The Hoboken City Council named 4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos the president, succeeding 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino – who will serve as the council’s vice president this year.
Ramos joked that the Vegas odds of him being the council president in 2018 couldn’t have been very good when he was elected in November 2015, noting that this is a great example of the collaborative efforts of the council over the past two years.
“Two years ago, if you made a bet in Las Vegas, Las Vegas bookmakers would’ve taken a bet two years ago, that I’d have been council president today, you’d have made a lot of money, but I thank that’s just the road we’ve taken in the past two years of really becoming a more collaborative city council,” Ramos said.
” … Honestly, 90 percent of the time, the votes here are unanimous, so [there's] that 10 percent that we’ll work to get through, plug away to produce the best outcome for our 55,000 residents of Hoboken.”
Ramos and Giattino were both appointed to council leadership roles by a vote of 7-0(2), with Council members James Doyle and Emily Jabbour abstaining.
Hudson County View reported on Tuesday that Ramos and Giattino would be assuming the Hoboken council president and vice president roles, respectively.
In their next order of business, 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco was voted on to the planning board by a 7-2 majority, with Doyle, the most recent council representative on the planning board, and Jabbour voting no.
When addressing the governing body, DeFusco seemed elated to be a part of the planning board in a year where the city’s master plan will take center stage.
“As we enter a year where the master plan is going to take center stage on the planning board, the belief that my colleagues have placed in me is not forgotten and I will work hard every day this year keeping everyone on this body apprised of what’s going on on the planning board,” DeFusco stated.
After appointing Jim Aibel, who ran on Giattino’s council slate in November, and Antonio Grana, to four-year terms on the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the vacant five-year North hudson Sewerage Authority seat was discussed.
Giattino nominated Tony Soares, a former councilman and NHSA board member who is a close ally of Ramos and DeFusco, while Doyle nominated Brian Asadourian, a friend and political ally of Mayor Ravi Bhalla who was hoping to be reappointed.
Frank Raia, a former NHSA chairman, also expressed interest in the seat, but did not receive a nomination from the council.
Prior to the vote, Hoboken resident Cheryl Fallick said she felt Soares was the best fit for the NHSA.
“Tony Soares is a friend of mine and I know him to be a smart, caring and proactive person,” Fallick began.
“I know the fact that he’s my friend has nothing to do with this, but aside from that, when Mr. Soares was on the sewerage authority – he was for quite a few years – the things I heard was he was very proactive, he was very responsive to all calls and very much participated in the meetings.”
Soares got the nod from the council by a vote of 7-2, with Doyle and Jabbour voting no.