The Margate Boardwalk Committee would like to thank the Margate City Commissioners for listening to the people of Margate ( the over 614 of them ) that signed our petition last summer asking for a referendum on this issue . Recently, we have also been collecting signatures on a 2nd petition to place an Initiative / ordinance on the books in Margate asking for that referendum. That request has now thankfully been answered and this question will now be placed on the Nov. ballot, as a non-binding referendum that will direct the Commissioners on this question in the future. From the start of this process, almost two years ago, we’ve always believed this question warranted a referendum and we also still believe that the non-voting taxpayers deserve a poll on this issue as well. Whether the Commission decides to do that will be up to them. First, however the law of the State of NJ mandates that the voters have to be asked and that will now happen. From our point of view, we are now one step closer to a Boardwalk returning to Margate on the beach. It’s up to the voters in Margate now to take it to the next step. Ultimately, the State of NJ will also be brought into the process through the offices of the NJDEP. We never said it was going to be easy, but allowing the voters to say where they stand on this issue is a good place to start.
Today at the scheduled Margate Commission meeting, Stefanie Bloch, a member of the Margate Boardwalk Committee presented the Commissioners the Committee’s response to the City Administration’s Oct. 19th 2019 critique of our Report “A Margate Boardwalk for the 21st Century”, which we presented the Commission in Aug. of 2019 at another Commission meeting. That response is presented above.
The entire Margate Boardwalk Committee appeared at the mid-winter meeting of the Margate Homeowners Association this past Sat. 2-15 -2020. The Committee was there to update the MHA on its activities of the past two years and to gather signatures on a new Petition it had developed for Margate Voters to sign. It also did a Q & A at the end of its presentation. The Petition is to get a referendum on the ballot this year asking voters whether or not they are in favor of building a new BW on the beach in Margate. The Committee members answered a variety of interesting questions from the audience. We were very successful collecting signatures from many of those in attendance that were locally registered voters.
Initiative / Ordinance No. __ 2020
REGARDING CITY OF MARGATE CITY’S PARTICIPATION IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF A CITYWIDE NON-COMMERICAL BOARDWALK UPON IT’S PUBLIC BEACHES BEGINNING FROM VENTNOR CITY N. J’s PUBLIC BOARDWALK AT FREDRICKSBURG AVE. AND EXTENDING SOUTH TO COOLIDGE AVE. ON THE BORDER WITH LONGPORT, NJ
WHEREAS, The Committee of the Petitioners, Kenneth Davidson (8015 Monmouth Avenue, Margate City, N.J. 08402), Gregg Lichtenstein (411 N. Exeter Avenue, Margate City, N.J. 08402), Lori Klotz (118N. Barclay Ave. Margate City, N.J. 08402), Robert Bloch (4N. Brunswick Ave. Margate City, N.J. 08402), and David Grossman (308N. Jerome Ave., Margate City, 08402) desire to place an Initiative / Ordinance upon the books and public records of Margate City, N.J. as a means of ascertaining the sentiment of the voters of Margate City regarding constructing a citywide, non-commercial boardwalk upon Margate City’s public beaches which boardwalk would attach to the Ventnor City boardwalk at Fredericksburg Avenue in Ventnor City, N.J. and extend southward to Coolidge Avenue at Margate City’s border with Longport, N.J. utilizing public funds, bonds, grants and or private endowments for such a boardwalk construction; and
WHEREAS, the intent of this Initiative / Ordinance is to place the question of whether or not to construct a citywide, non-commercial boardwalk, as specifically set forth herein, on a ballot in a NON – BINDING REFERENDUM to determine the sentiment and desire of the voters of Margate City, N.J. regarding such a project, thus giving the City Board of Commissioners direction on this issue; and
WHEREAS, this ballot question and the determination of the voters shall be advisory in nature and non-binding on the Margate Board of Commissioners.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Margate City Board of Commissioners hereby requests that the Atlantic County Clerk place the following question on the Nov. 3, 2020 General Election Ballot:
“Shall the City of Margate City construct a City-wide non-commercial Boardwalk upon its public beach extending from the Ventnor Boardwalk at Fredericksburg Ave. to Coolidge Ave. on Longport N.J.’s border, utilizing public funds, bonds, grants, and or private endowments for this purpose.”
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following interpretive statement concerning the above question be placed on the Nov. 3, 2020 General Election Ballot for the City of Margate City:
“This question if approved by the Voters will provide advice (not authorization) to the City of Margate Board of Commissioners to construct a non-commercial City-wide Boardwalk upon its public beach extending from the end of Ventnor City’s public Boardwalk at Fredericksburg Ave. to Coolidge Ave. at Longport, NJ’s border. “
If you’re a Margate voter this is the year you are going to get to vote on whether or not you want a new Boardwalk in Margate !!
The Petitioners Committee for a Boardwalk Initiative has been organized. They have all signed a petition of nomination to be handed to the City Clerk ASAP. The five petitioners are all Margate City resident voters. ( none of them are members of the Margate Boardwalk Committee Inc.) They will also hand in the wording of the Initiative to the City at the same time. Once all of this has been approved by the City Clerk a legal number of signatures of Margate voters necessary to activate the Initiative will be given to The Petitioners Committee.
Once the legal number of signatures is gathered and the signatures are certified by the City Clerk the Initiative will be given to the Margate City Board of Commissioners to be read onto the public record at the next scheduled Commission meeting. If it’s going to get the Commission’s stamp of approval it must be read again onto the public record a second time two weeks later, or at the next scheduled Commission meeting. Then it has to be advertised for 20 days. After the 20 days, it becomes law in Margate. Since the wording is going to ask for a non-binding public referendum on the Boardwalk issue be held, one would then be scheduled for within 40 – 60 days from the date it’s approved ( after the 20 day period.) If the Commission rejects the Initiative at the first reading, State law requires a “special election” to be scheduled within 40 – 60 days to allow the voters to approve of the Initiative or not. In other words, once the Initiative reaches the Commissioners there will almost certainly be an election about the Boardwalk one way or another. Maybe even two. But more about that later, for now, let’s take this one election at a time.
A Margate Boardwalk Committee updater: The wording for our Initiative has been handed to the City Clerk today for review. The next step will be to submit the petitions of notification from the five petitioners. Once this is all approved of by the City Clerk & the City Attorney we will begin the process of collecting the specified ( by the City Clerk) number of local voter signatures necessary for the Initiative to be placed before the City Commission in a public meeting.
As 2019 comes to a close the MBC is busy preparing its voter Initiative for the ballot sometime in 2020. We are also in process of updating our Report ( “A Margate BW for the 21st Century” ) & will have a second bigger edition of it ready sometime in Jan. / Feb. 2020. Along with it, we are also developing an updated version of our public Presentation that will be available for the Initiative election campaign in 2020. On top of all of that, we are also busy preparing a detailed answer to the City Administration’s response to the 1st edition of our Report. So, although you might not be hearing as much about us in the media these days it’s not because we’ve gone away or given up, in fact, we are busy working even harder to get a new BW built in Margate in all our lifetimes. Nobody said this was going to be easy.