ADA (American with Disabilities Act ) Ramps – The borough was awarded a $400,000 grant from the New Jersey DCA (Department of Community Affairs ) to provide ADA access to the beach and police department along with ADA compliant parking stalls at both locations and an automatic door at the police department. The beach ramp has been completed with the exception of cement work at the bottom of the ramp needing to be fixed. The police department ramp has not been started as of yet.
Arbitration – is usually a binding process that allows parties in a dispute to come to a final resolution of their disagreement. In most cases, court is not an option when the arbitration concludes. In arbitration, the parties submit their disagreement along with all pertinent details to an arbitration attorney who will function more or less like a judge, hearing evidence and then issuing a binding decision. Arbitration is conducted much like a trial and usually lacks the give and take of compromise that can characterize mediation.
BOWW ( Borough of West Wildwood )– West Wildwood was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 21, 1920, from portions of Middle Township. There are 981 total ratable (taxable) properties broken down as follows:
– Vacant land – 177
– Residential – 793
– Commercial – 11
228 property owners (23%) have a West Wildwood mailing address while 753 property owners (77%) have an out of town mailing address.
Relevant statistics and information can be found on Wikipedia at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Wildwood,_New_Jersey
BRADY LETTER / LISTS – Police officers with Brady letters or on a Brady list are considered to have lied or misrepresented facts in the past. That fact must be disclosed to the defense attorney of anyone charged with a crime by that officer. The officer’s credibility has been questioned and impacts their ability to testify.
CMCMUA (The Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority) -operates a sanitary landfill, a transfer station and a recycling, reuse and waste reduction program. See https://www.cmcmua.com/ for more information.
COAH (Coalition on Affordable Housing)– A state agency responsible for establishing and monitoring municipal affordable housing obligations in New Jersey. Currently BOWW has immunity from COAH developers thru August 2019 and is in the process of petitioning the state to seek immunity through 2025. See https://www.state.nj.us/dca/affiliates/coah/index.html for more information.
Consolidation of Entities or Boroughs – is the joining of two or more entities to form one new, larger entity. All of each entities assets and liabilities then become the property of the new entity. Once a consolidation is complete, the original entities are defunct and no longer exist. For example, City of Wildwood consolidates with Borough of West Wildwood, City of North Wildwood and Borough of Wildwood Crest. They call the new entity ‘The Greater Wildwoods’. The separate entities no longer exist.
Consolidation of Services – Allows the BOWW to partner with other local municipalities and share expertise and lower costs of a specific service. For example, the BOWW currently has shared service agreements with the City of Wildwood for police dispatch, municipal court services and emergency medical services.
Eminent domain – The right of a government or its agent to expropriate (take away) private property for public use, with payment of compensation.
JIF (Joint Insurance Fund) -The BOWW is a member of the Atlantic County’s JIF. About 40 local municipalities participate in the JIF who provide workers comp, liability, property & casualty insurance, etc. as an alternative to commercial insurance or individual self insurance. See https://acmjif.org/ for more information.
JIF Appeal – In 2013, the MELJIF disclaimed coverage to the BOWW in regard to the whistleblower lawsuit filed by Jacquelyn Ferentz v BOWW. The MELJIF asserted BOWW breached the cooperation clause of the insurance policy citing specific examples including approving various resolutions by the commissioners, ie, reinstating and promoting Ferentz and settled Ferentz’s disciplinary appeal. In October 2017, a jury awarded Ferentz over $ 1.766 million. The taxpayers of BOWW are solely responsible for the jury award as the MELJIF denied coverage. The BOWW filed suit against the MELJIF for non coverage of the lawsuit. In April 2018, Judge Pickering of the NJ Superior Court, ruled in favor of the MELJIF citing breach of the cooperation clause by settling the disciplinary appeal which included the release that eliminated a defense for the BOWW . The BOWW appealed this decision and on July 8, 2019, Judge Pickering’s decision was affirmed leaving the BOWW taxpayers solely liable for the $ 1.766 award to Ferentz.
LFB (Local Finance Board ) – A program within the Department of the New Jersey LGS (Local Government Services) of the DCA (Department of Community Affairs). The LFB in the Division of LGS is statutorily responsibility for promulgating rules and regulations on the fiscal operations, fiscal reporting and overseeing the fiscal condition of all New Jersey municipalities, counties, local authorities and special districts. Administration of the Local Government Ethics Law is the responsibility of the Local Finance Board. Annual Financial Disclosure Statements for local officials, minimum ethical standards for local government employees, investigation of complaints and the issuance of advisory opinions all fall within the purview of the Board. See https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/ for more information.
LIVING SHORELINE – The Living Shorelines Project will protect the West Wildwood / 26th St Peninsula. It is a cost effective solution to protect the important marsh land habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife. The proposed engineering design includes a plan with rock breakwaters that effectively reduce the amount of wave energy experienced by the peninsula. The BOWW has engaged the Nature Conservancy as an advocate for The Living Coastline Project and coastal engineering experts. The Tidelines application has been completed and submitted to the New Jersey DEP (Department of Environmental Protection). The NJ DEP will determine how much funding will be provided for the project.
Master Plan – A planning document that serves to guide the overall character, physical form, growth, and development of a community. It describes how, why, where, and when to build or rebuild a city or town. It provides guidance to local officials when they are making decisions on budgets, ordinances, capital improvements,]; zoning and subdivision matters, and other growth-related issues. A master plan also provides an opportunity for community leaders to look ahead, establish new visions and directions, set goals, and map out plans for the future. Properly done, a master plan should describe where, how, and at what pace a community desires to develop physically, economically, and socially. In short, a master plan functions much like a roadmap or a blueprint; it is a guide to the future.
Mawhinney Lawsuit – Jeremy Mawhinney alleges he was wrongfully terminated from his position as a BOWW police officer. Mediation recently occurred and there was no resolution. Since a settlement was not reached during mediation, the lawsuit is now in the discovery phase.
Mediation – Mediation is a form of dispute resolution that is best suited for use with minor disputes. Because mediation is non-binding, the parties retain the right to go to court afterwards, if the settlement is not satisfactory. A typical process involves a mediation attorney talking in turns with both sides of the dispute, trying to arrange a solution that will be acceptable to both parties. Because court remains an option if the mediation fails, mediation does not work well when the parties choose to be unreasonable.
MEL (Municipal Excess Liability) – The MEL provides excess insurance to JIF members. The NJMEL is the largest municipal property casualty pool in the country. The MEL consists of 19 JIFs and covers over 60% of the local governments. The BOWW is a member of the Atlantic County JIF who partners with the NJ MEL. See https://njmel.org/ for more information.
Merger – When one entity takes over another entity, including all assets and liabilities. The entity that takes over remains active, while the other one that is acquired essentially ceases to exist. For example, if the City of Wildwood merges with Borough of West Wildwood. They keep the new entity’s name, City of Wildwood. The Borough of West Wildwood no longer exists.
Nepotism – The practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.
Per NJ MEL policy recommendation:
Unless otherwise provided by law (or New Jersey Department of Personnel rule if the position is subject to Civil Service) or collective bargaining unit agreements, immediate relatives shall not be hired, promoted or transferred to a regular full-time or regular part-time position where:
- One relative would have the Municipality to appoint, remove, discipline or evaluate the performance of the other;
- One relative would be responsible for auditing the work of the other; or
- Other circumstances exist that place the relatives in a situation of actual or reasonably foresee conflict of interest.
For purposes of this policy, immediate relative includes spouse or significant other, child, parent, stepchild, sibling, grandparents, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, grandchildren, niece, nephew, uncle, aunt, or any person related by blood or marriage residing in an employee’s household.
NJ DCA (New Jersey Department of Community Affairs) – a State agency created to provide administrative guidance, financial support and technical assistance to local governments, community development organizations, businesses and individuals to improve the quality of life in New Jersey. The
DCA offers a wide range of programs and services that respond to issues of public concern including fire and building safety, housing production, community planning and development, and local government management and finance. See https://www.nj.gov/dca/about/index.html for more information.
OPRA – Open Public Records Act Allows the public to access government records in New Jersey. A sample form may be found at: https://westwildwood.org/public-documents/opra/
Ordinance – a local legislative law. Although the method of enacting an ordinance will vary from municipality to municipality, they are generally passed by a legislative body (commissioners) and signed by a local executive (mayor), and subsequently enforced by local police and district attorneys. It should be noted that an ordinance can be repealed only by another ordinance and not by resolution. An ordinance prescribes some permanent rule of conduct or government to continue in force until the ordinance is repealed.
Resolution – a formal expression of opinion or intention agreed on by a legislative body (commissioners), typically after taking a vote. It is a non-binding and unenforceable. They are often not signed or endorsed by the local executive (mayor). A resolution encompasses all actions of the municipality other than ordinances. A resolution deals with matters of special or temporary character.
Tort Claim – A federal or state act which, under certain conditions, waives governmental immunity and allows lawsuits by people who claim they have been harmed by torts or wrongful acts, including negligence, by government agencies or their employees. Before the enactment of tort claims act, government bodies could not be sued without the specific permission of the government.
WALSH ACT FORM OF GOVERNMENT – The BOWW has a non partisan, commission form of government. Three members are elected to serve concurrent four year terms. The elected commissioners decide among themselves who will serve as mayor and in the case of BOWW, commissioner of public safety, public works and finance.