Somers Point City Council Deliberates Property Vacating, Supports Veterans and Arts, and Addresses Litigation Matters

In a recent meeting, the Somers Point City Council confronted issues, including the proposed vacating of West Maryland Avenue, support for local veterans, enhancements in public safety, and involvement in community events. The council also addressed multiple litigations involving the city and authorized executive sessions to discuss these matters. Furthermore, the council showed unanimous support for the initiatives of the Arts Commission and the local VFW auxiliary’s essay contest winners.

A significant portion of the meeting revolved around Ordinance Number 2 of 2024, which pertained to vacating a portion of West Maryland Avenue in Somers Point. Resident John Hellig voiced concerns about the ordinance. The council members, particularly Councilman Joseph McCarrie, discussed the implications of the street vacation and the zoning board’s role in the process. McCarrie raised questions about potential contingencies related to drainage and the ordinance’s dependency on zoning board approvals. It was clarified that, regardless of the zoning board’s decision, the property owner would still own the vacated land. The council opted to table the ordinance until further clarity was obtained, highlighting the complexities involved in vacating city property.

The council also showed a strong commitment to supporting local veterans by discussing parking fee waivers for disabled veterans seeking parking permits. Members unanimously agreed on the importance of appreciating the sacrifices made by the country’s veterans and endorsed the recommendation to waive these fees.

The meeting included a presentation by Dan Myers from the Arts Commission, who proposed new events for the year and highlighted the need for improvements at the senior center. The council approved the program of activities for the Arts Commission and expressed enthusiasm for the proposed initiatives. The council also authorized an application for a Recreation Improvement Grant and the hiring of a full-time Public Safety telecommunicator.

In terms of community engagement, the council discussed their upcoming participation in the Atlantic City St. Patrick’s Day parade. They also approved social affair permit applications for Volunteer Fire Company number two and 609 Cornhole New Jersey Inc, reflecting support for local community organizations.

The subject of litigation was another focal point of the meeting. The council adopted Resolution Number 69 of 2024, authorizing an executive session on pending litigation involving Summers Point Diner Incorporated and John Exodos. Resolution Number 70 of 2024 and Resolution Number 71 of 2024 were also adopted, with the latter addressing litigation involving Bay Point Motel Incorporated and HPT IHG 2 Property Trust, as well as Anda SS versus the City of Somers Point.

Additional discussions at the meeting included the potential installation of a traffic light at the intersection of Ocean Heights and Shore Road. The council debated the county’s authority over the matter and the extent to which the city’s opinion would be considered in the county’s decision-making process.

Public comments further revealed residents’ concerns over the budget committee’s clarity during meetings and the city’s decision to vacate property in the face of a thriving real estate market. A resident disagreed with a specific project and questioned the rationale behind vacating rather than selling city property.

The meeting concluded with the approval of a bill list amounting to $2,291.35 and a motion to enter into an executive session following a brief recess.

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:
Jack Glasser
City Council Officials:
Janice Johnston, Joseph McCarrie, Sean McGuigan, Howard Dill, Richard DePamphilis, Mike Owen, Karen Bruno

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