Bayonne, NJ – Team Zanowic, the fiscally responsible slate for Bayonne Mayor and city council, are practicing the big tent coalition building in which GOPer’s everywhere should be engaged.
Comprised of Republicans and Independents, conservatives and libertarians, they have been reaching out to and are building bridges across traditionally-Democratic Bayonne. Part and parcel of the cross community relationship building and communications they have done has been their use of social media which was recently recognized by Turning Point USA as a model for local campaigns across the nation.
I recently had the pleasure of posing a few topical questions to Team Zanowic’s Council-At-Large candidate and registered Independent, John Sebik…
Sebik, one of two At-Large candidates on the slate, has lived in Bayonne since he was 6 years old. “Being the oldest in a family of six played a big part in my life,” Sebik recalled. “I have learned patience, understanding, responsibility and love, the love of my family.”
Professionally, Sebik has worked in logistics management for 20 years and holds a Masters in National Security Studies.
He sees the challenges that Bayonne faces as manifold but surmountable – from lowering taxes, increasing the quality of life, growing businesses, and empowering citizens, Sebik believes “Bayonne has had untapped potential.” Asked about the current administration, Sebik responded “Bayonne residents are in no better position than they were six years ago.” He continued by noting how “the present administration has had ample time to tackle the city’s problems” and how they “have become disconnected from its citizens.”
“Taxes have been going up year after year” Sebik added. “The Mayor has promised to bring in new tax ratables but yet, the only real deals he has made was a selling off of city assets for bargains prices and putting it on the taxpayers dime. The administration agreed to raise water rates 4% a year over the next forty years and sold off MUA (Municipal Utilities Authority) assets.”
Regarding the recent decision by incumbent Mayor Smith to engage in a development study of some of Broadway, Bayonne’s main street corridor, Sebik observed how “Broadway has turned into 40 empty storefronts from only 10 empty storefronts 4 years ago, and now Mayor Smith wants to bulldoze and redevelop a block (on Broadway) and do a study to see if the city can obtain funds.”
Policy wonks like myself can find a bevy of opeds by the Zanowic ticket that reference the once booming Broadway and their plans to bring it back over at their website.
When asked why he signed up for Team Zanowic, Sebik said simply that it’s “a group of people who are from Bayonne, and are normal working people with diverse backgrounds, experience and skills. It was a like that first smell of Spring air.”
In a county controlled by machine politicians barely right of the Politburo, the people-centered politics of John Sebik and the rest of Team Zanowic could certainly prove to be a breath of fresh air for an electorate used to a stagnate pool of non-options at the polls…