The Mess That Is Hoboken

This has been quite a mess in Hoboken of a first month by Mayor Peter Cammarano where 33% of our last 3 mayors have NOT been arrested by the FBI – a pretty fascinating statistic courtesy of and probably a telling sign of the state of the cities in New Jersey.

Take a look at the portion of an e-mail that I have quoted below which shows Hoboken Revolt vehemently trying to educate their followers about laws in place regarding situations like this in Hoboken and in New Jersey:

If he (Cammarano) doesn’t resign and he has to take a leave of absence to attend to a personal matter, he can appoint an interim Mayor. That interim can be any one of his Directors or the Council President. At the moment, he has two approved Directors – John Pope and James Farina. Under the Faulkner Act, he has the right to appoint his Directors on a temporary 30 day basis that he can renew ever 30 days. Getting approval from the Council on his Director choices is really just ceremony.

Therefore, he can appoint Terry LaBruno, Angel Alicea, Todd Poole, etc. today if he wanted to so that he can appoint one of them Mayor should he decide to take a leave of absence. We would not be able to recall a newly appointed Mayor for the first year of his/her term as Mayor.

I wasn’t too familiar with The Faulkner Act and even when I tried to look it up a couple of places it seemed a little vague. So I went to the one person I knew would be able to tell me about it — Professor Wharton at Stevens. If there is something you want to know on politics, he’s your guy at Stevens. He even wrote a chapter once upon a time regarding the Washington Nationals and the role politics has played and plagued with that franchise.

He replied in an e-mail to me saying that the Act was originally enacted decades ago (in 1950) to allow for more flexibility for the public to participate in open elections and establish effective local governance (at least ideally) of former or at least notoriously corrupt or problematic local NJ municipalities, including just about every city in Hudson County.

He went on to say that the mayor can and probably will stay in office right now because technically and legally he’s not guilty – yet.

As far as appointing the director mayor, he went on to say that it is rare but can happen when a mayor is away from office:

… that’s rare but can happen when the mayor is away at times for a day or a week at a time; it’s more symbolic than substance (the same thing takes place when the Gov leaves for a day or two and an official, like the Senate president takes over or now that we’ll have a Lt Gov after January). Also, keep in mind Hoboken is still under the auspices of Judy Trapodi – the state appointed monitor for finances so home rule remain a concern as to who can “adjust” or change things. In reality, the mayor has little control on everything, without Trapodi’s input and the city council’s.

I can’t wait to get back on campus in Hoboken in less than a month and take another Wharton class. In the meantime, e-mails will do and hopefully this shed some light on the ever evolving mess that is the Mayor’s office in Hoboken.