Commissioners to Place Margate Boardwalk Question on November Ballot

Klotz. Margate Boardwalk.
Glenn Klotz Wants To Rebuild Margate’s Boardwalk.

Mayor Becker and the Commissioners have decided to ask local voters if they want to rebuild the Margate Boardwalk. The announcement was made during the March 5 Commissioners meeting. LISTEN >

Listen

Mayor Becker: there’s plenty of information and misinformation out there. Some in favor. Some against.

Becker’s suggestion: Let’s put it to a referendum. See what the people’s wishes are. This is too big of an issue to not do that.

Commissioner Amodeo agrees: This is a prudent thing to do. We’ll turn it over to Margate Solicitor John Scott Abbott. Note: It’s non-binding.

Margate will put Rebuild the Margate Boardwalk referendum question on November 2020 ballot.

Commish Amodeo: We’ll have the Margate engineer get involved. He’ll get some estimates & quotes.

Commish Maury Blumberg thinks it’s a good idea. Blumberg reportedly had signed a 2019 petition asking for a poll or survey of local residents.

John Amodeo: We need to know what the cost would be and the tax impact so the residents of Margate would have a full understanding, not just generalized numbers.

NOTE: Klotz and the committee are still looking to poll second homeowners as well.

The Margate Boardwalk Committee is happy that voters will finally get a chance to be heard.

Calvin Tesler of Margate Boardwalk Committee

A rebuilt Margate Boardwalk would address the problems created by the controversial dune project.

Those with walking challenges were especially harmed by the beach replenishment project forced on coastal towns by Gov Chris Christie.

A boardwalk would provide a gathering place for residents and visitors too. It’s best to keep walkers, joggers and bikers out of the street.

Read More: “A Margate Boardwalk for the 21st Century.”

Margate Boardwalk Committee Director, Glenn Klotz, was pleased to hear of the announcement.

From Glenn Klotz: The Margate Boardwalk Committee would like to thank the Margate City Commissioners for listening to the people of Margate ( the over 614 of them ) that signed our petition last summer asking for a referendum on this issue . Recently, we have also been collecting signatures on a 2nd petition to place an Initiative / ordinance on the books in Margate asking for that referendum. That request has now thankfully been answered and this question will now be placed on the Nov. ballot, as a non-binding referendum that will direct the Commissioners on this question in the future. From the start of this process, almost two years ago, we’ve always believed this question warranted a referendum and we also still believe that the non-voting taxpayers deserve a poll on this issue as well. Whether the Commission decides to do that will be up to them. First, however the law of the State of NJ mandates that the voters have to be asked and that will now happen. From our point of view, we are now one step closer to a Boardwalk returning to Margate on the beach. It’s up to the voters in Margate now to take it to the next step. Ultimately, the State of NJ will also be brought into the process through the offices of the NJDEP. We never said it was going to be easy, but allowing the voters to say where they stand on this issue is a good place to start.

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37 thoughts on “Commissioners to Place Margate Boardwalk Question on November Ballot”

  1. I think the boardwalk is an awesome idea. Keep those “donations” rolling in, the only way the corrupt 3 Amigos do anything is when they are well taken care of. Good work team, Go Margate!

  2. If the referendum is non-binding, then all taxpayers deserve input, not just the voters. This community belongs to all of us, especially when we all share the financial responsibilities.

    1. As a resident, it’s hard to stomach the idea of people that spend 16 weekend a year in Margate getting equal voting rights to those that have planted their roots here. Even if it’s non-binding.

      What’s next? Referendums to close schools? Laying off cops, firefighters, and EMTs? Cutting winter time public works?

      Sorry, if vacationers don’t like it here, it’s easy for them to move. When your whole life is set up around your home and community, it’s not so easy to move.

      1. MAC comment is totally inappropriate and only further aggravates an already decisive issue.
        Perry Weiner got it right. We are all in this together financially and if you push out 2nd home owners you may well lose your much needed tax base.
        Personally think a Boardwalk project would be devastating to OUR community.

        1. The “tax base” isn’t leaving over $220/year.

          The voting problem still remains. One person, one vote. We don’t sell more votes to people/companies that own more properties.

          I could buy 5 homes under 5 LLCs and now I have 5x the voting power of you. Is that fair?

      2. Are you suggesting that these voters (who pay the same property tax as you do) are somehow lesser residents and/or property owners, and who therefor are not entitled to the same rights as you?

    2. The Margate BW Committee agrees with you on this issue. Last summer we handed the Commission a petition with over 614 signatures of Margate resident property owners asking for a vote for registered voters and a poll of the non-voting property owners. We are pleased that it appears that the Commission has accepted our position on holding a vote on the issue this coming Nov. We will however continue to advocate for a taxpayer poll on the issue as well. If you are a Margate property owner please write , call or visit the Commissioners to express this position to them directly. We believe if enough of you do this they will eventually respond to your requests.

  3. If it’s going to be a non-binding referendum in November, why not do a direct mailing instead? Send a postcard ballot to every single homeowner and business owner in Margate. The Tax Department would have that readily available. Because while everyone may not be a full time resident able to vote in a general election in November, every tax payer will have to share in the burden of the cost. The Boardwalk is a nice idea, however Margate should prioritize it’s future expenditures and determine where the money can be spent best, to insure the future growth and health of it’s town, residents, businesses and tax payers. And, while I would love to have a boardwalk, I’m not sure it’s the best way to allocate so much money at this time, with Margate facing its other major issues.

    1. We can’t query all the tax payers, because we’d be opening up the city for sale to the highest bidder.

      If I had the means, I could form 500 LLCs, purchase 500 properties, and then I’d have 500 votes. I’d could force the town to sell off all of its assets. I could rename the town Caesars Casino City, and I could raise taxes enough to drive everyone out to build the largest amusement park in America.

      Now imagine if China did this, they have the money.

      The people that live here have the most to lose if the city fails. They lose their livelihood and home. That’s why we entrust in them to do the right thing.

  4. I was just wondering who gets to decide on the boardwalk? If it’s only the voting members of Margate, (the residents) then would they be the only ones whose taxes would go up? And how much will taxes go up with the building of a new boardwalk?

    1. Taxes go up for everyone and the estimate is about $220/yr.

      If you don’t have a free $220/yr living in Margate, then you can’t afford to live here to begin with. It’s rounding error.

  5. I think it’s a great idea, Frannie! That way everyone can weigh in. And if every home owner has to pay for it, then shouldn’t every home owner get a say?

  6. Why doesn’t every homeowner get a vote? Because this is America. One person, one vote.

    You vote where you live and that’s it. If someone from Wisconsin voted about what your home town does, you’d be pissed too.

    America is not “if you can afford more houses, you get more votes”. If you don’t agree with that, I promise you that there’s a richer person than you that would love to control your life and community.

  7. If taxes will be going up all those who pay taxes should vote. Each and every homeowner that pays taxes in Margate should have the opportunity to cast one vote on the Margate Boardwalk referendum.

    1. Let’s be real, it’s a $220/year increase. Most probably pay more in bridge tolls every summer.

      The problem with letting non-residents vote is that it opens voting to anyone. Non-citizens, corporations, investors. Anyone that has money to buy a property. People with no attachment to the community and no long term interests.

      Would you want your community to be run by rich Chinese foreign nationals that spend 16 weekends a year living there?

      If you’re willing to throw away 243 years of blood and sweat defending voting rights, to save $220/year, then yeah we might as well get rid of voting rights altogether.

    2. I agree with Frankie and Herb, every homeowner/ property taxpayer should get a vote. After all, we’re all going to potentially pay for it and deserve a voice. I’m personally undecided but everyone should have the opportunity to weigh in.

      1. Not that my opinion represents anything else more than just my opinion, but I have to say as a resident I’m embarrassed at times by the thought process of some of the other citizens in this town. Margate is becoming a microcosm of America. Where a small group wants to get all the attention while the majority just sits idly by and is made to suffer in silence.

        While I completely understand why vacation homeowners aren’t legally allowed to vote in a general election in two locations, I don’t understand why Margate residents treat them so disparagingly. And, since they prop up so much or our local economy and tax base, I see no reason why they can’t all voice their opinions on a nonbinding referendum. Without their tax dollars there will be other referendums to cut the school system, the police force, the fire department, public works and many other necessities. Why is it acceptable for us to accept their taxes but then not be willing to give them a voice when it comes to city decisions?

        The folks building all the McMansions are locals that are getting rich, not the vacationers. Are you jealous because you can’t afford a second home?

        So often, your words treat them as if they were the enemy. When in fact they obviously love Margate as much as we do to plunk down the amounts of money they do, to buy a second home here.

        The truth is Margate has some serious issues and if its year-round residency continues to drop the only people remaining will be the vacationers. Margate needs more reasons for folks to move here. They need more industries, white- and blue-collar businesses. It needs housing that is reasonable. Not cheap but reasonable for a younger family to be able to afford. It needs more housing for respectable seniors who don’t need a mansion, but rather a nice rancher. And, it needs more fun, as long as the fun is in a controlled area and abides by the laws of the city.

        If the city doesn’t remain strong more businesses will fail. I was in a well-established restaurant last evening at dinner time (Friday night). The entire restaurant seats approximately 160 patrons. There were thirteen of us there. No business can survive on 15 weeks and suffer through 37.

        Margate needs a healthier school system and it needs people to begin to handle the issues in order of necessity rather than personal priorities.
        I for one have no interest in my taxes quadrupling, but that is exactly what would happen if those vacationers didn’t own their homes. We as residents, represent only 25% of the seasonal population, so do the math!

        Whether the boardwalk gets built or not, will remain to be seen but this elitist attitude that some of you have, really is spiteful, unhealthy not only to others but also to our city’s best interest.

        1. Non-residents have no self-interest in maintaining many of our facilities. Our schools, year round fire department, police department, or waste management, among other things. They are here for 32 days a years. The locals depend on these things all-year, so they must remain the decision makers.

          Why would someone vote against their own self-interest? I mean the non-residents. They don’t need our schools. They don’t need our year round police department in its current form. They don’t need our street cleaners year round. They don’t need our waste management year round. They don’t need our fire staff year round.

          Letting non-residents vote for or against a boardwalk is the first step of a slippery slope. And the exact reason why the NJ Supreme Court doesn’t allow people to buy more votes.

          Sorry it doesn’t work out for you, but that’s how democracy works. We protect our voting rights. I’m a little in shock of all these voices ready to weaken voting rights to get what they want. They must forget that there are people richer than them and willing to do bad things if they can buy the votes.

          If you’re really upset, make Margate your primary residence. Sure, you’ll give up your voting rights in your current town. If you’re okay with others making decisions about your hometown for you, that’s a legal option.

  8. The problem is not the $220 per year tax increase. That is a drop in the bucket compared to the actual cost of living at the shore. The problem is what are we doing to our city? The dunes have already ruined the pristine landscape which used to be our beaches. Are we now going to further diminish the natural beauty of our shoreline? I am someone who has a problem getting over the dunes. A boardwalk is just going to be another obstacle. The shuttles have been a great help in getting seniors and the disabled over the dunes. Finally, if Margate had only year round residents paying taxes, just how high would those taxes be? The year round residents could not afford a boardwalk by themselves. All taxpayers should get a vote. Where would Margate be without the summer residents contributing to the tax base?

  9. Thanks for putting this on the ballot with a non-binding vote. In November, the Commisioners will get clear direction from the voters whether to go forward with this cockamamie idea. And when it fails, it will finally be put to rest. There are larger issues facing Margate like school under-utilization, back bay flooding, McMansions and pension funding that require addressing long before we spend $Millions to construct and maintain a boardwalk.

  10. All residents who pay taxes need to be heard. Personally think Boardwalk project totally unnecessary and would further destroy our beaches.

  11. Not that my opinion represents anything else more than just my opinion, but I have to say as a resident I’m embarrassed at times by the thought process of some of the other citizens in this town. Margate is becoming a microcosm of America. Where a small group wants to get all the attention while the majority just sits idly by and is made to suffer in silence.
    While I completely understand why vacation homeowners aren’t legally allowed to vote in a general election in two locations, I don’t understand why Margate residents treat them so disparagingly. And, since they prop up so much or our local economy and tax base, I see no reason why they can’t all voice their opinions on a nonbinding referendum. Without their tax dollars there will be other referendums to cut the school system, the police force, the fire department, public works and many other necessities. Why is it acceptable for us to accept their taxes but then not be willing to give them a voice when it comes to city decisions?
    The folks building all the McMansions are locals that are getting rich, not the vacationers. Are you jealous because you can’t afford a second home?
    So often, your words treat them as if they were the enemy. When in fact they obviously love Margate as much as we do to plunk down the amounts of money they do, to buy a second home here.
    The truth is Margate has some serious issues and if its year-round residency continues to drop the only people remaining will be the vacationers. Margate needs more reasons for folks to move here. They need more industries, white- and blue-collar businesses. It needs housing that is reasonable. Not cheap but reasonable for a younger family to be able to afford. It needs more housing for respectable seniors who don’t need a mansion, but rather a nice rancher. And, it needs more fun, as long as the fun is in a controlled area and abides by the laws of the city. If the city doesn’t remain strong more businesses will fail. I was in a well-established restaurant least evening at dinner time (Friday night). The entire restaurant seats approximately 160 patrons. There were thirteen of us there. No business can survive on 15 weeks and suffer through 37.
    Margate needs a healthier school system and it needs people to begin to handle the issues in order of necessity rather than personal priorities.
    I for one have no interest in my taxes quadrupling, but that is exactly what would happen if those vacationers didn’t own their homes. We as residents, represent only 25% of the seasonal population, so do the math!
    Whether the boardwalk gets built or not, will remain to be seen but this elitist attitude that some of you have, really is spiteful, unhealthy not only to others but also to our city’s best interest.

    1. Ocean city has a lower tax rate than Margate. Ocean City explicitly struck down allowing non-residents to vote just a few years ago. Ocean City has great schools and facilities.

      Stop the fear mongering, Frannie.

      1. Frannie got it right. Be inclusive. Ok to dislike Boardwalk concept and still love Margate. Glenn K. would probably do better
        If Mac wasn’t poisoning the water with his disparaging remarks.

        1. I’m protecting our voting rights. Can’t believe so many don’t care about them.

          If we allow non-residents to have a say in ANY matter, then a non-US citizen can influence our local government. That’s right… non-US citizens can own property in Margate. Many here want to make their opinion matter.

          Do you want Ecuador to buy up 51% of the homes in Margate, and then have power to do whatever they want with the place? I sure as heck don’t.

          Protect your voting rights is what I’m saying. People fought and died for those rights for hundreds of years. Don’t toss them away for nonsense.

    2. Start by voting out the corrupt 3 Amigos. The fish rots from the head and these three are the most corrupt in NJ and that’s saying something. Margate is rotting from the inside and soon it will really start to show on the outside. Boardwalk, big houses, parking, traffic, retail, etc. the issue starts and ends with the current government. Stop beating each other up, be respectful and realize where the real problems are. You know their names!

  12. MAC,
    I’m not looking to make any of this a personal attack on any single individual, again, I simply stated that it was my opinion, but since you have decided to mention me by name and have stated that I should stop the fear mongering, I would like to show everyone a synopsis of what you have written so far:
    So, your reasons for not allowing all legitimate taxpayers to voice their opinions on non-essential financial city issues are:

    “If I had the means, I could form 500 LLCs, purchase 500 properties, and then I’d have 500 votes. I’d could force the town to sell off all of its assets. I could rename the town Caesars Casino City, and I could raise taxes enough to drive everyone out to build the largest amusement park in America.”

    “If someone from Wisconsin voted about what your hometown does, you’d be pissed too.”

    “The problem with letting non-residents vote is that it opens voting to anyone. Non-citizens, corporations, investors. Anyone that has money to buy a property.”

    “Would you want your community to be run by rich Chinese foreign nationals that spend 16 weekends a year living there?”

    “Ocean city has a lower tax rate than Margate. Ocean City explicitly struck down allowing non-residents to vote just a few years ago. Ocean City has great schools and facilities.”

    “If we allow non-residents to have a say in ANY matter, then a non-US citizen can influence our local government. That’s right… non-US citizens can own property in Margate. Many here want to make their opinion matter.”

    “Do you want Ecuador to buy up 51% of the homes in Margate, and then have power to do whatever they want with the place? I sure as heck don’t.”

    I believe everyone with a shred of intelligence understands why no one should be able to vote multiple times in a single election or in multiple elections, although I’m willing to bet it’s already going on nationally. And, I also believe we have a governing body and that they would not allow a school system, police force, fire or public works department to be dissolved. But these are necessities and you don’t have a city without them. However, a boardwalk is not a necessity. We have lived without one for more than 70 years I believe.

    But since you mentioned OC, let’s discuss that a bit.
    OC swells to 10x it’s winter population in the summer. It’s full of hotels, motels and rental properties, hundreds of stores in town, $30 parking lots, multiple amusements and a boardwalk that spans nearly 11 blocks with store after store on its boardwalk. They have stacked more duplex and quadplexes into single building lots than their street parking can handle.

    All which kick in millions and millions into the city coffers, in addition to its real estate taxes. Maybe this is why OC has a lower tax rate than Margate. Wouldn’t you love to see Margate look like that?

    I’m not saying non-residents should have equal rights on every decision, they can’t. But on financial, non-essential issues I believe they should have equal standing like us year rounders.

    I also think all taxpayers, residents as well as non-residents should be worried about Margate and its future. We are all invested heavily, and we have larger more pressing issues than this boardwalk. It’s not the $220 per year you claim that bothers me.

    It’s not prioritizing our real issues and your paranoid stance that bothers me.
    Stop the fear mongering Mac!

    1. Ok, now let me sum that up for you. New Jersey law says that non-residents can’t vote. You want to work-around that law, thereby weakening the law. That’s the problem.

      Plenty of towns don’t have schools. Plenty of towns don’t have police forces. Plenty of towns don’t have fire depts. Plenty of towns require private waste removal. Any one of those can happen here.

      I’ll live with whatever the community decides, so long as it’s decided democratically. That is, the amount of houses you own doesn’t entitle you to more votes.

      1. Once again you go to the extreme. Why would everything close because vacation homeowners have a say in a non-essential item like a boardwalk? Listen, I get it. You want the boardwalk. I will too, if that is what we decide is the most important priority to preserve our city. Let’s put shops and restaurants on it to help pay for it, okay?

        And, I couldn’t agree with you more on at least two points. No one should have the right to vote twice on electing a governing body and right now it is the law in NJ.

        However, there are other states. like Arizona that have actually revised that law and have given second home homeowners the right to have a say in non-essential matters. It seems to be working there, so, maybe it’s time we change it in NJ also.

        1. > Why would everything close because vacation homeowners have a say in a non-essential item like a boardwalk?

          Simple. Vacation homeowners have no self-interest in maintaining these things year round. I expect no one to vote against their own self interest. Nor should they. That’s why these laws exist, to protect communities from outside influences. The problem was a known some 200 years ago.

          I get it. You want the amount of capital one possesses to map 1-to-1 to the amount of voting power they have. Sorry, it doesn’t work like that, at least for now. By and for the people. That’s why the laws exist.

          If you don’t agree, go to the NJ Supreme Court and fight it. I’ll continue to fight to make sure our voting rights remain strong. That’s the American way.

  13. I’ve never qualified as a resident of Margate City. My family has owned property here since
    1944. I spent entire summers here with my granny for over 15 years, shoveled sand from inside neighbors homes after every storm regardless of the season, and spent 100s of Monday mornings picking up discarded bottles from lawns and gutters in borrowed ACME (now CVS) carts from bay to beach during the wild years. I have consistently patronized Margate vendors for goods & services; and paid property taxes here for 50+ years.

    Many non-resident tax payers are simply summer weekenders. Many others (like myself) are in residence at least 2-3 days / week year round and full time Summer & Fall. No where in this Boardwalk debate has anyone suggested that non-residents deserve to vote — of course they don’t. My point is that we are all, more or less, supportive members of the Margate City Community and do not deserve to be demonized as uncaring interlopers. “Non-binding” input, whether from voting residents or from polling tax paying non-residents is just that — non-binding. Shouldn’t all people and commissioners (not LLCs) who fund the town provide and receive as much information as possible in advance of such life changing decisions?

    The boardwalk project is clearly non-essential compared with public works. As such it requires a fully vetted cost/benefit analysis. Divisiveness is dangerous and does nothing but perpetrate poor communication. Also not what any of us wish for our beautiful children in this wonderful town.

    Thanks for the forum!

  14. I have been a homeowner , and while I do not live in Margate year round, I spend the summer and as much other time there as I can for the past 42 years. I feel I have as much a right to vote as those living in Margate 12 months a year.
    If some of those residents go away for a portion of the winter, aren’t they still considered year round residents?

    1. > I feel I have as much a right to vote as those living in Margate 12 months a year.

      No, you have absolutely no right to vote. The NJ Supreme Court says so.

      If you make Margate your primary residence, then you can vote. You give up voting rights at your other residence though. Other people will get to make decisions for you in your home town. Fair, no?

      One person, one vote.

      1. Since it’s a non binding referendum, all taxpayers should begin to call the Mayor’s office and request that all taxpayers, whether year rounders or not and be included in this vote. Everyone may not get an official vote but if they are taking the temperature they might as well take it from every taxpayer.

        1. > Everyone may not get an official vote but if they are taking the temperature they might as well take it from every taxpayer.

          Also known as ‘weakening voting rights’. Are we going to do schools and a part-time police department next?

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