The $106 million 2006-2007 FY budget would have no increase in May if the bond passes.
The bond is part of a five-year budget-balancing package that Doria said swaps money with the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority (BLRA) so that the city can insert revenue from developers to fill budget gaps.
"It is perfectly legal," Doria said. Under guidelines set by the federal government, the City of Bayonne can only use revenues gained from development of the former Military Ocean Terminal (MOTBY) to fix up the site for seven years after the city takeover.
Doria said that after July 1, 2008, the city could use the money freely without restrictions.
To get around this restriction in the meantime, the BLRA would accept deposits on the sale of property, then transfer the cash to the city. The city then would bond for the same amount of money to cover the cost of upgrades on the MOTBY.
Concerned that the city has not done enough to cut expenses, Councilmen Anthony Chiappone and Gary La Pelusa could vote against the bond - which needs four out of the five council votes to pass.
Council President Vincent Lo Re said voting against the budget this late would be "irresponsible."
"These two councilmen have voted for all the temporary budgets and all of the other spending throughout the year," he said. "To vote against the budget now would only hurt the taxpayers."
Chiappone, however, argued that he has been advocating cuts all year and said that the budget should be trimmed rather than resorting to fiscal tricks.
"The mayor has never been willing to streamline government," Chiappone said. "This government always spends too much and hires too many people."
Chiappone continued, "If we vote against the bond on Feb. 14, it will not be the Apocalypse. We will have until June to pass a bond if we need to. It is up to the mayor to make more cuts, find more money from Trenton and formulate the next fiscal plan to make sure that we won't have to keep borrowing $25 million year after year. We want the mayor to make harder cuts. Cut waste in the budget first before laying off people, but if you have to lay people off, maybe that's what needs to be done."
Chiappone said he is worried about the increasing debt the city is taking on through the five-year plan, saying that the city doesn't automatically get the MOTBY on July 1, 2008.
"The federal government gets to review what has been done there. If the government doesn't like what we've done, they could add more years to the restrictions or give the base to another entity such as the Port Authority," Chiappone said. "If that happens, what does the city do with all of the debt?"