Breaking: We have assumed control.
In an early sign of a new day taking form in 2010, the Hoboken Planning Board has been reshaped with the reform movement assuming majority control. The nine member group now includes the following reform members:
Ann Graham – Chairperson of Planning Board
Keith Furman – elected Vice Chair
Brandy Forbes – Class II Member (appointee by the mayor) and current Director of Community Development
Councilman Dave Mellow
Demetri Sarantitis – a new mayoral designee, and architect of the buildings on Pier A Park.
Update 10:50 – In the regularly scheduled monthly Tuesday meeting of the Planning Board, two major changes made waves: Hank Forest had resigned with his term expiring at the end of the year but the biggest news was the surprise resignation of long time member, Thomas Mooney. Mr. Mooney who had been ill of late decided to submit his resignation to Mayor Zimmer earlier Tuesday and was the longest serving member of a Planning Board in the State of New Jersey. (Confirmation shortly on the actual length but there is also discussion of a proclamation honoring his length of service to Hoboken.)
That bombshell led to the surprising opening paving the way for Keith Furman, a strong supporter of the mayor’s reform agenda to be named for the open position. Mr. Furman in an interview with MSV stated he had been an applicant in the mix of candidates for the role late last month for a potential opening.
Late this afternoon, the Mayor’s office made the official decision and Keith Furman was named as a replacement for Thomas Mooney. Later at the meeting, he was voted Vice Chair after Ann Graham became the official Chairperson in a 6-3 vote. Voting for Ann Graham: Councilman David Mellow, Keith Furman, Jeff Barnes, an alternate for Joyce Tyrell, Ann Graham, and Dmitri Sarantitis (also named to a four year term by the Mayor). Voting no: Perry Belfiore, Elizabeth Falco, and Nick De Trizio.
Looking ahead to the future of what’s in store, Vice Chair Furman said, “First, I am honored to be coming in as a replacement for Thomas Mooney after his long time service to Hoboken… I think it’s a positive impact for Hoboken. It’s people who care a lot about the community that share a balanced view on projects and development. The biggest thing, it brings fresh blood to the board.”
On the often discussed Master Plan, Keith added, “There will be a re-examination of the Master Plan… You need to revisit it. Not to recreate it but it’s time to update it and make sure it’s consistent and make sure you apply the best of the City Council, the Planning Board and also the Zoning Board.”
Based on the vote for Chairperson, it’s thought that Jeff Barnes, originally nominated by former Mayor Dave Roberts may continue to work closely with the new reform coalition.
The full Planning Board membership and their terms can be found at the City Hall website here.
Talking Ed Note: Congratulations to the newly named members of the Planning Board. MSV would also like to extend best wishes to Mr. Thomas Mooney for his service and godspeed on his recovery. In the words of the old rock group Rush from their classic rock album 2112, “All members of the federation… We have assumed control… We have assumed control.”
Unrelated: The Jersey Journal is reporting that Jack Shaw the consultant in the center of the New Jersey corruption scandal last June who mysteriously died last summer was due to a valium overdose.
Correction: There is no formal resignation process required as mentioned in the completion of Hank Forest’s term. MSV apologizes for the error.