In his State of the City Address, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis honed in on redevelopment, public safety and fiscal issues in the Peninsula City.
Davis delivered his 30-minute ‘I am from Bayonne’ speech at the Villa Maria Restaurant, touching on his administration’s progress on Broadway and Avenue E.
“If you just take a moment and walk down Broadway or drive along Avenue E, youâ€™ll see early signs of development and progress. Barnabas Health was opened on Broadway this August,” said Davis.
Davis mentioned the vacant lot on Broadway between 19th and 21st streets that was purchased by Ingerman Development Company to accommodate 140 new residential units.
“The empty lots that used to be CJ Murphy, Bayonne Plumbing, and M&Mâ€™s are all under construction. Soon weâ€™ll be calling them by their new names like Sky Lofts, 19 East 19, and Madison Hill,” he explained.
“They will be the new residential apartments, which in turn will help trigger the rebirth of Broadway and support new restaurants.”
Additionally, he recalled how the Military Ocean Terminal Bayonne (MOTBY), a man-made peninsula that extends into the upper New York Harbor, was partially sold to a developer.
“We actually sold part of the base to a developer. We actually sold a piece of property at the base and added to our tax rolls,” said Davis, characterizing the development as unfamiliar territory since it hung in limbo with the city for years.
The military base will consist of the development of the Church Hill luxury apartments with new retail opportunities such as Costco, according to Davis.
Even though new development will cater to improving the quality of life for residents, the mayor further stated that public safety remains a top priority, as well keeping an eye on the bull-biting fiscal scenario in the city.
Furthermore, every spring, the city has a pothole hotline to ensure DPW resources are utilized for repairing roads. The mayor also recently started a graffiti hotline for the removal of wall graffiti and miscellaneous garbage related issues.
In a similar vein, Davis talked about making roadways and light rails safe.
“I recently met with our police chief and public safety director to provide more traffic cops to address the speeders and ensure pedestrian safety. I also demanded that they increase patrols on the light rail to address safety concerns,” Davis revealed.
“I am also working with our police on a public service campaign regarding what I call crimes of opportunity that have popped up in our city,” also asking the public to be alert and aware of their unlocked cars and houses.
Davis also spoke about the city’s fragile education system, saying hard work by dedicated people is the only way to solve the multi-million dollar budget crisis.
He also stated that the issues with the board of education are not because of tax abatements, which he called “a part of our society.”
â€œWhen it comes to the school board, anybody who tells you that these tax abatements is whatâ€™s causing the problem with the school board: that is simply not true,” he exclaimed.
“Every year, the school board comes to the city and tells us what they need, money wise, for their budget and they are given the money for their budget – no matter what we do with tax abatements, they get their money for the budget.”