Bayonne 2nd Ward Councilman Sal Gullace and his chief opponent in the May 8th municipal elections, Kevin Kuhl, are trading shots over the $400,000 settlement with a Muslim group last week that will ultimately allow them to build a mosque.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“This is the favored strategy of the Davis Team. Rather than acknowledge that development in the Second Ward is completely out of control and that residents demand smarter planning, Councilman Gullace is more comfortable hurling false and despicable accusations and calling me names,” Kuhl said in a statement.
In last week’s edition of The Hudson Reporter, Gullace said “Everybody should have a place to pray. And if Kevin Kuhl or anyone says something else, that means they’re prejudiced.”
Kuhl, in the same story, said that he is still not in favor of the project for the same reason the zoning board voted in down in March: the 2nd Ward neighborhood in question on East 24th Street is not suited for large-scale development at this time.
“I’ve owned a small business in the Second Ward for decades and have never been accused of something so vile as to be ‘prejudiced’ against anyone’s religion. Yet, just weeks after announcing my candidacy for Council I am being attacked and slandered by Sal Gullace in the Davis team’s latest attempt at misdirection,” Kuhl continued.
“My issue with this project is not motivated by religion, it is motivated by the simple reality that Sal Gullace and the Davis team are pushing small businesses and hardworking families out of the Second Ward with all of their development.”
Kuhl added that any sort of religious bias is “slimy and disgusting” and is offended Gullace would hurl such an accusation in his direction.
Gullace could not be reached for further comment and a spokesman for the Davis campaign did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
On last week’s edition of Hudson County Review Live, former Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell, who recruited Kuhl to run on his ticket, called the settlement “a failure in leadership.”
When the zoning board decision was rendered 11 months ago, both Mayor Jimmy Davis and Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (D-33) said they anticipated the decision would end up in court, while a secretary for the Bayonne Muslims group said he remained confident a mosque would come to Bayonne.