It is quite amusing, but not surprising to see what Mayor Smith finds unprecedented. It is great that the negotiations worked out for the hardworking and courageous Police and Fire Departments, as they deserve it. The Mayor did, however, point out no raises in the article, which is slick on his behalf, because he forgot to mention the 8-percent raise. I presume this was left out unintentionally. It is, however, unprecedented, that for the "first time in memory" the Bayonne teachers have been left hanging by the Mayor for the last four years. Mayor Smith has not had an open mind, nor has he shown leadership and has not had a willingness to compromise for the last four years. The people of Bayonne should think about this. What if your employer had not given you a raise for the last four years? What if your paycheck was not keeping up with the cost of inflation? What if you fell behind on your student loans or mortgage because of rising interest rates? What would you do with zero raise, not even a cost of living increase? I commend our Bayonne teachers for carrying on and doing their best to keep morale high for four long years and be dedicated to their profession. I was proud to march with the teachers this past Friday and I feel it was long overdue. It was great to see so many parents, children and teachers come together. The Mayor stated the following to the Jersey Journal in a Letter to the Editor: “As a former police union official, I believe that protracted negotiations are not good for either side. It is better to concentrate on reaching a realistic agreement than to wait for the impossible to happen. Successful negotiators never let perfect be the enemy of good in balancing the needs of our citizens with the needs of our employees.” Why hasn’t our Leader been able to lead and come together on a deal? Why has our Mayor dragged his feet? The Mayor has openly said that he cares about our children and his grandchildren but why doesn't he care about the teachers who educate them? Bayonne doesn’t need another four years of a smoke and mirrors Mayor, who talks from both sides of his mouth. Bayonne does not need a Mayor who does not lead and does not put our children's education first. Bayonne needs fresh faces in office and I will be happy to help reshape my hometown, the Great town of Bayonne in the near future.
JOHN MILAN SEBIK