Could Bayonne Referendum Cause Oceanport Mayor To Resign?


Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis and Oceanport Mayor Jay Coffey and Davis’s reelection kickoff

A coming referendum in the City of Bayonne could shake things up in the Borough of Oceanport.

NewJerseyGlobe reports that Bayonne residents will decide via referendum whether appointees of the mayor must live in the City. Oceanport Mayor Jay Coffey is the appointed Corporation Counsel of Bayonne.  Should the referendum succeed, which we are told is likely, Coffey would have to choose between the lucrative job and serving as mayor.

How Coffey’s successor is chosen becomes an interesting question, should he resign.  In towns with partisan elections, municipal vacancies are filled by the council or township committee choosing from three candidates submitted by the County Committee of the Party that ran the office holder. Coffey, a registered Democrat, was elected as a write-in candidate.  The Oceanport Democrats did not have an candidate for mayor in 2015 when Coffey unseated Republican Michael Mahon, who was unopposed on the general election ballot.

In towns that have non-partisan municipal elections, vacancies are filled by the Council who selects from citizens who apply for the position. Likewise for Board of Education vacancies. That would be a sensible solution, should the situation arise in Oceanport, but a Judge in Freehold could very well decide the question—should it occur.

Posted: March 27th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News, New Jersey, Oceanport | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

2 Comments on “Could Bayonne Referendum Cause Oceanport Mayor To Resign?”

  1. Haven’t said at 4:55 pm on March 27th, 2018:

    some towns/ counties tried to do that? Not sure whether a court would strike that down as discriminatory or un-Constitutional. I think some places say: “residents preferred,” but, what happens if no qualified people are around when you need them? ( some places have gotten criticized for claiming only town or county residents will be hired/ appointed, only to have them make”exceptions, “ as needed or wanted. ) Same with teachers, cops, firefighters..

  2. Jay Coffey said at 10:11 pm on March 27th, 2018:

    Art: You could have done just a little bit of research before blindly re-posting this Newjerseyglobe.com article. Unfortunately, the author of the original article, David Wildstein, yes, THAT David Wildstein, who must have been stuck in traffic on a bridge somewhere while developing this story, failed to do ANY research whatsoever. Because, if he did, he would have discovered that the Superior Court has ruled not once, but twice, that the residency ordinance in Bayonne does not apply to me because a statute (N.J.S.A. 40A:9-11) specifically exempts Municipal attorneys and other professionals from having to reside in the town in which they are employed. This is issue was so clear that I (along with several other similarly statutorily exempted employees of the City) was able to obtain a judgment in the amount of $2411.00 against the individual who brought the lawsuit due to its frivolous nature. In short, whether the City of Bayonne has a residency ordinance or not, it does not apply to me and I will not have to choose between my employment in Bayonne and my elected and essentially volunteer position as Mayor of Oceanport. You’ve got my number, Art, give me a call and I will be glad to fill you in on all the gory Hudson County politics details attendant to this story and I will gladly provide you with the Court Orders proving that Mr. Wildstein’s story isn’t worth the paper isn’t written on. Jay