New Hoboken Zoning Board Installed
Soares named Chairman, Aibel Vice Chair
Two months after he practically begged the Mayor and council to appoint him to the Fourth Ward seat, the volatile, rumor-mongering former councilman was elected Chairman of the Zoning Board. The bridge burning Soares’ bid to return to the City Council was rejected in favor of a long-secured deal to install Hudson County employee/political operative Michael Lenz. In response, Soares got angry and started talking about running against Lenz in the November Special Election. To keep Soares from taking votes from Lenz, newly appointed allies of Mayor Dawn Zimmer made the move to make him Chair of the Zoning Board.
The grudge holding, insult-spewing Soares who consistently attempts to threaten the livelihood of the small business community in Hoboken, was appointed by former Mayor David Roberts a year ago.
Soares brings experience, as well as baggage
His personal conduct aside, Soares has the knowledge, insight and experience to be an effective Chairman, should he choose to be. The new Vice-Chair is a much more recent appointment/unknown quantity.
James Aibel was given the seat as a “Thank You” for many years of campaign financial support for Carol Marsh and Peter Cunningham. Never seen at a Zoning Board meeting before his political appointment, he jumped from alternate to Vice Chair in just three meetings. That’s a world of experience compared to the inexperienced new Chair and Vice Chair of the Planning Board who got their new titles right after they were appointed, again as a big wet kiss of political payback for all their work and campaign contributions to Zimmer and her allies.
I spent about an hour at the Zoning Board meeting this week to watch how it went down. The applications were not particularly controversial, so there was no need to stay. For those interested, here’s a video look at how one of Hoboken’s “Men of a Thousand Screen Names” was installed with little fanfare.
Outgoing Vice Chair Murray Fusco presides, guided by board attorney Doug Bern: