With each passing year, Jersey shore towns like Margate and Ventnor are not only losing full-time residents, but qualified voters as well. Could a perfect storm be brewing?
In the upcoming Margate Spring 2019 election, looks like their are NO challengers to the 3 incumbents; Amodeo, Becker and Blumberg.
An uncontested Margate election + fewer full-time residents + fewer voters + buckets of new tax money = not good for taxpayers. Especially 2nd homeowners.
But wait, it gets more interesting.
As full-time residency slides, there’s less of a local pool to find potential candidates. What your left with, are career politicians who become very confident. Too confident. All they gotta do is keep that ever-shrinking voter base marginally happy…and you’re good to go.
The upcoming Spring 2019 election in Margate.
The next Margate election will feature 3 incumbents with, so far, no opposition. I’m no political expert, but that’s just crazy. Borderline dangerous. Especially if you’re a taxpayer. Extra scary if you’re a taxpayer that doesn’t vote in Margate.
Term limits. Often talked about. Seldom enacted & enforced.
One-time opponent, Commissioner Maury Blumberg has teamed-up with former foes, Mayor Michael Becker and Commissioner John Amodeo.
Lack of opposition denies voters the chance to hold candidates accountable in a meaningful way. With no opponent, commissioners can do whatever they want. There’s no one to challenge lawmakers.
Satisfied with the past 4 years? Just stay home. Relax. Victory is in the bag.
Political watchdogs issue warnings when candidates run unopposed. Donors especially, should watch how those candidates they spend those donor dollars.
NO challengers in the next Margate election?
After a tumultuous 4 years, one would think Becker, Amodeo and Blumberg would be vulnerable to at least ONE, half-decent candidate. Oy Vey. We can’t find anybody to provide an opposing view and vote? Some new blood, maybe? Well, I guess Margate voters are cool with everything as is.
Why waste Margate taxpayer money on an election? Just pass a resolution allowing an extension of the current term. Heck, keep it open-ended. Let the three commissioners, and our esteemed solicitor, keep the gigs until further notice. Then, when somebody grows a pair, or wants to run, or maybe someone is just fed up with the status quo, just hold the election then. How’s that sound?
For those of you who are 2nd homeowners, part-time residents, business operators and/or real estate investors… how’s all this feel to ya? Creepy, huh?
Running for Margate public office. A thankless task. Why run? To face an onslaught of public criticism? No thanks.
Tough to get anyone to run for local office. The money. The scrutiny. What to do? Take a cue from our neighbors down the coast.
The Ocean City taxpayer organization known as FIT; Fairness in Taxes. For decades, this community watchdog org has become a force to be reckoned with. Just ask Ocean City Mayor, Jay Gillian, Solicitor Dottie McCrosson, and the OC council members. They’ll begrudgingly attest to all of that.
FIT is doing it right. Non-profit status. Board of Directors. Meeting minutes. Consistent, smart action. Residents see results. They’re pleased with the work of FIT President, David Hayes and the peeps behind Fairness in Taxes.
A large and still growing, dues paying membership. $25 per year for member dues. Funds are used for newspaper ads, digital communications, website tactics……and legal skills.
FIT gets additional support for their legal fund.
FIT retains the services of an attorney with municipal chops. This comes in handy, if you know that I mean. Monies are used for all legal expenses related to defending the taxpayers of Ocean City, NJ.
The Margate Homeowners Association is almost a year old. In less than 12 months, the MHA has accomplished much. Visit the Margate Homeowners Association website here.
A Voice For Margate Homeowners.
From the MHA website:
- Better representation of interests and concerns.
- Membership is open to all people owning residential real estate in Margate City, NJ.
- Share concerns and opinions of all Margate Homeowners whether full-time or seasonal resident.
Downbeach Random Notes & Social Media Feedback:
With little or no opposition, management of taxpayer monies will have limited taxpayer oversight.
A handful of elected and appointed officials to whack up taxpayer coin with little to no oversight.
Elected Margate leadership operating without formidable opposition, checks and balances?
Thanks to 2nd homeowners, the South Jersey shore is flush with cash. Part-time residents, aka 2nd home-owners, bring in the majority of real-estate tax ratables. These growing monies come from higher property assessments, usually from 2nd homeowners.
Every last inch of waterfront property is being developed. Triple-decker mansions bring in far more taxpayer dollars than those pesky, bait and tackle shops.
Bigger Downbeach houses = more taxes for elected officials to spend.
Can you see at least a sliver of ocean or bay? Congratulations. Your property taxes will be higher. Are the new, mountainous dunes and beach sewer pipes blocking your water views? Sorry. No tax decrease for you. And no reduction in your flood insurance rates either.
Pop quiz: What’s the primary industry of the South Jersey shore? If you said ‘tourism’, Nope. It’s actually real estate and real estate related products and services. Construction, home remodels, landscaping, roofing, mortgages, insurance providers, etc. Stuff like that.
Help Wanted: Politicians for South Jersey
Things are getting tougher for political organizations. They need more qualified people to run.
The Atlantic County Democratic Committee is encouraging members of the community to run for elected office at the both the county and local levels in the upcoming 2019 elections.
Wanna get involved as a Democrat? Submit a resume and a 500-words or less letter to email@example.com. The deadline to submit a resume and cover letter is Friday, Feb. 8.
Wanna get involved as a Republican? Be advised that the South Jersey GOP is known to ‘pre-ordain’ candidates. But chances of being nominated are greater if you’re well-funded. See: 2018 Hirsh Singh problem.
Popular front runner for NJ Assembly seat is Atlantic County freeholder, Frank Formica. The Atlantic City baker suffered a setback recently when he announced his running mate. Critics pounced when hearing former Brigantine Mayor, Phil Guenther, would team up with Formica.
‘Phil Guenther of Brigantine brings too much baggage to the campaign’ says those with knowledge of the situation. ‘Too much financial mismanagement and bad decision making in Brigantine’ say the Democratic leaders. ‘It’s not gonna be easy to unseat incumbents like Vince Mazzeo.’
Did you know? It’s best to change municipal auditors every three years. That’s why County Exec Denny Levinson does it for Atlantic County. Should towns like Margate, Ventnor and Brigantine follow suit? Damn straight.
In 2018, # of registered voters in Atlantic City was 22,933. Only 8,776 ballots were cast in Atlantic City in the November 2018 general election.