Writer Tim Ryan hit the nail right on the head last week when he pointed out that Bayonne is suffering from many of the same problems that have beset our nation in recent years. The good news is that despite the dismal economy, Bayonne has enjoyed the leadership of Mayor Mark Smith during these troubling times.
Throughout the recession, Mayor Smith has been hard at work getting the city’s financial house in order. He has slashed the municipal Payroll through attrition. He has abolished unnecessary bureaucracy like the Parking Authority, the Town Center Management Corporation, the BLRA and others to make our government more responsive, less costly and more effective for us. Mayor Smith has paid off more than $200 million in outstanding municipal debt that he inherited when he took office and he earned Bayonne’s first upgrade from Moody’s Financial Services in a decade.
Mayor Smith has set the table for a bright future for Bayonne. It is crystal clear that developers have responded positively with major new projects completed or underway at 45th Street and Avenue E, 44th Street and the Boulevard, Third Street and the Boulevard, and 22nd Street and Avenue E. The conversion of Maidenform to high-end loft style rentals means more people in our town who will demand more services and help create jobs. The project at Texaco should be underway soon. And the city’s latest offering at Harbor Station South has drawn interest from dozens of high powerd developers. Whatever they build will surely be a complement to the apartment buildings planned for Harbor Station North.
It has taken a while to get things back on track but it is clear that Mayor Smith’s hard work is paying off. I always say when something works, you stick with it and I’m sticking with Mayor Smith.