Judge approves vote to make Jim Doyle a Hoboken councilman

HOBOKEN — After a few contentious months, Jim Doyle has finally been added to the Hoboken City Council to fill a vacant seat left by Councilwoman Carol Marsh, who resigned last fall. Marsh was an ally of Mayor Dawn Zimmer, as is Doyle. The nine-member council now has five Zimmer allies on it and four councilpeople who frequently criticize her policies.
The four Zimmer opponents had fought to legally overturn Doyle’s appointment last year, saying the votes were not done properly.
The city sent out a release Monday morning saying:

Last Friday, Hudson County Assignment Judge Peter Bariso ruled that the vote held on January 16th appointing Jim Doyle to the Hoboken City Council was valid, despite the abstentions cast by Councilwoman Beth Mason and Councilman Michael Russo.
Judge Bariso summed up his ruling (www.hobokennj.org/docs/corpcounsel/Opinion-Zimmer-v-Castellano-Final-2-1-13.pdf) as follows:
“This court cannot countenance the notion that the Municipal Vacancy Law was intended to encourage gamesmanship. Council members should not be permitted to undermine the deliberative process and trump the intent of the legislature.”
Mayor Dawn Zimmer welcomed Judge Bariso’s decision, saying: “It is unfortunate that the City of Hoboken has incurred tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees to fill a routine City Council vacancy. I welcome Mr. Doyle to the City Council and trust the members of the City Council will do the same.”
“We have real work to do in our City,” added Mayor Zimmer. “Once Jim Doyle is sworn in, we will have our full complement of 9 council people, and the 4-4 Council deadlock will be broken. It is time for the end of the gamesmanship and for the full Council to work with my administration to rebuild our City in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.”

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