The Hudson County Board of Commissioners leadership team will stay the same in the new year, with Anthony Vainieiri (D-8) staying on as chair for the sixth year in a row.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Just like in 2021, Commissioner Anthony Romano (D-5) will still serve as vice chair of the board, while Commissioner Jerry Walker (D-3) will retain the chair pro tempore seat. All three electeds maintained their posts via a unanimous vote (9-0).
Vainieri thanked his family, his fellow commissioners, as well as North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco and Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli (his district includes both towns) and Hudson County Democratic Organization Chair Amy DeGise for their continued support.
“This is my sixth year, I’m proud of that, I hope I made you guys proud, I hope I did everything according to the best of everybody’s abilities to help the people of Hudson County.”
He was sworn in by Board of Commissioners Clerk Al Santos, who also swore in Walker, who drove to the meeting on short notice when only four commissioners were present in chambers. Romano was sworn in Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez.
Commissioners Yraida Aponte-Lipski (D-4), Fanny Cedeno (D-6), Caridad Rodriguez (D-7), and Al Cifelli (D-9) attended virtually. Aponte-Lipski and Cedeno were unable to attend in person after testing positive for COVID-19.
To that end, Commissioner Kenny Kopacz (D-1) and Bill O’Dea (D-2) joined Vainieri, Romano, and Walker in chambers.
The meeting was over in about 25 minutes after a late start due to the aforementioned quorum issues, with Vainieri making shots remarks on the votes for legal advertising and switching the meetings back to remote only.
“I vote no, I know it’s legal and we have to do it, but I think it’s a big waste of money,” he said regarding the notices required for public meetings and ordinances in daily newspapers like the Jersey Journal. The measure passed 8-1.
Regarding switching the meeting format back to virtual only, Vainieri said his colleagues agreed it made sense to do so through February due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, there have been 9,004 cases in Hudson County with a 24.6 percent rate of positivity in the past seven days.
“I took it upon myself to call everybody and see how they felt on it and almost everybody was in favor of going back to virtual right now with all the spikes going up, especially so close to home.”
That measure passed unanimously (9-0), with the next virtual meeting set for January 11th at 4:30 p.m.
Hoboken announced that their city council meetings would remain virtual until further notice earlier today, citing record high COVID-19 cases recorded in December.