By Scott Marlow
The Bayonne Hispanic Association has been running the Bayonne Hispanic Day Parade for the last 12 years. But, It looks like they will no longer be involved in the City of Bayonne’s celebration of Hispanic heritage. According to spokesperson Kenneth Ortiz, on May 6th the Bayonne Hispanic Association put in their yearly request package to host the parade. In years past, the organization had this paperwork processed quickly, and the parade was a hit. But, this year, the City of Bayonne never got back to the Bayonne Hispanic Association and the Mayor canceled a scheduled meeting with the group. Shortly after their request was put in, they found out that another group, Circulo Hispano Americano de Bayonne, was hosting the parade two weeks before the date the Bayonne Hispanic Association had requested.
Abett Hernandez, the president of the Bayonne Hispanic Association, pleaded with the Bayonne City Council to help her get a response from the city in regards to her parade permit. Led by Council President Sharon Nadrowski, the city council played hot potato with Ms. Hernandez requests for a resolution on the matter. “The city council doesn’t handle these administrative matters,” Said Nadrowski. But, on multiple occasions, the city council has indeed assisted with these types of administrative matters. Multiple city hall sources confirmed that the council often works very closely with the town’s Irish community and other communities to help with the paperwork process in order to provide better planning for parades. “Then what are our council people for?” Asked one member of the Bayonne Hispanic Association.
Hernandez also accused Victor Pesantez, president of Circulo Hispano Americano de Bayonne, of sending her text messages saying, “he got her meeting with the mayor squashed.” Hernandez Also accused Pesantez and other members of Circulo Hispano Americano de Bayonne of wrongfully taking money when the groups operated as one. Victor Pesantez has been in trouble before, in 2009 Pesantez plead guilty to conspiring to distribute illegal drugs in a massive oxy-codone drug ring . The drugs were stolen from Midtown Pharmacy and sold to many young people around Bayonne. The case made national headlines, twin brothers, whom doubled as gym teachers in Bayonne, were charged with masterminding the scheme.
Mayor Davis bolsters Pasantez and Circulo Hispano Americano de Bayonne
In February of this year, Mayor Davis honored Circulo Hispano Americano de Bayonne and its president Victor Pasantez. According to Kenneth Ortiz of the Bayonne Hispanic Association, Mayor Davis and the city council have been “propping up,” Pasantez and his group as his hand picked organization to run Bayonne Hispanic affairs. Similar accusations were made by the Bayonne Initiative, another non-profit, a few weeks back. “It seems to me, that Davis wants to run these organizations and use them as a way to funnel money and wrongfully garner political support around Bayonne” said a member of the Bayonne Initiative. “We won’t let him bully and use us, others should resist his advances.”
Video Credit: Hudson County View