City council approves appointment of new Municipal Services Director

Gary Chmielewski was appointed to the position, effective retroactively as of Oct. 8

The Bayonne City Council met in-person in the council chambers at City Hall at 630 Avenue C on Oct. 20.
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The Bayonne City Council met in-person in the council chambers at City Hall at 630 Avenue C on Oct. 20.

The Bayonne City Council has voted approve the appointment of Gary Chmielewski by Mayor James Davis to fill the vacant position of Director of the Department of Municipal Services.

The position has been empty for weeks since former director Tim Boyle resigned on Sept. 24 upon Davis’s request due to unspecified allegations. However, the Bayonne Community News learned Boyle’s exit came after he allegedly illegally recorded a conversation he was not a part of between other city officials including Rich Bielinski, Maria Kaniewski, and Business Administrator Melissa Mathews.

New Jersey state law requires one party consent when recording a conversation, meaning that someone can record a conversation as long as they are a part of it.

The council voted unanimously to appoint Chmielewski at the council’s Oct. 20 meeting. Prior to the vote, City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski thanked Chmielewski for returning to work for the city in a leadership role.

Returning to the forefront

“I just would like to thank him,” Ashe-Nadrowski said. “I know Mr. Chmielewski has served Bayonne in various roles and during our administration as Public Works Director. Gary is a consummate professional. He’s done a wonderful job. Residents like him.”

Chmielewski is not new to working for the city of Bayonne. He has been working there since 1997, as the head of the Quality of Life Office.

In 2007, Chmielewski was appointed the Director of the Department of Public Works where he served until 2018. Then, in November of that year, he stepped down due to health issues.

Since then he has been working for the city in various roles including management specialist. Chmielewski has been overseeing resident complaints regarding garbage and property maintenance, and managing playing fields and public facilities, as well as keeping an eye on various contracts.

“Gary was planning on riding off into the sunset, and winding down and stepping back in his role,” Ashe-Nadrowski said. “With the situation that has arisen, when the mayor asked, he stepped up and Gary has agreed because we really need somebody to step into that role.”

Critical time for vital position

According to Ashe-Nadrowski, that position is critical at the moment to guide the execution of the city’s multi-million Long Term Control Plan to address the Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) in Bayonne.

“We have a $300 million CSO project going on, and it’s a big role,” Ashe-Nadrowski said. “I’m confident and I wanted to thank Gary Chmielewski for his past service and for stepping up and taking on this additional responsibility. He’s winding down in his time here and looking forward to retirement, but he stepped up and is doing right by the residents of Bayonne. I have a heartfelt thanks and all the confidence that Gary Chmielewski will do a fantastic job.”

“I 100 percent agree with you,” First Ward City Councilman Neil Carroll said. “Excellent choice, fantastic man.” City Councilman At-Large Juan Perez agreed, echoing Caroll that Chmielewski was a great appointment to the position.

“Gary Chmielewski is well-prepared for his new role as Director of the Department of Municipal Services,” Davis said. “He has twenty-four years of managerial experience with the City of Bayonne, dating back to 1997. Gary has served as a Management Specialist and as Director of Public Works. He is a hard-working local government professional with detailed knowledge of numerous community issues. I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new position.”

Chmielewski now takes the reins of the Department of Municipal Services, already effective since Oct. 8.

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.