3 ex-mayors join Davis in taking stand against Bayonne P.A.L. eviction

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Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis is now joined by former Mayors Joe Doria, Richard Rutkowski and Leonard Kiczek in asking Superintendent of Schools Patricia McGeehan to withdraw her eviction notice to the Bayonne Police Athletic League.

From left to right: Bayonne Mayors Jimmy Davis, Joe Doria, Richard Rutkowski and Leonard Kiczek.
From left to right: Bayonne Mayors Jimmy Davis, Joe Doria, Richard Rutkowski and Leonard Kiczek.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

In a letter from Davis to McGeehan dated today, the current Peninsula City mayor says that Rutkowski, Kiczek and Doria has joined him in the fight against the PAL eviction.

“As leaders and former leaders of the community we have paid witness to the services and value that the P.A.L. provides to the youth and hard working families of Bayonne. For 70 years, the P.A.L. has positively impacted residents,” Davis wrote.

“Over the past week, my predecessors and I have heard from hundreds of residents concerned about not only the action taken, but the manner in which it was done. Therefore, unified, we are calling for a withdrawal of the action taken against the P.A.L.”

Bayonne Board of Education president Joe Broderick is also cc’ed on the letter.

Davis was the first elected official to speak out against evicting the PAL from their longtime home at 550 Avenue A last week and has since received support from Assembly colleagues Nick Chiaravalloti and Angela McKnight (both D-31).

Additionally, in a June 2 letter addressed to McGeehan and signed by Rutkowski, Kiczek and Doria, the expressed a “deep concern” over the way “the lack of transparency in this process.”

“We are unified in our support for the Bayonne PAL and our concern about the lack of transparency in this process. As former Mayors of this great City, we know and understand the value the PAL provides to the community.”

Talking up the PAL’s sports acitivities and after-school program, the mayors called the organization “an invaluable resource for the hard working families that call Bayonne home.”

Started in 1947, the PAL offers activities such as boxing, basketball and the largest daycare program in the city.

“Additionally, we want to express our deep concern about the manner in which this decision was made. The apparent lack of transparency creates a sense of mistrust within the community,” the joint letter also says.

We strongly recommend that the action taken against the PAL be withdrawn as a part of a good-faith effort to ensure the community is best served.”

Davis, Chiaravalloti and PAL Executive Director KT Torello, who assured Hudson County View that they will not be evicted last week, are holding a press conference regarding the subject outside of City Hall at 4 p.m. today.

McGeehan has not responded to multiple calls and messages seeking comment.