Americans are known for their positive optimism, their embrace on self-reliance but on the downside a miraculous ability for short term memory in the voting booth. As Hoboken has appeared in the national spotlight twice now in recent weeks, it's a fair question to ask what's next? And what should a new acting mayor do with such a short time before the November election?
Well slashing your own salary is hardly a bad start. Remaining consistent on moving the zoning board nominations from the power of the mayor's office to City Council is an obvious home run too. Although it looks simple now, the removal of such a mayoral delicacy should generate great appeal to all residents looking for a fresh start to the town's governance. The follow through on returning those powers to the City Council since they had been legally impounded in 1993 is a great step for obvious reasons.
Opening up the process for the senior director positions at City Hall is smart too, even if the job security is uncertain past the November election. Although we can't say what's next on the agenda, there's a lot of solid effort going on behind the scenes and an earthy professionalism that has caught many folks by surprise. Although it's too soon to make any claims of success, we think all good residents of Hoboken should extend an open hand of support even if they don't play the bars of Hail to the Chief.
In a perfect world we'd like to see Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer be given more time to demonstrate her capabilities. The recognition of the calendar and the November election clearly impedes what can be accomplished in a short window. In spite of this obstacle, the City Council has the capability to act and move more efficiently toward a better Hoboken for all the town's residents. Before the fissures of the November election arrive, we urge them to think, act and work toward tangible, concrete goals while the iron is hot.
Hoboken faces a lot of problems and some may not be addressable in the near term. We understand that political reality and at the same time call for the continued spirit of cooperation and effectiveness that has not been possible in quite some time.
Given half a chance, we believe the acting mayor may pleasantly surprise us more. And we welcome it.
Additional detail here: http://www.nj.com/hobokennow/index.ssf/2009/08/hoboken_mayor_dawn_zimmer_seek.html#comments
Photo: Acting Mayor Dawn Zimmer chats with residents in Sinatra Park after the Hudson River air disaster press conference last Saturday.
Follow up: Hoboken Now is quoting Councilwoman Beth Mason as stating the 10% mayoral salary reduction as not enough. The quote is from last Thursday!