Councilman Mike Lenz – statement on NHSA appointment

I supported Tony Soares for the North Hudson Sewerage Authority appointment because I believed and still believe he was the strongest candidate among several qualified choices and will do a superb job as a commissioner.  I thought and think Tony’s years of outspoken advocacy on flooding issues and his record of service on the Hoboken City Council and Zoning Board support this conclusion.  I was aware that the appointment included a small stipend and believed at the time that it included health benefits as well.  I recognized that every applicant for the position, including Tony, might have considered that compensation as a factor in deciding to apply for the position. 

While I disagree with those who believe that individuals should not be permitted to serve on more than one board, I recognize that this is a genuine issue deserving of an open and honest debate.  With 20/20 hindsight, I also recognize that the events of last Wednesday have raised an appearance issue that is troubling to many of my friends and supporters.  I want to assure everyone that while I continue to believe that my vote for Tony Soares’ appointment  will well serve the people of Hoboken and in particular the residents of the 4th Ward, I hear their concerns and will consider them carefully in future decisions.

Finally, let me put on the record that I am now fully aware that Mayor Zimmer – who I support and deeply respect – and I disagree on the one person/one board issue.  To this I say: “it had to happen sometime.”  In over six months on the council I cannot bring to mind another issue where she and I have not seen eye to eye.  This should be no surprise.  Mayor Dawn Zimmer got her political start as 4th Ward Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer, a champion of reform throughout the city and for fairness for the forgotten Fourth Ward.  I proudly serve in the seat she won.  That we usually agree is a testament to our shared commitment to Hoboken and to the Fourth Ward.  That we can disagree respectfully is a testament to her character and to the esteem in which I hold her.  
As to the specific question of a “one person/one board policy” no such policy was ever 
discussed during my time on the City Council, and I am unaware of any council action 
establishing such a policy.
Michael Lenz

Photo: Councilman Michael Lenz speaking at the last City Council meeting.  All rights reserved.

Talking Ed Note: Rarely does Da Horsey comment on comments as it’s really considered the domain of the community.  But for the record, the picture of Tony taken with Michelle Russo was after his approval for the NHSA appointment.  

Also the +/- system has been removed.  Some feel it can discourage a minority perspective and so that option is no longer available.

Leave a Reply