Hoboken Mayor-Elect Bhalla announces transition team; some former opponents on it


HOBOKEN — Hoboken Mayor-Elect Ravi Bhalla unveiled the leadership of his Transition Team on Monday, Nov. 20.
The transition team, chaired by longtime resident Phil Cohen, includes four other leaders who were candidates in the mayoral race.
Cohen currently serves on the Zoning Board of Adjustment an is the vice chair of the Hoboken Democratic Party. He also serves on the board of the United Synagogue of Hoboken.
Councilwoman-Elect Vanessa Falco, who ran on the slate of Michael DeFusco, will chair the Affordable Housing Committee.
DeFusco himself, a councilman, will chair the Economic Development Commitee. He has in the past said the outgoing administration of Mayor Dawn Zimmer has been too restrictive on businsess.
Chris O’Connor and Liz Ndoye will co-chair the Arts, Music, and Culture Committee.
Assemblywoman Annette Chapparo will char the Constituent Services Committee.
Former independent council candidate Angelo Valente, who heads up a statewide drug abuse agency, will chair the Drug Abuse Prevention Committee.
Councilwoman-Elect Emily Jabbour, who ran with Bhalla, will chair the Education Committee.
Freeholder Anthony Romano, who also ran unsuccessfully for mayor, will chair the Public Safety Committee.
Business owner Karen Nason, another former mayoral candidate, will chair the Small Business Development Committee. Former mayoral candidate Ronald Bautista will chair the Transportation and Parking Committee.
Jon Otto and Stewart Mader will co chair the Infrastructure Committee.
Former Mayor David Roberts will chair the Quality of Life Committee.
All mayoral candidates have gotten a spot on the team except former Councilwoman Jen Giattino. Both of Giattino’s campaign chairs have written letters saying Bhalla’s campaign unnecessarily attacked their candidate. According to Bhalla’s spokesman, Rob Horowitz, Giattino declined to chair a committee on Bhalla’s transition team when she as invited to do so.
According to Bhalla’s press release, each committee chair is charged with preparing at least three substantive recommendations for implementation in 2018. Hoboken residents interested in joining a transition committee are welcome to do so.
Those interested should contact Cohen via email at philiphcohen@gmail.com and identify their area of interest and the committee on which they are interested in serving.
Based on the recommendations of the Committee Chairs, the Transition Team will assemble a report to be considered by Mayor-Elect Bhalla and the members of his administration.
“One of the largest untapped assets of Hoboken is the intellectual capital of its residents,” said Bhalla in the press release. “I encourage interested residents to participate in this process so our Transition Team can provide the kind of quality recommendations that will better enable us to hit the ground running.”
“I appreciate the participation of so many of my fellow mayoral candidates,” he added. “This demonstrates unity in our common interests as a community, and promotes effective governance.”