PATERSON, NJ – During their budget disputes over the past year, there was one thing members of the Jones administration and the city council agreement upon. That was Paterson’s need to attract new development to increase its ratable base, which would ease the financial burden on city homeowners.

But for more than a year, Paterson has not had anyone in the vital job of economic development director. Brian Sweeney, the last person in the position, had a dispute with his boss, Community Development Director Lanisha Makle, and was demoted.

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Now Paterson has received approval from the state to go ahead and look for someone else, officials said. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which oversees city hiring, said Paterson can start advertising for applicants for the economic development post, said Business Administrator Charles Thomas.

During the past month, the DCA has held private meetings with both Makle and Sweeney.