After over three months of discussion, the Jersey City Council approved a measure merging the Jersey City Incinerator Authority with the city’s Department of Public Works.
At a generally poorly attended meeting where no one from the JCIA was present, the council passed the resolution by a vote of 6-1, with Ward C Councilman Rich Boggiano voting no.
There were two amendments to the ordinance, one of which stated that the ordinance will take effect by January 1, 2016.
During the votes for the amendments, Boggiano asked, “Was anyone from the JCIA notified that this was going on?” while he pointed at the half empty room.
“It’s like we are messing around with people’s lives, do away with the incinerator authority and nothing is going to change. It’s a shame.”
Prior to final adoption, Council President Rolando Lavarro stated: “It’s a another campaign promise. We said we would consolidate the incinerator authority with the Department of Public Works. I vote I.”
Councilmen Michael Yun and Khemraj Ramchal were not in attendance at the regularly scheduled meeting so they did not cast votes on the resolution.
Hudson County View first reported the news on our Facebook page last night and Boggiano was quick to respond to a resident who wanted to know why he voted no.
Mayor Steven Fulop has been bullish on seeing the autonomous agency abolished since July, shortly after three JCIA employees were arrested as part of an alleged scheme selling construction debris for cash – which later saw Clayton Dabney – the brother of then-CEO Oren Dabney – get charged as well.
After stating that the agency had “nothing to hide” at a JCIA commissioners meeting in July, weeks after the arrests took place, Oren Dabney resigned in August to the dismay of some workers and members of the community.
His post was filled by Hudson County Democratic Organization Executive Director John Minella, who was working for a $1 a year salary until the JCIA disbanded.
Then in September, Fulop announced that the state’s Local Finance Board, a subdivision of the Department of Community Affairs, “approved our request for the elimination of the JCIA.”
Although their were two City Council meetings since then, the JCIA wasn’t consolidated with DPW until last night.