The deal with a developer fell through and now city officials are scrambling to fill a $15 million gap in their $135.5 million budget.
“Why don’t we pursue other deals while the deal that’s not done… we keep ending up in this situation with a gun to our head,” says Bayonne resident, Peter Cresci.
“It could end up with an $885 tax increase on each average property,” Cresci says. “So an average property is assessed about $164,000.”
There was never a redevelopers agreement, never a land or purchasing agreement.
“I don’t know what the city’s explanation for that is,” says Peter Franco, a frequent critic of the Davis administration. “But the reality is that we have to find $15 million. For the family that’s on the fixed income that’s retired, there’s a true concern.
Two and four families that are assessed twice that.
“So on a two-family home that $885 may be $1250,” Cresci says.
In addition to the tax increase that was made previously.
“So, there’s a huge problem here,” Cresci says.
Franco says this thing was rolled out in September and the mayor said it was a great idea.
“I wanna know what that $15 million translates to if it doesn’t come through? We deserve an answer,” Franco says.
Even though they lost out on that development, Councilman-at-large Perez says it wasn’t their fault.
“There’s nothing we can do about it except go and move forward and try to resolve this matter in the best way we can and we’re gonna do it,” Perez says.
Bayonne Chief of Staff Andrew Casais and Council President Sharon Nadrowski echoed that sentiment.
When it comes to the money, the administration is going to be looking under every stone.
“To find developers to come in, in order to replace that $15M. We’re certainly gonna be looking at potentially some budget cuts,” Chief Financial Officer Terrence Malloy says. “Everybody’s gonna be pulling together to get that gap closed.”
The City Council discussed an immediate hiring freeze on all professional and civil service employment.
Nadrowski motioned to table the resolution for further review and imposed a 30-day temporary hiring freeze.
“I think it needs reworking,” the council president says. “It says professional and civil service — and I don’t think we can unilaterally says we won’t hire a police officer or fire fighter.”