• City Commissioner Maury Blumberg, right, recognizes retiring City Clerk Tom Hiltner with a proclamation naming Dec. 18.MARGATE – Tom Hiltner attended his final government meeting as city clerk Thursday, Dec. 18. He will retire at the end of the year after more than 25 years as the city’s keeper of records. He was also the city tax collector.

    The Board of Commissioners appointed Deputy Clerk Rosie Freed to replace him as city clerk and Linda Morgan as tax collector. Freed was sworn in at the end of the meeting with her family present. Morgan will take the oath of office at the next meeting when her family can be present.

  • ATLANTIC CITY – An activist for open government will be heard in court Monday after the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office denied his request for information about the alleged theft of funds from the Margate Firefighters Benevolent Association Inc. The case is scheduled to be heard 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 15 by Superior Court Judge Nelson C. Johnson.

    According to a complaint filed Nov. 10 in Superior Court, John Paff of Somerset, chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party Open Government Advocacy Project, the Prosecutor’s Office refused to provide any information about the case. He is asking for the immediate release of all incident and investigative reports related to the case.

  • LONGPORT – The Board of Commissioners is considering a request from the city engineer to be more assertive in its support of the pending Absecon Island Beach Protection project – which its neighbor to the north is trying to stop.

    “We went to great lengths to try and get this money and to protect our infrastructure and properties through the dune system. I really think we ought to look at what proactive activities we can do because of the court case out there,” borough engineer Richard Carter told the commission at its Wednesday, Dec. 11 workshop meeting.

    “If you want this, might have to fight for it.”

  • Board of Commissioners appropriates $50,000 more for legal work

    MARGATE – U.S. District Court Judge Renee M. Bumb issued an order Tuesday, Dec. 9 adjourning a court hearing on the dunes project from Dec. 17 to 10 a.m. Jan. 15 to allow the parties to come up with an “amicable resolution.”

    The order was issued in response to a joint request for adjournment from Margate’s special counsel, Jordan M. Rand of Dilworth Paxson LLP, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

  • CAMDEN – Margate won the second round Thursday in its legal battle to negotiate an alternative to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan to build sand dunes on the beach.

    On Dec. 4, U.S. District Court Judge Renee Marie Bumb extended the temporary restraining order she imposed Nov. 24 that barred the DEP from awarding a contract to build the dunes.

‘Personnel issue’ causes Longport to reorganize commissioner assignments

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LONGPORT – Following a 30-minute executive session Tuesday, April 8, the Board of Commissioners agreed to revise commissioner appointments and duties.

Mayor Nicholas Russo gave a brief statement following three unanimous votes to approve the new assignments and realigned duties.

“Due to personnel issues, which our solicitor has advised me not to make any comments about until they are fully resolved, the commissioners have chosen to realign and redefine their duties and responsibilities,” Russo said.

Russo and borough attorney Pat Agnellini declined discussion on the issue and the employees involved, but both confirmed that the municipality has not received any tort claim notices informing the borough that a legal suit is pending.

Russo will continue to serve as director of public safety and public affairs. He will assume certain duties that were part of the revenue and finance department, including oversight of elections, personnel administration, office management and Borough Hall.

James P. Leeds was moved from public works, parks and public property and appointed to oversee revenue and finance, which includes the offices of the assessor, CFO, tax collector, bookkeeping, beach fee administration, tax lien foreclosures, auditor, and insurance, bonds and contingent funds.

Daniel Lawler was moved from revenue and finance to public works, parks and public property and will assume supervision of the construction code and code enforcement departments in addition to streets, engineer, parks, playgrounds, beaches, jetties, lighting, trash and recycling, water and all public buildings.

Lawler also declined discussing the personnel issue, but agreed the changes were best for the borough.

He said Leeds was very good at managing the public works department, but the commissioners thought it was best to make the changes at this time.

“I have no problem with the change, in fact, I’m looking forward to learning a new department,” he said.

Lawler said public works will require more of his time and that he would miss working with finance department personnel.

“The public works guys are good and know what has to be done,” he said.

Leeds was not available for comment.

 


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