HUDSON COUNTY — Only in an immensely political county could people fight over a seat on the sewerage authority.
But it looks like that’s about to happen at next week’s Hoboken City Council meeting.
Sources say that the seat long held by Hoboken developer and former Board of Education president Frank “Pupie” Raia on the North Hudson Sewerage Authority board is up for appointment this February. Raia, who is wealthy and often gets involved in political campaigns, has friends and foes in all political camps, so those who want to pry him out of the seat may have other ideas.
One Hoboken resident made his interest in the seat known with a press announcement on Tuesday afternoon.
Former freeholder candidate Kurt Gardiner emailed the following release:
“I have submitted my application for the North Hudson Sewerage Authority as a Commissioner for a vacancy on the board that comes up next month. For over 10 years I have been active in Hoboken political and civic affairs. I have served as a member on People For a Open Government in support of pay to play reform, Hoboken Revolt a tax watchdog group, ran a good government pro reform website called the Hoboken Journal actively until 2011 on local issues and participated in numerous public meetings including Sewerage Board, City Council, School Board, Hospital Authority and many others over the years. I also ran for Freeholder in 2011 to give voters a choice and highlight the County taxation issues that find Hoboken getting the short end of the stick.
As a dedicated reformer and good government advocate for many years I have a skill set that I know can contribute to the sewerage board’s continued progress. an extensive background in project management, budgeted for multimillion dollar projects, I am familiar with procurement processes given my Enterprise Resource Planning experience, and a passion for policy as it pertains to infrastructure improvement such as traffic management and flood abatement to name a few. For those reasons I am a strong candidate to serve on the board. I believe that this vacancy should go to a supporter of good government and to someone who is willing to communicate effectively with the public and current administration and I posses the desire and capabilities to do so. It is time Hoboken capitalized on the political capital that the good government movement has earned fairly at the ballot box and bring some fresh ideas to the board to address sewage issues comprehensibly, cooperatively and openly.
For those reasons I am asking support from the City Council for this upcoming appointment to the North Hudson Sewerage Authority as Commissioner.”
Gardiner lost his freeholder bid in 2011 but lost to Anthony Romano. Mayor Dawn Zimmer declined to make an endorsement in that election.
Gardiner also ran a blog for a time called the Hoboken Journal.
While the seats used to come with medical benefits, they no longer do.
The North Hudson Sewerage Authority is headquartered in Hoboken and also serves Weehawken and West New York.
Watch this weekend’s Reporter and hudsonreporter.com for more information on this battle and other news in Hudson County.