By John Heinis/Hudson County View
â€œThe PAL has served Bayonne for 70 years and has been a tremendous asset to the community. It has been a safe haven for our children and an important ally to parents. It deserves better than this,â€ McKnight, whose legislative district includes all of Bayonne, said in a statement issued yesterday.
â€œThe PAL is an avenue for our children to learn, grow and interact with their peers. To tell such an integral organization to pack its bags, and give them just three months to do it, is just wrong and puts in jeopardy its after-school program. This hurts working families that rely on this program for their children.”
McKnight concluded by stating that she joins Mayor Jimmy Davis, who slammed Superintendent of Schools Patricia McGeehan for the decision last week, and her colleague Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (D-31) in support of the PAL – hoping the school district reconsiders their decision.
In the same release, McKnight also said that the majority of the school board supported the eviction plan, which asked the PAL to be out of 550 Avenue A by August 31, in a closed meeting.
However, Bayonne Board of Education Trustee Mary Jane Desmond said in an interview with Hudson County View that “nobody [from the board] saw this coming,” attributing the eviction notice to McGeehan’s personal interest in the building (she used to be a principal for the Midtown Community School).”
Davis, Chiaravalloti and PAL Executive Director KT Torello will be holding a press conference in front of City Hall today at 4 p.m. to further address the issue.