O’DONNELL DEMANDS DAVIS SIGN AGREEMENT REVOKING THREAT TO KICK SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS OFF LAND FOR DEVELOPERS
BAYONNE – Bayonne mayoral candidate Jason O’Donnell today called on Mayor Jimmy Davis to sign the pre-existing agreement that would prevent the city from stealing the land from two small Bayonne businesses so that Davis’ friends in big development can build yet another giant mixed-use building.
One of the businesses, the Starting Point Bar and Grill, has proudly served thousands of families in the First Ward and is known for their charitable work throughout our community since opening in 2002. The Starting Point’s owner, Mickey Czok, is also a Captain in the Bayonne Fire Department.
O’Donnell cited a report that laid out a timeline of legal maneuvering by the Davis Administration, a redevelopment plan amended by Davis’ planning board and a study commissioned by the city that says the two small businesses’ properties can be condemned even though they are not classified as “blighted.” The report can be found on-line here:http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2018/04/city_of_bayonne_developer_tried_for_years_to_take.html#comments
O’Donnell went on to note the fact that the city has not signed the official agreement revoking the threat of condemnation because Mayor Davis may be trying to push this land grab past Election Day before implementing. This is the same tactic Davis and his Council are currently employing on their $50 Driveway Tax, refusing to simply shut it down and instead committing to a “review” that would take the issue past Election Day and allow for the tax after taxpayers cast their vote.
“Mayor Davis appears to have run out of land he could give to his rich developer and lawyer friends for pennies on the dollar so now he is trying to use legal maneuvers, his city planning board and taxpayer commissioned studies to force hard-working small business owners to leave their own property,” said O’Donnell. “Mayor Davis may not realize this because of all the time he spent away from Bayonne when he moved, but the businesses he is trying to steal from their owners are not ‘blighted’, they are not in need of ‘condemnation’ and they certainly deserve the opportunity to continue striving as they have for over fifteen years.
O’Donnell continued, “Closing the Starting Point down to secure the land for another giant development after already handing out 40 multi-million dollar tax breaks to his rich developer friends is simply unacceptable. It would also deprive countless area charities and be yet another blow to the First Ward community. The Mayor’s attempt to use his governmental powers to try and force out local institutions owned by hard-working Bayonne taxpayers so yet another out of town developer’s monstrosity can be built has to be stopped, and the best way to ensure that happens is by having the mayor sign the agreement revoking the threat of condemnation before May 8th. Perhaps this will be the one time in four years when Mayor Davis will choose the residents he was elected to represent over the wealthy developers and lawyers who gave money for his election.”