MAYOR DAVIS TO BOE: COME CLEAN ON MISSING FUNDS
Reiterates Call for $11.8 Million to be Returned;
Thanks Board Member Rymer for Service
(BAYONNE, NJ) – After providing the Bayonne Board of Education a 30 day window to respond to his administration’s request for information regarding $11.8 million in missing funds, Mayor Jimmy Davis today called on the board to stop playing games and come clean.
“This is a very clear cut issue: we advanced the board of education money, they were reimbursed by the SDA for that money and, to our surprise, decided to hold on to that money instead of making us financially whole,” said Mayor Jimmy Davis.
In a December 19th letter – written by Business Administrator Joe DeMarco – the Davis’ administration cited that a review of the city’s financial statements revealed that large sums of money were owed from the Bayonne Board of Education (“BOE”) to the city for school construction bonds that were issued.
These outstanding sums of money are broken down in two categories: (1) funds that the BOE has already received from the School Development Authority (“SDA”), which equals $7.4 million; and, (2) funds that have not been received due to open items with the SDA, which equals another $4.4 million.
“We’re owed $11.8 million from the board of education,” said Mayor Davis. “And when we asked where the money is, the response has been silence, deafening silence! It’s time for them to come clean and provide Bayonne taxpayers with answers.”
At a time when Davis inherited a double-digit budget gap from the previous administration, $11.8 million will go a long way in providing financial relief to the city’s budget.
“This is not only a transparency issue – but it’s also a financial one,” said Davis. “The city’s on the hook for the construction bonds and we need that money to pay the debt service on the bonds. Its really that simple.”
Since Davis took office two members of the BOE have resigned their position, Daniel Bonner, and most recently Agnes Rymer.
“I would like to thank Board Member Agnes Rymer for her time and service to our community,” said Davis. “I have nothing but mutual respect and admiration for individuals who give their time and energy to serve their community.”