Round 3
Seven vie for top spot in Hoboken’s third mayoral election of 2009
by Timothy J. Carroll
Reporter staff writer
Oct 11, 2009 | 2639 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nathan Brinkman
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Two out of Hoboken’s last three mayors have been whisked away in handcuffs. Is this becoming a trend?

There are at least seven people in Hoboken who don’t believe so. Seven contenders want to run the mile-square city, and on Tuesday, Nov. 3, the residents will decide who is most qualified to be the new mayor.

The election is being held because newly elected Mayor Peter Cammarano was arrested on a corruption charge in late July, along with 43 other politicians and religious leaders.

Right now, Council President Dawn Zimmer is also serving as acting mayor.

The field is interesting, although many believe this is a two-horse race between Zimmer and Councilwoman Beth Mason to see who will be the first female elected mayor of Hoboken.

Also involved: The cousin of Jamaica’s prime minister, a former judge who gave up her post to run, a Republican in Democrat country, a businessman who throws the best birthday party in Hoboken, and even the woman who escorted the last mayor in handcuffs past the media on the day of his arrest.

Two mayoral debates are scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 14.

The Hoboken Reporter is hosting a private debate in the morning that will be video recorded and aired on our website, www.hudsonreporter.com.

Also that day, the Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition and People for Open Government invite the entire community to a forum at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Our Lady of Grace Church’s school building, Fifth Street and Willow Avenue.

Steven Institute of Technology’s Political Awareness Committee is hosting a debate on Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Below are short profiles of six of the seven candidates. Unfortunately, candidate Patricia Waiters had a family emergency last week that precluded her from participating. She will submit her profile for the inside of next week’s edition.

Nathan Brinkman

● Age: 33

● Years in Hoboken: 7

● Professional experience: Yes, I have that.

● Community experience: Yes, I have that, too.

● Two top priorities if elected: Transparency and taxes.

● What make you the most qualified candidate for the position?

Before I use up my 200 words [Editor’s Note: Candidates were given 200 words just for this question], call me at (201) 779-1688. That’s my cell phone, and I’ll actually answer (or I’ll call you back), so if you want to have a serious discussion about Hoboken, please call.

I’m not a member of the Hoboken power structure, so I’m not part of the problem. I’m not a member of anyone’s political machine, so I don’t owe any party bosses any favors. I’m just a guy who came here because I thought I’d enjoy life in this community, and found I loved it. I married my wife here, and we just had our first son (last week!), and Hoboken is where we want to raise him — but only if we can get a handle on an out-of-control government that threatens to spend and tax us into the poorhouse.

What’s important isn’t where I’m from, what’s important is where I want to help Hoboken get to – and that’s a place where every city resident can feel comfortable that his or her tax dollars are being spent wisely by political leaders committed to leaving as many dollars as possible in the hands of their constituents, rather than in the hands of the bureaucracy.

Kimberly Glatt

● Age: 44

● Years in Hoboken: 44 years

● Professional experience: Admitted to the Bar in Dec. 1989; Assistant Prosecutor in the Hudson County Prosecutors Office (1990-93); Partner in the Law Office of Yacker & Glatt (1993-95); First female Presiding Municipal Court Judge in Hoboken (1995-09)

● Community experience: Hoboken Library Summer Reading Program (financial supporter); National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) (member); Hoboken Chamber of Commerce; National Association of Women Business Owners - Hudson County Chapter

(charter member); 2009 Connie Mack Boys Baseball Team (financial supporter); Hoboken Recreation Basketball (coach); Hoboken Youth Soccer League (coach and financial supporter); Hoboken Little League (coach and financial supporter); Hoboken Girls Softball Team (financial supporter).

As a judge you are precluded from active participation in many organizations. I tried my best to participate in as many organizations that I could within ethical and legal boundaries.

● Two top priorities if elected: Leadership and budget

● What makes you the most qualified candidate for the position?

As mayor, I will provide decisive leadership built upon integrity.

Last year, the City Council failed to pass a budget on time which led to a state takeover and directly resulted in a 47 percent increase in property taxes. Despite this, current City Council members continue to jockey for position – and for mayor – while stalling important decisions that affect all residents for the sake of an election. This has to stop.

As Hoboken's municipal judge for 14 years, I heard dozens of cases every day. There was no, “Let’s do this next meeting,” for many of the cases on a calendar. I had to review the facts and make decisions based on the law and the public interest.

This is the leadership approach I will take as mayor. Integrity in government begins with the chief executive. Other candidates in this race have been part of the past, and so they have been part of the problem. I’m running for mayor to turn the page on the past. My focus will be to introduce a responsible budget that eases the burden on taxpayers and creates open space.

Beth Abruzese Mason

● Age: 48

● Years in Hoboken: 26

● Professional experience: Solid experience as a corporate executive and manager of a Fortune 500 company; President of a NYC Advertising Agency; Management Consultant to over 70 organizations such as AT&T, MCI, Goldman Sachs and St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital.

● Community experience: Statewide leader in the fight for government reform, transparency and integrity; President of the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government for four years; Co-founded Hoboken’s People for Open Government; Founded the Hudson Street Coalition and We The People Reports.

Active in numerous community organizations such as the Jubilee Center, YMCA, United Synagogue of Hoboken and many others.

● Two top priorities if elected: Taxes and overdevelopment

● What makes you the most qualified candidate for the position?

After spending over 20 years as a corporate executive and management consultant working with many substantial organizations, I posses more practical experience than any other mayoral candidate. But that’s only part of the reason why I’m running.

Later, I became involved statewide leading the fight against corruption and for open government. I focused on protecting the rights of average citizens to gain access to public meetings and documents, in Hoboken and throughout New Jersey.

In 2007, I was elected to the City Council. Since the day I took office, I have made protecting taxpayers, fighting for access to public records and uncovering wasteful government spending my top objective.

My husband Ricky and I have always made raising our two wonderful daughters our highest priority.

Now, I am ready for a new challenge. I have a vision for our great city. I see a Hoboken that is livable, walkable and sustainable with an honest, efficient government and excellent local schools. I am ready to take on this challenge by becoming our next mayor. I love this city, and I want to work with all our people to make it an even greater place to live, work and raise our families.

Frank Raia

● Age: 58

● Years in Hoboken: Lifelong resident

● Professional experience: I’m a self-employed business leader, and during more than three decades have run multi-million dollar textile and real estate businesses. I have started businesses, created employment opportunities, and built affordable housing. I get results.

● Community experience: As a private citizen I have donated a park to the city and created parking. I have volunteered for 25 years as a Board Member of the Hoboken Organization against Poverty and Economic Stress, which brought HeadStart Preschool to Hoboken, and 21 years as a commissioner on the North Hudson Sewage Authority. I am a past Board of Education President, a former City Council member, sponsor of youth recreation soccer, sponsor of Mile Square Theatre and sponsor of the Best Birthday Party in Hoboken, every year.

● Two top priorities if elected: Budget and parking

● What make you the most qualified candidate for the position?

The priorities of the other candidates don’t reflect the needs of Hoboken. I know how to create jobs and affordable housing. I know how to manage our finances. I will always be proud to be from Hoboken, but we have a job to do and I’m the one to do it.

Many cities face financial ruin. Hoboken’s plight is worse than most because our budget has been so badly mismanaged. No other candidate has experience managing multi-million dollar budgets. I am the only candidate with the wide-ranging business know-how to stabilize Hoboken’s finances and get the city back on track.

As mayor, I will manage Hoboken as I would any $100 million business. In my first week as mayor, I will go over every department’s budget, line by line, and eliminate what we don’t need.

I am the only candidate with experience fixing the problems of Hoboken’s infrastructure. That has enabled me to develop plans to end flooding and solve our parking problems without raising taxes.

My unique perspective as a builder has given me the ability to attract new taxpaying businesses and to ensure that future development is designed to maintain Hoboken’s small town quality of life.

Everton A. Wilson

● Age: 45

● Years in Hoboken: 5

● Professional experience: 14 years as a Management and Information Technology consultant mostly in the financial services industry.

● Community experience: Assist the Good Samaritan in Action Foundation. Assist the Hoboken Homeless Shelter, Bloomfield and Third streets.

● Two top priorities if elected: Taxes and infrastructure

● What make you the most qualified candidate for the position?

I embody the American dream. I have a top caliber education, years of experience at the highest levels of business solving complicated problems, and a fresh approach to the concerns of Hoboken. I am currently a PhD candidate at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, and have a masters and bachelors from New York University. I completed my B.S. (Magna Cum Laude) in three years while maintaining three jobs. Prior to that, I was a Civil Engineer for ALCOA. I also happen to be a cousin of Jamaican Prime Minister, Bruce Golding. I love this city of Hoboken. I have been a Hoboken homeowner for five years. Recent administrations have taken Hoboken residents for granted. We pay an inordinate amount of taxes for cities similar to us. Hoboken’s government operates under the strong Mayor-Council system of the Faulkner Act. It is unacceptable that the head of the legislative branch is also the Chief Executive. I have had many challenges in my life, professional and personal and yet I remain undaunted. I will do the best preserve our way of life.

Dawn Zimmer

● Age: 41

● Years in Hoboken: 7

● Professional experience: Nine years of private sector experience focused on crisis communications, first for Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, one of the nation's top public relations firms and then Sumitomo Corporation of America. Clients included New York Life, Samsung, and the Japanese Government.

● Community experience: Dawn Zimmer is currently 4th Ward Councilwoman, City Council president and temporarily acting mayor as a result of the operation of state law in the wake of the resignation of former Mayor Cammarano. She has served on the board of directors of the Kaplan Cooperative Preschool, as secretary of the Elysian Charter School PTSO and on the Steering Committee of the original Southwest Parks Coalition.

● Two top priorities if elected: Trust and fiscal responsibility

● What make you the most qualified candidate for the position?

Positive change requires a mayor and a City Council majority committed to a shared vision and working together, and I believe that I am the candidate best able to work with the City Council to make the changes we need. I am passionately committed to ensuring that Hoboken government is honest, efficient and accountable, and fully represents all of Hoboken's diverse communities. I love the small town feel that makes Hoboken so special, and will never let overdevelopment take that away from us.

In the few short weeks since I became acting mayor, we have restored the power to make Zoning Board appointments by the City Council, reducing the power of the mayor’s office and reducing the possibility of corruption. Resumes for director positions were publicly solicited for what I believe to be the very first time, and I have assembled a highly qualified team committed to making the changes that our city needs. They have accepted salaries 10 percent less than their predecessors were paid, and I have cut the mayor’s salary by 10 percent as well.

We are off to a good beginning. But there is so much more to do. I need your support to finish the job.

Timothy J. Carroll may be reached at tcarroll@hudsonreporter.com.

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