To the Editor:
Bayonne is facing many problems which have mounted over the years. First of all, the development of the east side has long been mismanaged, and continues to be by the current administration. This must be addressed.
Second is the rising crime rate, most notably violent crime. In the last several years Bayonne has seen armed robberies in broad daylight, longtime store owners being held up in the middle of the afternoon, and other robberies occurring right out on the street. This is not to mention the uptick in other crimes as well. The overall quality of life is declining in Bayonne. Everyone notices it, from lack of building code enforcement to the overall condition of our streets and neighborhoods. What is going on in our town, and who is accountable? Our city needs to put more police on our streets and give them the support they need to keep our city safe. The public needs to work together with our police department. Without safe streets, a city has nothing.
Then we face the coming problem of overcrowding, if the plans for 8,400 new housing units in Bayonne are approved. This would result in another 25,000 people moving into a city of almost 70,000. We all see the traffic, parking, and other problems that our city is dealing with. Just imagine the traffic and parking situation with almost 100,000 people jammed onto the tiny Peninsula that is Bayonne! The majority of Bayonne residents are against these plans, and do not want to see the city they love become an overcrowded urban center. Most people in Bayonne want our city to remain largely made up of one and two-family homes. Is there room for development? Sure, but not overdevelopment, which is what the current plan will give us. We do not need high-rise buildings sitting next to two-family homes. This is an ill-conceived plan which will lead to overcrowding, increased need for city services, and the building of new schools at an estimated cost of $25 million each. Where is that money going to come from? The PILOT programs given to the developers of the proposed high-rise buildings? Not even close. The money would have to come in the form of increased taxes on the homeowners of Bayonne. Homeowners and renters must realize that if taxes go up to pay for these new schools and city services, many of us will be priced out of the city we call home. Let’s not pit one group against the other as has been done all too often in the past. Let’s work together to call for the right kind of development in our city. Bayonne needs development that will attract businesses and corporations that will not only pay taxes, but supply much-needed jobs. Our neighbor to the north is a perfect example of what Bayonne should strive for. Are they better than us? Why are we not seeing the same type of planning and development here in Bayonne? It can be done, and our city deserves it.
Finally, we have the ongoing problem with the Board of Education and millions of dollars missing. Again, who’s accountable? Who’s managing the funds, and what is being done with millions of dollars that are supposed to be helping educate the children of our city? Parents, where is your voice? When will you stand up for your children and demand answers? Our city deserves better, and our children deserve better. We need better management at all levels of our city, from development, to quality of life issues, to our education system, to the safety of our streets. Let’s stand together and make our voices and opinions heard.