At the time, Waiters was a paid aide to Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia, the former head of the HHA. She has since resigned for unstated reasons.
At the meeting, she alleged that many real estate businesses with Jewish surnames had opened since Mayor Dawn Zimmer (who is Jewish) took office, and that Zimmer had only appointed Jews to city boards.
“Since Dawn’s mayorship, we have a real estate place on every corner,” she said at the public meeting. “What is his name? Weitzman, Heller, Einstein, every corner, okay?”
The comment came up at a time when Zimmer was being accused of avoiding hiring minorities. A previous story in the Hoboken Reporter had noted a very low level of Latin Americans on the most powerful city boards.
At the next City Council meeting, David Mello, a city councilman and HHA board member, publicly condemned Waiters’ remarks and called on Garcia to remove her from his payroll. She declined to resign. But she did apologize for the comments in a letter to the Hoboken Reporter a few weeks later.
“I would ask anyone who I may have offended with my comments to forgive me for not making my points a little clearer,” she wrote.
In an interview this past week, Waiters denied being anti-Semitic, saying that she didn’t even know how to pronounce the word. However, she also took back the letter.
Waiters said that the letter had been drafted by Chris Campos, another Garcia aide and a former Hoboken councilman, and that she was “a little bit ashamed” by it.
“I don’t feel I have to apologize for something that’s true,” said Waiters.
Read more about this story and the upcoming board election in this weekend's Hoboken Reporter. -- Carlo Davis