A little over two weeks since the initiative was made public, the recall effort of Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, led by childhood friend Pat Desmond, is officially underway.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Desmond told Hudson County View this morning that the three-man recall team, which also includes perennial Republican candidate for office Michael Alonso and Donald Baran, Jr., are now free to collect signatures in hopes of forcing a special election in May 2017.
The group now has 160 days to gather 8,128 valid signatures from registered voters in the city. The number represents 25 percent of the voters registered for the last general election.
Desmond, a friend of Davis’ for around 40 years before a recent falling out, was a key organizer in the 2014 municipal election where Davis unseated incumbent Mark Smith.
City Clerk Robert Sloan confirmed that his office had officially approved the recall paperwork today. Last week, he stated that the recall effort was stalled due to “a minor deficiency” where the group did not indicate if the recall should be held with the general election or a special election.
Both sides have already drawn their lines in the sands and appear prepared for a political war, with Davis calling the accusations made in the recall effort, such as failing to secure a new teachers’ contract and bringing “a garbage train” back to Bayonne, “baseless and wholly inaccurate.”
Davis issued the statement in response to the recall committee’s initial remarks that “the Recall of James M. Davis is initiated due to the mayor’s abject failure in meeting the needs of the City of Bayonne Citizens and taxpayers.”
The recall comes during a time where Bayonne has also been notified of a tax reval, which Davis said was motivated by “purely political” reasons.
Desmond also played a role in advocating for a reval, which must occur by 2019, but through his attorney in the matter Pete Cresci, said that they just wanted Bayonne to follow state law.
Like Jersey City, Bayonne hasn’t had a tax reval in over a quarter of a century.
Desmond declined to comment and representatives from the mayor’s office did not immediately return an email seeking comment.