PATERSON, NJ - Mayor Jeffrey Jones' proposed appointments to two municipal boards have under question by city council members who said he should strive for greater diversity in his selections.
For the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, Jones has nominated Erik Lowe to replace Carlos Pagan and Benny Cook to replace Anna Marie Vancheri. For the Urban Enterprise Zone Advisory Committee, Jones has picked Mostafa Rasheed to replace Eliecer Montoya. Pagan and Vancheri's terms had expired June 30, while Montoya's term had expired in 2009. The three of them have continued serving in their non-paid position on "holdover status.''
The mayor's appointments require approval from the city council, which is scheduled to vote on them November 23 at 7 p.m. at city hall. The council briefly discussed the selections at its November 12 workshop meeting.
"Why are they all men?'' asked Councilwoman Vera Ames-Garnes. "Why no women?''
"There's got to be some more diversity in these appointments,'' said Councilman Andre Sayegh. "I'm not just talking about gender, it has to reflect the city of Paterson.''
After the meeting, Sayegh pointed that Jones has removed several Latinos - who comprise more than half of Paterson's population - from positions they held on various city boards. Jones has not returned a phone message seeking comment.