We meant Peter Cunningham, not Cammarano, although in truth, it has become more and more difficult over the last few years to tell who is a reformer and who is not.
While Cunningham and Zimmer have laid claim to the title of reformer - often backed by more old-guard reformers such as Michael Lenz and Tony Soares - the last election has created new categories that seem to splinter the reform movement and create new mixtures of reform and traditional political forces.
For instance, newly elected council member Beth Mason said she deliberately ran an independent campaign in the May election, cutting some ties with the old reform movement partly because she is seeking new vision to solve some of the problems the city faces.
The election of Mason, Zimmer, and Cunningham to three of the six ward council seats in Hoboken has put a new face on the reform moment in some ways. Along with the recent successes of Kids First in taking a majority vote on the Board of Education, and the reformers' ability to seize key position within the Hoboken Democratic Organization, 2007 seems to be the year of reformers.
But this is not to say that people like Lenz and Carol Marsh have dropped out of the political mix. Some credit Marsh's failed election for state Assembly in the 33rd District as part of the reason for the reformers' return to power. Two years ago, Marsh's loss to Roberts in the mayoral runoff along with the loss of Soares in the council race made some people think the reform movement was in ruins. Some - including Lenz - credited Marsh and other reformers with rebuilding the reform movement, partly by tying itself to a reformed Hudson County Democratic Organization. The HCDO also gave funding to Dawn Zimmer's campaign.
On the other hand, Hoboken Democratic Chairman Maurice Fitzgibbons, who supported the Russo-Cammarano faction of city politics during the last election, disputes the reform movement's successes.
Fitzgibbons is working with the Russo-Castellano-Cammarano faction of city politics.
Yet the facts speak for themselves, and the reform movement has regained a significant voice in Hoboken as a result of recent elections.
Fitzgibbons is right in pointing out that the reform movement isn't only made up of self-declared formers such as Zimmer and Lenz, but of other people who seem to be more in the middle.
Cammarano, of course, has the distinction of being attractive to both Old Hoboken - meaning those residents who have been here for several generations - and New Hoboken, the recently arrived population of professionals whose careers require them to have access to Manhattan.
Cammarano's curious position has won the admiration among some traditional politicos and disdain among some reformers, perhaps because he appears to be precisely the mixture of old and new that could lead him to become the next mayor.
Some reformers, however, see Cammarano's chances of becoming the compromise candidate shrinking dramatically if Councilman Michael Russo throws his hat in the mayoral race.
Russo told several people during a recent outing to a Jersey City pizzeria that he intends to run for mayor of Hoboken in 2009.
If this is true, Hoboken may again see a split between Old and New Hoboken as was evident in the 2005 mayor/council elections. Traditional reformers say that while the field of candidates may be large, the run-off will be between candidates representing old and new Hoboken.
While Russo is likely to be the champion of Old Hoboken, some reports suggest Zimmer might seek to become the reformer candidate. But you can't count out Mason, or even Marsh.
Vega will not be moved
Coming off a disastrous state Senate election against Assemblyman and Union City Mayor Brian Stack, Sal Vega, currently the mayor of West New York, said he believes he can weather the storm of a planned recall election against him.
Vega says recent bad feelings between him and Rep. Albio Sires had to do with the change of leadership. Vega took the reigns as mayor when Sires vacated the seat to enter the U.S. House of Representatives. At some point, Vega said, he has to put his own people in key positions, and that Sires does not seem to understand this.
"I recently talked with Mayor [David] Roberts (of Hoboken)," Vega said. "He was shocked when he found he has lost control of his own council. I think a mayor has to set his own priorities."
Since taking over as mayor last November, Vega has been making changes that he said better reflect his own beliefs.
Sires, of course, was concerned about very resent changes. Chris Campos - who recently lost his bid for reelection as a Hoboken councilman - has been replaced as the West New York prosecutor, and Robert Dorsey - a close aide to Sires - will retire in October.
Vega said there was no political motivation behind removing Campos. He said the legal office is simply being reorganized, and West New York is seeking requests for qualification for all legal services, as well as prosecutor and public defender in the court.
Vega said he waited 16 years to become mayor and that during those years, he had been loyal to the previous mayor.
"I never said a bad thing," he said.
But now that Vega is mayor, Vega said he is not going to allow people outside of West New York to direct the city's future.
"No mayor from outside West New York has controlled this city, and I won't allow it to happen," he said, more or less focusing on Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner and Union City Mayor Stack.
"West New York has always been a good neighbor, and to tell you the truth, we have to work with our neighbors," Vega added. "But I am the mayor West New York and I'm working very hard to be the best mayor I can be."
Vega said he is currently seeking to fill another key position: city administrator. The contract for Buddy Demellier, who was on loan from Hudson County government, expired as of June 30.
"While he's staying to help start the budget process, we've advertised for a new administrator," Vega said.
Secaucus Administrator Anthony Iacono is apparently headed to Paramus starting Aug. 1
Meanwhile, Vega has called on the talents of Freeholder Bill O'Dea to help with the West New York Urban Enterprise Zone.
Vega and O'Dea were often at odds when Vega was freeholder chairman, but rarely burned bridges.
O'Dea, who serves as the head of economic development in Elizabeth, will offer his expertise to West New York.