Council likes Roberts appointee

Council likes Roberts appointee

Thursday, April 26, 2007 JJ

HOBOKEN - The city has hired a new corporation counsel during election season, when relations between the mayor and city council appear even more strained.

The mayor appointed Steven Kleinman, 32, last week, the same week the City Council angered the mayor by voting 7-2 on a resolution to abruptly end professional and engineering contracts because of overspending in those areas.

Council members said they support the new appointment. Councilman Peter Cammarano, III, who was at Seton Hall University School of Law with Kleinman, described him as a "top-notch" lawyer.

One of Kleinman's first recommendations may put him between the mayor and city council, since he has to decide how to deal with the council's resolution last week to terminate the contracts.

Cammarano said council members who voted for the resolution believe the resolution was necessary to keep expenditures within budget.

Mayor David Roberts believes that the corporation counsel will decide that the City Council did not have the authority to make the decision.

Councilman Michael Russo - who described Kleinman as an "excellent lawyer" - said he believes the council will not tolerate attempts by the mayor to influence the newly appointed corporation counsel over the contract terminations.

"The council acted in a way what we felt was the right course of action," Russo said.

Kleinman said he resigned his position with Scarinci and Hollenbeck, where he practiced public sector, municipal and labor law. Kleinman graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2002. Kleinman replaces Joseph Sherman, whom the mayor fired in late March.

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