Bradley Beach Council Grapples with Budget and Police Chief Retirement

The recent Bradley Beach Borough Council meeting delved into several issues, among which the budget delivery delay and the retirement of the town’s police chief sparked discussion and debate among council members and residents. The meeting, focused on a myriad of community concerns, also served as the platform for the Department of Public Works (DPW) to present an extensive overview of their activities, and for the Shade Tree Commission to highlight its achievements and plans for enhancing the borough’s tree canopy.

A key issue that emerged during the council meeting was the delay in the budget delivery. Concerns were raised about the administration’s pattern of delays, with frustration expressed over the late introduction of the budget in previous years and the lack of information shared with the council. The new Chief Financial Officer’s track record was mentioned, and the need for time to analyze the budget once it is delivered was emphasized.

The retirement of the town’s chief of police was another focal point of the meeting. A resident questioned the decision to allow the chief to retire and collect his pension despite reported infractions. In response, it was stated that the prosecutor’s office had conducted an investigation and provided guidance on the matter. This led to further discussions about the culture and environment within the police department and the importance of addressing these issues to prevent future problems.

The council meeting also included the first official Department readout of the Public Works team. The presentation covered the department’s work across various locations, including the Community Center, Silver Lake, Fletcher Lake Bridge, and Main Street. The DPW manages a range of responsibilities from building maintenance and snow removal to sidewalk construction and municipal collaboration. The capital request discussion revolved around the need for equipment to ensure the safety and functionality of borough vehicles and infrastructure.

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The Shade Tree Commission’s presentation was another significant component of the meeting. The Commission reported on their successful efforts in planting approximately 150 trees from 2020 to 2023, achieving the status of Tree City USA in 2021, and securing a $155,000 grant for a tree inventory. The Commission also announced plans to update the shade tree ordinance to better align with state regulations and address concerns about the loss of trees due to construction. They emphasized the need for more trees to increase the town’s canopy cover and discussed the challenges involved.

Residents took the opportunity during public comments to raise various concerns and suggestions. The delay in budget delivery was a topic of frustration, with questions about the start of budget work for 2023. Concerns about the financial situation were also voiced, including questions regarding the cost and approval process for the Memorial Day Festival and the potential impact on taxpayers.

Moreover, the meeting touched upon environmental concerns, with a discussion about the use of gas leaf blowers and the potential switch to electric leaf blowers to reduce air and noise pollution. The reallocation of the DPW site for $5.4 million raised questions about the benefits of consolidating the site and its future use. The issue of free beach badges for non-residents was debated, as was the storm water management plan and the lake’s use as a retention basin.

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In addition to these discussions, the meeting covered various resolutions and ordinances. There was concern about the hiring of an attorney and the reimbursement process, with one council member urging, “Do not sit here and say what a wonderful job these guys do oh I will put you money where your mouth is.” The need for volunteers in the fire and first aid departments was highlighted, and updates were shared on various committees and community activities.

Other topics of interest included the establishment of a stewardship commission to reduce town spending and taxes, and the occupancy and funding for the Bii Center and summer music festivals. The bidding process for concessions on the boardwalk was scrutinized for inconsistencies, and the progress in Lake Terrace Park was acknowledged.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Mayor:
Larry Fox
City Council Officials:
Kristen Mahoney, John Weber, Al Gubitosi, Jane DeNoble

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