Setting his sights lower than his previous mayoral efforts, Kantor said he will seek election to the council in order to address concerns of residents in his part of the city.
A resident of Third Street, Kantor said, “The first ward gets no respect.”
He pointed to the impact of flooding, the construction of the natural gas line, and the raising of the Bayonne Bridge as issues in his ward.
Kantor, who has run for mayor twice and for an at-large council seat, believes he can win in the first ward.
This announcement comes after a rash of early announcements that have Mayor Mark Smith being challenged by Police Captain James Davis and local businessman Anthony Zanowic.
Zanowic has two council candidates on his slate; Davis and Smith have yet to announce their full tickets. Kantor has in the past said he will not run on a ticket with other candidates.
A longtime critic of local government and a regular speaker at public meetings, Kantor has significant name recognition citywide.
Calling himself a fiscal watchdog, Kantor routinely questions the cost of government, and especially the city debt.
A lifelong resident of Bayonne, Kantor attended local schools, entering the United States Air Force after his graduation from Bayonne High School. He volunteered for duty in the Korean War, serving from 1951 to 1953.
A security specialist at Port Newark for the last 24 years, Kantor is a retired Bayonne police officer who served from 1961 to 1980.
If elected, Kantor said, he would serve people, not politics, and would seek to improve the public good and quality of life.
He vowed to improve the city’s snow removal and emergency parking, as well as to assist shut-in residents during emergency situations.
He said he would work to improve school security, install speed bumps around schools, and enforce a 15-mile-per-hour speed limit in those areas. He also promised to attend monthly PTA meetings in order to help school improvements.
He said he would push to have legal bus stops installed at alternate corners throughout the city and would fight to make sure the city’s streets are cleaned.
Kantor, who has claimed for years that taxes are too high, said he would push to have all city bonds passed only by public referendum, and would vote against tax increases and wasteful city spending.
“This is only part of my platform; there is more to come,” he said. “Changing times means changing ways.”
When elected, he said, he will meet and greet people in the parks, at the school, on the streets, or by knocking on their doors.
He said he is taking an honest interest in helping people and is asking for voters to take an interest in what he wants to do to help them.
“I’m running against the record of the Smith Administration,” Kantor said. “I think it did a poor job—especially in the first ward.”
Al Sullivan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.