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.