Want a Hoboken Zoning Board seat?
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.”
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.