CAREN S. FRANZINI PUBLIC PARTNER AWARD
Mayor, Township of Weehawken
Caren S. Franzini was one of New Jersey’s greatest economic development advocates, evidenced by her incredibly effective leadership of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and her work with Greater Trenton. In 2017, NAIOP New Jersey established the Caren S. Franzini Public Partner Award, to be presented in her memory and to honor local champions of development that inspires and transforms our communities.
Mayor Richard Turner’s vision and dedication to economic revitalization have transformed his town.
Three decades ago, Weehawken’s waterfront was an industrial wasteland. Enter Richard F. Turner, who has been Mayor for the past 30 years. Turner has overseen dramatic changes in the township, including the transformation of its waterfront. Under his leadership, Weehawken has seen the introduction of NJ Transit’s Light Rail, new parks, and a new ferry station. Significant projects include the $2 billion redevelopment of Port Imperial. Mayor Turner also helped consolidate four municipal agencies to form the North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue.
Turner started his career with the state Department of Community Affairs as an intern at age 23, eventually rising through the ranks to serve as acting deputy director of the division of local governmental services. It was his role in Trenton that first brought him to Weehawken as the state-assigned township manager. Weehawken was released from state control in 1983, and Turner stayed on as town manager through 1985. He served as business administrator in North Bergen, and then returned as township manager in 1989. When Mayor Stanley Iacono opted not to run for reelection in 1990, Turner stepped in and has been Weehawken’s chief executive ever since.