How can anyone say City Hall is transparent? It seems as if every month, there is something in the paper which involves the city in court, or one of its Administrators in legal trouble. Earlier this week, the Jersey Journal reported that a Bayonne contractor admits $65,000 in bribes to city officials for grants. It is unacceptable that these kind of things are happening with our city officials.
Transparency holds a key role in our government. As taxpayers and residents, we expect our government to allow us to examine where our money is being invested. This kind of information should be posted online, on our city website, and easily accessible without the requirement of filing an OPRA request. OPRA requests are great because it allows citizens to request specific information that could possibly take hours for an individual to go through. Yet, it appears that this Administration is not supportive of OPRA requests. It shocked me when I read an article that addressed a major problem in our city. It was reported last week, Bayonne was sued for denying an unlawful amount of OPRA requests. The ruling was that the city had to pay thousands in attorney fees. This is not acceptable and was a situation that could have been avoided if we had a transparent city government.
This is not the kind of actions we expect from City Hall. Our local government is the smallest form of government that has the best relationship with the people. Since City Hall has a personal and connection to their constituents, we expect our elected officials to reflect the values of those who they Represent. Denying OPRA requests is not just disrespectful to the people, but is clearly a horrendous form of governing. The people have the ultimate and final say in government and they should be valued as one of the highest components in governing
When we elect candidates into office, we expect them to be Representatives and not Politicians. The people of Bayonne want a transparent government and they have the right to examine their government's behavior and investments. After all, government is accountable to the people, not the people to the government. I end my letter with this. If you ask around Bayonne, people want to be able to easily access their government's documents, ideas, and actions. They want to know which lobbyists our elected officials are meeting with and where their taxes are being invested. My final question to you in this, are you going to be a Representative, or a Politician? Let the people have access their government. We have a right to know and we will hold your administration accountable.
Candidate for First Ward, Bayonne
Zanowic For Mayor 2014