Jennifer Moore, the daughter of Jersey City Council President Joyce Watterman, took over as the small business director for the Economic Development Corporation earlier this month and the city says she wasn’t given any preferential treatment during the hiring process.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“As is standard policy for city job openings, the position was advertised on the Jersey City website as well as social media. Ms. Moore went through the same process as the other 12 applicants – she applied, was interviewed, and was determined to be the best and most qualified candidate for the job,” city spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione said.
“Vanessa Quijano left some very big shoes to fill, and Ms. Moore is excited to continue efforts as a liaison to small business owners, to conduct special events and programming to attract small businesses, and to provide services and resources which has made Jersey City the best place for businesses to start, grow, and thrive.”
Quijano, the former small business director for the EDC, worked her last day in Jersey City on Friday, January 31st and left for a job in a related field in Newark, according to an email obtained by HCV.
A month ago, Quijano was named the treasurer of the non-profit group Downtown New Jersey, according to TapIntoWestfield.
The city did not confirm Moore’s start date, which appears to have been February 3rd, or salary and Quijano’s previously salary was not available in any online public records databases.
The JCEDC has a 10-person board of trustees that typically includes the mayor and council president, but Wallace-Scalcione said that Joyce Watterman resigned from the EDC before her daughter applied for the job and therefore played no role in her hiring.
Back in 2013 shortly after being elected, Joyce Watterman told The Jersey Journal she wanted to hire her daughter as her council aide, but Mayor Steven Fulop asked her to reconsider at the time and the hire never ended up happening.
Multiple officials at the JCEDC and City Hall declined to comment.