• 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.

Anne Leeds remembered at funeral Mass

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Hundreds wait in line to pay their respects to the family of Anne Leeds. Hundreds wait in line to pay their respects to the family of Anne Leeds. LONPORT – Hundreds of people turned out amid cloudy skies Thursday, June 5 to say goodbye to Anne Leeds, who was tragically killed in a plane crash that took the lives of all seven on board May 31 including her summertime neighbor, billionaire philanthropist Lewis Katz.

The line stretched around the block as people waited to pay their respects to the Leeds family. Before the Mass began, her husband, Longport Commissioner James Leeds Sr. stepped out of the church to greet those still waiting in line.

Anne T. Leeds Anne T. Leeds Leeds, 74, is the grandmother of nine and mother of four adult children, who paid her the highest tribute in their eulogies at a funeral Mass at Holy Trinity Parish, Church of the Epiphany in Longport.

The retired nursery school teacher grew up in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia and eventually married her lifeguard sweetheart.

She was devoted to children and joined Katz and two other friends at the last minute Saturday afternoon on a plane ride to Bedford, Mass., to attend an educational fundraiser at the home of historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Their return trip to Atlantic City International Airport never left the ground. Katz’s Gulfstream IV corporate jet crashed into a communication tower and landed in an embankment.

The explosion that followed took the lives of all seven souls on board, including Katz; Leeds; Marcella M. Dalsey, 59, of Haddonfield, president of the KATZ Academy Charter School; Susan Asbell, 68, of Cherry Hill and Margate. The three crew members killed in the crash were Pilot James McDowell of Georgetown, Delaware; flight attendant Teresa Benhoff, 48, of Easton, Maryland; and Co-pilot Bauke "Mike" de Vries, 45, of Marlton.

Each of her children said their mother epitomized the meaning of “love.”

Her son Jim read a prayer Anne Leeds wrote asking for blessings for the children she taught.

“Help us to be positive and responsible role models, sensitive to their particular needs for love, understanding and comfort in this often insensitive world,” Jim Leeds Jr. read.

Her daughter, Patellen Coor, encouraged those present to take something of her mother away from the church so that she lives on.

“There’s a lot to choose from: her humble faith, her great love for Christ, her giving spirit, her welcoming nature, infectious smile or her great sense of humor, her gratitude for all she had or her lifelong philosophy of ‘enough is a feast,’ her love of simplicity, her respect and deep devotion for children, her love for the written word, her unique ability to never say a bad word about another person or her unwavering love of her family. If you ever come across a piece of sea glass on the beach, you’ll know it’s a gift from her,” Coor said.

Ryan, 34, the youngest of the Leeds children, said he had a special bond with his mother and they had their favorite songs, which he said epitomized what was so special about her. One was “What a Wonderful World,” performed by Louis Armstrong.

“This song truly was my mom, because she was so happy and so humble. All around her, what she saw was God’s beauty in the faces of family and strangers,” he said. “To my mom, love was all that there was. She didn’t need a special occasion to love, she loved every day. Love was everything and my mom loved you all.”

Son Ted said he had the “best mother in the world,” who was always there for him and his siblings.

“When you think about how much love my mother gave in her life, whether to her kids, grandkids or someone walking down 36th (Avenue) with a peek from behind her book and a smile, that’s a love that she got back over her life. That’s something to think about as you go through your life. When it’s your time, when you’re lying in there, what’s going to be going through everyone’s mind who comes to see you? If you live your life with love, people are going to love you,” he said.

Ted Leeds said his mother was a “simple person. She didn’t need a lot to make her happy. She needed the love of her children, a good book, her daily walks on the beach. And, she loved to laugh…and Dad,” he said.

She also received high praise from her pastor.

“Anne was the cornerstone of Holy Trinity Parish,” who helped build the parish and revived Longport’s Blessing of the Sea tradition, Rev. Joseph R. Ferrara said.

Although her death was a tragedy, she was lifted up to perfection, and was a blessing to the parish, he said.

“Anne was the light, she was an angel of the Lord, she is a woman of faith,” Rev. Farrara said. “She was an expression of God.”

A private burial will be held at a later time.


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