Downside of Uncontested Local Elections in Ventnor, Margate and Jersey Shore.

Margate Ventnor
Jersey Shore Politics

It’s only gonna get worse in towns like Ventnor and Margate. Uncontested local elections. The lack of opposition candidates along the Jersey shore. A shrinking, full-time residency plays a major role here.

Over time, an ever-dwindling group of full-time Jersey Shore residents will select our elected leadership. While fine for those protecting the status quo, this doesn’t bode well for 2nd homeowners.

Second homeowners make up 75% of the local tax base. These taxpayers have no voting rights or proper representation.

Only one challenger in Margate.

Last year, Margate had only one opposition candidate for the 3 commission seats up for grabs. Margate incumbents, Becker, Amodeo & Blumberg were able to avoid scheduled ‘Meet the Candidates’ town halls and debates. All three were re-elected with embarrassingly low, voter turn-out.

This year, no one is challenging the 3 Ventnor incumbents, Holtzman, Landgraf and Kriebel.

What to do? At the very least, some join or form a taxpayers / homeowners association. Margate and Ocean City have one. Ventnor does not.

Un-challenged. Is that a good thing?

Ocean City’s Fairness in Taxes (FIT) has accomplished much. Most recently, FIT stopped the OC Mayor from overpaying for a shuttered car lot. This effort saved OC taxpayers millions. Read more about Klause Property here.

After just one year, The Margate Homeowners Association (MHA) has grown to over 300 paid members. Margate leadership has taken notice. The collective voice of MHA membership helped stop plans for more high-rises along the beach, among other controversial moves that often get voted on during off-season, when few taxpayers are in town.

FROM NPR > There’s a decreasing willingness of citizens to serve in state and local government, says Adam Myers, a political science professor at Providence College who’s studied the issue.

Myers believes it’s a bad sign for democracy when voters aren’t presented with at least two options in a race. And he says, the problem tends to get worse the further down ballot a race is.

“We don’t have the same data on local races, but we have every reason to believe that the percentage of local races — so school board races, city council races, etc — that are uncontested is even higher.”

Read more about Uncontested Local Elections on NPR.

2 thoughts on “Downside of Uncontested Local Elections in Ventnor, Margate and Jersey Shore.”

  1. This is the main reason that the 3 Amigos are so corrupt. Remember the old saying “Power corrupts, absolute power absolutely corrupts”. It’s a shame, this nice well to do beach town is so rotten on the inside, it’s only a matter of time before it shows on the outside!

  2. I am writing to clear up a misimpression that many may have after reading “Downside of Uncontested Local Elections” which stated that Ventnor does not have a taxpayers/homeowners association. As President of the St. Leonard’s Association (SLA), which is a homeowners association formed in 1921 by residents of the St. Leonard’s Tract in Ventnor City, I can assure you that there is a homeowners association in Ventnor that is civically minded. The SLA regularly testifies before the Planning Board whenever a project is proposed that would adversely affect our historic neighborhood, as well as to support projects that are in keeping with our area’s heritage. In addition, last year SLA partnered with Ventnor City to have historic street signs installed in St. Leonard’s Tract. The SLA designed and paid for the signs and the City installed them. We are proud of our association as it is both a vibrant social organization and a local civic watchdog. Bill Sill, President, St. Leonard’s Association

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