Mayor Dawn Zimmer hires Michael Kates as new Hoboken attorney

Mayor Dawn Zimmer hires Michael Kates as new Hoboken attorney

Publication: Jersey Journal (New Jersey)
Date: Monday, December 04, 2009

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer has hired Michael Kates as the city's new corporation counsel, she announced today.

Steve Kleinman, who has served as corporation counsel since April of 2007, has resigned as of Monday, to go into the private sector, but will serve in a transitional capacity as an assistant corporation counsel through Jan. 15, according to to a news release from Zimmer.

Kates, who is currently a partner at Kates Nussman Rapone Ellis & Farhi, will start the position Monday, according to Zimmer spokesman Daniel Bryan.

According to the release, Kates has "extensive experience in municipal law, zoning and planning. He has served as municipal attorney for the Township of Teaneck, and the Borough of Fair Lawn, as counsel to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for the Boroughs of Closter and Alpine and Counsel to the Planning Boards of Teaneck and Englewood Cliffs."

Kates, who will serve as a contractor rather than a Hoboken employee, will make $103,500 a year, and will not receive any benefits, according to the release.

Kleinman is making about $117,000 a year plus benefits, according to Bryan.

According to the release, "Mr. Kates has received the highest rating (AV) from Martindale-Hubbell (a national and international database for the legal community based upon peer review), and has been selected, by peer review, as a 2009 New Jersey Super Lawyer in the category of land use and zoning.

“We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to retain Mr. Kates,” Mayor Zimmer said in the release. “His expertise in land use and zoning will be of particular importance, given the numerous development issues facing our City.”

As for Kleinman? He's told Hoboken Now on several occasions that he is ready to move to the private sector.

"This is something that I've thought about, quite frankly, since the end of the (Mayor David) Roberts administration and there are other opportunities I want to pursue," he said. 

“I thank Mr. Kleinman for his service to the City and for remaining through a transition period,” Mayor Zimmer said in the release.

Of Kates, Kleinman said, "I'm aware of him by reputation and I think it's a very good reputation."

In the release he added, “I think she has chosen a very qualified successor, and I intend to work closely with Mr. Kates over the next several weeks to ensure the smooth transition that the City deserves. I am grateful to Mayor Zimmer for giving me the opportunity to serve, and I wish her and her administration well.”

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