Weehawken Third Ward Councilman stepping down

Raul Gonzalez is relocating to take a new job

Weehawken Third Ward Councilman Raul Gonzalez
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Weehawken Third Ward Councilman Raul Gonzalez

Weehawken Third Ward Councilman Raul Gonzalez has announced his resignation from his seat on the Township Council. This is due to a new career opportunity, which requires him to move out of the township.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the citizens of Weehawken and a pleasure working with Mayor Turner, my Council colleagues, and the Administration,” Gonzalez said.

In his resignation letter, Gonzalez wrote, “I have been offered a new career opportunity that I feel I must accept. Sadly, this new career opportunity will require my family and me to relocate.”

Gonzalez was first elected to the council in 2018, alongside current council members Carmela Silvestri-Ehret, Rosemary Lavagnino, and David Curtis. Gonzalez replaced then-Third Ward Councilman and Deputy Mayor Robert Sosa who decided not to run after 34 years on the council. The Third Ward runs from Clifton Terrace and Park Avenue to 51st and Park Avenue.

“Please know that I am grateful for the trust and confidence that the residents of the Third Ward, the residents of the Township, and the Township Council have placed in me in the last three years as a Councilman,” Gonzalez said in the letter. “I am also thankful for the support I have had throughout my career with the Township of Weehawken for nearly 24 years.”

Long career in Weehawken

Gonzalez served in various roles throughout his career with the township. A Weehawken native, he has worked for the township for 24 years, including as a social worker there and at the North Hudson Community Action Center. He served as the township’s Director of Social Services from 1997 until his election to the council in 2018.

And while he will longer be in Weehawken, Gonzalez said he will still support the township.

“While I no longer serve in any official capacity on the Council, I look forward to continuing to be a resource for the Turner Administration,” Gonzalez said. “I will be available to help the Township and the administration to the best of my ability.”

Mayor Turner praised highly of Gonzalez.

“We wish Councilman Raul Gonzalez well as he pursues a new career opportunity,” Turner said. “His commitment to the residents of the Third Ward and the residents of the Township over the years has been tremendous. He has always been a dedicated public servant. We are sure he will be successful in his new endeavors.”

New council member inbound

The search for Gonzalez’s replacement is already on.

“The Township Council will begin the process of looking for a Council member replacement immediately,” Turner said. “In accordance with state statute, we have 30 days to appoint a successor to fill his unexpired term.”

The new council member will finish out the rest of Gonzalez’s term until the next municipal election in May of 2022. The position of councilman in Weehawken is considered part-time, accruing $8,000 annually.

More information may come at the next regular Township Council meeting on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. Meetings are usually held virtually; for more information, go to weehawken-nj.us.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.