To the Editor:
Recently, Stockton, the 13th largest city in California, with 300,000 residents, declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy. This was due to a city municipal debt of $700 million. Because of this, they were forced to reduce their city workforce by 30 percent. Even by instituting this program, it did little to help their financial situation and they had to file for bankruptcy. I am afraid that the City of Bayonne will end up in the same predicament. Let us take a good look at what Mayor Smith is not telling the taxpayers of our city.
Bayonne has 62,000 residents and at the present time a bonded and loan debt of $400 million. This debt includes schools, our city and its autonomous authorities. There are 700 municipal employees (school unknown) whose salaries total almost $55 million dollars. The average salary per employee is $78, 570 per year. Since 2007 up to 2011, the city property tax has increased by 27.54 percent.
Over the last five years, the city received from the Bayonne Land Redevelopment Authority (BLRA) $160,000,000. Most if not all of this money was used to balance the municipal budgets. With all of this money that the city received, our city taxes did not go down by one penny! They went up 27.54 percent! It clearly shows how inept our mayor and city council are to run our city. What they have achieved is stagnation, not stability of our city. Our financial status is horrendous!
What our city needs right now is the formation of a tea party or a recall election. If we see nothing, say nothing, do nothing, then we deserve whatever they do to us. It’s no surprise; we will get another tax increase this year. In 2013, we will get another one. Make your choice or keep paying! Wake up!
LEONARD R. KANTOR