LETTER: Pay-to-play laws could help reform Bayonne ethics in City Hall forever

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In a letter to the editor, Bayonne resident Michael Embrich says that pay-to-play laws could help reform ethics in City Hall forever. 

Dear Editor,

We often hear our neighbors talk about leaving town to escape high taxes. Such high tax bills, and where does the money go?

We often hear our neighbors talk about corruption in government. When it comes to getting jobs, doesn’t it seem like it’s who you know, not what you know?

We see more development around town, and we’ve seen our neighbors’ concerns about it ignored. Who is this development for? Could all these issues be related?

They are. And there’s a solution: it’s passing pay-to-play legislation, which would essentially change Bayonne’s ethics laws.

It is currently legal to buy political influence in the City of Bayonne.

Contributing to campaign accounts also gets vendors special consideration for city contracts, circumventing the fair and open bidding process (which is meant to save the taxpayers money), passing the higher cost on to the taxpayers.

Patronage is a natural consequence of these campaign contributions, not just in terms of awarding contracts, but also in giving jobs, and worse, guiding development.

When quid pro quo impacts long-term policy decisions for our city, we’ve officially sold our city.

Pay-to-play legislation can change the way local government does business by ensuring policy decisions are motivated by the city’s best interests and not by personal political interests.

In a separate letter, I’ve formally requested that the Bayonne City Council pass this legislation, and I repeat my request here.

I offer them my help and it’s my hope that we can work together to accomplish this. I hope all citizens of this city join us, too.

Contact your councilperson and voice your support for pay-to-play legislation. If they say it will “slow down government.”

Ask them if it looks like Jersey City and Hoboken have slowed down? They both have pay-to-play legislation.

If the Council doesn’t pass it, we can get this initiative on the ballot so the people can decide if they want this legislation or not.

I’m serious about changing Bayonne for the better. I’m serious about protecting Bayonne’s best interests, because Bayonne’s interests are our interests.

If you’re serious, too, get on our email list-serve by emailing us at Admin@BayonneCenter.org and put “email list” in the subject. Or go to the link below and sign up.

Take action-help us change Bayonne

It’s time to govern Bayonne for Bayonne.

Michael Embrich