Solomon, Lavarro to record interviews with Jersey City Ward D council hopefuls

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Jersey City Councilmen James Solomon and Rolando Lavarro will conduct interviews, which will be recorded and posted on social media, with Ward D council hopefuls seeking to succeed the late Michael Yun next week.

Jersey City Ward E Councilman James Solomon and Councilman-at-Large Rolando Lavarro.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Yun died on April 6th due to complications from COVID-19 and the city council has 30 days to appoint his replacement, according to state statute.

Lavarro and Solomon are in agreement that an open, accessible process is necessary to properly honor their former colleague.

“In past appointments for Council seat vacancies, Councilman Yun staunchly fought for
transparency in the process,” Lavarro said in a joint statement.

“To honor his legacy on the Council and do right by the residents of the Jersey City Heights, we need to have a participative process where Heights residents can get to know the candidates and ask them questions.”

The public will be able to submit questions in advance and view the recorded interviews online, which will be shared on the evening of Tuesday, April 28th via Solomon and Lavarro’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

“As Councilman Yun’s son Benjamin said, his father would want a transparent process to thoroughly vet and then select his successor. Interviews of all candidates will be open to the public to ensure the people’s voice is heard,” Solomon added.

The term of the appointment will be until November 2020, when a special election will determine the council member for the remainder of the term, which runs through December 2021 – meaning the seat will be contested again in November 20201.

The council vote for the appointment will take place no later than Wednesday, May 6th at
a meeting of the City Council.

Invitations for an interview have been extended to the four candidates who publicly expressed interest in the appointment: former Assemblyman Sean Connors, Riverview Neighborhood Association President Jocelyn Patrick, as well as Patrick Ambrossi and Cynthia Hadjiyannis – two former top campaign aides for Yun in 2013.

To submit questions to Ward D council candidates, or to request an interview, email
rlavarro@jcnj.org and jsolomon@jcnj.org.

Meanwhile, other candidates have emerged behind the scenes including Jersey City Deputy Police Chief Jimmy Carroll, former local Democratic party chair Shawn “Sully” Thomas-Sullivan, and Ward D leader David Cruz, as HCV first reported.