Ashe-Nadrowski chides Bayonne admin over $95M hospital bond being withdrawn in Dec.


Outgoing Bayonne Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski is chiding the administration for a $95 million bond application from the Hudson County Improvement Authority to use eminent domain on the local medical center land back in December.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“One of the primary responsibilities of elected officials and representatives of the city is to be open and honest with the public about what is actually happening. Unfortunately, in Bayonne that doesn’t always happen,” she said in a statement.

“For the City Administration not to disclose to the Council and the residents that the application had been withdrawn is unforgivable. To continue to mislead elected officials and the public on such an important issue, whether willful or due to incompetence, is unacceptable. I believe the council members I have served with acted on the information as provided to them.”

Emails from last year between Nick Bennett, the executive secretary of the Local Finance Board, and Michael Hanley – of NW Financial and a financial advisor for the city and county – show that show that Hanley was asked by Bennett for an update on October 25th.

“There are currently conversations ongoing that will influence how and if we move forward. But there is no definitive conclusion at this point. Will follow up when I have more information. Thanks,” he replied two days later.

On December 23rd, Bennett sent a nearly identical email asking for an update, with the exception of the fact that the noted there had been no update since July (the Local Finance Board first tabled the measure last June).

Minutes later, Hanley replied “the $95,000,000 HCIA application for the Bayonne hospital is withdrawn” without any further explanation.

The eminent domain plans have been on the city council agenda for the past 13 months, first being tabled in May 2021 after a public hearing where counsel determined the Local Finance Board had to hear the matter first.

Before Ashe-Nadrowski was a declared mayoral challenger to Davis, a contrast between the two former political allies was that Davis supported the eminent domain plan, while Ashe-Nadrowski said the government should not get involved with a private entity.

Last month, the council seemingly inadvertently voted down one of the two ordinances related to eminent domain, though Ashe-Nadrowski said she plans on calling for a vote on both measures again at this evening’s 7 p.m. meeting.

This will be the last session before the July 1st reorganization meeting after Team Davis’ inauguration after pulling off their third consecutive clean sweep last month.

At the council meeting, Hanley took the blame for not communicating the withdrawal to Law Director Jay Coffey.

The governing body then voted unanimously to remove both ordinances from further consideration, both of which passed unanimously (5-0).

The state Department of Community Affairs and the HCIA did not return emails seeking comment.

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