Bayonne City Council held first online meeting from the ‘digital bunker’

The meeting was hosted by TetherView

Reminiscent of "The Brady Bunch" the city council met via TetherView.
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Reminiscent of "The Brady Bunch" the city council met via TetherView.

The Bayonne City Council continues to keep the city running amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 15, it held its first official online meeting via TetherView.

The City of Bayonne has partnered with TetherView to use its “digital bunker” package, free of charge, customized to help the council hold meetings during the pandemic.

To participate, residents had to register online prior to the meeting at the city’s website at bayonnenj.org. A link to a public notice is on the meeting page on the city calendar.

A number of public hearings were held for ordinances to be voted on. After a public hearing, the council voted to adopt an ordinance approving a 15-year extension on a tax abatement for Plattykill Manor Apartments. Another was for a 15-year tax abatement on for-sale units being constructed on the former site of Chris’ Corner. Another was to bond money to repair a leaking aqueduct.

A food bank was established, and a FEMA consultant will be appointed to ensure the city will be made whole on federal funding, according to City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski.

Just called to say hello

Since it was the first meeting online, minor glitches were bound to occur.

A member of the public, Jerome Caldwell, raised his hand on TetherView to speak. Much of what he was saying was inaudible. It sounded like there was interference from a television show in the background.

Ashe-Nadrowski assumed he wanted to speak for the Plattykill Manor Apartments tax abatement extension

But when it was his turn to speak, Caldwell only wanted to thank the city council and say hello. After exchanging pleasantries, he quickly signed off without comment on any ordinance.

It was a lighthearted moment in a usually boring meeting.

Can you hear me now?

Another hiccup occurred when Councilman Sal Gullace suddenly found himself unable to communicate verbally. Apparently, he had muted himself at some point.

When the time came to vote on an ordinance, Gullace had still not figured out how to unmute himself. Law Director Jay Coffey affirmed that he could vote using a nod of his head.

It wasn’t until later in the meeting that Gullace was able to unmute himself, prompting a few laughs from some council members.

Hello, Goodbye

Ashe-Nadrowski announced that Bayonne was establishing a food bank. She said she had been working on the project vigorously with soon-to-be Business Administrator Melissa Mathews.

Mathews assumes the post on May 1, after Terrence Malloy retires. This meeting would be Malloy’s last as Business Administrator.

Ashe-Nadrowski took a moment to thank Malloy, who has served the city in many different ways during his tenure.

“He will be sorely missed,” Ashe-Nadrowski said. “I will probably still be calling him up.”

Malloy took a moment to speak, remaining off camera and thanking his coworkers for their kind words.

“It’s been an honor and pleasure to work for the city,” Malloy said.

He also hinted that he might give a formal farewell speech at a meeting post-COVID-19 pandemic.

The short meeting, ending at at 8:04 p.m., was most likely the result of its being online.

Before signing off, Ashe-Nadrowski advised residents to stay safe and to practice social distancing.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.