LD33 Outburst: Carmelo’s quandary

The firing last night of Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Carmelo Garcia doesn’t bode well for him holding onto his assembly seat.

Garcia’s job posed troubles when state Sen. (and Union City Mayor) Brian P. Stack (D-33) picked him for the legislature to begin with, so about the only thing good that can be said about the end of his tenure at the HHA is it won’t produce the conflict that initially gleefully gave the allies of Mayor Dawn Zimmer something to drag him into court.

But it also further increases lightning rod theatrics around Garcia – the last thing Stack welcomes in an assemblyperson.

If you’re an assemblyman in the 33rd District, just remember not to give Stack a headache.

If you give him one – as Assemblyman Ruben Ramos did when he bucked pension and benefits overhaul – you’ll probably be gone.

Conversely, Garcia’s districtmate Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33) appears in very good standing.

His seat technically belongs to Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, and he’s got an in there with the Marine Corps card.

The savvy Mukherji got behind bail reform – an initiative driven by South Jersey over the objections of some urban legislators from North Jersey – helping Stack preserve his strong political relationship with Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3).

Mukherji’s impressed people too with his cross-examination skills on the Assembly Budget Committee.

Whatever Garcia’s abilities – and certainly he had considerable support last night on display as he went to war with Zimmer and her husband, whom he taped – his local troubles with the mayor make it difficult for Stack.

Certainly, Zimmer’s war with the governor’s office puts Stack in the position of being able to annoy the mayor – and delight Stack’s uber ally Gov. Chris Christie – simply by leaving Garcia in office.

But it seems unlikely the districtwide-relentless mayor/senator will do that when it means his own local discomfort… LD33 Outburst: Carmelo’s quandary