NEWARK, NJ - Carmelo Garcia has been replaced as Newark’s acting director of economic and housing development following a last-minute vote on Wednesday from the city council.
John Palmieri was appointed as the new director. Palmieri, of Hoboken, will also remain the city’s deputy mayor of economic growth, transportation and infrastructure, a city spokesman said. He was appointed to that position earlier this year.
Notice of Palmieri’s latest appointment was not on the original agenda, but was listed on an agenda update provided at the start of the council meeting. The city council approved Mayor Ras Baraka’s appointment unanimously.
Garcia will work as the chief of development within the economic and housing development department, said city spokesman Frank Baraff. Garcia is also the executive director of the Irvington Housing Authority.
Formerly the executive vice president and chief real estate officer of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC), Garcia was working as the director of the EHD and deputy mayor in an acting capacity.
"This new role will allow Mr. Garcia to continue to serve as a catalyst driving our redevelopment pipeline," Baraka said in a statement.
"I’m confident in Mr. Palmieri’s ability to lead the department’s staff and projects as we’ve combined his previous position," Baraka said. "Mr. Garcia’s new role will allow him to deliver on the city’s largest and most impactful developments. Both leaders are critical to the city’s revitalization and will ensure continuity in our growth and our commitment to remain inclusive and equitable.”
Palmieri previously worked as former Gov. Chris Christie's Casino Reinvestment Development Agency director.
Garcia was once a state assemblyman who represented Hoboken for District 33. He previously worked as the executive director of Hoboken's Housing Authority.
Palmieri is the city's third head of the economic and housing development department in less than a year.
The city's personnel director said Garcia was appointed to the position on March 26. Garcia replaced Baye Adofo-Wilson, who resigned on Sept. 8, 2017.
Rebecca Panico contributed to this story.
Statement from Mayor Ras Baraka was added at 1:30 Friday, Aug. 10, 2018