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Newark Advocate
11-02-2008, 10:37 AM
Booker changes staff to ready for 2010 campaign
by Jeffery C. Mays/The Star-Ledger
Sunday November 02, 2008, 6:33 AM

Newark Mayor Cory Booker has shuffled his administration, he says, in anticipation of running for a second term in 2010.

Chief of Staff Pablo Fonseca and Deputy Chief of Staff Jermaine James are leaving to run his political operation. Modia Butler is taking over as Booker's chief of staff and Rigoberto Salas, a childhood friend of Fonseca's, will serve as deputy chief of staff.

"Pablo Fonseca has been and remains one of my greatest supporters and friends. Pablo's work on my campaigns, the 2006 transition, and as Chief of Staff has had a transformative affect on the City of Newark," Booker said in a statement.

Fonseca, whose time in City Hall has been marked by his confrontations with Police Director Garry McCarthy over control of the police department, is on leave and serving as the New Jersey political director for Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama.

With a reputation as fiercely loyal and tough, Fonseca said he's doing whatever it takes to help Booker get re-elected. Former Essex County Prosecutor Clifford Minor is the only other declared candidate for the 2010 mayoral race. They mayor has suffered embarrassing defeats in his effort to elect district leaders and is supporting Eddie Osborne in a tough and critical race to fill the empty Central Ward seat.

"Our goal is to use everything we've accomplished to move forward and continue the progress," said Fonseca.

He said he's most proud of the initiative to remake Newark's parks. Although he and McCarthy have had disagreements, he said the director has done an "incredible job" and he does not apologize for the way he did his job.

"What's the definition of Pablo? The mayor says: 'GID' Get it done. Whenever there was a problem my job was to get it resolved," said Fonseca. "It's a position where it's very hard to make everyone happy because you constantly have to make hard decisions."

Butler, who was head of Newark Now, a non-profit founded by Booker and chairman of the Newark Housing Authority, is taking over as Booker's chief aide at a critical time.

Booker is in the midst of reorganizing his administration to create a new director of public safety position. The city is near its bonding capacity and needed $45 million in emergency aid from the state to balance the budget. Newark will need at least the same amount next year.

Butler said he has stepped down from Newark Now but will remain as housing authority chairman until his term expires next spring. Butler will earn the same $135,341 per year salary as Fonseca but is generally regarded as someone who is more into reconciliation than confrontation. Some people question whether he has the temperament to handle City Hall.

Butler said he does.

"Pablo and I have dramatically different styles but if you look at my record of accomplishments and his record of accomplishments, we've both been able to accomplish a great deal."

Butler said he's proud of the work that he's done to help turn around the formerly troubled Newark Housing Authority and at Newark Now to help launch 11 family Success Centers.

"The immediate priority is to continue to focus on public safety. We are going to push forward with reorganization of the city and the renovation of the parks. We will continue to make sure that City Hall is a more friendly and open place for Newark residents," said Butler.

NewarkNative
11-02-2008, 12:59 PM
Cory Booker has never taken the reigns to lead this city into success. Instead, he has been on a stride of campaiging for 2010 mayoral position, just as he did when central ward councilman (running for mayor from day 1). Pablo Fonseca ran a tight ship while director of inspections - he collected lots of money from business owners so they wouldn't have a problem from him (big money getting - hogwash). Those owners feared this demon.

Mo Butler of Newark Now although a non-profit group was a power house in Booker's campaign so he got the job of Newark Housing chairman and distributing block grants to community organizations to keep support of Booker for 2010. Then to be placed as Booker's chief of staff - they have balls alright! These moves allows Booker a stronghold and greater access to the residents for political purposes.

Tell me, when did Booker hang up his running guns and really become the CEO of Newark for improvement? We certainly know the answer to the question. Check out his list of pay to play.;) :rolleyes:

newarknewbbie
11-02-2008, 01:26 PM
"Pablo Fonseca has been and remains one of my greatest supporters and friends. Pablo's work on my campaigns, the 2006 transition, and as Chief of Staff has had a transformative affect on the City of Newark," Booker said in a statement.



This sounds more like a goodbye than an "I'll see you later." Assuming that the Mayor gets reelected in 2010, do you think Pablo will be back?

koolina
11-02-2008, 05:09 PM
ok rigoberto salas dep. chief of staff, omg hey tracy short and michelle ralph-rawls you both must be ready to die, this was your flunky personnel tech in the corner cubicle that you pushed around and now he is several layers higher than you , but did I mention that he is an idiot also but a pablo life long friend. stay tuned.....