Hudson County commissioners vote for Kearny mayor to replace councilman as their clerk


The Hudson County Board of Commissioners voted for the Kearny mayor to replace 1st Ward Councilman George Zapata as their clerk at Tuesday’s reorganization meeting.

Kearny Mayor Carol Jean Doyle. Photo via

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

She was nominated by Commissioner Caridad Rodriguez (D-7), which was seconded by Commissioner Fanny Cedeno (D-6).

The measure passed 8-0(1), with Commissioner Bob Baselice, who is also the North Bergen Parking Authority executive director, abstaining since he assisted with Kearny’s 2023 parking study.

“Ultimately, I’m very thankful to the county commissioners for allowing me to serve in that position and I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity,” Zapata said over the phone today.

“It’s one thing to be an elected official and it’s another to work in a different capacity to help our county and serve the community.”

His tenure in the position was short lived, getting appointed to the board in August, shortly after then-2nd Ward Councilman Peter Santana was appointed as acting mayor.

Doyle, who ran as an independent, defeated Santana, who ran as a Democrat, and Republican Sydney Ferreira in November’s special election.

This was necessitated by longtime Mayor Al Santos stepping down in June to become a Hudson County Superior Court judge.

The Kearny mayor typically receives courtesy to select the board of commissioners, formally freeholders, clerk, a role that Santos held for years, so there is precedent for the mayor to hold that post – where the salary is now $109,000 a year.

In the West Hudson municipality, both the mayor and council are part-time offices that earn an annual salary of $7,500 and $6,000, respectively.

Doyle could not be reached for comment on Friday.

At the same reorganization meeting, Commissioner Anthony Romano received his first full term as chair, Commissioner Jerry Walker (D-3) was named vice chair, and Cedeno was appointed chair pro tempore, as HCV first reported.

Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/hcvcp/public_html/wp-content/themes/Hudson County View/includes/wp_booster/td_block.php on line 353