Last night's July City Council meeting saw a former member approved for an open Zoning Board seat and the irony of earlier actions splitting the council coming full circle.
Carol Marsh, a former councilwoman in Hoboken is returning to public service after her City Council colleagues voted unanimously to appoint her to an open Hoboken Zoning Board seat. The term is not a full three years but six months as the slot is a replacement. It will be eligible for a full three year term after the six months are completed.
Marsh did not complete her term as a councilwoman resigning in September 2012 as she said personal reasons forced her hand attached to family health issues. Earning sympathy from her council members at the time, she was later attacked by some, notably Councilwoman Terry Castellano who accused her of timing it so a reappointment by the council could name her replacement without an election.
The titanic struggle over the ninth swing seat on the council led to legal "gamesmanship" by the Old Guard council where Beth Mason would spend well into six figures attempting to boot Marsh's replacement, Jim Doyle, in a series of council votes and absences by herself and Councilman Michael Russo: all with an eye on keeping Mayor Zimmer from casting a decisive ninth vote on his appointment.
A months long protracted court battle followed, leading first to Doyle's appointment in the council as Hudson County Superior Court Assignment Judge Peter Bariso ordered the full City Council to vote on the council replacement. He criticized the Old Guard council's "gamesmanship" deadlocking a split council.
The Mason family appealed the county court decision and obtained a successful verdict in the NJ Appellate Court forcing Jim Doyle to step down until he was elected as part of a Reform sweep last November.
The Marsh zoning board appointment while unanimous 9-0 in the end saw an earlier discussion where Councilman Dave Mello requested a vote be delayed until next month so he could reach out to other candidates.
His suggestion did not garner support and in the end, he joined his colleagues in voting the former councilwoman to the six month open seat.
The video of some council comments leading into the vote is shown below. (There's a ten second still delay in the video before starting.)