To the Editor:
This is a letter I submitted to the mayor of Bayonne (Mark Smith) on June 26, 2009 and I have yet to receive a response.
I am not originally from Bayonne, but I would like to let people know what I have learned about Bayonne’s laws and policies since moving here. Bayonne is a city where it is perfectly fine to be as loud as you want. You can yell and curse at your kids every day of the week as long as it is before 9 p.m. You can remove factory equipment from your motorcycle that would make the sound softer and even add parts to make it louder to the point where it shakes houses and deafens anyone within a block of the vehicle. You can make rights on red without even slowing down or even make a left from the right lane.
However, you are not allowed to park with your bumper an inch too close to a fire hydrant. You can double-park anywhere you want or drive in the middle of the street as long as there are no painted lines on the road. However, you cannot leave your car parked in the same spot for the entire weekend. Bayonne police will never give you one ticket unless it’s for you meter expiring 10 seconds ago. All other times you will get one ticket you deserve and three more that are completely false.
Neighbors will call authorities if you have an electrician doing non-permit requiring work on your house for not having a permit in the window and they will be there right away. But if someone breaks into your house, no police report is necessary in Bayonne as long as they didn’t steal anything big.
Even though the city only cleans out the gutters once a year and there is trash all over the sides of the roads or even in one of the giant potholes, if your grass gets too long, watch for the summons on your door. It is quite alright to not pick up after your dog or to throw litter on a neighbor’s lawn, but don’t put your trash out early, because for that you will actually get a ticket.
I realize that the things I mentioned as non-ticket worthy in the eyes of the city are harder to catch than the others, but they are certainly way worse. How is a ticket for putting your trash out an hour early because you had to visit a father in the hospital the same price as one that someone won’t get for throwing a urine filled water bottle on someone’s property? Like I said earlier, I was not born here, but I have supported Bayonne and it’s local businesses, paid my taxes to the city, and tried to build a life here. I have to ask myself if the city hates me that much and wants me gone, or if it treats everyone this way? I would have to think that it is not just me based on all the for sale signs I see around. What does it take for some change?