As I read the papers everyday and walk through town, I can only think one thing, "What happened to "Old School Bayonne?" When I say that, I mean the family feeling of a community. You know the feeling, a tight knit small flourishing town of good people who care about their family, community and work hard.
I look at the revolving door at City Hall and see that for the last fifteen years or so, positions have only recycled. It seems there is a "who you know hiring system in place" Let's be honest here, this is what most people know but will not say. Everyone knows Bayonne needs change but no one wants to fight for it. City Hall may indeed have the best Marketing/Propaganda Department in NJ in proclaiming how great this administration has been. The fire sale of Bayonne began when Mayor Smith lost sight of his fellow citizens and saw dollar signs. He then used those dollar signs to pay off city debt but at what cost to the taxpayers of Bayonne.
Let's talk about the BLRA and the "planning" of Bayonne. The BLRA was recently dissolved and now, the old MOTBY property will be handled by City Council but there are a couple of problems with this setup. Sue Mack gained a new hefty salary as the Full Time City Planner. Yes, I am sure she may have some experience by working under the previous City Planner but don't forget, Sue worked under previous Mayor Doria, who did nothing for our great city. Sue Mack also recently lost when she ran for City Council in Jersey City in 2011. I am sure that there are many people who agree that this "appointment” was done as a favor and was not in the best interest of taxpayers of Bayonne. Sue Mack was also the transportation planner for the BLRA. What happened with the "Bayonne Trolley, and the Bayonne Peninsula commuter service between the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor and Battery Park in Lower Manhattan? The BLRA handed the taxpayers of Bayonne a 72 Million dollar bill. Is this the type of planner the taxpayers of Bayonne deserve?
One would think that since the BLRA is now dissolved, this would be a new direction, Right? Think again. Most of the present city council members were commissioners of the BLRA also. What did they contribute exactly? Yes, mishandled projects and fumbled finances once again. This is not a new direction, Mayor Smith and definitely not economic progress. The City of Bayonne used the funds to plug budget gaps. Bayonne needs new voices, new ideas and fresh faces not recycled names who have done minimal to promote what used to be the jewel of Bayonne, Broadway. The new vision of Bayonne will be dominated by a group of individuals who are accessible, approachable, accountable, transparent and full of love for community. An administration who actually listens and follows up daily with their fellow citizens and shows it with actions. Everyone is your neighbor in Bayonne and I am proud to love my hometown. I am looking forward to hearing comments and ideas from ALL the citizens of Bayonne and I look forward to working hand in hand with you in rebuilding and revitalizing the great city of Bayonne and making it a better Bayonne.
JOHN MILAN SIBIK