By W. Homer Axford
Go get your coffee and your bagel, this is going to be a rant……. Ready? Ok. So, the development of Harbor Station South, the purported saving grace of Bayonne, won’t be happening after all. Your elected leaders have known this since February — nope, that’s not a typo, since February. They didn’t think enough of you to tell you about it. But, don’t feel bad, they didn’t think enough of the State of New Jersey to inform them, either. A loss of a 15 million dollar cash infusion into the budget is usually something you might want to let people know about, especially when the tax increase you have set was based on having that cash in hand. But, since when has this administration ever cared about what Bayonne taxpayers think? Turns out, Kate Howard LTD, the company who was supposed to build a hotel and stores and all types of other fancy things at the MOT, couldn’t come up with the money to make the dream a reality. When informed of this, Mayor Davis, Council President Sharron Nadrowski, Joe DeMarco, and the rest of your Council thought it would be better to mislead and lie to the public about this revelation. As per this Jersey Journal article, official word from the City of Bayonne (nearly a month after they knew it was a lie) was that the City would be getting some cash infusion from development at the MOT. So your City officials think you are either stupid or … they just don’t care what you think. Either way, no es bueno para los residents Bayonne. You don’t need Rosetta Stone to figure that one out.
Now what, you ask? Well, we really don’t know. Expect this epic debacle at the base to cost you some money. The tax increase set forth by the City is incorrect — it now has to be much much more. Why aren’t they telling us, you ask? Well, maybe they are expecting 15 million dollars to fall out of the sky from now until they have to set the final budget this summer.
This administration can’t do ANYTHING right. Most of the development at the former MOT was set to go when they took over, they failed to get these projects to the finish line, and then lied about it. This is unacceptable behavior. Maybe this act of gross negligence by your government will motivate you to go find a recall petition and put your signature on it. Or maybe we all can kick in about, let’s see, 12,000 taxpayers, $15,000,000 needed, uh, about $1,250 each to make up for the money. If not, that money has to come from somewhere. Unless the City comes up with that money, more people will be forced to move out of Bayonne. The MOT won’t become the tax ratable-generating parcel we were told it was going to be.
Don’t even get us started on the probability that Mayor Davis, Joe DeMarco, and the rest started spending that money before they even had it. Hiring out of control and giving raises out like Enron in 1998? No, they wouldn’t do that, would they? This is yet another example in a long chain of events that a terrible mistake was made by Bayonne voters when Jimmy Davis was elected Mayor in 2014. Will this nightmare ever end? Will Bayonne taxpayers ever get the responsive, intelligent, and caring public servants of yesteryear? We can only hope, and only hope that the barn isn’t already burnt down when the cavalry comes to save the day.
Please note: Political Insiders will be on hiatus this summer. We have a new shore house and lots of work to do on it. Fear not, we will check in with monthly columns and updates until September.