In a release issued by the City of Bayonne to answer critics, Mayor Mark Smith has been credited with reducing the city’s debt by almost 40 percent.
According to figures used by the State of New Jersey Local Finance Board, the City of Bayonne has reduced the total debt of the City and its agencies and authorities by more than 39 percent. The Smith Administration has worked steadily to retire debt since taking office in November 2008. Municipal debt, school debt, total authorized debt, and outstanding debt have all been cut since Mayor Smith took office.
As measured from June 30, 2009, the end of State Fiscal Year 2009, the fiscal year in which the Smith Administration began, through December 31, 2012, the end of Calendar Year 2012, the City of Bayonne’s gross debt was reduced from $437,526,009 to $267,253,000. That was a reduction in debt of $170,273,009.
Mayor Smith stated in his inaugural address, “I don’t want to leave debt to my grandkids.” One of the many positive results that have occurred by this effort is that the City’s bond rating has been increased for the first time in approximately a decade. “The reduction of the debt service burden on the taxpayers of this city will have positive effects on a generation of residents,” Mayor Smith said. The Mayor pledged to continue to focus on debt reduction.
The City plans to announce other positive financial actions in the near future.
Klimansky to replace Gorski on Ethics Board
Mayor Mark Smith has appointed Matthew Klimansky to the Bayonne Ethics Board to fill the unexpired term of Edward Gorski, who resigned. The term expires August 31, 2014.
Navigator Grants awarded locally
Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) announced that $1,205,393 has been awarded in Navigator Grants to organizations that serve New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District. These organizations and their staff will provide in-person assistance to consumers in New Jersey who want additional help in shopping for and enrolling in plans in the Health Insurance Marketplaces beginning this fall.
“The Navigators will play a key role in helping New Jerseyans understand their coverage options in the Marketplace,” Rep. Payne, Jr. said. “There will also be many other resources like community health centers that will help with enrollment, and HHS will train certified application counselors who will be providing in-person assistance.”
The Navigators will be trained to provide unbiased information to consumers about the Health Insurance Marketplaces, qualified health plans, and public programs such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. HHS will train Navigators to strictly adhere to security and privacy standards—including how to safeguard a consumer’s personal information—and will be required to meet these standards. If a Navigator fails to adhere to such standards, they will be subject to state and federal criminal penalties for violations of privacy and fraud statutes.
The Urban League of Hudson County will receive $565,000 and Public Health Solutions which works in Hudson and Essex Counties will receive 400,583.—Al Sullivan