Hudson County Freeholder Jeffrey Dublin is trying to hold on to his post as Freeholder Chairman, even though the board has rotated the chairmanship among members one year at a time since eight-year chairman Silverio “Sal” Vega left the board in 2006.
The board will hold its reorganization meeting tomorrow, where members will vote on who will lead it. According to the rotation order, Vice-Chair Doreen DeDomenico is next in line.
“Being a chairman for only one year doesn’t give the board any continuity at all, and it doesn’t help as far as dealing with the executive branch of government, because they feel that they have to deal with different chairmen each year,” said Dublin. “Sal Vega was the chairman for eight years. He gave continuity and respect for the board. I’m not looking to be a party basher, but just to talk and see what we can do with respect to keeping continuity for the board.”
Dublin said that he plans to meet with his supporters today, followed by a meeting with DeDomenico.
“I’ll be making my decision later on today on whether I’m going to move forward or just support the rotation,” said Dublin.
Whatever happens tonight, the jockeying and jostling will likely take place behind closed doors. By tomorrow, local politicos agree, the board will have likely come to a unanimous decision.
“I expect that tomorrow there will be a unanimous vote for somebody. Every year we get into this, and at the end of the day we wind up voting unanimously,” said Freeholder Bill O’Dea.
O’Dea, who considers Dublin a political protégé, said that he will support Dublin if he chooses to seek another term, and said he’d like to see the freeholder board expand the chairman’s term.
“From a personal perspective, my goal is that three years from now, since we’re just starting a new term, that we should just change our rules and whoever we elect as the chairperson should have it for the full three-year term,” he said. “It’s ridiculous to do it every year. No other government branch changes the person who leads it every year.”
County Executive Tom DeGise, however, said that it wouldn’t be fair to keep DeDomenico from the position, noting that his opinion “in no way reflects on the job Jeff did.”
“I think Jeffrey would love to be able to stay. It’s fun to be the chairman. However, in fairness to everybody else, the people that are in the rotation expect that they will rotate upwards,” he said.