By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Serving as part of Murphy’s Transition Counsel is Ramon Rivera of high-powered law firm Scarinci Hollenback.
Rivera is the attorney for the Jersey City Board of Education and one of his bosses, Donald Scarinci, is of course a close friend of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who Murphy has already said he would endorse if he decides to seek re-election next year.
Hudson County politicos will have the most say on the new governor’s Budget Committee, with Hudson County Schools of Technology Board Secretary Joey Muniz, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner and former Union City Mayor and Assemblyman Rudy Garcia all making the cut.
Muniz, a close ally of state Senator/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco and outgoing Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (both D-32), was also appointed to the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield Board of Directors back in August.
On the Education, Access and Opportunity Committee are North Bergen Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Solter, who asked Murphy how Trenton could help underfunded school districts back in January, Liberty Science Center President/CEO Paul Hoffman and Jersey City Freeholder-elect Jerry Walker (D-3).
Hoffman, who recently advocated for the controversial $280 million SciTech Scity project in Jersey City, was also named to the Government, Technology and Innovation Committee – making him the only Hudson County resident to make two committees.
Additionally, Walker, who will join the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders in January, is also the CEO of Team Walker, a Jersey City-based non-profit that offers youth academic and athletic programs.
Furthermore, joining the Military and Veteran Affairs Committee are U.S. Navy veteran Mike Embrich, a former chief of chief to then-Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell, a current mayoral challenger, and Joanne Norgrave of the Hudson County Office of Veteran Affairs.
Former Assemblywoman Joan Quigley, the president and CEO of the North Hudson Community Action Corporation and another close ally of Sacco, is a part of the Healthcare Committee, while Freeholder Bill O’Dea (D-2) was named to the Housing Committee.
A longtime elected official, O’Dea’s day job has been the deputy executive director of the Elizabeth Development Company since 1993.
Also, former Bayonne councilman/board of education trustee Ray Greaves will contribute to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Greaves, the Amalgamated Transit Union NJ State Council chair, was hired as an aide to Mayor Jimmy Davis in August.
Rounding out the list is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union Counties CEO Carlos Lejnieks, who is on the Urban and Regional Growth Committee for Murphy.
As Hudson County View reported last week, Zimmer was one of the first people named to Murphy’s Urban and Regional Growth Committee.
â€œNew Jersey needs an administration ready to hit the ground running in January, and through the work of the transition committees my administration will not take office blind to the challenges and opportunities before us,â€ Murphy said in a statement.
â€œI am grateful to everyone who accepted the call to serve our transition. From analyzing and prescribing policy to taking a fresh look at the basic organization of government, these committees have a lot of work to do. I am confident they will put my administration in a position to begin delivering results for the people of New Jersey from day one.â€