Mayor Dawn Zimmer and city council members Ravinder S. Bhalla, David J. Mello and newcomer James F. Doyle were sworn into office on Saturday, January 4th at Debaun Auditorium at Stevens Institute of Technology.
The inauguration was opened up with a moving National Anthem performance by 2012 Hoboken High School valedictorian, Gabrielle Frederick. Frederick's rendition was warmly received by the packed auditorium.
Emcee Phil Cohen introduced a very lengthy, very impressive list of distinguished speakers which included United States Senator Cory Booker, United States Representative for New Jersey's 9th Congressional District William Pascrell Jr., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Speaker-Elect of New Jersey Assembly Vincent Prieto, Hudson County Executive Thomas A DeGise and former New Jersey Governor James Florio.
Both US Senator Bob Menendez and former Senate majority leader ( and Protocol Chair for the Zimmer Inauguration Committee) Bernard Kenny were both to be in attendance but could not. Kenny was reportedly facing health trouble and was sent well wishes by all.
There were many other Hudson County officials and mayors in attendance. Also, in attendance, was Hoboken's own Buddy Valastro, the "Cake Boss." A reception was held after at the Babbio Center Atrium offering Carlo's Bakery desserts.
City Council incumbents Ravinder Bhalla and David Mello took their oaths for their new terms (Bhalla with some adorable delays by his young son wanting the mic). Former Governor Florio told a funny story before swearing in Bhalla that a grocery store checkout girl recently said to him, "Didn't you used to be someone?"
Newcomer (old comer, newcomer, old comer) James Doyle was finally sworn in for good. Doyle had won a council seat last year but the seat was rescinded after litigation found the appointment to be illegally done. City Clerk James Farina quipped that Doyle won the award for the most times sworn in. Doyle took the banter in stride and offered a very amusing address.
Dawn Zimmer, 38th mayor of Hoboken, was then inaugurated and stated in her address that running for re-election is much more challenging than running for election. "When you are running the first time, you are being judged on your potential," said Zimmer. In re-election, Zimmer was judged on her accomplishments over the last four years.
Zimmer touted these accomplishments, as well as the non-stop struggles that Hoboken has faced since she came into office which spanned everything from stings to sinkholes to Sandy.
Zimmer also said she wants to "end the divisive rhetoric" in Hoboken.
Many websites in town feed this aforementioned rhetoric, whether in their content or their comments.
A recent article on Hoboken Patch covering the inauguration shows that many will hold Zimmer to this promise, as seen in the (very) divisive commentary : http://hoboken.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/say-goodbye-to-the-divisive-rhetoric-mayor-says-at-inauguration.
There are a fair amount of other platforms that give life to this rhetoric, so Mayor Zimmer will have her work cut out for her.