HOBOKEN – Mayor Dawn Zimmer sent a memo to the City Clerk’s office vetoing two pieces of legislation that would have lowered her salary and those of her directors after the council voted 5-4 in favor of the ordinances on Wednesday evening, a move that Council President Beth Mason called “hypocritical.”
Zimmer returned the two pieces of legislation to the clerk’s office without her signature, along with a letter.
“These proposals, which were introduced during an election campaign, appear to have been based at least in part by political rather than public policy considerations,” Zimmer said in her letter to the clerk sent on Thursday afternoon. “They are not in the best interests of the city of Hoboken.”
Mason, the sponsor of the legislation, issued a statement to The Reporter on Thursday afternoon.
“Two years ago Councilwoman Zimmer advocated cutting Mayor Roberts’ pay by 15 percent,” Mason said on Thursday. “She defended her position by saying the mayor should lead by example. Unfortunately, now Mayor Zimmer is showing she will not lead by example.”
Zimmer cut her salary to approximately $116,000 from $129,000 when she took office after former Mayor Peter Cammarano was arrested.
Zimmer is currently the highest paid mayor in Hudson County (which is split between full-time and part-time mayors). She is a full-time mayor.
Mason also said the veto was a reason why the city’s cash surplus should be given back to the taxpayer.
“ Ironically the last time Mayor Zimmer used a veto it was to overturn the City Council’s abolition of recreation fees,” Mason said. “Mayor Zimmer says our city is in such dire financial straits we must charge Hoboken’s children to participate in recreation programs. Yet now the Mayor is using her veto power to keep more taxpayer money in her own pocket. This is just another reason why we must return Hoboken’s surplus to the people. If we leave it in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats they will keep finding ways to spend it.” -- Ray Smith