Johnson to Ferriero: No

Assemblyman and Englewood City Councilman Gordon Johnson today answered Bergen County Democratic Organization Chairman Joseph Ferriero’s call for him to step down from one of his offices with one word: “No.”

Ferriero has been criticizing Johnson, who’s a member of a rival faction of the party, for holding two offices while simultaneously calling on a more thorough dual office-holding ban as part of a series of reforms that he and his running mates, Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle and state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, hope to push through Trenton.

Johnson said that he only ran for council after being approached by a group of concerned citizens to bolster the majority of members who are not aligned with Ferriero, and pledged that he would only serve one three year term, which expires in two years.

“The people of the city of Englewood requested that I run for office,” said Johnson. “They felt that with my leadership and my abilities I would be part of a team to get the political bosses out of the city.”

The council position pays $5,000 a year and no health benefits.

Gordon said that he can understand how it looks hypocritical to push for a dual office holding ban while holding two offices, but he doesn’t see a problem with low paid, small town council members doing so. Still, he said, since most New Jerseyans do have a problem with dual office-holding in general, he will push for a more thorough ban.

“I don’t see a problem with the small town council being down in the legislature and there are many people who do that also in small towns in the southern part of the state,’ said Gordon. “But the people in the state of New Jersey have said they do not want dual office-holding, and I will respect he peoples’ wishes.”

Johnson to Ferriero: No