we’re three years out from the next election, can we keep the partisan bickering down to a dull roar for at least the first two years? Let’s just examine the merits of the arguments for awhile, maybe? Let’s move on without the who’s with who this week, the politics are both amorphous and tedious.
Yes, the Lenz appointment seemed like a back door deal, but if that’s the way the law works,that’s it. Let’s take it easy on the utopian fantasies. It would seem that anyone who was politically involved knew the 4th ward seat had to be filled in time to get their hat in the ring. But ultimately it was going to be an inside deal.

Furey
Member

Rachel was an ardent Cammarano supporter (http://hoboken411.com/archives/19393) is coming on 411 to “hold Zimmer accountable” and she’s “deeply disappointed”. Of course she is. I mean is this someone who wanted Zimmer in the first place? No. So now she’s a huge critic. Wow. Shocking.

john14
Member
john14

Furey, your attempt to discredit Rachel just because she didn’t support your mayor is weak. Why not address what her points are instead?

You can’t. Wow. Shocking.

While we’re at it, why not be a little proactive and say how shocking it will be when Zimmer brown-noser Phil Cohen, who speaks at council meetings and writes letters like a paid operative gets appointed to the zoning board?

You won’t. Zzzz. How predictable.

In response to Furey who said:
Rachel was an ardent Cammarano supporter (http://hoboken411.com/archives/19393) is coming on 411 to “hold Zimmer accountable” and she’s “deeply disappointed”. Of course she is. I mean is this someone who wanted Zimmer in the first place? No. So now she’s a huge critic. Wow. Shocking.

jman01
Member
jman01

Furey,

She was also an ardent Zimmer supporter for the 4th ward race. She campaigned for Dawn and even appeared in a video for Dawn at the Legal Beans flood forum (It’s somewhere in the 411 archives.). Rachel must know something you don’t.

In response to Furey who said:
Rachel was an ardent Cammarano supporter (http://hoboken411.com/archives/19393) is coming on 411 to “hold Zimmer accountable” and she’s “deeply disappointed”. Of course she is. I mean is this someone who wanted Zimmer in the first place? No. So now she’s a huge critic. Wow. Shocking.

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