With Cory Booker soon to go to Washington, his likely successor as Acting Mayor is Luis A. Quintana, Council President and Council Member-at-Large. As Council President he automatically becomes a temporary Acting Mayor, and then within 30 days the Council must select an Acting Mayor to serve until a new mayor is elected in May 2014. Quintana is likely but not certain to be selected and would serve as a place holder. An amiable “go along – get along” individual who has survived years of election and council strife, he is unlikely to rock the boat, threaten the mayoral candidates, or create a lasting legacy. Quintana would be preceded by a long line of colorful, formidable mayors. Five previous mayors of Newark have been indicted on criminal charges, including Hugh Addonizio, Kenneth Gibson, and Sharpe James, but not Cory Booker. The crime rate, unemployment, and education outcomes are three of the more critical problems facing city leaders. Under Booker’s administration the downtown area has been going through a mini rennaisance, while most wards continue with serious issues. Candidates in the May election include South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka, North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos and former Assistant State Attorney General Shavar Jeffries. Councilman Ron Rice Jr. who recently got married is not a candidate. Newark, a pre-revolutionary city, which has had its ups and its down over the years, continues against all odds to hold the promise of becoming a great urban area.
Urban communities: Barbara Buono will hold a press conference today at 1:30pm alongside Newark Senator Ron Rice, Sr. and a group of urban Essex council members to discuss the pressing issues facing urban centers — job creation, improving education and reducing gun violence. She says “Governor Christie’s record is abysmal. His economic policies have left too many urban residents unable to find work; his savage spending cuts underfunded public schools by $1 billion; and his refusal to stand up to the gun lobby has left communities vulnerable to gun violence.” (See schedule below)
NJ Municipalities: 12:01 am, Historic moment as gay couples exchange their vows and enter civil marriage. Barbara Buono tweet: “Our guess: this will be 1 of most romantic weekends in NJ history.”
Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 11:05am, Radio Interview, The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC 820 AM and 93.9 FM; Barbara Buono: 1:30pm, Press Conference on Urban Cities, Orange City Hall, 29 N. Day St., Orange; Barbara Buono: 7:00pm, with Asemblyman Benjie Wimberly, Evening of HOPE Community Awards Dinner, The Brownstone, 351 W Broadway, Paterson; Barbara Buono, 8:00pm, Neighbors Helping Neighbors meeting, Elks Lodge, 111 N. Maple Ave., Ridgewood.
Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial candidate: Chris Christie: 3:30pm, groundbreaking ceremony for the Gloucester County College Adult Center for Transition building, Sewell.
Election Law Enforcement Commission: releases July-September campaign finance reports for county and municipal party committees. ELEC has already reported that “independent spending on state campaigns is setting new records with money pouring heavily into key legislative swing districts.”
Rep. Rush Holt: 11:00am, healthcare reform roundtable discussion, South Brunswick Public Library.
Senate and Assembly Environment & Solid Waste committees: 4:00pm, public hearing on Superstorm Sandy recovery progress with invited testimony from DCA Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III and Executive Director Marc Ferzan, Governor’s Office of Recovery and Rebuilding, Toms River Town Hall. Listen live here.