• VENTNOR – The Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance Thursday, Nov. 20 that would offer tax exemptions for certain property owners who make improvements or build anew.

    Officials are hoping a tax incentive would spur new construction that complies with new flood elevation standards and help the city improve its FEMA flood insurance rating, which would equate to discounts for residents on the cost of flood insurance.

  • CAMDEN – A federal court today issued a temporary restraining order to stop the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Army Corps of Engineers shore protection project in Margate.

    The order came after Margate filed a legal suit in U.S. District Court to stop the state and Army Corps from building sand dunes on the city’s beach.

  • TRENTON – Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced Nov. 20 that Ventnor City would receive a $501,000 grant to restore historic City Hall. The building was one of four in Atlantic County selected for Sandy Disaster Relief Grants for Historic Properties to fund the preservation, stabilization, rehabilitation and repair of New Jersey historic structures that were damaged by the storm.

    Other Atlantic County structures awarded grants include Fire Station 3 in Atlantic City, which received $338,289, Fire Station 2 in Atlantic City $205,649 and Gateway Playhouse in Somers Point $102,400.

  • MARGATE – Local firefighters and EMS workers who routinely arrive at drug overdose calls are now carrying the life-saving antidote, naloxone.

    Chief Anthony Tabasso made the announcement at the Nov. 6 Board of Commissioners work session meeting.

  • MARGATE – City Clerk and Tax Collector Tom Hiltner will resign from both positions Jan. 1 and receive $260,000 payable in installments over the next two years as part of a settlement reached in his whistleblower lawsuit against the city.

    Under the agreement, the city will also give Hiltner $12,000 a year for the next eight years for health insurance, and pay $50,000 in attorney fees to Jacobs & Barbone, his attorneys.

  • MARGATE – Despite differences of opinion regarding the dunes issue, the Board of Commissioners Nov. 6 agreed to uphold the wishes of the voters and proceed with an effort to stop the state and Army Corps of Engineers from building sand dunes on the beach.

    Congratulating the advocacy group Margate Citizens Questioning the Beach Project, which lobbied to fight the dunes project, Commissioner Brenda Taube said she would join Commissioner Maury Blumberg and Mayor Michael Becker in support of voters who passed a nonbinding referendum Nov. 4 that asked if they wanted the city to spend up to $200,000 in legal fees to try to stop the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps from proceeding with the project. The unofficial vote count was 1,140 yes, 1,091 no. Provisional ballots are still being counted. Certification by the Atlantic County Clerk is expected Monday afternoon.

  • VENTNOR – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has awarded $230,000 in Post-Sandy Planning Assistance grants to help the city become more resilient to storms.

    Mayor Michael Bagnell said the grants will help the city plan for the future after several years of struggling with the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, which flooded the city in October 2012.

‘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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