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.
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.
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 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.
Not sure when this picture is from? If I had to guess, I’d say It’s most likely from the 1930’s by the look of the women’s bathing suits. Anyway, you’ll notice they are running barefooted not a great idea back when all BWs had yellow pine decks. Those old decks splintered easily and wore out in 5-10 yrs. Even today Ocean City and Wildwood still have these old-style BW decks. Margate probably won’t use pine when the day comes to choose decking. The MBC endorses Black Locust instead of Pine or Ipe wood.
A great shot of the old Margate Pier back before 1944. Like Ventnor Pier today the old Pier once had a Boardwalk behind it. Even today the old Boardwalk right away still exists behind the present Pier.
On August 19th The Margate Boardwalk Committee wrote the Margate City Commission asking for a response to our presentation and submissions we gave the previous Thurs. Aug 15th at the City Commission meeting. We received a written response on Aug. 26th. The response was from the City Administrator Mr. Deany. It basically said that the City Administration would read our Report and get back to us. It did not, however, mention the Petition with its over 600 signatures. It’s fair to assume that since the Petition is essentially a political document that the City Administrator was not authorized to respond to it. Hopefully, the Commission itself eventually will. I’m sure they realize in any event whether they do or don’t, this will not end the matter. It’s our Committee’s belief and it’s policy that for the moment ONLY the people of Margate can settle this issue one way or another. We will, therefore, continue to act and to move toward that day.