The Bayonne City Council unanimously approved the first reading of a measure that would ultimate dissolve the City’s Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA).
With the newly introduced budget of $135.5 million, with a potential $15 million budget gap, council members believe this is good way to save the city money.
Although some residents had been outspoken about the concept prior to the meeting, only Mayor Jimmy Davis critic Peter Cresci spoke on the subject – though it’s worth noting that there is no public speaking portion for the first reading of an ordinance.
“It makes absolutely no sense to take their debt and their problems into the city,” he said (Cresci’s remarks can be seen in the video report accompanying the budget story).
Although, according to Bayonne Chief Financial Officer Terrence Malloy the Bayonne MUA “currently have no debt.”
Malloy did agree with Cresci that it is fair to assess that it would cost the city between $300,000 to $400,000 in salaries, benefits and pensions to compensate three full-time employees and one part-time worker for the authority.
“There’s also duplications, in terms of they need a separate audit and separate engineering contract and it has to be eliminated.”
Bayonne City Council President Sharon Nadrowski told Hudson County View via email that “significant savings will come from the elimination of the BMUA’s need for its paid professionals, such as legal counsel, auditors, grant writers and engineers.”
Tim Boyle, the executive director of the BMUA, did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
The city council will be voting on this resolution at the May 18th meeting.