By W. Homer Axford
For the second straight year, Bayonne teachers will start the year off without a contract. It seems Davis and D’Angelo, the Bayonne Teachers Association President, have a different opinion of what has been going on behind the scenes as it pertains to negotiating a new contract. Davis claims that negotiations have “nothing to do with City Hall,” while D’Angelo claims “everything goes through City Hall in Bayonne.”
Speaking of conflicting opinions, Davis’ thoughts conflict with…his own. While running for Mayor in 2014, Davis claimed that the Mayor’s Office was solely responsible for negotiating the teachers’ contract. (Many of Davis’ “facts” have changed to better suit his current situations. Candidate Davis said “gangs are running Bayonne,” but now, in the midst of a crime wave, Mayor Davis says “Bayonne has no crime.” Candidate Davis said “the Port Authority Deal was terrible,” but Mayor Davis makes the worst deal in the history of Bayonne. Candidate Davis cries about nepotism, Mayor Davis hires his nephew. I mean, we could go on for hours, seriously.)
Back to the matter at hand. As for the Bayonne Board of Education, it seems D’Angelo should really think hard about who he endorses for trustee this go around. It would seem that trustee Christopher Munoz and trustee Mary Jane-Desmond are the only ones who won’t budge on the teachers’ contract issue. The rest seem to think it is okay to appoint people to made-up positions, while the teachers don’t get anything. Our favorite made up position is the “Director of Athletics for Grammar Schools.”
No seriously, Davis hired one of his cronies to oversee grammar school sports, a position that has never existed in the history of Bayonne, because it was never needed. Drawing up the grammar school sports schedules was usual done by a grammar school student with the assistance of their coaches. Don’t get us started on candidate Davis’ position on waste, fraud, and abuse…..
Under Davis’ leadership, the Bayonne Board of Education is headed in the wrong direction. Don’t be surprised if Davis doesn’t publicly endorse candidates this election — he cannot afford another loss — but he is going to support some candidates behind the scenes in order to keep his control of the board. We will expose those candidates when the decision has been made. We would recommend voting for the candidates that the Bayonne Teachers Association endorses or unendorsed candidates. This is the only way to end nepotism and cronyism at the Bayonne Board of Education.
Davis hiding something?
The other big story of last week covered the numerous unsuccessful attempts made by the Jersey Journal to obtain public information from the City of Bayonne regarding the Mayor’s retirement payout. We’ve seen numerous stories written about retiring educators, police, and firemen, yet nothing on the Mayor’s retirement payout. Does the Mayor’s Office play by a different set of rules? It would seem so. When asked by the Jersey Journal why the Mayor’s payout information hasn’t been released, Mayor Davis responded, (this isn’t a joke, see article linked above) “We make good money as police and fire. We make decent money. And cities really can’t afford to be paying this money out.” While noting he still intends to collect his payout, whatever it is. It’s like an episode of the Twilight Zone with these folks, and it isn’t getting better. Davis went on to say “People have asked about it, and I said ‘Listen, it’s something that’s in my contract for police and fire.’ I said ‘Everybody takes advantage of it.’ It’s like benefits…You don’t see anybody who says ‘No, I don’t want benefits,” You’d think that the benefits of collecting a pension, a Mayor’s salary, free trips and tickets from developers and lobbyists, and driving a brand new City car all over the state would be enough benefits at the expense of Bayonne Taxpayers, but we guess not. Let us remind you of what candidate Davis had to say about big payouts to retirees, cronyism, nepotism, city cars, not to mention transparency, and state auditors coming into City Hall. We know, it’s getting old. (see below)
Bayonne is hemorrhaging money. Davis has turned the cash flow spigot on full blast. Contractors are stealing water from the City, the windmill is broken every other day, crime and poverty are now large issues in Bayonne. Taxes are skyrocketing despite the fact that we just gave away 12 million dollars to get 27 million early. Where is the money going? What exactly has happened to our town over the past 2 and a half years? Everyone in Bayonne is aware of the issues at hand, yet there has been no action from the City, or even a remote attempt to acknowledge these problems exists. We are at our wits end here. As we have stated in the past, hopefully the recall will work or the damage can be mitigated before the regular election next year. Until next week, try to remain optimistic.