Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) were among many dignitaries who participated in the inauguration ceremony of Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis and the city council for their second terms.
After a service at St. Henry’s Church, Davis, the council, as well as their friends and family, marched across the street to City Hall for their swearing in ceremony.
The event was originally supposed to be held outside the municipal building, but city officials decided to move it indoors with the heat index hitting over 100 degrees this afternoon.
Murphy, who came to Bayonne days before the municipal elections to announce a $1 million grant for the city in what many viewed as a de facto endorsement of the incumbents, offered heavy praise for Davis – who now enters his second, four-year term.
“Mayor Davis has been a strong voice for the priorities that we share, in which we are now gonna be investing in. Our budget may be for the entire State of New Jersey, but there’s so much that will benefit Bayonne and its residents – Hudson County and its residents,” the governor stated at the podium.
” … We’ll invest in real partnerships with Mayor Davis and the council, supporting the programs that will continue to improve the quality of life for their residents and allow the mayors and the council’s vision from Bayonne to shine through.”
After Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise and City Clerk Robert Sloan alternated administering the oaths of office for the five council members, Menendez swore Davis in as mayor – just as he did four years ago.
From there, each council member then took the time to thank their friends and family for their continued support.
“I’m very proud to live in a country where we have the freedom to choose a candidate of our liking, I’m also very proud to have a peaceful transition of power in four years. Each new term is like drawing a line in the sand and starting fresh, kind of like a new chapter,” stated 3rd Ward Councilman Gary La Pelusa.
“Your participation in this election process clearly indicates that you, as a member of this community, are welcoming progressive change,” added Councilman-at-Large Juan Perez, a former county sheriff and the first hispanic member of the council.
Additionally, Corporation Counsel John “Jay” Coffey noted that as far as he knows, this was the first time since at least 1962 that the mayor and his council slate pulled off a clean sweep at the polls.
After a short musical performance by the Friendship Baptist Church Choir, Menendez offered praise about Davis’ leadership.
“Mayor Davis: I was here with him four years ago, I’m proud to have stood with him in this campaign because I know what he’s all about. He knows the tax burden he is working to alleviate: that’s what development is all about – to lift the ratable base of the city,” the senior senator said.
“He understands that the quality of life for Bayonne residents is incredibly important: how are you a good steward for future generations of Bayonne residents – and we have seen what’s been happening with the park land and open space.”
Before talking about the future of the Peninsula City, Davis cracked a joke about the ceremony initially being scheduled outdoors, noting that he said off the bat it was a bad idea but no one wanted to hear it.
“Being the mayor of Bayonne is like the groundkeeper at a cemetery: there’s a lot of people under you and no one listens to you,” he said to loud laughter and applause.
” … The fact that all six of us are hear on the dais today is confirmation that the people of Bayonne see the considerable progress that has made and shared the vision that has been laid out for Bayonne’s future. It is our solemn responsibility to make sure that their faith in us is rewarded.”
In a fairly expected move and the most relevant piece of municipal business, the council also took a vote named Councilwoman-at-Large Sharon Nadrowski to her second term as president before the ceremony concluded.
Other dignitaries in attendance included Kearny Mayor Al Santos, Hudson County Clerk E. Junior Maldonado, Freeholder Kenny Kopacz (D-1), Hudson County Democratic Organization Chair Amy DeGise and former state Senator Ray Lesniak, among many others.
The full ceremony streamed live on our Facebook page and can be viewed below: