Jim Doyle is the new at-large councilman in Hoboken!
The Old Guard council abandoned Scott Delea in favor of contesting the appointment claiming it did not hold to the NJ statute. Corporation Counsel Melissa Longo stated the appointment fits the law to the letter and was promptly ignored throughout the evening by MORTe.
Voting to approve the appointment Council members Ravi Bhalla, Dave Mello, Jen Giattino and Council President Peter Cunningham. Later, the mayor would cast a vote in favor of Jim Doyle but it was not required under the law. The NJ statute requires a simple majority and with seven members present, four votes was sufficient.
Previously the council has filled the council seat empty due to resignation most recently by then councilwoman Dawn Zimmer in 2009. There was no attempt to say that was illegal.
The three members of MORTe present minus Beth Mason made a grandstanding show of objecting to the legal appointment of Councilman Jim Doyle. Councilman Ravi Bhalla was especially critical of the attempt as he put it to "demoralize" the new councilman and said it reflected on those members.
In new business, Councilman Ravi Bhalla said the "intent is to stifle the progress of the city" and noted a special election would be held under the law in May or November of next year.
None of this is news to anyone on the council.
Earlier Councilman Michael Russo claimed the illegal appointment of Councilman Jim Doyle would lead to his appointment being contested in court. Perhaps Beth Mason was absent working on another legal action against the people of Hoboken.
Talking Ed Note: Every single person in the room is more than aware the last resignation by a council member led to a legal appointment in 2009 when Mayor Zimmer was elected opening up her 4th ward council seat.
Council members Terry Castellano and Mike Russo were present at that 2009 legal vote and now are pretending they are unaware of the legitimate action. Sour grapes and the typical bitterness from the worst in Hoboken. Tim Occhipinti also knows this but played along with the farce.
Russo complained he is "disrespected" on a daily basis along with his entire family by other council members. There was no illustration offered of the claimed disrespect. He then called Councilman Jim Doyle "a friend" during new business while protesting the legal appointment.
Councilman Doyle may not view the circus like protests by the Old Guard council members as very friendly on his first evening serving Hoboken.
MSV knows Councilman Doyle more for his contributions in Hoboken which precede many residents. He's a tremendous addition to the City Council and MSV wishes him the best in his service to the Mile Square.
Correction: The actual vote was 4-2-1 not 4-3 with Russo saying he was abstaining. It mattered little though with Russo joining Castellano and Occhipinti in an obvious pre-planned circus orchestration to impede progress with the reform majority.