Full City Council vote in the legal cards for Doyle council appointment
Hoboken could see a court ordered vote of its City Council if a strikingly similar Newark case where a bruising battle over what constitutes a tie in a council back filling appointment comes to bear.
According to a Newark Patch story, a judge ordered all eight council members to vote on the open Newark council seat appointment. As in Hoboken, a council member had avoided showing up and invalidated a vote by the city’s mayor, Cory Booker, leading to the court intervention.
|Jim Doyle addressed the City Council as a citizen earlier this year. He’ll be bach.|
Councilman-in-waiting Jim Doyle will see his turn when a hearing set for later this month in Hudson Superior Court takes place. Doyle had been appointed when a 4-3 vote was held twice over consecutive meetings in October and the mayor issued an additional vote. The judge in the Hoboken case initially said five votes were required and he anticipated an application from the City calling for a full vote of the City Council.
Council members Beth Mason and Michael Russo were absent in each of the meetings for the council vote on the appointment. While Russo claimed through his cousin Terry Castellano a family illness for his convenient absence, Mason has not offered a straight answer but made some limited comment to being out of town. On the day of the meeting she failed to attend, she was witnessed just hours earlier driving with her daughter in town.
Ironically, after Doyle was ruled needing five affirmative votes, the council meetings have found their mojo with all eight members in attendance.
The question of abstentions has been raised as a means to avoid a 4-4 tie with a decisive vote from Mayor Dawn Zimmer. According to a Star Ledger story on the eerily similar Newark case, the abstention is counted as a “no” vote:
“Courts have held that where a special number of votes is required … that abstentions, failures to appear and recusals are ‘no’ votes,” said Corporation Counsel Anna Pereira.