HOBOKEN — Apparently, in Hoboken’s heated political climate, it’s never too early to announce a run for City Council.
Six seats are up for re-election this November in the mile-square city’s nine-member council. Currently, Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s allies have the majority of seats.
On Monday morning, Hoboken Housing Authority Chairwoman Dana Wefer announced in a press release that she plans to run for 4th Ward council in November. The seat is currently held by Timothy Occhipinti, who usually has been allied with those who oppose Zimmer’s policies. Wefer is seen as a Zimmer ally.
Occhipinti ran against Zimmer for mayor two years ago and came in third place. The third candidate in that mayoral race, Ruben Ramos, has also been talked about as a possible 4th Ward candidate.
The 4th Ward is the southwest section of the city, which includes much of the city’s public affordable housing overseen by the Housing Authority. It also includes the Skyline condos, some newer buildings, and a light rail stop.
Below is the press release:
Dana Wefer announced on Monday that she will be running for the 4th Ward Seat of the Hoboken City Council. The elections for City Council are on November 3rd and all six ward seats are up. Control of the City Council could change depending on the outcome of this election.
Wefer, an attorney, has gained visibility and credibility through her work at the Hoboken Housing Authority where she has served as chair since May 2014. She was just reelected chair for another one year term last month. At the Housing Authority, Wefer uncovered and blew the whistle on millions of dollars in unlawful procurements. Her whistleblowing precipitated an independent audit and HUD procurement review that uncovered even more unlawful procurements. Under Wefer’s leadership, the administration was changed and the agency is now conducting its first ever legitimate nationwide search for a new executive director. Wefer has also served as treasurer of the Democratic Committee.
According to Wefer’s campaign website, www.WeferForCouncil.com, her campaign will focus on the issues of taxes, development, and transportation and parking, but Wefer assures that she is eager to tackle all issues facing Hoboken and the 4th Ward.
“The 4th Ward deserves a representative who can effectively advocate for solutions to the big problems, such as taxes and parking, as well as quality of life issues, such as street cleanliness,” Wefer said Monday. “Constituent services is important, and I believe that we can do better in the 4th Ward.”
The release said Wefer will officially launch her race with a kickoff at 2:30 pm on June 14 at the Brasserie de Paris on First Street in the 4th Ward.
Wefer has served for a year as the chair of the Hoboken Housing Authority and was re-elected last month. The HHA oversees the low-income public housing projects in the mile-square city.
The 4th Ward election is often one of the most heated in Hoboken, as the area is seen as a hotbed of votes, contracts, and controversial get-out-the-vote efforts on Election Day (see related links below).
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