By W. Homer Axford
We are sorry, we got caught up in the many happenings of last week to properly address the debacle at the BBOED. The Bayonne Board of Education rejected a budget that it had approved a week earlier. Why, you ask? Well, no one knows, but let’s look at the process, maybe we can get a glimpse of the thinking behind this idiotic move. The process of school budgeting on a local level is as follows: department directors within the BBOED send a want/need list up to central office. Central office, which is comprised of Bayonne Board of Education administrators and board members, then do a line item review of the list. They get rid of things that aren’t needed, shuffle things around, and keep whatever is left over. Then the BBOED approves the budget for submission to Hudson County. Hudson County then goes over the submitted budget and sends it back to the BBOED for final approval. So, one might be confused when the BBOED met to then vote against the budget. What does that sound like to you? Grandstanding, perhaps? Or maybe something even scarier: they had no idea what was going on. Sources inside the County’s Department of Finance say that either the new BBOED has no clue what they are doing or they are just attempting to make some political statement by rejecting their own budget. Either way, it is bad news for Bayonne taxpayers. To make matters worse, the BBOED then turned around and approved the same exact budget they rejected, the next week. Are these people for real? What the heck is going on up there? Does anyone on this board have an ounce of sense? One board member went as far as to say “there should be more done for teachers in this budget.” We agree, there should be, the BBOED could’ve made that happen if they cut out the special projects or other line items in the budget, and then transferred that money to teachers. They didn’t do that. Instead, they did the opposite and pulled this stunt, maybe to make it look like there was some sort of “protest” to the budget. Well, you ain’t pulling one over on us, or the taxpayers of this town. The tax increase you are passing on to taxpayers is unacceptable.
You all made promises to protect taxpayers and you’re not doing it — you’re grandstanding, or you don’t know what is going on. We don’t know which is worse. Bayonne taxpayers are very unhappy right now. They see through the smoke and mirrors, if you’re not careful, they will vote you right out of office when the time comes.
Davis Fires Bayonne Football Coach for His Own Pick
In case you didn’t hear, Mayor Jimmy Davis fired Bayonne High School Football Coach Rick Rodriguez earlier this month. Davis hack’s at the BBOED cited a “lack of performance” as the reason for letting Rodriguez go. This is an interesting explanation, as Rodriguez is one of Bayonne’s most winning-est coaches and owns Bayonne’s only state title. The real reason for this is that Rodriguez isn’t really political…meaning, he won’t do the mayor’s bidding and sell fundraiser tickets, etc. He never has — other Mayors put up with this because Rodriquez’s record on the field was stellar — but we guess that’s not enough for Davis.
Don’t know if you’re starting to worry, but we are. That 15 million dollar hole in the budget that Mayor Jimbo said was “fine?” It still isn’t filled. So, this means that we are are closer to the reality of a 18-20% tax increase. This scares us. A lot. An 18-20% tax increase would mean doom for Bayonne. Davis, Gullace, Cotter, Nadrowski, Perez, and LaPelusa are failing the Bayonne taxpayers. As of today, Bayonne is in the worst financial shape it has EVER been in. We are praying that some kind-hearted developer comes in to bail us out. Who would’ve thought that it would be so bad in just 2 years under Davis? In all seriousness, not even we did.
P.S. I’ve looked out my window everyday this week. Windmill hasn’t spun in over a week. How much is this gonna cost us?
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.