JERSEY CITY AND BEYOND -- One-time City Councilman Steve Lipski, who gained some nationwide notoriety two years ago after he was arrested in Washington, D.C. for allegedly urinating publicly at a Grateful Dead concert, was named as the CEO of the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Tuesday.
Lipski will be paid a $1 salary, but did not know what benefits he would receive.
"The $1 salary is my way of showing remorse for the episode in Washington D.C. and showing I'm serious about my love for this city and showing my commitment to the city," Lipski said.
Lipski said he has been without a drink since the November, 2008 incident.
Lipski, who served on the City Council from 2001 to 2009, was an unamious vote by the EDC Board of Trustees to assume the autonomous agency's top position. The previous head, Gene Nelson, resigned in November. The EDC is a private not-for-profit corporation created in 1980 to bring about business and community development throughout Jersey City.
Lipski was also the founder and chief school administrator of CREATE Charter School in Jersey City until the school was closed in June when the state declined to renew its charter.
Lipski said the EDC position came about in conversation with Mayor Jerramiah Healy last month when Lipski inquired into an opening on the Jersey City Incinerator Authority board, only for Healy to suggest he consider the EDC position instead. Lipski said that at one point, Healy was concerned that Gov. Christopher Christie would disapprove of Lipski being named to the position, but Christie signed off on the hire.
Lipski will be on the job until June 30, 2011 when the EDC could either continue to operate with funding from the state's Urban Enterprise Zone program, or stop operating if Gov. Christie decides to disband the UEZ program.
Lipski said he will implement a nine-point program in running the EDC including board meetings taking place six times a year rather three and finding alternative sources of revenue to keep the EDC afloat if the UEZ funding is cut. He planned to meet with the 15 staff members on Wednesday to talk to each of them about the direction of the EDC under his guidance.
For the Washington, D.C. incident, he received sentence of one year’s probation in a Washington D.C. courtroom on Jan. 13, and paid a $50 fine and did community service.
For more stories on Lipski, see the links below from www.hudsonreporter.com.