The Margate Boardwalk Committee petitioned The Board of Commissioners of Margate this summer asking them to hold a Poll of the taxpayers and concurrently or sequentially a referendum of the voters on the question of whether to build a new Citywide Boardwalk in Margate. 614 residents of Margate signed that petition and we gave it to the Commissioners on 8/15 /2019 at the public meeting that day. We never received any formal response as regards its request. We did, however, get an indirect response a few weeks ago from the City Administrator Mr. Richard Deany, when in an article written by Nanette Lobiondo of the online periodical ( The Downbeach.com). mentioned that the City rejected the idea of a poll or referendum being held at this time. The reason given was that he felt the public didn’t have enough information about the Boardwalk project to make an informed decision. Ironically, this is a week after the City Administrator himself had presented the Commission a 7 page Staff response to our 27-page Report ( “A Margate Boardwalk for the 21st Century”), , which we had also given to the Board of Commissioners on 8/15. Previous to all of this public information City Eng. Mr. Ed Walberg had also given the city another Report in Aug. 2018 on the possibility of a new Boardwalk being constructed in Margate. In Nanette’s article, I had also been interviewed about the topic of a poll or referendum and said the public already had lots of detailed information from our Committee from the City and endless media stories on this Project and they should at this juncture be polled or surveyed at a min. to see what their opinion is. To say there isn’t enough information out here to conduct a poll or a referendum is in our opinion just an attempt to make this issue go away without allowing the residents of Margate to have any say about it. We are not going to not allow this to happen.
Developing the INITIATIVE
To that end, the Margate Boardwalk Committee and an associated group of 5 Petitioners ( required by law) has decided to use NJ State law regarding Referendums and Initiatives for Commission cites and towns like Margate. We are in the process of developing an Initiative ( Ordinance), to be presented to the Margate Commission ASAP. If they adopt it Margate’s voters and possibly the taxpayers will get the opportunity to vote or be polled on this issue. If the Commission however rejects the Initiative the voters will still get to vote to adopt it in a “special election” to be held within 40 – 60 days after its rejected. In other words, once we have the needed number of signatures on our new petition that are required to present it to the Commission there will be some kind of vote put to the registered voters on the Boardwalk issue. For more information about the MARGATE BOARDWALK INITIATIVE please contact us @ Seadogoxox@gmail.com
Mel Taylor, editor of the Downbeach gives us a sharp even biting analysis of the present regime in Margate and what he sees as it’s somewhat arrogant disdain for the majority of the residents in Margate. Take a read and leave a comment.
Good article by Nanette Lobiondo last week regarding a conversation I had with her and her subsequent talk with City Administrator Richard Deany. I believe at one point in that conversation we finally got some idea of the City Commission’s thinking on this whole situation.
“The position of the City of Margate at this time is that such a poll as requested is not necessary or even helpful, and if desired, is way premature,” Deaney said in a statement. “No capital project undertaking of the magnitude proposed by Mr. Klotz and the Margate Boardwalk Committee ($24 million) begins with a poll.”
Asking people if they thought having a boardwalk would be a “nice amenity for Margate” would draw many positive responses, Deaney said, but doing the poll “does nothing to move the discussion forward.”
It’s pretty clear from the quote above that the City doesn’t desire to hear what the residents or the voters have to say about this subject and are even worried it might attract a lot of favorable responses. In any event, it appears they’re not interested in knowing. This is odd since a year ago in a meeting with Commissioner Amadeo he’s the one that proposed a public poll as a start of the process, now it seems that’s not such a good idea anymore. It’s also strange since last winter we received a letter from the Commissioner’s essentially asking us to send them $ 5,000 for the fees to cover an application to the NJDEP to start the process of actually getting approval from the State for this project. Now everything is premature etc., you figure it out? Anyway, we’ve been pretty consistent from the start of this whole thing that ONLY the residents of Margate should make the final decision ( locally) on this issue, but it appears the City Commission doesn’t agree. Unfortunately for the Commission State law says otherwise. Anyway, take a read of the entire article it’s well written and it’s accurate.
City Administrator Richard Deaney
Re: Margate Staff Response to the Boardwalk Report
We have received and reviewed the Margate Professional Staff Response (dated October 16th, 2019) to our Boardwalk Proposal (as stated in A Margate Boardwalk for the 21st Century, July 1, 2019 prepared by The Margate Boardwalk Committee). While we have questions, comments, concerns and just plain differences of opinion with some of the points being made, we appreciate that the intent of this document is to “raise questions, generate discussion and give the professional opinion of Margate City” staff. Thank you. We intend to directly address these questions in the near future and continue the “conversation.
”For the record, we would like to point out that the path we have followed in advocating for a Boardwalk was dictated by three requests we received over the last year from Margate Commissioners:1. From Commissioner Blumberg for our Boardwalk-advocacy group’s report analyzing the necessity of having a Margate Boardwalk built and for a Public petition asking for a referendum on the Boardwalk issue with a min. of 500 Margate resident signatures.2. From Commissioner Amodeo for a poll to determine the support for a Boardwalk among the voters and taxpayers of Margate.
At our appearance before the Margate Commission Meeting on Thursday, August 15th, we presented our report, highlighted our research findings and asked for it to be formally entered into the record.At that same time, we also presented a petition signed by 614 Margate residents asking the city to sequentially convene a (third party) public poll of all property owners in the city on the question of building a Boardwalk in Margate and depending upon the results of the poll possibly followed by a public referendum for local voters. This was done to demonstrate widespread support, not necessarily for a Boardwalk itself, but for a process that would capture and represent the will of the people. We believe that the decision whether or not to build a Boardwalk in Margate, should be made by the entire community – voters and non-voting taxpayers.
We therefore respectfully ask that the City Commission respond to our petition’s request for a 3rd party poll and or a referendum, as soon as is reasonably possible.
The Margate Boardwalk Committee Inc.
Last Thurs. Margate City’s Administration released an author-less letter detailing the opinions of the various city dept. heads regarding our report “A Margate Boardwalk for the 21st Century,” which we placed on the public record at the Commission meeting this past Aug. 15th. Our report was prepared at the request of Commissioner Maury Blumberg. At the same meeting we also placed on the public record a petition with 614 taxpayer and voter signatures. The petition was also prepared and completed at the request of Commissioner Blumberg. The petition asked the Margate City Commission to hold a referendum and concurrently a 3rd party poll ( for the non-voting taxpayers) whether or not they would support the construction of a citywide non-commercial public boardwalk on Margate’s beach. We have yet to receive any reply from the city pertaining to the petition’s request. We intend to make further inquiries with the Commissioners as regards the petition. Finding out what the will of the people in Margate is on this issue, is our Committee’s primary short-term goal. If the City Commission agrees to or refuses to take any action to further that goal, it will determine our next course of action. We will report to you again as soon as we have that information and at that update, we will discuss where we go from there.
The Margate Boardwalk Committee will post its own response to the City letter soon.
The Margate Boardwalk Committee is in discussions with a member of the Margate Commission as regards the issue. Our Report ” A Margate Boardwalk for the 21st Century” is being reviewed for comment by the various Dept. heads of the Margate City Government. This review will eventually be given to the Commission, us and all of you. The Committee wants to be clear about this review. Whatever it is we won’t be satisfied until either all the taxpayers are polled or surveyed or at a min. the voters are polled or surveyed. We’re ok with either or both groups but this issue cannot be resolved by any one document or anyone groups positions on the issue. ONLY the voters at a min. can settle this issue in our view. The Commissioner indicated he also believes a poll/survey at this juncture would be a good idea. Both sides on the issue have gone on record with the Commission in public with the Commission essentially taking no public position one way or another. We believe such a situation warrants a public poll/survey at this point. A 3rd party poll or survey is an inexpensive way to find out where public sentiment is on the issue. If such a poll indicates majority support for the idea we believe that should then lead eventually to a binding public referendum.
A new Boardwalk in Margate would be a Climate-friendly, healthy addition to our town because it will give our people a new Public park and a new walkway/bike path to enjoy. It will take people out of their cars. and homes and get them running, walking, jogging and riding their bikes instead. It will improve everyone’s quality of life and literally save lives.
Here’s a graphic of what a new Margate BW would look like for over 80% of Margate’s beachfront homeowners. Not exactly in their living rooms is it.