Mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey
|Mayor of the City of Jersey City|
The official seal of the City of Jersey City
|Term length||Four years|
|First holder||Dudley S. Gregory|
The Mayor of the City of Jersey City is the head of the executive branch of government of Jersey City, New Jersey, United States. The mayor has the duty to enforce the municipal charter and ordinances; prepare the annual budget; appoint deputy mayors, department heads, and aides; and approve or veto ordinances passed by the City Council. The mayor is popularly elected in a nonpartisan general election. The office is held for a four-year term without term limits, although the current term is a four-and-a-half-year term, due to a change in election dates.
Forty-four individuals have held the office of mayor since the City of Jersey City was chartered on February 22, 1838. Dudley S. Gregory was the inaugural mayor of the city, and served on three separate occasions for a total of five years. The current mayor is Steven Fulop. He defeated former mayor Jerramiah Healy in the May 2013 election and assumed office on July 1, 2013.
Due to a change in election law approved by Jersey City voters at the end of 2016, mayoral elections will now take place in November, with the next election scheduled for November 2017. Although the mayorship has historically been a four-year term in Jersey City, and although current law prescribes the mayorship as being a four-year term in the future, due to the calendar change in elections, the current mayorship is a four-and-a-half-year term, beginning July 2013 and ending at the end of 2017. The winner of the November 2017 mayoral election will take office January 1, 2018.
Duties and powers
The City of Jersey City is organized as a mayor–council form of government under the Optional Municipal Charter Law. This provides for a citywide elected mayor serving in an executive role, as well as a city council serving in a legislative role. All of these offices are selected in a nonpartisan municipal election and all terms are four years. Under state law, the mayor has the duty to enforce the charter and ordinances of the city, and all applicable state laws; report annually to the council and the public on the state of the city; supervise and control all departments of the government; prepare and submit to the council annual operating and capital budgets; supervise all city property, institutions and agencies; sign all contracts and bonds requiring the approval of the city; negotiate all contracts; and serve as a member, either voting or ex-officio, of all appointive bodies.
The mayor has the power to appoint departments heads with the approval of the City Council; to remove department heads subject to a two-thirds disapproval by the City Council; approve or veto ordinances subject to an override vote of two-thirds of the council; and appoint deputy mayors. The mayor is permitted to attend and participate in meetings of the City Council, without a vote, except in the case of a tie on the question to fill a council vacancy.
Under the original 1838 charter, mayors were elected citywide for a term of one year. In 1868 the State Legislature extended the term of office to two years. In 1892, the Legislature again changed the term of office, extending it to five years. The city adopted a commission form of government under the Walsh Act in 1913. This form provided for five commissioners elected citywide. The Commissioners decided from among themselves which would serve as mayor. All terms were four years. Jersey City adopted its current form of government on May 7, 1961.
Under the non-partisan form of municipal government, elections for mayor are held every four years on the second Tuesday in May. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, a runoff election is held on the fourth Tuesday following the general election. The term of office commences on July 1. The next Jersey City mayoral election is scheduled to be held in 2017.
In the event of an absence, disability, or other cause preventing the mayor from performing his duties, the mayor may designate the business administrator or any other department head as acting mayor for up to 60 days. In the event of a vacancy in the office, the President of the City Council becomes acting mayor, and the council has 30 days to name an interim mayor. If no interim mayor is named, the Council President continues as acting mayor until a successor is elected, or the council reorganizes and selects a new President. Prior to 1971, there was no automatic succession law. The office was left vacant for 47 days in 1963 when the City Council failed to reach a decision on appointing an interim mayor.
List of mayors
|#||Mayor||Term start||Term end|
|1||Gregory, Dudley S.Dudley S. Gregory||April 1838||April 1840||Whig|
|2||McMartin, PeterPeter McMartin||April 1840||April 1841||Unknown[a]|
|3||Gregory, Dudley S.Dudley S. Gregory||April 1841||April 1842||Whig|
|4||Alexander, Thomas A.Thomas A. Alexander||April 1842||April 1843||Unknown[b]|
|5||Bentley, PeterPeter Bentley||April 1843||April 1844||Democratic|
|6||Dummer, Phineas C.Phineas C. Dummer||April 1844||April 20, 1848||Whig|
|7||Taylor, HenryHenry Taylor||April 21, 1848||April 18, 1850||Whig|
|8||Gilchrist, RobertRobert Gilchrist||April 19, 1850||May 2, 1852||Whig|
|9||Manners, David S.David S. Manners||May 3, 1852||May 3, 1857||Whig|
|10||Wescott, SamuelSamuel Wescott||May 4, 1857||May 2, 1858||Democratic|
|11||Gregory, Dudley S.Dudley S. Gregory[c]||May 3, 1858||May 6, 1860||Republican|
|12||Van Vorst, CorneliusCornelius Van Vorst||May 7, 1860||May 4, 1862||Democratic|
|13||Romar, John B.John B. Romar||May 5, 1861||May 1, 1864||Democratic|
|14||Cleveland, OrestesOrestes Cleveland||May 2, 1864||May 5, 1867||Democratic|
|15||Gopsill, JamesJames Gopsill||May 6, 1867||May 3, 1868||Republican|
|16||O'Neill, Charles H.Charles H. O'Neill[d]||May 4, 1868||April 10, 1869||Democratic|
|17||Clarke, WilliamWilliam Clarke[e]||April 11, 1869||May 1, 1870||Democratic|
|18||O'Neill, Charles H.Charles H. O'Neill||May 2, 1870||May 3, 1874||Democratic|
|19||Traphagen, HenryHenry Traphagen||May 4, 1874||April 30, 1876||Democratic|
|20||Siedler, CharlesCharles Siedler||May 1, 1876||May 5, 1878||Republican|
|21||Hopper, Henry J.Henry J. Hopper||May 6, 1878||May 2, 1880||Democratic|
|22||Taussig, Isaac W.Isaac W. Taussig||May 3, 1880||May 4, 1884||Democratic|
|23||Collins, GilbertGilbert Collins||May 5, 1884||May 2, 1886||Republican|
|24||Cleveland, OrestesOrestes Cleveland||May 3, 1886||May 1, 1892||Democratic|
|25||Wanser, Peter FarmerPeter Farmer Wanser||May 2, 1892||May 2, 1897||Republican|
|26||Hoos, EdwardEdward Hoos||May 3, 1897||December 31, 1901||Democratic|
|27||Fagan, Mark M.Mark M. Fagan||January 1, 1902||December 31, 1907||Republican|
|28||Wittpenn, H. OttoH. Otto Wittpenn||January 1, 1908||June 16, 1913||Democratic|
|29||Fagan, Mark M.Mark M. Fagan||June 17, 1913||May 14, 1917||Republican|
|30||Hague, FrankFrank Hague[f]||May 15, 1917||June 17, 1947||Democratic|
|31||Eggers, Frank H.Frank H. Eggers[g]||June 17, 1947||May 16, 1949||Democratic|
|32||Kenny, John V.John V. Kenny[h]||July 1, 1949||December 15, 1953||Democratic|
|33||Berry, Bernard J.Bernard J. Berry||December 15, 1953||June 30, 1957||Democratic|
|34||Witkowski, Charles S.Charles S. Witkowski||July 1, 1957||June 30, 1961||Democratic|
|35||Gangemi, ThomasThomas Gangemi[i]||July 1, 1961||September 26, 1963||Democratic|
|36||Whelan, Thomas J.Thomas J. Whelan[j]||November 13, 1963||July 6, 1971||Democratic|
|37||Krieger, Charles K.Charles K. Krieger[k]||August 5, 1971||November 8, 1971||Democratic|
|38||Jordan, Paul T.Paul T. Jordan||November 9, 1971||June 30, 1977||Democratic|
|39||Smith, Thomas F.X.Thomas F.X. Smith[l]||July 1, 1977||May 12, 1981||Democratic|
|40||McCann, GeraldGerald McCann||July 1, 1981||June 30, 1985||Democratic|
|41||Cucci, Anthony R.Anthony R. Cucci||July 1, 1985||June 30, 1989||Democratic|
|42||McCann, GeraldGerald McCann[m]||July 1, 1989||February 13, 1992||Democratic|
|43||Roman, MarilynMarilyn Roman[n]||February 14, 1992||June 30, 1992||Democratic|
|44||Rakowski, JosephJoseph Rakowski[o]||July 1, 1992||November 10, 1992||Democratic|
|45||Schundler, BretBret Schundler||November 11, 1992||June 30, 2001||Republican|
|46||Cunningham, Glenn DaleGlenn Dale Cunningham[p]||July 1, 2001||May 25, 2004||Democratic|
|47||Smith, L. HarveyL. Harvey Smith[q]||May 26, 2004||November 11, 2004||Democratic|
|48||Healy, JerramiahJerramiah Healy||November 12, 2004||June 30, 2013||Democratic|
|49||Fulop, StevenSteven Fulop||July 1, 2013||Incumbent||Democratic|
- a b No source has been found to verify a party affiliation.
- c Originally a Whig, Gregory switched to the Republican party in the 1850s.
- d e In 1868, the New Jersey State Legislature passed an act changing the term of office from one to two years. Having been elected a few days before that act was passed, O'Neill refused to serve longer than the term to which he was elected and resigned after one year. Clarke was appointed as Interim Mayor by the City Council.
- f g Hague retired during his eighth term and asked the City Council to appoint Eggers, his nephew.
- h Kenny resigned shortly after winning re-election citing poor health.
- i Gangemi resigned from office when it was determined that he was not a United States citizen and was ineligible to serve.
- j Whelan was removed from office after being convicted of conspiracy and extortion.
- k Krieger was appointed Interim Mayor by the City Council.
- l Smith resigned from office to seek the nomination for governor, finishing sixth in the Democratic primary.
- m McCann was removed from office during his second term after being convicted of bank fraud.
- n o q Acting mayor; held the office as a result of being President of the City Council at the time of a vacancy.
- p Cunningham, the city's first African American mayor, died of a heart attack on May 25, 2004.
Higher offices held
The following is a list of higher public offices held by mayors, before or after their mayoral term(s).
|Mayor||Mayoral term(s)||Other offices held||References|
|Gregory, Dudley S.Dudley S. Gregory||1838–1840, 1841–1842, 1858–1860||U.S. House of Representatives (1847–1849)|||
|Wescott, SamuelSamuel Wescott||1857–1858||New Jersey State Senator (1860–1862)|||
|Cleveland, OrestesOrestes Cleveland||1864–1867, 1886–1892||U.S. House of Representatives (1869–1871)|||
|Wanser, Peter FarmerPeter Farmer Wanser||1892–1897||New Jersey General Assemblyman (1882–1883)|||
|Cunningham, Glenn DaleGlenn Dale Cunningham||2001–2004||New Jersey State Senator (2004)|||
|Smith, L. HarveyL. Harvey Smith||2004||New Jersey State Senator (2003–2004)
New Jersey General Assemblyman (2008–2010)
- "Jersey City Mayors". Jersey City: Past and Present. New Jersey City University. 2007. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
- "Jersey City Mayors from the Past". jerseycityonline.com. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
- "Faulkner Act (OMCL) Mayor–Council". Types And Forms Of New Jersey Municipal Government. New Jersey State League of Municipalities. Retrieved November 15, 2009.
- "Optional Municipal Charter Law" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Local Government Services. State of New Jersey. 2003. Retrieved November 15, 2009.[permanent dead link]
- Winfield, Charles (1874). History of the County of Hudson, New Jersey: from its earliest settlement to the present time. New York, NY: Kennard & Hay Stationery M'fg and Print. Co. p. 289.
- "Some Legislative Jobs; The New Jersey Legislature at Work on Several of Them" (PDF). The New York Times. March 2, 1892. p. 3. Retrieved November 14, 2009.
- "Commission Rule for Jersey City; Citizens Decide in Favor of New Government by Vote of 11,368 to 7,078" (PDF). The New York Times. April 16, 1916. p. 1. Retrieved November 15, 2009.
- Butler, Vincent (May 8, 1961). "Voters to Fill New Offices in Jersey City". The Chicago Tribune. p. B19.
- "Frequently Asked Voter Questions". www.njelections.org. State of New Jersey Department of State. Retrieved November 1, 2009.
- "New Jersey Statutes Annotated, 40:45-19". New Jersey State Legislature. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
- "New Jersey Statutes Annotated, 40:45-17". New Jersey State Legislature. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
- Sullivan, Al (January 24, 2010). "Schundler's the One". Hudson Reporter. Retrieved February 4, 2010.
- Sullivan, Joseph (March 9, 1992). "Clock Ticking on Search For Mayor in Jersey City". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2009.
- "New Jersey Statutes Annotated, 40A:9-131". New Jersey State Legislature. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
- Haff, Joseph (November 13, 1963). "Mayor is Named by Jersey City; Whelan Replaces Gangemi After 47-Day Delay; Jersey City's Council Appoints New Mayor After 47-Day Delay 3-Way Tie". The New York Times. p. 1.
- "The Jersey City Election". The New York Times. April 16, 1859. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
- "When the Big Boy Goes...". TIME. January 16, 1956. Retrieved November 15, 2009.
- "Kenny Keeps His Word, Resigns as Mayor; Hague Foe, in Ill Health for a Year, Held Office Since '49 – Succeeded by Berry". The New York Times. December 16, 1953. p. 38.
- "Mayor Gangemi Quits in Jersey; Resigns After U.S. Declares He is Not a Citizen". The New York Times. September 26, 1963. p. 1.
- Strumm, Charles (December 19, 1991). "Another Milepost on the Long Trail of Corruption in Hudson County". The New York Times.
- "Jersey City's Interim Mayor; Charles Kiva Krieger". The New York Times. August 6, 1971. p. 38.
- Goodnough, Abby (June 5, 1996). "Thomas Smith, 68, Ex-Jersey City Mayor, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2009.
- Miller, Jonathan (May 27, 2007). "You Throw Mud, He’ll Throw a Mountain". The New York Times. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
- Smothers, Ronald (June 2, 2004). "Before 5,000, Mayor of Jersey City Is Eulogized for a 'Life Well Lived'". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2009.
- "Gregory, Dudley Sanford – Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
- Winfield 1874, p. 342
- "Cleveland, Orestes – Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
- "Gen. Peter F. Wanser of Jersey City Dies. Former Mayor and Postmaster and Active in National Guard. Expires of Pneumonia at 68". New York Times. 1918-01-05.
- Smothers, Ronald (June 10, 2004). "Bayonne Mayor Is Selected As an Interim State Senator". The New York Times. Retrieved January 26, 2009.
- New Jersey Legislative Digest for November 24, 2003. Accessed April 13, 2008. "Senator Joseph Charles, Jr., of the 31st Legislative District, has resigned effective August 18, 2003. L. Harvey Smith was sworn in as a member of the Senate for the 31st Legislative District."
- "31st Dist: Democrat victories for Cunningham, Smith, Chiappone", The Star-Ledger, November 6, 2007. Accessed December 27, 2007.