I disagree strongly with the image of Bayonne, N.J., that Keith B. Richburg conveyed in "Working Class Whites" [news story, Feb. 3]. Richburg referred to our community as "down-on-its-luck," "fading" and "beer-drinking Bayonne."
He overlooked the fact that the majority of local workers are not in blue-collar occupations. Bayonne has a growing number of banking and financial services jobs. Many residents commute to financial jobs in Manhattan and Jersey City. Since 2002, our local Urban Enterprise Zone has added 974 jobs. In the 2000 Census, our population went up for the first time in decades. For the record, local beer consumption has declined as tastes in drinking and entertainment have changed.
Bayonne has much to be proud of: quality education in our public schools, a low crime rate, great parks, a world-class golf course and the third-busiest cruise port in the East.
As our mayor, Terrence Malloy, has observed, "It is the residents of our city that make us the community that we are -- caring for each other." I invite Richburg back to get an accurate view of our great community.
-- Joseph E. Ryan
The writer is public information director for the city and a fifth-generation resident.