City Commits to Considering Pay-to-Play

BAYONNE- After repeated written attempts to contact the City, Michael Embrich, founder of the Bayonne Center for Progress, approached the Bayonne City Council at their February meeting to request in person that they consider pay-to-play legislation, which Council President Sharon Nadrowski agreed to do.

In September of 2018, Embrich called for pay-to-play legislation, essentially banning political donors from landing City contracts. Back in September, a Bayonne spokesperson said the City’s law department was “reviewing the matter.” In February, the City Council finally agreed to consider the reforms.

“I think it is a great victory for the citizens of the City of Bayonne. Donors shouldn’t have more political clout than taxpayers, and addressing pay-to-play scenarios would help alleviate the overwhelming tax burden we see in the City,” said Embrich. “I commend City Council President Sharon Nadrowski for acknowledging that there is a problem, and I welcome the opportunity to help implement pay-to-play and other ethics reforms,” Embrich added.

When asked what the next steps would be for the Bayonne Center for Progress, Embrich said, “Our work is far from done. We must make sure the City Council takes real steps to fix our broken political system. We’re going to see pay-to-play legislation through to completion and fight for other ethics reforms such as term limits for the mayor’s office and the creation of community boards, so Bayonne residents can have a say in what gets built in their neighborhoods. The Bayonne Center for Progress will continue to fight to make our government better, fairer, and more accountable to taxpayers.”  


Open Letter to PA: Bring New PATH Station to Bayonne, not Jersey City

An Open Letter to the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey,

It is great to see that you are undertaking a feasibility study to construct a new PATH station in Jersey City. However, I think you’ll find you’ll be much better suited constructing one in Bayonne.

With four PATH stations and multiple Light Rail Lines and ferries, Jersey City already has ample public transportation options. On the other hand, Bayonne, a peninsula, has limited points of access and only one Light Rail line that is about to be overwhelmed by thousands of new riders from forthcoming developments in town within the next 5 years. This new population boarding in Bayonne will make boarding in Greenville and beyond impossible.

Bayonne’s proximity to Newark would make it fit in seamlessly with PATH’s plans to construct a new station in the Newark Airport/Elizabeth area. Bayonne’s proximity to Staten Island and Brooklyn opens up a wide variety of options for PATH to serve new markets in New York with a population base of millions of potential commuters. The economic impacts on the region would be tremendous.

In conclusion, please consider a feasibility study to bring a PATH line to Bayonne. The benefits will far exceed those of putting in another line in a city with already many viable options.

Michael Embrich
Founder, Bayonne Center for Progress

 


Media Coverage: Newly formed political org in Bayonne calls on council to adopt pay-to-play laws

Check out the Jersey Journal Coverage of the Bayonne Center for Progress here.

What is pay-to-play legislation?

Every state and city, directly or indirectly, prohibits bribery in
obtaining government contracts. But few towns or cities restrict
campaign contributions from businesses seeking government contracts.
Pay-to-play addresses just that: developers or vendors who give political
contributions to elected officials to garner special
consideration or influence in acquiring a government contract and other perks.

Why is this bad for taxpayers?

There are many reasons why a lack of pay-to-play laws is detrimental
to healthy government and hurts taxpayers. Here are the two main
reasons:

1) Pay-to-play subverts the open and fair bidding process by
steering government contracts to more connected, and sometimes more expensive, vendors
and businesses, passing that financial burden to taxpayers.

2) Lack of pay-to-play laws hurts local small businesses, as they
cannot afford to pay, even if they can perform the job. Pay-to-play
contracts often go to out of town firms. We are currently conducting
research to see what percentage of Bayonne vendors receive contracts vs
out-of-town vendors.

 


What is pay-to-play legislation?

What is pay-to-play legislation?

Every state and city, directly or indirectly, prohibits bribery in
obtaining government contracts. But few towns or cities restrict
campaign contributions from businesses seeking government contracts.
Pay-to-play addresses just that: developers or vendors who give political
contributions to elected officials to garner special
consideration or influence in acquiring a government contract and other perks.

Why is this bad for taxpayers?

There are many reasons why a lack of pay-to-play laws is detrimental
to healthy government and hurts taxpayers. Here are the two main
reasons:

1) Pay-to-play subverts the open and fair bidding process by
steering government contracts to more connected, and sometimes more expensive, vendors
and businesses, passing that financial burden to taxpayers.

2) Lack of pay-to-play laws hurts local small businesses, as they
cannot afford to pay, even if they can perform the job. Pay-to-play
contracts often go to out of town firms. We are currently conducting
research to see what percentage of Bayonne vendors receive contracts vs
out-of-town vendors.