To the Editor:
I’ve been following the many letters that have been published by the Bayonne Community News from candidates for public office who write to criticize and let the readers know how they would have done things better. While’s they’ve been writing, I’ve been busy getting things done.
Although I’m only in my first term, I’m proud of the accomplishments I’ve made with my colleagues on the Smith Team. Under Mayor Mark Smith’s leadership, we have worked together to pay down the city’s huge debt—about $198,000,000 so far. We have streamlined our city government to be more efficient and effective and responsive to you. By working together, we have been able to attract developers to our community, and there are literally dozens of new projects completed and under way. We brought in the Bayonne Energy Center, built on long-vacant land that now pays $1.3 million in property taxes. We jumpstarted redevelopment at the Peninsula where Harbor Station North is being developed as a residential and retail complex next to the 45th Street Light Rail Station. And we are currently evaluating proposals for Harbor Station South that includes hotels, retail, commercial, entertainment, and recreational uses, creating jobs and tax ratables for our community. We are working with a qualified company to redevelop a section of Broadway with professional office and retail space along with 200 new jobs and increased tax ratables. Our efforts have allowed us to have a zero tax increase municipal budget this year.
As standard-bearer of the Ray Greaves Association, I’ve quietly supported hundreds of Bayonne charitable causes and worked with my members to make our city a better place to live and raise a family.
In my role as councilman and as a member of the Board of Directors of New Jersey Transit, I have been looking out for our commuters, working for improved bus and light rail service. I’ve also been working with Mayor Smith and my colleagues along with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to improve the flow of traffic through Interchange 14A. An exciting new plan is in the works that will eliminate all traffic signals in the plaza and allow for the smooth flow of traffic from Avenue E and NJ route 440 onto the turnpike. The plan will also provide for direct, nonstop access to Route 440 without traffic lights or congestion.
Unfortunately, all progress takes time. Although I’m only in my first term as councilman, I’ve been able to accomplish a great deal by listening to the people I represent, working together with my colleagues and fighting for what I believe in. Because of our hard work, Bayonne is poised for a remarkable comeback. Stick with the Smith Team; you won’t be disappointed.
Third Ward Councilman