By: Angelo J. Genova
Co-founding Partner Angelo J. Genova and Associate Brett M. Pugach have co-authored an article entitled “What is an Abstention under the Municipal Vacancy Law” which appears in the October issue of New Jersey Municipalities Magazine, the publication of the League of Municipalities. In certain situations, if no majority vote of a governing body can be reached to fill a vacancy on the city council, the mayor can cast the tie-breaking vote. However, what constitutes a “tie” may depend on the procedural rules of the governing body, and can affect the ability of the mayor to fill the vacancy. This article explores the intricate details of the Municipal Vacancy Law in two recently-issued Appellate Division decisions involving Mayor Cory Booker of Newark and Mayor Dawn Zimmer of Hoboken, and sheds light on problems that may arise if certain council members abstain from voting.