By W. Homer Axford
It has been another busy week in Bayonne. P.J. Leonard has brought some unwanted attention to City Hall, and election day is tomorrow; here are a few side notes first.
The Jersey Journal is reporting that Mayor Davis has won his appeal to receive his pension from a state pension board. Mayor Davis filed for a hardship with the Board. A hardship basically means that the Mayor can’t pay his bills on the salary of Mayor and he needs about $9,000 more a month to live. The Pension Board agreed — they all have shore house mortgages, too. But yeah, that is only a quarter of the battle for Mayor Davis. Mayor Davis still has to be approved by the Attorney General’s office, since it is against the law for him to get his pension under his circumstances, and that is something that isn’t likely to happen. The underlying theme with Davis and company is their willingness to try to game the system and its laws in any way possible. This is yet another sad chapter in the book of scams Davis, the Council, the City Directors and Joe DeMarco have tried to pull over on the taxpayers of Bayonne. The only question now is if Davis is denied by the AG’s office, and he cannot afford to live, will he remain Mayor? Or were his claims to the Pension Board greatly exaggerated? I guess we will find out…
School Board Trustee a Tea Party member, or did he just not read the agenda?
In a move that left everyone watching the School Board Meeting this week dumbfounded, Trustee and Davis ticket candidate Chris Piechocki voted down a measure that would give the Bayonne School Board a much needed $380,000 in federal funding. The narrative for most of the School Board Candidates has been to bring more aid in — not reject it. Then, in an even more bizarre move, Piechocki voted against a yearly whale watching trip that parents and students almost completely pay for themselves. Maybe Piechocki is a Tea Party Patriot who despises federal government spending and has an unspoken bond with Captain Ahab from Moby Dick? Or maybe he didn’t bother to read the consent agenda before the meeting and didn’t know what he was voting on. Either way, not a good look for Chris going into election day. Parents and students who are looking forward to the trip (which still passed) are furious with his votes.
As you are all aware, election day is tomorrow. Independent Anthony Zanowic and Republican Matt Kopko are taking on former BLRA Director and Davis-endorsed candidate Nick Chiaravalloti, among others. Chiaravalloti has had a rough month starting with Kopko exposing some factual inaccuracies with Chiaravalloti’s educational claims and some potential conflicts with legal work he performed. To add insult to injury, City employee and former Davis campaign lieutenant P.J. Leonard claimed this week that Chiaravalloti engaged in illegal and unethical behavior in his involvement with city development and legal work. In it’s early stages, Chiaravalloti hasn’t exactly had a charmed political life thus far. Chiaravalloti isn’t very well liked in Bayonne, but conventional wisdom would say Chiaravalloti will win. He will struggle though, but if the stars line up, as we’ve seen before in these races, anything can happen.
Bayonne School Board Election
As promised, the rest of the School Board Candidates whom haven’t been endorsed by the Mayor can be seen below. Take a close look at them, they deserve your attention just as much as the Mayor’s Political Appointments (excuse us, Endorsements). This is an election the people wanted — the people should choose, not Mayor Davis. The Bayonne Teachers Union has also endorsed some candidates, and they are much better than Davis’ bunch. Although, like we said, take a look at all the candidates and choose the best, not the boasted.
Late addition: Seems like School Board Candidate John Cupo was arrested for stealing Chris Piechocki’s campaign signs. This doesn’t bode well for Cupo. With no endorsements, Cupo will need all the help he can get on election day. Cupo claimed “he was looking out” for Piechocki. Cupo expressed his concern that Piechocki had “too many signs.” No city ordinance exists in regards to the amount of signs a candidate can have.
Get out and vote tomorrow. The foundation of our Democracy is based on the idea of patriots questioning the establishment. If you consider yourself the establishment, then we are very happy to have you so riled up — that means we are doing our job. Bayonne Local isn’t a person, its the people’s voice.
“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”
― Edward R. Murrow