Not even halfway through his first term as mayor in Bayonne, Jimmy Davis is potentially facing a recall effort led by a childhood friend and key campaign organizer for the 2014 election where Davis took office.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Pat Desmond, a longtime Davis ally, Michael Alonso, a Republican whose run for state Assembly, freeholder and the city school board and Donald Baran, Jr. submitted a document with the clerk’s office yesterday seeking a petition to recall Davis just 19 months into his term.
“The Recall of James M. Davis is initiated due to the mayor’s abject failure in meeting the needs of the City of Bayonne Citizens and taxpayers,” said a statement of the recall committee on the notice of intention to recall.
The group cited Davis hiring city directors from out of town, such as Business Administrator Joe DeMarco, Davis’ Chief of Staff Andrew Casais (also his nephew), City Attorney Jay Coffey, the ongoing controversy surrounding a possible new mosque site in Bayonne and complaints surrounding a new animal control contract as examples of the retired police captain failing during his first term in office.
Desmond declined to elaborate beyond the statement of the recall committee since the committee is awaiting a response from the clerk’s office.
Bayonne City Clerk Robert Sloan told Hudson County View today via email that “it has not been determined yet whether it has been properly filed,” but in the event that it is able to move forward, state statute would require the signatures of 25 percent of city voters registered during the last general election.
Sloan added based on the records with the clerk’s office, 32,711 voters were registered in 2014, meaning 8,178 verified signatures would be required in 160 days to make for a successful recall and force a special election.
Recalls are notoriously difficult to accomplish in New Jersey in modern times, with one of the more notable local recalls coming in 1985, where then-North Bergen Mayor Tony DiVincent was recalled by a group led by Joe Mocco and a relatively unknown school principal named Nick Sacco (h/t New York Times).
Davis did not immediately respond to a call or voicemail seeking comment.