Davis wasted no time in that effort, naming four people to posts before his inauguration ceremony was over in the Bayonne High School auditorium on July 1.
They were Joseph DeMarco, business administrator; Robert Kubert, public safety director; Robert Wondolowski, municipal services director; and Susan Ferraro, acting corporation counsel.
DeMarco and Wondolowski were heavily involved in Davis’s election bid; DeMarco as campaign manager and Wondolowski as campaign treasurer.
Kubert is the former city police chief, and was a speaker at the inauguration. His appointment to his new post has become a topic of discussion for some following an online report on July 3 that Kubert collected a $320,000 payout when he retired as police chief in 2012.
According to a local daily, Kubert received that amount for unused sick/vacation and compensatory time when he retired two years ago. The article also reported that the former chief is collecting an annual pension of more than $155,000, according to state pension records.
Responding to the newspaper’s article, DeMarco released a statement saying Kubert was appointed for his “strong, experienced leadership in the department of public safety” and that his professional credentials, experience and know-how were “beyond reproach.”
Kubert is known for being instrumental in upgrading communications systems in the city, including the installation of cameras throughout Bayonne.
The city has not released a specific figure that Kubert will be paid as public safety director.
He replaces Jason O’Donnell, a Bayonne firefighter and New Jersey state assemblyman.
The other three appointments drew less attention.
DeMarco, a Jersey City native, was West New York business administrator from 2012 until last month. He served a term on the Bernardsville Council from 2009 to 2012.
DeMarco is also known as a tenacious campaigner and was a major force in Davis’s surge to victory in the June 10 mayoral runoff. He received his Jurist Doctor from the Fordham University School of Law, a B.A. from Boston College, and is a graduate of Saint Peter’s Prep in Jersey City.
DeMarco replaces former Mayor Mark Smith’s business administrator, Stephen Gallo. Gallo is still employed as executive director of the Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority, city spokesman Joe Ryan said.
A Hudson County native, Wondolowski has spent his career in real estate and technology. A graduate of St. Peter's Prep and Boston College, he is a licensed real estate broker and technology consultant. He has worked for several Fortune 500 companies, including CitiGroup, JP Morgan, and Pfizer.
Wondolowski lives in Bayonne and has three children: Nicholas, Natalie, and Christopher.
He replaces Joseph Waks.
Ferraro continues in her post from the Smith administration.
Words of praise
Davis released a statement regarding the four appointees named at the council meeting during the inauguration.
“All of them are highly qualified for their positions and to move the city in the right direction,” the mayor said.
Other department heads
On July 3, the city confirmed that Ralph Scianni has retired as police chief and that Deputy Chief Drew Niekrasz is serving as acting chief. Fire Chief Gregory Rogers, after first considering retirement, later released a statement that he is staying in his post as the Davis administration takes hold.