Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority Executive Director Tim Boyle called longtime antagonist Peter Franco “a loser and a liar” after a council meeting that included further discussions about merging the MUA with the city.
Also at last night’s Bayonne City Council meeting, a measure to merge the local MUA into the city’s government was tabled until August 24, partially due to pending approval from the state’s Local Finance Board – a subdivision of the Department of Community Affairs.
The city’s absorption of the MUA has been rumored for months and moved forward when the council voted on the first passage of such a measure in April.
However, the council unanimously approved (4-0, 1st Ward Councilman Tommy Cotter was absent) the first introduction of a resolution to bond $234,920 to the MUA.
Staunch Mayor Jimmy Davis administration critic Peter Cresci inquired about how exactly the bond was being handled by the city.
Peter Franco, another outspoken Davis critic, said he believes although the water rate increase for the city was 13.25 percent for 2016, the agency’s debt could have been covered with a seven percent increase.
Boyle, who was in the crowd and has previously spoken in favor of the merger, did not accept Franco’s invitation to go to the podium and discuss how much money is currently in the BMUA’s accounts.
Franco further argued that according to the revenue stream in the BMUA contract, a 7 percent water rate increase would’ve been sufficient for 2016.
However, Business Administrator Joe DeMarco explained that the figures were projected and the cost savings associated with changing the meters “did not occur at the predicted rate.”
This wasn’t the first time Cresci and Franco gave city officials the full court press regarding the inevitable dissolution of the MUA.
After the meeting concluded, Hudson County View happened to catch a heated verbal confrontation between Boyle and Franco.
Boyle and Franco did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday afternoon.
“I didn’t get a raise: you’re a loser and liar!,” exclaimed Boyle, repeating himself before walking away.
“A loser and a liar? Great, that’s nice. Let me tell you something: you’re totally responsible for the windmill, you’re totally responsible for the bull[expletive] numbers you put out there and you keep blaming another administration,” Franco responded.
Boyle said today via email that the brief video clip in question did not capture the incident in it’s entirety.
“Mr. Franco and I did not argue, he went nuts and started yelling and screaming following a comment I said to him about his actions at last month’s Council Meeting; I was told later on that he may have been drunk, not that I’m making excuses for him,” Boyle said.
“But wow, he did go off like fireworks, I could hear him yelling like a nut as I was leaving. I believe the police finally had to ask him to leave the building.”
Boyle added that he would prefer to discuss the any matters regarding the MUA merger with the city in person and offered his cell phone number to set up a date, time and place for a face-to-face interview.
“I’m a concerned citizen asking fair questions of public officials in a public meeting. I shouldn’t be verbally attacked in the hallway. If the director took issue with what I stated, he had the opportunity to address it and me before the council.”
Franco further stated that Boyle is the one who approached him and that police did not ask him to leave the building, though he was approached by an officer to keep his voice down after the incident concluded.