Rent control changes put on hold
If the petition signatures are ruled valid by the city clerk, an ordinance gradually eliminating rent control, which was passed by the City Council in November, will be suspended until the council either votes to appeal the ordinance or the matter is put on the ballot for the general public to decide.
Opponents of the changes to rent control managed to get 200 signatures more than the required 845 needed to put the matter to a public vote.
City Clerk Robert Sloan said his office has 20 days to make certain that the petition has the minimum amount of valid signatures, after which the city must either conduct a special meeting in 45 days or put the matter off to next November’s general election.
A special election will cost the city about $250,000, which the city could save if it delays the vote until next November.
Rally to restore school aid
In what looks to become a gathering of political might, the Bayonne School District will be holding a rally on Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. in the Alexander X. O’Connor Auditorium, 669 Ave. A, to launch its “Bayonne Kids Count, Too” campaign.
Numerous high profile people are expected to join parents and educators to show their displeasure with the state’s holding back of state aid.
The district hopes to get parents and others involved in a campaign to push state officials into restoring tens of millions of dollars which are – under state guidelines – due to the school district.
“We’re underfunded by the State of New Jersey by $47 million,” said Schools Superintendent Dr. Patricia McGeehan, pointing to recent cuts imposed by Gov. Christopher Christie.
While Bayonne is hardly alone – since it is one of 200 districts in the state that have been shortchanged – Bayonne is the most impacted.
Rosalie Moran, director of assessment for Title One for the Bayonne School District, said Bayonne school officials gathered in North Bergen with leaders from other affected school districts to devise a strategy to recover the funds, and where David Sierra of the New Jersey Education Law Center explained the problem.
The plan is to have parents and others take part in a letter-writing campaign to “enlighten” the governor to the impact of the cuts.
Bob Sloan sings in Christmas concert
Always the comic relief at City Council meetings, City Clerk Bob Sloan will put on a new hat when he joins others on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 3 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Church, located at Fourth Street and Broadway, in a Christmas concert. Admission is free with a donation basket.
“I’m singing ‘Believe’ from ‘The Polar Express,’” Sloan said. “You won’t hear ‘Here Comes Santa Claus,’ but you will hear some beautiful Christmas music, which will hopefully help get you in the spirit of the season.”
Warming up for the holidays
On Thursday, Dec. 8, the Knights of Columbus will hold its annual “Toys for Tots” drive in the organization’s lounge – 30th Street and Avenue C – from 7 to 10 p.m. Bring an unwrapped toy or gift card and $10 for admission. The event features an open bar, appetizers, and good music. All toys will remain and be distributed in the Bayonne community. Call Mike Policastro at (201) 823-3352 if you require a toy pickup.
Also, Chairman Steve Kmec has graciously lent his talents for the annual Coat Drive, bringing warmness to those less fortunate. A huge decorated drop box is present in the lobby through the holidays. Call Steve at (201) 888-8474 if you require a pick up for your coat donation. Coats (as well as any clothing) will be donated to HIGHWAYS. They are specifically looking for coats for children 12 years and older.
For more information, contact the Knights at (201) 339-1492.
Blockbuster to collect toys for Head Start
The Bayonne Blockbuster at 493 Broadway is continuing to collect toys for children three to five years of age every day from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. for children at the Bayonne Head Start program. Delivery of the gifts is expected to take place in mid-December. For more information, call (201) 436-9711.