A member of the Hoboken City Council the past eight years, Councilman Jim Doyle was re-elected as to serve another term on November 7, 2017. Out of 14 candidates, Jim received the largest number of votes.
August 2021 marked the thirty-fourth anniversary of Jim’s move to Hoboken. He came from law school to start a career in law with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s New York City office, where he continues to work today as a supervisor in the legal office. Along the way he married his wife, Leah Healey, has led the Hoboken Harriers running club and their charity events for the past 22 years, served on the hospital’s board in its time of crisis, advocated for more park space through his involvement in HobokenParks.Org, serves on the Green Team, and most recently serves on the City Council and the Planning Board.
Eight years ago, when Jim ran for City Council for the first time, he articulated certain goals. They included improved zoning and planning in our City, park acquisition and uses, green infrastructure, less reliance on residential development, and bike and pedestrian safety.
Jim is proud of his role in the distinct progress made on all these fronts. Jim has served on the Council’s Zoning and Master Plan subcommittee for eight years and has served on the Planning Board for six. In the face of tremendous development pressure, stemming largely from our economic conditions, Jim has worked with his council colleagues to amend the zoning laws and with fellow Planning Board commissioners to hold the line in an effort to preserve many of the things that make our City so special. The build-out analysis that Jim advocated for has been completed, and its conclusions informed the Master Plan re-examination process which occurred in 2018.
Part and parcel with the Master Plan re-examination process, Jim has publicly advocated for future development focused on commercial uses, rather than large residential projects, to both stem the increase in population and provide more local job opportunities in Hoboken for our residents. Jim also serves on the Council subcommittee that generated the plan to preserve the Neumann Leathers Building as a space for small businesses and artisanal uses. Jim advocated for Neumann Leathers as a great example of how we can preserve and rehabilitate existing buildings to create a home and flexible space for such small businesses.
Park acquisition was a significant reason Jim was motivated to run for Council eight years ago. And the City’s results in the past eight years in this regard have been impressive. Jim has steadfastly supported the past two Mayors and their Administration’s use of its available tools to acquire over nine acres of park land, such as the Southwest Park (through eminent domain), the park at 7th and Jackson Streets (through the redevelopment negotiation process), and the Northwest park under construction in northern Hoboken (through a traditional, negotiated sale). Jim chaired the ad-hoc Council subcommittee regarding that park’s acquisition, and he is eager to see it soon become a permanent park and yet another resiliency project that will also help alleviate local flooding during storm events.
As a member of the Council’s Environmental Services Committee, Jim has advocated for additional funding in our budget to ensure proper and enhanced maintenance of our present and future parks. On that Committee, Jim is also proud to have played a role, working with the Administration, in arriving upon a design and implementing the construction of a 9/11 Memorial, which we can all be proud.
As part of the above-mentioned zoning changes, Jim advocated for and obtained zoning amendments to incentivize Green Infrastructure in building projects in Hoboken. As a US EPA employee, Jim is committed to environmentally sensible development. For example, as a member of the “Green Roofs for Health Cities” certification program, he amended the zoning code to incentivize the construction of green roofs on new and retrofit buildings and also urges their inclusion in projects as a planning board commissioner to alleviate excessive storm water events. With hi mys continued membership on the Green Team, he has helped facilitate rain-barrel installations, rain-garden projects, and encouraged LEED certification for developments. Jim has also the co-chair of the Rebuild By Design community advisory group, which versees and facilitates he process of fortifying the City’s defenses against future flooding.
Lastly, but certainly not least, Jim is a bicycle and pedestrian safety advocate. Jim understandably supports pedestrian safety efforts, as he has led the Hoboken Harriers running club since 1995. Jim also promotes bicycle safety; he was the co-founder of Hoboken’s first free bike-sharing effort, called “Hobiken”, and consistently supports bicycle and pedestrian-friendly initiatives. Jim believes more people on foot or on bikes means fewer cars on the road, cleaner air, and a healthier citizenry.
While Jim has certainly seen a lot of physical changes in the past 34 years, the reason he chose to make Hoboken his home remains unchanged. The friendly neighborhood feel of the City, the ease and convenience of getting around to so many great local businesses, and the diversity of people that make Hoboken the place Jim wants to live and a community he wants to fight to preserve.