Michael Yun: Let’s make City Council aides work full-time
City Councilman-elect Michael Yun has suggested that City Council aides be required to work full-time.
“The councilman’s or councilwoman’s aide is a part-time job. But the council people are also part-time. I believe the council aides should be full-time so that way they can do some independent research so the council members have more information about things and don’t have to just rely on what the [city] directors have to say. We need some counter information that we can have available to us,” he said.
Full-time council aides would also be able to help with constituent services, Yun added.
At present, each of the nine city council members gets a part-time aide who earns $15,000, plus health benefits, annually. (However, some council aides already put in more hours than others, according to Rosemary McFadden, chief of staff to Mayor Jerramiah Healy, and some aides work close to 40 hours a week.)
To offset the cost of making these aide positions full-time, Yun said he would be open to reducing the number of council aides from nine to four or five.
Previously, Fulop announced that State Sen. Sandra Cunningham and Hudson County Freeholder William O’Dea would be co-chairs of the transition team. He also revealed the names of 10 individuals who will serve as chairpeople of 11 transition subcommittees.
Now, the entire makeup of the transition team has been made public.
“I am thankful to all the volunteers who agreed to serve on these committees,” Fulop said. “They represent some of the most experienced and dedicated individuals in the state. The committees include members of the community who know Jersey City, as well as former and current [elected] officials who can share with us their collective experiences of what works best.”
Among the names that raised eyebrows, for one reason or another, include:
-Former governors James McGreevey and James Florio;
-Downtown activist Dan Levin, who ran with outgoing Mayor Jerramiah Healy after Fulop selected Candice Osborne instead of Levin to run for his Ward E City Council seat;
- Catherine Hecht, publisher of the Jersey City Independent;
-Current city business administrator under Healy, Jack Kelly
-Former Hudson County Sheriff Juan Perez
For the complete list, visit the up-to-the-minute news section at the top of HudsonReporter.com.
Fulop taps Farrell, Akil for two key administration posts
Mayor-elect Steven Fulop last week announced that he has filled two key positions in his administration. Jeremy Farrell, an associate with the Morristown office of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, was named corporation counsel and Muhammed Akil, who works in the city’s Health and Human Services Department, will serve as chief of staff to the mayor when he is sworn in on July 1.
Farrell, whose legal specialty at the firm includes municipal law, is the a Ronald J. Riccio Public Interest Fellow at McElroy, Deutsch where he is charged with being a liaison to pro-bono and community outreach initiatives, diversity and inclusion events, recruiting, and associate development projects. Last year, during the Jersey City Board of Education race Farrell was the campaign manager for the three Fulop-allied candidates who swept to victory in the election.
Since 2005, Akil has worked as a system’s analyst and a project manager in the city’s Department of Health and Human Services, where, among his other assignments, he was directly responsible for hiring and supervising a staff of 25 who oversee 70 feeding sites for the Summer Food Program for Children, one of the largest in the state. He previously worked in Jersey City as a mayoral aide, an aide to the corporation council, and assistant business administrator.
Akil received his bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University in communication studies and business administration and began graduate work for a doctorate in communications studies at Northwestern University.
Akil, a resident of the Bergen Lafayette neighborhood, is also the founder and executive director of More than a Race, a non-profit organization that designed to help at-risk youth in Jersey City through education and recreation activities.
Farrell and Akil are the first two members of the administration to be named. Fulop said more senior-level staff will be named in the coming weeks.
The Hudson Shakespeare Company presents ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’
The Hudson Shakespeare Company has started its annual Shakespeare in the Park series with a run of “Cyrano de Bergerac” by Edmund Rostand. The play, which is directed by Gene Simakowicz, was scheduled to be performed in the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery on Saturday, June 15 at 5 p.m., with a second Jersey City performance to be held on Thursday, June 20 in Hamilton Park at 7 p.m.
A third and fourth show are also planned for Sinatra Park in Hoboken on Monday, June 17 and Monday, June 24 at 7 p.m.
The Hudson Shakespeare Company, now in its 22nd season of touring Shakespeare and classical works in Hudson County and around New Jersey, is helping the Jersey City Historic and Harsimus Cemetery with its production of “Cyrano de Bergerac.” Proceeds from the show will go towards the volunteer association's Indie-go-go campaign to raise money for the cemetery's preservation. For the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery performance patrons are asked to make a $10 donation.
The other Cyrano de Bergerac performances are free.
Patrons are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to performances. In case of inclement weather, the Jersey City Historic and Harsimus Cemetery show will be held under provided tents, the Hamilton Park performance will move under the gazebo in the event a rain.
For more information about the Hudson Shakespeare Company, visit hudsonshakespeare.homestead.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.