Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Superior Court rules against Strathmere secession from Upper Township

Superior Court rules against Strathmere secession from Upper Township


Posted: Monday, October 25, 2010

A Superior Court judge ruled Monday that the Strathmere section of Upper Township cannot secede from the rest of the municipality.
“A significant decision was made today that certainly has a gigantic impact on the township,” Upper Township Mayor Richard Palombo said Monday night during the Township Committee’s regularly scheduled meeting.
He said the ongoing legal battle was the “most critical issue” he has faced in the 11 years he has been serving as the township’s mayor.
Municipal officials have been pitted against the Strathmere group since 2007, when 83 percent of registered voters signed a petition in hopes of seceding from the township and joining Sea Isle City, which shares the same island.
But in her ruling Monday, Judge Valerie Armstrong said the Upper Township Planning Board and the Upper Township Committee “more than adequately” explained their reasons for denying Strathmere’s request for secession, including financial loss to the township.
Upper Township would lose 17.5 percent of its $2.4 billion tax base if Strathmere left. Additionally, $4 million would be lost annually in township school taxes.
Strathmere residents have argued, however, that the township government does not pay enough attention to the island community’s needs. The group says Strathmere would be better served by Sea Isle City, which has a more similar tax base.

Armstrong previously upheld the township’s decision in 2007 to reject Strathmere residents’ petition. Voters subsequently compiled a second, more complete petition. That petition went through 14 months of Planning Board hearings, only to have the Planning Board recommend the Township Committee reject the petition — a recommendation the committee accepted.

Armstrong ruled Monday on residents’ appeal of those rejections.
“The denial of the deannexation petition was neither arbitrary nor unreasonable given the extensive record created before the Planning Board, and subsequently provided to and considered by the Township Committee in this matter,” Armstrong concluded.
Deputy Mayor Curtis Corson said that after the “tedious, long drawn-out process,” he was happy Armstrong ruled in favor of the Township.
“If this were approved, the ramifications would have been horrific for this committee,” Corson said during the meeting.
Although Palombo said he is happy Armstrong agreed with township officials, he does not want to gloat.
“I don’t think anyone wants to pound their chest about it,” he said. “But I still contend this was the right decision.”

Township Solicitor Dan Young also called the decision a success for the township. Young said the secession could cause “devastation” on the township’s tax base and a number of “social issues” in the community. He said he hopes there is no further appeal.
Armstrong’s decision can be appealed by the township or members of the Citizens for Strathmere & Whale Beach.
A phone call to former Gov. James Florio, who represents the Strathmere and Whale Beach residents, was not returned Monday. Neither was a phone call to George Welker, president of Citizens for Strathmere and Whale Beach.
Other bids to secede have been similarly unsuccessful. Avalon Manor lost its bid to break from Middle Township in 2004 after the courts rejected the appeal, and Diamond Beach dropped an effort to merge with Wildwood Crest after Lower Township agreed to provide better services.

Contact Caitlin Dineen:

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Strathmere Improvement Association October Newsletter

To All Strathmere and Whale Beach Homeowners and Visitors,

This Saturday, the Strathmere Fishing and Environmental Club will sponsor two more of their environmental projects.
At 11:00 am, residents and visitors are invited to join SFEC club members to participate in a second annual dune grass planting. We will meet on the beach at Sumner Road at 11:00 am. Last year, this event was a tremendous success and everyone who participated had a lot of fun. Please join us this year! Rain date will be Sunday, but it looks like Saturday will be a beautiful day in Strathmere.
At 4:00 pm at the Firehouse, the SFEC will present a special program by the Marine Mammal Stranding Center from Brigantine. The Center, which houses the only marine mammal stranding center in New Jersey, is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of stranded or otherwise stressed marine mammals and sea turtles. They do wonderful work and the presentation is guaranteed to be fascinating.

Refreshments will be served, and again the SFEC invites all residents and visitors to attend. In order to properly set up for the presentation, they ask that non-SFEC club members respond to this e-mail with the number of people in your group who will attend. There is no charge, but donations to support the SFEC's Environmental Committee will be welcome.

Here are pictures of last year's dune grass planting:

In between these Strathmere events, you can scoot over to Ocean City for lunch and fun at their Fall Block Party from 5th to 14th streets on Asbury Avenue. It includes over 400 juried crafters from throughout the East Coast. There will also be a variety of food vendors and entertainment along the route.

A huge fireworks display is scheduled in Ocean City Saturday night. The fireworks will be detonated from a barge off the 9th Street beach at 9:30 p.m.

Strathmere Baseball Caps ($15) and Visors ($12) are are available at 212 Bayview Drive (call 263-6846). We also have a few adult XXL and adult small Strathmere tee shirts ($10).

Our thanks to all who have paid their 2010 SIA Dues ($10 annually per adult). If you have been meaning to send them in - we're still happy to accept them!

You can contact us by responding to this e-mail (sia6@comcast.net) or by mailing the SIA at P.O. Box 57 in Strathmere.

Go Phils!!!

Thanks to all for your continuing support!

Butch Vandegrift - President
Ken Weaver - Vice-President
Donna Diefenderfer - Treasurer
Debbie Vandegrift - Secretary

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Schiavo Library: October Newsletter

Schiavo Library: October Newsletter

    Programs for fall: Community Night: Thursday evenings: 6:00 - 8:00pm. We'll have fun with movies and the Wii games. Watch for announcements of upcoming movie features
     Used Book Sale Our used book sale in September was very successful. We had lots of people stop into the library for the first time and they loved it. We also made $401, which will help buy new books and DVD's. Thanks to everyone for their book donations.
    New Bestsellers: There are a few of our newest books (fiction and nonfiction). Hope you see some that you just HAVE to read:
  • Sizzling Sixteen by Evanovich
  • So Cold the River by Koryta
  • Fly Away Home by Weiner
  • Adam & Eve by Naslund
  • Grand Design by Hawking
  • Outliers: The Story of Success by Gladwell
  • Women, Food and God by Roth

    Display Idea: I think fall would be a great time of year for a decoy display. I have one decorative decoy and one nice bird carving - not enough for a whole showcase. Does anyone have any decoys or bird carvings that they would like to display at the library? Please call me (486-6265) or email the library (info@strathmerelibrary.org) with suggestions. And thanks again to Carol Baker for her wonderful display of bathing beauties for our summer visitors.  
      Attendance in September: We had a great month here at the library. Maybe it was the weather or maybe just our wonderful facility or exciting book sale, but we had 425 people visit the library in September (compared to 284 last year)! What a great accomplishment; couldn't have done it without my assistants, Jessica and Joan, and hard-working volunteer, Marion. Thanks!!
      Christine Rohrman, Library Director