I have lived in Hoboken 23 years, and am proud to raise my family in our city.
I have actively volunteered my time and service to Hoboken. My present activities include serving as Fifth Ward Democratic Committeeman, and a Vice-Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Party. I recently served on Peter Cammarano’s mayoral transition team (although I resigned the day after he was arrested).
Last spring’s Mayoral elections may seem like “ancient history” to some, but I think they’re worth reviewing:
From February through May, Hoboken endured a bruising first round Mayoral campaign (during which I supported my friend Beth Mason). After many debates, advertisements, flyers and campaign events, the top two vote-getters, Peter Cammarano (36 percent) and Dawn Zimmer (35.2 percent), far out-distanced a field of six candidates. Then, from May to June, Hoboken experienced a second, head-to-head Mayoral campaign – Cammarano versus Zimmer. The vote difference between the two candidates was so small that of more than 12,000 votes cast, Ms. Zimmer beat Mr. Cammarano by 242 votes on the voting machines, but lost by 161 votes after absentee ballots were hand-counted, days after the polls closed.
Eight days after his July 22nd federal indictment, Mayor Cammarano resigned, and Hoboken breathed a collective sigh of relief as Dawn Zimmer was sworn in as Acting Mayor the same day. Ms. Zimmer’s strong city-wide support (for herself and her council ticket) on May 12 and June 9 made her a logical leader waiting in the wings, and she displayed a steady hand as Acting Mayor, when the media spotlight turned to her, and she turned our shaken City Hall back to taking care of the peoples’ business.
I respect and appreciate how successfully Ms. Zimmer campaigned and succeeded at the polls in the spring, far exceeding the support of every candidate but one, Mr. Cammarano. Ms. Zimmer has run clean, positive, campaigns, funded primarily by grass roots supporters and substantial sacrifices of her family’s resources. Ms. Zimmer is neither a part of the “old boys club” nor a product of the “Hudson county machine”. Perhaps that’s why some see her as a threat to local entrenched interests.
While some claim that Ms. Zimmer is wrongly holding two offices as a result of Mayor Cammarano’s resignation, I completely disagree. First, Ms. Zimmer stopped taking her salary as Council President, after she was sworn in as Acting Mayor. Second, for the one salary she is taking, she spearheaded legislation reducing the Mayor’s salary by 10 percent. Third, Ms. Zimmer’s temporarily serving as Acting Mayor and Council President from July 31st until November 3rd has been approved as legal by our City Attorney (who was appointed by Mayor Roberts).
But more importantly, in her short time as Acting Mayor, Ms. Zimmer has already taken major steps towards restoring integrity and accountability to our city. Ms. Zimmer led the push for legislation to shift authority for Zoning Board appointments away from the Mayor’s office and back to the City Council’s control. (Ironically, Mayor Cammarano declared he would veto this legislation, a few weeks before he was arrested for allegedly taking cash from developers seeking favorable zoning variances.) Ms. Zimmer is the first Hoboken Mayor to invite the public to submit resumes for our city’s Director positions. In addition to cutting her own pay as Mayor 10 percent, she also cut all city Directors’ salaries by 10% and ended longevity pay for Directors, requiring that future salary increases be based on merit, not years on the job.
Ms. Zimmer is off to a good start serving our City as Mayor. She has earned our vote, our patience, and our support so that she can continue serving us as Mayor.
As one of the more than 6,000 people who proudly cast my vote for Dawn Zimmer on June 9, I am proud to declare that on November 3rd I will, once again, cast my vote for Dawn Zimmer.