Despite two staunch critics of the Mayor Jimmy Davis administration taking turns at the podium for at least 30 minutes, the Bayonne City Council eventually voted to absorb the local municipal utilities authority.
Peter Franco, who had an unpleasant exchange with MUA Executive Director Tim Boyle after the June council meeting, continued to chip away at the autonomous agency last night, claiming that Boyle abused his authority by hiring someone with no qualifications – and then covering it up.
Franco also implied that the hire was political, given that the unnamed laborer and Boyle both worked on Davis’ 2014 mayoral campaign.
He asked for an explanation for the hire, including how and when it was advertised, and compared the situation to then Gov. Jim McGreevey (D) hiring vastly underqualified staffers in the early 2000s (h/t The Record).
Franco’s remarks appeared to be for naught after asking for Boyle, who was not present, to respond.
Both Council President Sharon Nadrowski and Corporation Counsel John ”Jay” Coffey told him his concerns should be taken to the MUA board, which will continue to meet until the end of the year.
Pete Cresci, who has opposed the MUA absorption since it was first in front of the council in April, began by noting that it would be premature to vote on this measure, given that the council has not received the full list of MUA creditors.
Nadrowski countered that everyone on the council had been informed of the assumption of $234,920 MUA bond – which the council also approved to take on at the meeting.
City CFO Terrence Malloy said that certain things had to be taken into consideration given that the MUA is “still an active entity.”
After Cresci further argued that isn’t the issue at hand, Business Administrator Joe DeMarco finally revealed that the ex-MUA employee, who now works for the DPW, is Juan Barte – one of 12 seasonal employees who receives no benefits and is done with work on September 2.
The back and forth continued, with Franco, Cresci and fellow resident Mike Morris all approaching the podium before the council approved the measure by a vote of 4-0, with 1st Ward Councilman Tom Cotter absent.
3rd Ward Councilman Gary La Pelusa was the first to explain his vote, noting that this move was necessary to ensure more transparency and oversight of the MUA.
Councilman-at-Large Juan Perez and Nadrowski agreed with La Pelusa’s assessment.
The next MUA meeting is on September 12 at 7p.m. Boyle did not immediately return an email seeking further comment.