Hoboken City Council appoints Lewit, Impastato to housing authority board

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The Hoboken City Council appointed Fund for a Better Waterfront Vice Chair Andrew Lewit and former council candidate Andrew Impastato to the housing authority board on Wednesday night. 

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Heading into the regularly scheduled meeting, it appeared that Lewit, also a founder of the Elysian Charter School, would be added to the seven-person HHA board along with Eduardo Gonzalez – a former HHA commissioner and Elysian Charter School board president.

However, in his first order of business for the evening, Council President Ruben Ramos removed Gonzalez from the agenda and replaced him with Patricia Waiters: one of the council’s most consistent and harsh critics.

Prior to their vote, HHA Chair Dave Mello, a former councilman, addressed the board and implored them to let cooler heads prevail and fill both vacancies for the sake of the city’s neediest residents.

“It’s my honor to be named recently to the chair of the housing authority, but I haven’t really been able to progress with anything since we are shy three numbers so to even salvage committee assignments are futile – that’s something I’m not going to do,” he said.

“So I do hope you vote tonight so that we can move forward.”

While Lewit’s appointment went off without a hitch, getting appointed unanimously (9-0), Waiters just missed the cut: her vote was 4-4(1), with Council members Tiffanie Fisher, Jen Giattino, Peter Cunningham and James Doyle voting no and Emily Jabbour abstaining (she voted present).

In a surprise move, Andrew Impastato, a local small business owner and former council candidate backed by 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco, was nominated as Ramos so that at least two of the three vacant seats on the HHA could be filled (the third is a governor’s appointment).

He third one was a charm as he received the nod by a vote of 7-1(1), with Doyle voting no and Jabbour abstaining.

Impastato told Hudson County View that he was “excited and grateful” for the opportunity.”

“I am excited and grateful that the city council has given me this opportunity to continue to build on the relationships I currently have and the work that I have already done with the Hoboken Housing Authority and its residents,” he stated.

“I understand the work that needs to be done and look forward to meeting my colleagues on the board and seeing how I can add value immediately.”

In a separate conversation, Gonzalez expressed some disappointment with being pulled from the agenda and not receiving the consideration of the entire council, but added that he was pleased with the two HHA commissioners the council ultimately selected.

“I appreciate the vote of confidence from council members that put forth my nomination. I did reach out to all council members and the majority had the professional courtesy to reply. Unfortunately not all did,” he explained.

“These are all volunteer positions that citizens feel they can add value. In our mile square city, where you run into people at soccer games and other events, there should be some minimal professionalism. But overall I am grateful that I was considered. And I personally know Aaron Lewitt and Andrew Impastato and have worked with both of them. I know they are hard workers and are ready to serve the residents of the housing authority.”

9 COMMENTS

  1. Both these guys were part of the failed DeFusco/Sacco mayoral campaign along with 4th Ward Councilman Ramos. Is This tacking the deck the deck for a Ramos run at being mayor?

    • Best example of how ridiculous rumors get started.

      I know that Impastato ran with Defusco, but what is the comment about Lewit based on? Looks like he is on the board of the Hoboken Shelter and Fund for a Better Waterfront (involved citizen.) For the record, he has also supported the Hoboken Fair Housing Association. He is also an architect. As far as I can see (and I really don’t know Aaron) – he looks like a great pick regardless of who he may or may not have voted for Mayor and he was unanimously supported by the city council.

      • People know indiecom, the rabidly anti- Zimmer/Bhalla political gadfly was a supporter of DeFusco before she jumped to the what many believe was the spoiler campaign of Gianttino for DeFusco.
        Team GiaFusco changed the rules to make sure she kept her Board appointment. People also know the some Board of the FBW were dropping big money into the DeFusco’s campaign. Now who is jumping to the defense. Surprised ? #Powerplay #Stacking the deck #Hypocrite

        • Indie will be respected here long after you left Hoboken for another city or state.
          The people who trash Indie hide on Sybil’s cave under multiple names in a tiny echo chamber. Half of her posts are from a guy who lives in Jersey City and the rest from the voices in her hair.

    • Bitter winners? So tired of Ravibots and their immature little democratic committee punks. Ravi Bhalla- Hoboken’s Censured Mayor – should really call of his attack mice and start focusing on really doing something beside press releases about nothing.
      No affordable apartments added. No new land acquisition for parks. No substance.
      Faux executive orders which carry zero weight under the law is not progress or much of anything.
      Say what you will about the Sacco conspiracy – Stack is the real thug whose city drains the county

  2. Why must everyone on the supremely censured Mayor Ravi Bhalla always get nasty?
    Too bad Ravi doesn’t have enough supporters on the council or in the public square who step up to serve or support from the public microphone? Guess he’s okay with trading off of Hoboken for that second paycheck

    • Most people in Hoboken don’t know or care about her now and those few that do, most view her as one of the handful of self promoting, crazed anti-everything busy bodies that feed their inflated egos at every opportunity.

      • They do care about Bhalla though, and they are very concerned. Any Mayor that was in the cross hairs of the State Supreme Court and dodged being suspended from practicing law ( based on reports ) IMO reasonably believe he’s not honest and the people DO care about corrupt Mayors. He’s not corrupt yet, but IMO he’s walking the line….

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