10 Oct Newsletter 10-10-2018
October 10, 2018
Dear CTWWW Members,
On behalf of the Advisory Board, we would like to update you on the progress of our organization.
As discussed at our initial meeting, the immediate goals of the organization were to unite the taxpayers of West Wildwood as a formal entity and to seek legal counsel on the decisions of borough officials in reference to the Ferentz lawsuit.
We are happy to report that the CTWWW is now a 501 (C) (4) non-profit organization committed to improving the community of West Wildwood through decisions that are transparent, ethical and in the best interest of all taxpayers. Donations will be placed in a bank account within the next week and a financial report provided each month.
In addition, we have secured legal counsel to communicate to the appropriate authorities the decisions that were made by borough officials in reference to the Ferentz lawsuit that have placed such an enormous financial burden on all of us. Please be assured that we are pursuing realistic and attainable goals in a very aggressive, yet cost effective manner.
As promised, members of the CTWWW Advisory Council will be attending the monthly borough meetings on the first Friday of each month at 7PM, and a summary of the issues discussed will be distributed in a follow-up email. The actual minutes of the meeting are available on the WWW web site, after approval at the next meeting.
Topics at the most recent October meeting included:
1. Police Department personnel and budget details. The current leadership will not entertain the subject of consolidation with the police department of another town. Scott Golden completed an analysis and determined that it was not beneficial to the Borough. We are requesting a copy of the analysis before next meeting. Scott confirmed that the BOWWW owns four vehicles although he could not provide the details for the sale of two additional vehicles or the $$$ proceeds from the sales or where the proceeds were recorded. In addition, he stated that there are (7) seven employees, which include the chief, (4) four full timers and (2) part time officers.
The actual budget is still being clarified as we have received 3 different numbers with differences of $78,000 or more. Despite a request being made at the Sept meeting, the actual budget was not presented and will be requested again.
2. All groups/ individuals renting the hall are required to pay the $100 rental fee and obtain individual insurance.
3. The MEL/JIF/ Borough appeal is in process. They believe a decision will be rendered in 6-12 months.
4. Mawhinney lawsuit – They believe it is in early mediation.
5. Polombaro lawsuit was forwarded to JIF approximately two weeks ago.
6. Shore Line Project – The shoreline project is designed to stop the erosion of the peninsula along the Poplar Ave water area. A study was conducted by the Stevens Institute which shows an erosion rate of approximately 3-5 feet per year. What they are proposing is something called a living shoreline. The design consists of placing boulders north of the peninsula to break the wave action. Along the shoreline itself they will place GEO tubes along with the planting of dune type grass. This type of living shoreline has been used in other areas with success. Living shorelines are also projects that are most likely to get funded at this time. Along with the Stevens Institute, the Nature Conservancy and CH2M they have also worked with the Jacques Cousteau Institute as a part of this project. When this project is completed it will protect your house from wave action during a moderate storm. With no action, that protection will no longer exist and the wave action, at least for docks, could be a daily issue. The good thing is the design will not impact your view as the project is designed to widen the land area not elevate.
The borough is working with Bill Dixon who is the head of the Bureau of Coastal Engineering for the Department of Environmental Protection in New Jersey.
7. Beach clean-up is still a challenge. The Mayor will not instruct the Public Works employees to clean it up with rakes and trash bags. He repeatedly talked about next year and a machine that will do the work. We asked about the borough employees whose job it is to care for the island properties and there was no response from the Commissioners.
8. The officials are re-applying for the grant to rebuild the steps to the beach. If we don’t get grant, they will have to go to an emergency fund to complete the project. Details were not clear as to plans or bids on the project. The Mayor had no explanation as to why he didn’t use an emergency fund this year.
9. Infrastructure issues included homeowner properties which are now flooding as a result of some streets being raised. In addition, potholes are severe and the work being done by the gas company requires some investigation as the holes are not being filled properly. There were no specific answers to these questions. The Mayor directed Chris Ridings, Borough Administrator, to look into things and report back.
It is worrisome that long-term plans are not in place to address these issues with the goal being safe and sustainable roadways.
And finally, the topic of the sewer budget and the designation of fees to each homeowner, became heated due to the frustration on the part of the attendees as to the lack of an informed explanation by borough officials.
The Mayor asked Chris Ridings to contact the auditors in order for them to review the situation and report their feedback. He would not give us a date as to when the report would be shared and when pressed, said maybe January.
It was stated that the sewer budget includes the repayment of 2 bonds, which will be paid in full by 2028 and 2032. Again, this action was directed to Chris Ridings. After our investigation, the
bonds are set to mature in 2032 and 2034 and were to be used for water/sewer capital projects.
As you can see, there are many unanswered questions to important topics and of even more concern is the attitude of the officials when asked about these issues. This is why the CTWWW has to continue to grow and remain active in forcing our elected officials to do their jobs.
If you or your family members have any questions or thoughts, please email us. Your voice, your attendance at meetings and your financial support matter.
Thank you for all three.
The next Borough Meeting is Friday, November 2nd. Hope you can make it.