City council meeting gets heated

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BAYONNE – At a raucous Bayonne City Council meeting on Wednesday, May 17, Stacie Percella was first at the podium during the public comments portion. A former city employee, Percella called for Mayor James Davis’s resignation for allegedly exchanging sexually explicit text messages with her, both before Davis announced his candidacy for office and for the first six months of his term in 2014.
“Mr. Mayor, again, resign from your position because my truth never changes,” said Percella, who grew irate at times with the council. “I’m the victim here.” Percella acknowledged that she had forgotten about the messages until recently. Davis was not at the meeting.
Davis responded through a spokesperson, saying the messages were “harmless, playful banter between two adults,” that Percella’s allegations are a “part of an orchestrated campaign to make millions of dollars off of Bayonne taxpayers and destroy [his] reputation,” and that their friendship, which dates back decades, has “never been physical in nature.” Percella, however, argued that the messages amount to harassment.
Percella is also seeking damages in an active lawsuit against the city for alleged unlawful termination. The city said the termination was the result of workplace behavior. In the same suit, Percella accuses another city employee of sexual harassment.
In other agenda items, the council voted to implement a BYOB ordinance and repave the pothole-laden LeFante Way.
The BYOB ordinance allows any restaurant to apply with the city for a permit allowing patrons to bring their own wine or beer. Some restaurant owners objected to the ordinance, arguing it will devalue their liquor licenses. In response, the city council included a sunset provision, requiring the council to decide in one year whether to continue the policy.