By Scott Marlow
In a surprise move today, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis stripped Business Administrator Joe DeMarco of the most important of his responsibilities by removing the Law Division and the Finance Division from the Department of Administration, which Demarco oversees. Davis intends to promote City Lawyer Jay Coffee and Financial Wizard Terry Malloy to Department Directors.
In a hastily prepared move, Davis announced his intention to expand the number of municipal departments by 20 percent. The municipal table of organization which had been put in place by former Mayor Mark Smith was the result of many months of study by a commission of former elected officials and experienced government managers. As part of his plan to reduce municipal spending, Smith reduced the number of municipal departments from 9 to 4. In keeping with the Davis Administrations record of increasing spending and growing the size of municipal government, Mayor Jimmy Davis is now creating new departments to add to his record of runaway hirings and promotions
The new departmental configuration is seen by political observers as an attempt by the Davis Crew to distract attention away from the mysterious holiday departure of former Municipal Services Director Rob Wondolowski from Bayonne Municipal Government. Wondolowski gave the usual excuse of wanting to spend more time with his family but city hall observers are eagerly waiting for the rest of the story to come out. It’s as if Davis wants to rip the Wondolowski departure out of the history books by totally eradicating all remnants of the department he formerly ran.
The city hall wags are also complaining about DeMarco’s reduced duties. One union official said, “Joe had a low show job as it is and now he has even less to do.” They wondered aloud if his salary will be adjusted to reflect his waning influence in Bayonne Municipal Government. By increasing his reliance on old hands Coffee and Malloy, Davis seems to be slowly backing away from the Svengali like influence of Joe Demarco and drifting back into a solidly Joe Doria Administration stance. Either way, Davis keeps moving Bayonne Backwards.