The biggest issue for a homeowner in Bayonne is the amount that has to be paid in property taxes. With the average amount the taxpayer pays, which is $8,441, an outsider would believe that Bayonne is one of the best places to live within New Jersey; considering that the state average property tax is much lower than Bayonne’s at $6,348. However, those who live in Bayonne know that the quality of life does not equate to what the cost of property taxes is.
Quality of life could encompass many things but two major components are education and crime. In regard to education, Bayonne could do much better. In most categories Bayonne ranks at either average or below average and the Bayonne Board of Education is proud of this. I don’t know about you, but this is something I am not proud of. I would like Bayonne to rank at least above average when it comes to education and one of my dreams is for Bayonne’s education system to be one that Hudson County and the rest of New Jersey would look to emulate. The major thing I would like to see done is raising the minimum passing grade from 65. The reasons the Board of Education said they could not do this I found to be offensive to our city’s population and the rest of the reasoning just did not make sense. In my meeting with several members of the Board of Education, what I got out of it was that our own Board of Education did not have faith in our students that they could even get a 70 because the New Jersey curriculum sets incredibly high standards. Education is very important to me and ours is the first thing I would look at to start improving the quality of life of our city.
Crime is not a major issue in Bayonne, but it was brought up as an issue in this past election when both Mr. Zanowic and Mr. Davis made the claims of organized gangs operating within Bayonne. There are several things I have in mind, which I would like to see done to make people around Bayonne feel safer. If possible, I would like the city to explore transferring the use of some of the scooters from the Parking Utility employees over to the Bayonne Police Department. I feel the scooters would be of greater use to the police than to the Parking Utility employees. The scooters would allow our police to get out and perform foot patrols while still having access to something that will allow for a quick response should an emergency happen. This allows us to have a greater sense of safety, while at the same time enhancing the sense of community because it would allow us greater interaction with those who serve and protect us. Another thing I would like to see done is a much stricter enforcement of a curfew. These are just a few things I would like to begin the process of improving Bayonne’s quality of life; the taxpayers deserve a better return on their investment.