With a growing population, ample space for new developments and a rich history of multi-generational families with a deep love for the city, Bayonne should be steeped in bold ideas and enthusiasm for the future.
Under Mayor Jimmy Davis for the past eight years, however, progress has been driven by market forces rather than a strong vision from City Hall.
The danger in this is exemplified by Davis’ own election “pause” on development, which he says is intended to give city leaders a chance to look at what has been built versus what the city needs. and where in the city it is needed.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what Davis and his hand-picked leaders should have been doing all along: be proactive instead of reactive.
Such a reactionary style is typical of Davis, and Bayonne deserves better.
Asked about the continuing problem of empty storefronts on Broadway – a situation that has allowed him to set up several campaign headquarters along the once-thriving thoroughfare – Davis gave two unsatisfactory answers last week in a debate turned into interview with Hudson Media Group. For one, he said he brought in 10,000 more residents, so now the business will follow. And, second, he conveniently blamed COVID-19 for a decades-old problem.
Asked about the installation of electric vehicle charging stations, he seemed surprised and said no one had contacted him to ask for them. Compare its position to that of the mayors of neighboring municipalities who installed them proactively, anticipating and seeking to encourage efforts to combat climate change.
The list continues.
The things Davis promised to do under his watch that are still on hold or shelved — a ferry to New York, a pedestrian bridge on Route 440, an amphitheater for downtown — are also worth listing.
The situation with Bayonne Medical Center is still delicate. The windmill is still broken. The redevelopment of the former Military Ocean Terminal is a hodgepodge. Flooding is still a major concern with no apparent solution in sight.
We know that these problems are not easy to solve. But Davis had his chance and failed.
It’s time for a new leader at the town hall of Bayonne.
Of the two challengers, Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski and doctor/lawyer Mitchell Brown, the Jersey Journal believes Ashe-Nadrowski is the best choice.
As council chairman, Ashe-Nadrowski is already very familiar with the issues facing the city and has proven to be a strong leader.
More importantly, while Davis has retreated into a decision-making bubble with little to no explanation to the public or the press on vital issues, Ashe-Nadrowski has been open and accessible and promises as mayor to seek more of community feedback on development in planning. steps.
Ashe-Nadrowski is clearly more of a proactive personality than Davis. We are confident that as mayor, she would seek out and be open to new ideas, and then invite others to step in. We believe she would surround herself with a diverse group of skilled leaders to make inroads on the many big issues facing the city, including the need for affordable labor/housing.
At the same time, Ashe-Nadrowski’s campaign has also focused on kitchen table issues — issues with garbage and water contracts, efficiencies needed at City Hall when someone calls with a question or problem, street maintenance – that needs to be resolved.
These are all things voters should keep in mind when voting by mail, in early voting tomorrow through Sunday or on Election Day, Tuesday.
Mayor Davis has had eight years to demonstrate he can take Bayonne in an exciting direction, and he has failed to seize the moment. We commend him and his administration, however, for their handling of COVID vaccinations and testing.
As for Dr. Brown, as we did during his unsuccessful candidacy in 2018, the Journal commends him for leading and bringing strong ideas to the campaign. We encourage him to be a visible and public voice on important issues, including the future of the Bayonne Medical Center.
Ashe-Nadrowski is in the best position to go full throttle – a theme of her campaign.
To help him do so, the Journal is encouraging voters to give him a strong team by electing one of his two candidates for the general council – education council administrator Jodi Casais or the director of the Police Athletic League Kim “KT” Torello – with First Ward candidate Julie Sanchez Lynch, owner of Arctic Cryotherapy in Bayonne, and Second Ward candidate George Vinc, Director of Century 21 Viewpoint.
For the second general council seat, we encourage voters to choose retired law enforcement officer Loyad Booker from Davis’ list. Booker would be the first elected black city councilor in Bayonne.
In Third Ward, Ashe-Nadrowski has a strong running mate in Board of Education President Maria Valado, who is also a public school teacher. But we can’t discount Davis’ running mate Gary LaPelusa, the incumbent, who has served his constituents well.
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