Hudson County Commissioner Bill O’Dea (D-2) and former Gov. Jim McGreevey (D), both widely expected to run for Jersey City mayor in 2025, called for an end to surprise business inspections at the annual Hispanic American Commerce Association (HACA) gala.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Government needs to work with businesses when inspections are done, not seek to use inspections to shut businesses down for up to 30 days. That has to stop,” O’Dea said at the podium on Sunday.
O’Dea also stressed the need for a Hispanic community liaison in the mayor’s office, stating “that’s the best way to ensure that we don’t have these surprise inspections that unfortunately shut down businesses, often for up to 30 days, put people out of work, and take away from the economy of our city and county.”
In a Instagram story, O’Dea, who was the youngest councilman in city history at 26 years old, pointed out that he has been a supporter of HACA from Day 1.
“A reminder: I was at the FIRST gala HACA ever held. Relationships are important to me. No agenda attached,” he wrote.
The event, hosted at The Chandelier Restaurant in Bayonne on Sunday, was the organization’s 6th annual gala that also saw executive committee members sworn in. They also honored founding member Luis Jimenez.
As for McGreevey, who is also a former mayor of Woodbridge who went on to serve in the state Assembly and Senate, he agreed with O’Dea, adding that long-term investments in the community are important.
“Inspections can’t be used as an instrument to negatively impact Hispanic businesses … what’s critically important is that the community can access capital at rates which are affordable and provide for long-term investment,” he said.
McGreevey is widely expected to get the endorsement of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, but that hasn’t seemed to scare off other mayoral hopefuls like O’Dea, Ward E Councilman James Solomon, and Council President Joyce Watterman thus far.
The Jersey City municipal elections are still just under 26 months away, scheduled for November 4th, 2025.