10 Dec Newsletter 12-07-2018
The Concerned Taxpayers of West Wildwood was formed in response to actions by the municipality’s officials that have saddled our taxpayers with an uninsured $1.7 million liability. That’s nearly our entire annual budget. We can debate how we got here, but surely we all agree that we need to work together to make sure that this liability does not cripple our town. We need a path forward.
For that reason, many of our members attended a Board of Commissioners public meeting on December 6, 2018. For months, the Board has played fast and loose with its meetings, setting meetings for times when it knows people cannot attend or changing the schedule or agenda at the last minute. Yesterday, the Board again tried to avoid facing its constituents, stating at the start of the meeting that it would last only five minutes and would adjourn for the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. A CTWWW representative suggested the meeting be temporarily suspended so that everyone could participate in the festivities and reconvene later however Mayor Fox rejected the idea and the meeting continued.
Outside, families began to arrive for this an annual and beautiful tradition. The Margaret Mace Children’s Choir readied for its performance and holiday spirit abounded. But inside, the mood was decidedly different. Citizens expressed frustration that the Board refused to answer simple questions about municipal operations. Rather than address any actual issues, Board members resorted to silence, gave no reports and deferred answers once again. Voices raised. The “meeting” lasted about forty minutes, and ceremony attendees began to trickle into the meeting room following the outdoor festivities.
With a room full of children, the Board continued to enflame rather than de-escalate the situation. It became impossible to tell who was shouting at who. At some point in the chaos, two Commissioners simply disappeared from the room without adjourning the meeting or addressing the public. They avoided responsibility for another mess they created and left West Wildwood police officers to restore order.
The citizens of West Wildwood want honest, transparent government. We face considerable challenges that can only be overcome if we work together. The administration is making that impossible and turning our quiet little beach community into a veritable powder keg.