Longtime activist and affordable housing advocate Paul Bellan-Boyer has been hired to work in the City’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He began his new job this week.
Bellan-Boyer, who lives in Ward B, helped run Fulop’s campaign on the West Side and campaigned heavily for Khemraj “Chico” Ramchal, the current Ward B City Councilman who ran on Fulop’s slate. He previously helped get votes for Board of Education candidates who had been endorsed by Fulop. Bellan-Boyer was a vocal supporter of the Fulop-allied school board’s decision to hire Dr. Marcia Lyles as the superintendent of schools over Franklin Walker last year.
He was also part of Fulop’s transition committee, which was an unpaid volunteer post.
Bellan-Boyer has a background in social service work. He was the director of the Jersey City Episcopal Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit developer of affordable housing. The organization has created approximately 200 affordable housing units in the city.
Bellan-Boyer also co-founded the grassroots Save Christ Hospital campaign after the hospital declared bankruptcy and was on the verge of being sold to a California-based for-profit company that had a questionable record in its home state. After that deal fell through, and the for-profit owners of Bayonne Medical Center stepped in to buy Christ, Bellan-Boyer continued to work through the Save Christ Hospital campaign to ensure that community and staff concerns were addressed by the state during the sale.
Several longtime Fulop allies and campaign workers have been hired at City Hall since July 1, when the mayor took office, including Pam Andes, Althea Bernheim, and now Bellan-Boyer.
These hires exclude Fulop’s senior-level, department director picks. Elected officials who serve in an executive branch position like mayor are generally given a lot of leeway in whom they hire for senior-level politically appointed posts. Fulop has hired a number of associates and supporters to director-level positions within his administration. But such hires were to be expected.
Hiring for non-senior jobs is another matter.
As a city councilman for Ward E, Fulop was often critical of nepotism within the administration of his predecessor, Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy.
City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill did not respond to two e-mails seeking information regarding Bellan-Boyer’s title or job function at HHS.
See this weekend's newspaper for more on Fulop's transition. – E. Assata Wright