Margate Citizens Questioning the Beach Project

MCQBP Co-Executive Director Dan Gottlieb’s remarks at the Commission Meeting on the Thursday after the election.

Good afternoon…. On behalf of Margate Citizens Questioning the Beach Project, I would first like to extend my thanks to all the voters of Margate for the great turnout on Tuesday. It speaks clearly to just how important this issue was to the people who live in Margate. I’d also like┬áto commend Mr. Hiltner and his team who oversaw our election process in Margate on what appeared to be a very busy day. I’d like to thank Maury and Brenda for their post-election congratulations and acknowledgment of our comprehensive education efforts. It was our hope to receive a single response to our questions from the Commission to avoid presenting conflicting information to the public. I would like to thank Maury for providing clear, candid responses in the timeframe that permitted us to share the information with the voters.

And while we did not receive Brenda’s responses in time to review and share at our last public meeting, we do acknowledge her for responding. We widely disseminated her answers to our respective email contacts and we put them on our website. I’d also like to thank the Mayor and the Commissioners for encouraging MCQBP to study and learn about the project and be a resource to Margate voters. We spent countless hours looking at contracts, running projections and striving for accuracy. As we learned more, we became more and more opposed to the project.

As we began to share what we learned with our friends and neighbors, we learned that they shared our same concerns. If you think it would be helpful, we would be happy to sit down with the Commission or any Department Heads to review our research and the methodology behind our cost calculations. Perhaps the data could be used to deploy the city’s resources in a manner that is more effective than the Army Corps/DEP project.

You’re all good leaders and the city needs you now. We, all 1500 of us, have full faith that you will now do what you were elected to do….carry out the will of your constituents who overwhelmingly said “no” to the project. It is incumbent upon you to take the necessary action to represent the vast majority of voters who said no. The project is scheduled to begin in Margate in April. It is no longer enough for the commission to sit back and not join the project.

It now requires decisive action to not join the project. We cannot wait for the state to dictate to us. That is not what our citizens expect from their leadership. A proactive approach is essential at this juncture. I am urging the Commission to send a letter to the Army Corps and the DEP informing them of the outcome of the election with a request to have Margate taken off the schedule. Maybe suggest to them that we are interested In fortifying our bulkheads and our pumping system and that we as a city want to work together to find a solution that fits Margate.

I may be one of the founding members of MCQBP, but I came here today as one of the 1500 people who voted “no” to the referendum question. I don’t need to tell anyone in this room that Margate is a unique community. We are like family. Sometimes we don’t all agree but when we require the leadership of this family to stand up and carry out the family’s mandate, the leader of the family must do that. Mayor Becker, you have been quoted as saying that the result of this ballot question would determine your response to the State. And we take you for your word. And with all due respect to you and knowing how the media can often take things out of context, you were also quoted in Wednesday’s Atlantic City Press as saying “now we’ll just have to sit back and wait and see what the State does.”

You asked for direction. You’ve been given direction from 1500 people… not from me, not from Sharon, Glenn or Vaughan, but 1500 people. Please take the lead for us and actively defend the Margate family that we all love. Take action… please send a letter to the State and tell them to take us off the schedule. Will you put that in process and have the solicitor prepare the letter for discussion at the next meeting?

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