Bayonne Council President Sharon Nadrowski referred to mayoral hopeful Jason O’Donnell as “Donald Duck” for not taking a stance on the city’s Muslim Community Center, prompting a sharp-tongued response from the candidate.
By John Heinis/Hudson Count View
“Either Jason O’Donnell is a coward who is afraid to take a position on a difficult topic, or he is truly unqualified to be Mayor if he really ‘hasn’t followed’ this issue as he said,” Nadrowski said in a statement.
“Bayonne voters deserve to know where Jason O’Donnell stands. Does he support the Davis administration’s settlement that saves taxpayers millions of dollars and permits members of our community a place to pray, or does he think the city should have kept fighting a hopeless and unnecessary court battle? He can’t have it both ways, and if O’Donnell keeps ducking this issue he might as well change his name to Donald.”
O’Donnell appeared on last week’s edition of Hudson County Review Live, calling the city’s $400,000 settlement with the Bayonne Muslims group “a failure of leadership” and also said he didn’t follow their zoning hearing that closely.
In response, O’Donnell mocked the Davis campaign for how long it took them to come up with an insult, adding that he supports religious freedom.
“The only thing surprising about the Davis Team calling me names is that it apparently took them two days to figure out which cartoon duck they wanted to use. Mayor Davis and Council President Nadrowski are doing what they always do, deflecting from the issues that affect the lives of the people of Bayonne,” O’Donnell said.
” … Furthermore, I find it appalling that Mayor Davis and his team would use an issue such as this to further their political agenda. Using the Muslim faith or any faith to try and score political points is disgusting and should not be tolerated by the people of Bayonne.
Let me be very clear about this. I believe strongly that every person should have a place to observe or practice their religion.”
O’Donnell continued that he agrees with his running mate Kevin Kuhl, a 2nd Ward council candidate, the neighborhood where the mosque will be built, that the area is overdeveloped.
Earlier this week, Kuhl and 2nd Ward Councilman Sal Gullace went back and forth over the settlement, with the incumbent previously claiming anyone who doesn’t believe everyone should have a place to pray is prejudiced.
Mayor Jimmy Davis appeared on yesterday’s edition of Hudson County Review Live and he explained that the settlement would save the taxpayers being on the hook for millions of dollars, adding that the city’s insurance carrier is covering the entire $400,000 price tag.