Is Hoboken Councilwoman Mason considering a run for Lautenberg's Senate seat?
Hoboken 2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason has reached out to top state Democratic leaders to say she may be interested in the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Frank Lautenberg on Monday, according to a report on the Star-Ledger website on Thursday that cited anonymous sources.
Mason did not return calls for comment from the Reporter by press time.
Gov. Chris Christie temporarily appointed New Jersey Attorney General Jeff Chiesa to fill the seat on Thursday, pending a special election in October.
Other prominent Democrats and Republicans in the state have expressed interest in running, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
Mason has run for higher office than councilwoman before. She lost a mayoral bid to the current mayor, Dawn Zimmer, in 2009. She has been a vocal opponent of Zimmer since then, although in a letter in today’s Reporter, she pledges to work with Zimmer on the issue of helicopter noise.
The Star-Ledger describes her as "one of the state’s most prolific donors."
The newspaper says that she "has been reaching out to leading Democrats expressing interest in the seat, but she has not decided whether to run, according to two sources familiar with Mason’s thinking who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to talk about internal deliberations... [Mason is] a former president of the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government (NJFOG)and a founding member of the Hoboken-based nonpartisan civic association People for Open Government."
Mason declined to comment for their story.
Candidates must collect 1,000 signatures on petitions by next Monday at 4 p.m. if they want to run.
HCDO ticket wins big in 33rd Legislative District on Tuesday
Incumbent state Sen. and Union City Mayor Brian Stack and his Hudson County Democratic Organization-endorsed (HCDO) General Assembly candidates, Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Carmelo Garcia and Jersey City Deputy Mayor Raj Mukherji, prevailed in Democratic primaries held throughout the 33rd Legislative District on Tuesday night. Those three candidates will face three largely-unopposed Republicans in a November general election.
The 33rd District is comprised of Hoboken, Union City, Weehawken and parts of Jersey City, and is represented by one state senator and two assemblymen.
Stack, who ran unopposed, won 99.84 percent of the votes. Garcia and Mukherji captured 46.12% and 41.74% respectively, with 151 of 159 voting stations reporting. That means they get the Democratic nod for two open Assembly seats and will face Republicans in November.
The third-place finisher was far behind. Jersey City activist and attorney Peter Basso won 6.34 percent of the votes, while populist candidates Anthony Mills and John Hilt IV, who ran together, came in fourth and sixth places, respectively. Hoboken City Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla, who dropped out of the race after a lawsuit failed to knock Garcia, his main competition, off the ballot, came in fifth. He recorded 445 votes.
In the Republican contest, Hoboken resident James Sanford won the state Senate primary, running unopposed. Jude Anthony Tiscornia (Jersey City) and Armando Hernandez (Union City) will represent the party in the November Assembly election.
‘Kids First’ slate names school board candidates for November election
The ‘Kids First’ campaign last week named the candidates it will field in this November’s Board of Education elections, including two incumbents and a challenger.
The slate, which is allied with Mayor Dawn Zimmer, includes sitting school board members Leon Gold and Irene Sobolov. Gold is the board’s president, and Sobolov has served since 2009.
The newest candidate, Jennifer Evans, is the Secretary of the Hoboken Early Childhood Advisory Council, an active member of the Brandt and District-wide PTOs, and a frequent attendee at the monthly Hoboken BOE meetings.
Other candidates for school board positions include Vanessa Falco, James Gilbarty, Brian Murray, Anthony Oland, Natalie Rivera, and Patricia Waiters.
Watch hudsonreporter.com for more on the upcoming race.
Hoboken business to acquire Summit Bancorp for $26.9 million
Hoboken’s Haven Bancorp, a 75-year-old residential loaning institution, announced Wednesday it will acquire Summit’s Hilltop Community Bancorp, which was founded as a commercial lender, for about $26.9 million, according to a report on NJ Biz.
Haven is the parent of Haven Savings Bank, while Hilltop is the parent of Hilltop Community Bank.
According to the report, the acquisition of Hilltop will allow Haven to build up its commercial portfolio, which it has begun to focus on in recent years.
Haven has 80 employees and Hilltop 28, though no decisions have been made on whether layoffs will result from the merger, said the report.
Hudson County Long Term Recovery Committee teams with World Renew to assess Sandy damage
The Hudson County Long Term Recovery Committee (HCLTRC) has partnered with World Renew, an international recovery group, to have teams of volunteers open several walk-in centers and conduct home visits of Hudson County residents who have been affected by Superstorm Sandy, primarily in the flood-prone areas. The surveys will be conducted from June 5 through June 18. The purpose is to help those who were not sufficiently helped by government aid.
World Renew volunteers are known as the “Green Shirts” because of their uniforms. The Green Shirts have been conducting the surveys in response to disasters around the country for 20 years and plan on bringing survey teams to all of the heavily impacted communities.
The Green Shirts will staff walk-in Centers for Sandy-affected residents to share their unmet needs. Home visits will be arranged through the call-in number (551) 333-5080.
Jersey City Walk-in center sites include Our Lady of Mercy Church, located at 40 Sullivan Drive in Country Village and Barrow Mansion in Downtown, located at 83 Wayne Street. The Country Village dates are Wednesday, June 5 through Saturday, June 8, and the Downtown dates are Wednesday, June 5 through Tuesday, June 18.
The Hoboken centers are located at the Jubilee Center, located at 601 Jackson Street and the Hoboken Public Library, located at 500 Park Avenue. The Jubilee Center dates are Monday, June 10 through Thursday, June 13. The library dates are the same.
Bill to allow development on coastal piers clears Senate
Sen. Nicholas J. Sacco recently sponsored legislation that would allow residential and commercial development – including hotels, motels, and mixed use properties – on existing piers over large rivers in urban municipalities.
The bill was approved on May 30 by the full Senate.
Currently, this type of development is prohibited by DEP outside of Atlantic City.
“Coastal communities in New Jersey, including those along the Jersey shore and the Hudson River, have been hit with devastating economic losses following Hurricane Sandy,” said Sen. Sacco, D-Hudson and Bergen. “Blocking the development of new residential and commercial property in these areas would cause great harm to local businesses and hinder the vast recovery efforts that we have seen so far. By allowing new developments to proceed on existing piers, this measure will bring a significant boost to coastal areas and help spur the creation of new jobs and businesses.”
The bill, S-2680, would require that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) permit development on piers in coastal high hazard areas.
Provisions of the bill would apply only to piers in existence on the effective date of the bill. There are 57 urban aid municipalities in the state, but the number of urban aid municipalities that will have the zones impacting large rivers, as specified by the bill, is significantly fewer. There are development projects in Hoboken and Weehawken that would be affected by the legislation.
The bill was approved by the Senate with a vote of 37-3. It now heads to the General Assembly for final legislative approval.
The Barclays still seeking volunteers
As the best players on the PGA TOUR look toward qualifying for the FedExCup Playoffs over the next two months, tournament officials with The Barclays say they are still looking for people to volunteer for the event when it returns to Jersey City’s Liberty National from August 20 through 25.
The 1,850 men, women and children who volunteer their time at The Barclays each year are an integral part of the event’s success, both during tournament week and in its ongoing support of local charities. The volunteers support every element of the tournament, from tracking statistics, greeting guests and feeding fans, to keeping the grounds beautiful throughout the week.
The Barclays volunteers are divided into 24 committees and work a combined 33,300 hours leading up to the tournament and during tournament week. Volunteers will have the opportunity to be close to some of the game’s top players, while working as part of a world-class tournament.
For a $75 fee, each volunteer receives a weeklong pass for themselves and one guest to The Barclays, good for admission, even on days when he or she is not working), an official cap and t-shirt, lunch vouchers, and an invitation to the Volunteer Appreciation party.
Those interested in volunteering should visit thebarclaysgolf.com and follow the link for “volunteer” under the “Information” tab. Volunteers must be at least 12 years of age to participate.