On Sunday, July 1, Mayor Jimmy Davis and Bayonne’s five city council members took their oaths of office for new terms. The event featured remarks by NJ Gov. Phil Murphy, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, Hudson County Freeholder Kenneth Kopacz, and former City Council President Joseph Makowski. Prayers were delivered by Coptic Orthodox Vice Pope and Bishop David, Pastor Dorothy Patterson of the Wallace Temple AME Zion Church, and Father John Fencik of St. Mary’s Orthodox Church.
Sen. Menendez administered the oath of office to Mayor Davis. In his inaugural remarks, Davis cited his team’s “collective commitment to make Bayonne the best it can be.” He said his task was reinforcing “Bayonne’s standing as the jewel” of Hudson County. He cited various improvements, notably the real estate boom, the coming ferry service, and the reconstruction of the Bayonne Bridge and the Turnpike’s 14A toll plaza.
Council members celebrated
City CFO Terrence Malloy described First Ward Council Member Thomas Cotter as someone who “works tirelessly” on the park issue and on bringing art and music to Broadway. City Clerk Robert F. Sloan administered the oath of office to Cotter, who said that “just one voice” at a meeting can become “the voice of many.”
Malloy praised Second Ward Council Member Salvatore Gullace for bringing a Ferris wheel free of charge to a recent Bayonne Hometown Fair. DeGise administered the oath of office to Gullace, who promised “to work as hard as I did the last four years.”
Malloy applauded Third Ward Council Member Gary LaPelusa’s efforts to keep Bayonne Medical Center open. City Clerk Robert Sloan administered the oath to LaPelusa, who praised new development, tax ratables, and the reconstruction of municipal parks, calling his job “the toughest job I’ll ever love.”
Bayonne Law Director Jay Coffey said of Council Member At-Large Juan Perez, “You can’t meet a nicer gentleman.” DeGise administered the oath to Perez, who said, “I look forward to continuing collaboration with organizations that provide services to Bayonne residents.”
Coffey described Council Member At-Large Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski as someone who “learned very well and very quickly” how to be city council president. Sloan administered the oath to Ash-Nadrowski, who observed that the council members “worked together as a team.”
Council members unanimously re-elected Ashe-Nadrowski council president.
State officials express their support
Murphy thanked Davis for their “shared values.” Calling Bayonne “a gateway to our state,” Murphy pledged that “Bayonne will not be a forgotten city.”
Menendez cited the funding he has obtained for Bayonne, including funding for reinforcing the bulkhead around the former Military Ocean Terminal.
DeGise, a former Jersey City council president, called it “the best job I ever had,” telling Ashe-Nadrowski that Davis “will have your back.”
Freeholder Kopacz recognized the many current and former officials in the audience.
Former City Council President Makowski expressed his approval of new construction and praised the art and flower pots on Broadway, adding that he was proud to live in what’s been called a “Bayonne Box.”
Mike Wilson of Post 19 led the Pledge of Allegiance. Ana Petrillo sang the National Anthem. Rosemary Madera led the singing of God Bless America. Dave “Doc” Watson performed an instrumental version of America the Beautiful. The Friendship Baptist Church Choir sang Every Praise.
Before the ceremony, there was an inaugural Mass at St. Henry’s Church. Clergy from various denominations took part in the service; the Bayonne Police and Fire Pipes and Drums led the congregation from the church to city hall.
In the evening, a celebration featuring music, food, beverages, and fireworks took place at DiDomenico-16th Street Park.