Friday, September 21, 2007

Strathmere Democrat enters race for seat on Upper Twp. Committee

Strathmere Democrat enters race for seat on Upper Twp. Committee

By MICHAEL MILLER Staff Writer, (609) 463-6712
(Published: July 17, 2007 in The Press of Atlantic City)
UPPER TOWNSHIP — An optician and Democrat from Strathmere is running for Township Committee this year.

Steve Nickelsberg said he grew fed up with government bureaucracy this year when the state Department of Environmental Protection would not let him build a wind turbine in his backyard without expensive coastal permits.
Now he wants to improve things from the inside. He will join Democrat Robert Vicario in challenging Republican incumbents Curtis Corson Jr. and Jay Newman for two seats.
Nickelsberg echoed the complaints of many of his neighbors who want to break away from Upper Township to join Sea Isle City.

“Our taxes are getting completely out of hand,” he said. “I refuse to be a politician who says I’ll never raise taxes and then realize I can’t keep that promise. But before I said OK to a tax, I’d make sure there were no other alternatives, all the fat is gone, there is nothing left to pull from anywhere.”

Nickelsberg owns the Ocean City Vision Center on Asbury Avenue. He serves on the Strathmere Volunteer Fire Company and has lived in Upper Township for about 20 years. Before he moved to Strathmere, he lived in Petersburg.
In Corson, Nickelsberg challenges an opponent with the longest tenure on the Township Committee. Corson also helps prepare the township budget.
“Competition is good. It makes everyone work a little harder,” Corson said.

But Corson dismissed Nickelsberg’s anti-taxation platform. Township residents pay no local-purpose tax.
“There are no tax issues in Upper Township,” Corson said. “You can’t improve on zero.”

Nickelsberg said as a committeeman, he would lobby for administrative consolidation among Cape May County’s school districts to cut school taxes, which account for the majority of the tax bill in Upper Township.
He describes himself as independent and admits he has no political experience.
“I’m as green as green can get,” he said.
Last year he made news for a dispute with the DEP over a 40-foot windmill he wanted to build outside his home. He wanted to power his home with wind instead of coal used by the township’s B.L. England power plant.
But the DEP said he needed a coastal permit, which made the project exorbitantly expensive. The state also offers grants and loans for green-energy projects such as solar or wind.
“Only in New Jersey would you find the state funding and fighting the same project. That’s part of the thing I’d like to see disappear,” he said.

The election is Nov. 6.

To e-mail Michael Miller at The Press:

No comments: