Judge approves vote to make Jim Doyle a Hoboken councilman
Feb 04, 2013 | 4490 views | 3 3 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print

HOBOKEN -- After a few contentious months, Jim Doyle has finally been added to the Hoboken City Council to fill a vacant seat left by Councilwoman Carol Marsh, who resigned last fall. Marsh was an ally of Mayor Dawn Zimmer, as is Doyle. The nine-member council now has five Zimmer allies on it and four councilpeople who frequently criticize her policies.

The four Zimmer opponents had fought to legally overturn Doyle's appointment last year, saying the votes were not done properly.

The city sent out a release Monday morning saying:

Last Friday, Hudson County Assignment Judge Peter Bariso ruled that the vote held on January 16th appointing Jim Doyle to the Hoboken City Council was valid, despite the abstentions cast by Councilwoman Beth Mason and Councilman Michael Russo.

Judge Bariso summed up his ruling (www.hobokennj.org/docs/corpcounsel/Opinion-Zimmer-v-Castellano-Final-2-1-13.pdf) as follows:

“This court cannot countenance the notion that the Municipal Vacancy Law was intended to encourage gamesmanship. Council members should not be permitted to undermine the deliberative process and trump the intent of the legislature.”

Mayor Dawn Zimmer welcomed Judge Bariso’s decision, saying: “It is unfortunate that the City of Hoboken has incurred tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees to fill a routine City Council vacancy. I welcome Mr. Doyle to the City Council and trust the members of the City Council will do the same.”

“We have real work to do in our City,” added Mayor Zimmer. “Once Jim Doyle is sworn in, we will have our full complement of 9 council people, and the 4-4 Council deadlock will be broken. It is time for the end of the gamesmanship and for the full Council to work with my administration to rebuild our City in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.”
For coverage of the council meetings and other important matters, keep watching hudsonreporter.com and pick up your print edition each weekend.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
February 04, 2013
Really appreciate you not naming the who in this story. A lot of people won't like hearing how Beth Mason and her allies Michael Russo, Terry Castellano and Timmy Occhipinti sued them in an attempt to wrest power over the Hoboken City Council.

Could you maybe hold off on naming the "who" and just stick to the what, where, when.

Please continue to leave off the how. Thanks! You guys are awesome!
February 04, 2013
This is a big deal, especially since the Newark case went the other way.

I wonder what the four council members who sued to stop this appointment think about this decision, given how hard they've fought and how much they've spent? Are they angry? Are they going to appeal? Do they think the judge was fair? Do they think the "fix" was in?

This is a really interesting story. I hope there's more coverage to come.
February 04, 2013
Jim Doyle has all the qualifications to be an outstanding Councilman.

This sort of legal gamesmanship by the Council minority was distasteful, disrespectful, desperate and all too representitive of what we have come to expect of them.