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Message from the Mayor - March 28, 2023

On today’s agenda is the public hearing and council’s vote on adoption of the 2023 budget. Everyone’s had an opportunity to review the budget and it was presented in detail at the council workshop prior to its introduction last month. Obviously, we’re all pleased that this is a zero increase budget on the local tax rate - and there’s no doubt that it is always our objective to keep costs down for our taxpayers. But the fact is that our financial position is more than just cost control. We continue to not only maintain our city, but to enhance it. We’ve done all this by careful planning, and by spending wisely…and we’ve done this together - the administration, city council, and the public. I can never say enough about the tremendous benefits of working together; and I truly believe that what we do in Sea Isle and how we conduct ourselves leads to good things for our citizens, including fair, reasonable, and stable taxes.

Also on the agenda today are the public hearings for the two ordinances recommended by the administration to provide our police with tools to better ensure public safety. Ordinance 1693 prohibits backpacks on the city’s promenade, beaches, and beach street-ends after 10 p.m. during the summer season; and ordinance 1694 establishes a 10 p.m. curfew during the summer season for minors under the age of 18. The curfew ordinance includes a number of common-sense exceptions that permit minors to be out after 10 p.m.

As I’ve previously stated, and as we’ve discussed publicly, our city solicitor has researched the constitutionality of these ordinances; and the fact of the matter is that these ordinances are not severe. They require the police to provide multiple warnings and opportunities for compliance before taking further action. Importantly, these ordinances address concerns raised by our citizens. As I’ve said before - we have a responsibility to the public; and we’ve talked about this enough.

It’s time to hear from the public; and for the council to vote on these ordinances.

I want to mention an incident that occurred last week in the City, when 8 dolphins were stranded on our beaches around 52nd street. This was ultimately a heartbreaking and disturbing event, but I want to commend all of those who were involved in responding to the situation. Police, Public Works, EMS and others all worked tirelessly to try to save these magnificent animals. They worked in concert with the experts from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center to keep several of the dolphins alive until the Stranding Center staff could attend to them. As we all know, unfortunately, the dolphins had to be euthanized. I mention this event today for two reasons – one, it’s another example of the city – public workers and our citizens - coming together and doing whatever it takes to respond to the situation at hand. It’s humanity at its best.

The second reason is that this event apparently raised additional questions and concerns about the possibility that these strandings are related to activities being performed in the ocean in advance of construction of the proposed wind farms. I caution everyone not to jump to conclusions. The fact is that Sea Isle is cooperating with other communities in Cape May County, and with the county government, to try to get many concerns and questions about the proposed wind farms properly addressed. The proposed wind energy project is a large issue – perhaps one of the largest issues we’ve faced in this region in recent history. Our objective is to get the facts before things go too far. This is too important and too large to rush.

As always, please remember we are one Sea Isle City and together we’ll be stronger than ever.

Mayor Leonard C. Desiderio

Message from the Council - March 23, 2023

The March 14 City Council meeting was brief, due to a short agenda. At the start of the meeting, the City’s Administration updated Council on the beach erosion that occurred during recent storms in Sea Isle’s south-end, and it was explained that the Public Works Department will be harvesting sand from other beaches to help rebuild areas that lost sand.

Also during the March 14 meeting, Ordinance 1692 was adopted following Second Reading and Public Hearing. This ordinance increases the fees for the Division of Recreation’s Summer Youth Basketball League, raising the fee by $15 per participant, which will help cover the increasing cost of supplies.

Each of the resolutions on the March 14 Consent Agenda was approved, including...

• Resolution 044, which approved the Purchasing Department’s most recent vouchers.

• Resolution 046, which awarded a contract in the amount of $774,000 to Arawak Paving Company, for the reconstruction of Central Avenue from 56th to 69th Street.

• Resolution 047, which authorized the award of a contract in the amount of $458,000 to Perna Finnigan, Inc., for water main replacement along Central Avenue from 40th Street to West Jersey Avenue and sanitary sewer replacement along 40th Street from Landis Avenue to Central Avenue.

• Resolution 048, which approved a Grant Application written by Sea Isle City’s Division of Recreation for the South Jersey Gas “Game on Grant” program.

• Resolution 049, which authorized the approval of a 50-50 On-Premise Raffle, hosted by the Yacht Club of Sea Isle City Sailing Foundation.

• Resolution 050, which designated the newspapers Sea Isle City will use for municipal publications (Ocean City Sentinel, Press of Atlantic City and Cape May County Herald).

• Resolution 051, which authorized a Purchase Order in the amount of $19,500 to Nickolaus Construction, for the refurbishing of the Dealy Field Hockey Court.

The next City Council meeting will take place at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, March 28, on the third floor of City Hall – and we hope to see you there!

Best regards from the members of City Council,

Council President Mary Tighe
Frank Edwardi
J.B. Feeley
William Kehner
Jack Gibson

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