No need for new building

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To the editor:

Recently, on page one of Philadelphia Magazine, Chairman D. Herbert Lipson astutely observed: "Margate is a prototypical example of public sector waste ... Everyone in Margate knows that waste and corruption run rampant here, but very few are willing to take on the public sector."

Many are intimidated by its litigious mayor; others face reprisals.

The Nov. 6 referendum, however, represents a golden opportunity for voters to take on the public sector without fear of retaliation and harassment. The wholesale waste and corruption can be halted. Taxpayers have suffered five years of tax increases in a row under Mayor Becker. It's time to halt his no end to tax and spend by just saying no to the referendum question.

Recall both the mayor and Commissioner Taube ran on a pledge to hold the line on spending. This spendthrift duo can't resist whacking taxpayers to erect a brand new, humongous 3,360-square-foot Taj Mahal building department office. They contend that there are only two choices on the table – either to squander $600,000 plus its debt service or to continue to rent. This mindset reflects a total dearth of intelligence and fiscal responsibility.

The insipid, inane argument that the existing city-owned 1,200-square-foot building beside City Hall cannot be utilized is totally bogus. There is absolutely no need to raise or raze this sound building. An ADA ramp cost is de minimus. Keep in mind this office services only 25 people per day. The local post office easily services that many in its first 15 minutes.

The mayor has had nearly a half-dozen years to initiate meaningful shared services with Ventnor. Surely Ventnor's office could readily accommodate an extra 25 people a day. Ventnor has long stood ready, willing and able to assist Margate in any and all shared services. Margate, however, has zero desire to address its rampant waste, nepotism, patronage and pay to play. Repeated requests for a wage and hiring freeze have fallen upon deaf ears. As a result, property taxes skyrocket nonstop.

Margate has at least two additional, very viable options: use the existing office beside City Hall or merge with Ventnor. Faced with these two options, the building code employees will be thrilled to go back to their old digs. They, too, will vote no on Nov. 6. It's in their best, vested interest and taxpayers' too.

John Sewell


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