Tag Archive: Bayonne

An Anti-Small Business, Anti-Urban Development Idea at the Worst Possible Time: Eliminating the UEZ

To me, one of the kickers of this request, from Newark’s West Ward councilman, is the last line directed at Gov. Chris Christie: “In this instance, please be pro-business.” – promoted by Rosi

The recommendations of the Governor’s task force to eliminate the Urban Enterprise Zone program (UEZ) is ill-timed at best and potentially disastrous to small business survival, stabilization and growth in urban areas like Newark at the worst. When President Obama is providing small businesses with help via tax credits to spur hiring and other incentives for technology and investments in our national economy, the state of New Jersey could potentially strike a blow against small businesses for short term budget in urban areas that are barely holding on.

Urban areas, like Newark, have a hard enough time encouraging, supporting, and working collaboratively to develop small businesses in robust economic times for many reasons: access to capital, technical training, staying afloat during that critical first two years, and the fighting the negative ( and some would say racially prejudicial/inaccurate) perceptions of crime and safety. In harsh economic times, the UEZ is not only helping to sustain small businesses, but also the jobs they provide. The UEZ program has created real opportunities in places like Newark, Jersey City, Bayonne, Trenton, Rahway, etc. and an understanding of its history and real results will clarify these facts separate and apart from short term and myopic opinions that do not take into account the total impact and provisions of the program.

The UEZ program was enacted in 1983 with a duration of 20 years.  The program has worked so well that….

A look at the benefits to businesses, after the jump.

Union solidarity closes NJ/NY ports

This morning, vmars brought our attention to the sparse news coverage of the developing port shutdown by the International Longshoremen’s Association, a protest over local jobs lost. Vmars likened the union action to the real Boston Tea Party, lamenting that if you don’t have the antics, hate or handguns of a Tea Party rally, you don’t get much news coverage.

Now, the union action is spreading, and a solidarity work stoppage is shutting down all cargo terminals at the Port of New York. A picket line was set up by members of the ILA, and New York’s dock workers are not crossing it.

Shut down now are the ports in Camden, Port Elizabeth, Newark, Bayonne and New York.

The heart of all this is the loss of jobs paying a living wage – International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1291 is set to lose 200 to 300 jobs – 400,000 labor hours a year – when when Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. shifts 75 ships and a half million tons of banana cargo from Camden to the privately-owned Gloucester Terminals L.L.C., which pays workers less, and where some workers get no benefits. The company plans to move those jobs even though the union offered considerable concessions to keep those jobs, including an offer to Del Monte that would keep business, dock and terminal workers at $21.50-$22.50 down from top rates of $31 per hour. In frustration at the loss of Del Monte’s banana-shipping jobs, dock workers dumped cases of Del Monte pineapple into the Delaware River.

There’s some talk now of solidarity actions spreading to ports in Florida and Texas.  

Think the Wall Street Meltdown doesn’t hurt you?

It isn’t immediately apparent to some how intimately tied to Wall Street their lives are.  There are all kinds of statistics and scenarios that could be trotted out to explain it, but I think the case of Bayonne will be a cautionary tale here in the Land of Unfettered Debt Garden State.

The short side of the story is that Bayonne has about $49 million in bond payments that are coming due in the next month.  There is no way – none – that the issuing agencies are going to pull enough rabbits out of their, uh, hats to make the payments.  So they do the only thing left available to them – they refinance and hope that someday in the future they’ll be able to make the payments.  There’s a weak point in their plan, though (other than the uncertainty of future payments).

The wrong kind of activism

The Bayonne Journal tells us that the effort to force school board elections in Bayonne has failed.  Normally, you would find me decrying this as evidence of a lack of civic involvement.  On this day, however, for this cause, you will find me celebrating the fact that this activist failed to push her cause.


DePinto sued the school district in federal court after school officials stopped her son in fall 2006 from wearing a “Hitler Youth” badge to protest the district’s mandatory school uniform policy.

A year later, a federal judge ruled DePinto’s son had a First Amendment right to wear the emblem, but then another court upheld the district’s uniform code on a technicality.

I repeat: Wh-wh-wh-what?

News Round-up and Open Thread for Tuesday, August 8

Open Thread- What’s on your mind, Blue Jersey?

Bayonne’s Modest Proposal

From the Jersey Journal‘s Editorial page:

The Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority has an interest in using modern windmills to harness the winds off the Upper New York Bay to provide power to operate the Oak Street pump station.

An interesting proposal, and one that could have far reaching consequences for all of Hudson County.  Any measure that cuts the levels of air pollution in Hudson County are welcomed.  But the devil is always in the details, as we find out here:

A proposal by Alternity Power of South Plainfield for installing a 150-foot-tall, three-blade wind turbine to run the station has piqued the BMUA’s interest and the agency has its engineers and lawyers reviewing the proposal. The windmill could generate 1,314,200 kilowatt hours a year or about 75 percent of what the BMUA needs for the station. The rest would be supplied by the PSE&G power grid.

Ken Lay Would Be Proud

It’s easy to avoid a tax increase in Bayonne.  The Hudson Reporter shows us how:

Despite more than an $11 million shortfall in the current municipal budget thanks to the withdrawal of a developer from the Bayonne Bay portion of the former Military Ocean Terminal, Bayonne City Council unanimously voted for a $25 [million] bond ordinance at a special meeting on June 27.

The bond through a legal loophole would have allowed the city to balance its $105 million 2005-2006 budget without a tax increase, as part of a five-year plan to use revenue from development at the MOTBY.

But the bond, which would pay for future improvements to roads and other utilities at the MOTBY, was part of a complicated deal that would have the BLRA transfer almost $23 million back to the city to cover a gap in the budget. The BLRA, however, was to get the money from an expected $25 million advanced payment on the eventual purchase of the Bayonne Bay portion of the MOTBY.

Did you follow that transfer?  I’ll let it sink in a bit while the rest of the sordid story plays out:

No Gimmicks Left

The Jersey Journal‘s Ronald Lier has the sad story:

One partner in a joint venture designated to build 1,700 apartments at the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor has bolted, leaving the city with an $11 million deficit in the current fiscal year’s budget.

But state officials are giving Bayonne officials an extra year to come up with the cash, taking the unusual step of allowing the city to operate with a deficit.

Unusual?  How about “illegal”?

The problem stems from Bayonne banking entirely upon D.R. Horton and Trammel Crow Residential to fill their budget deficit.  It seems that D.R. Horton doesn’t have the chutzpah necessary to pony up that kind of money to the City.

So Bayonne goes broke.

Except – someone is playing fast and light with the law.

Basically, the state has said that Bayonne can borrow from next year’s budget and still say this year’s budget is balanced.

Someone call Trenton!  We’ve found the answer to Jon Corzine’s prayers!

Or, alternately, once again Hudson County is pulling the wool over its own eyes.

I think it’s more of the latter than the former.

X-posted from NJ Tammany.

Bayonne Bucks “Fiscal Responsibility Trend”

From the Jersey Journal‘s Steve Lemongello:

The Bayonne City Council has taken the first step toward issuing $25 million in bonds to finance infrastructure improvements at the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor.

The council voted 4-1, with only Councilman-at-Large Anthony Chiappone dissenting, to introduce the bonds at Wednesday night’s meeting. Final approval could come at the council’s next public meeting on June 27.