Citizens on Patrol Is Back on the Road in Little Egg Harbor

May 20, 2015

The watchdog group Citizens on Patrol is back on the roads of Little Egg Harbor after a month’s hiatus while the backlog of paperwork and background checks were being completed and a manual of operating procedures was developed and adopted. At the May 14 municipal meeting, Lt. Mike Hart, police liaison to the group, thanked the council for its support of the CoPs and said the volunteers were already planning on taking part in emergency trainings for the nuclear plant drills and others.

“Two vehicles are equipped with new radios, and we will keep mixing in police cars as we get new ones to provide them with safe vehicles to use,” said Hart.

Mayor Art Midgley said CoP volunteers were “a great asset to the town, and thank you for getting them up and running so quickly.”

Midgley read a Proclamation for Safe Boating Week, May 16-22,  and gave it to the members of Coast Guard Flotilla 72.

Chris Antanucci of Gold Hawk Martial Arts was the recipient of an Outstanding Citizen Award. Midgley read a proclamation that states the 7th-degree black belt has been training area youngsters in the martial arts for 34 years; with his school, has given many demos with proceeds going to scholarships and good causes; and also participates in the Little Egg Harbor Police Athletic League summer program.

During the public portion of the meeting, Twin Lakes Boulevard resident Wayne Martin said he walks the road often, and when he does he picks up screws and nails and other objects that are dropped by passing construction trucks. He gave a bag of these objects to the committee to peruse. He asked that the road get swept and the potholes filled. He also said many of the construction crews are leaving debris on site without disposing of them in a trash bin or corral.

Business Administrator Garrett Loesch said the township was looking at strengthening ordinances pertaining to property maintenance to help the code enforcers do their job effectively.

Mystic Island resident Lisa Stevens said she had attended public programs on flood resiliency given by New Jersey Future and was surprised and angered to learn Little Egg Harbor does not have a flood insurance discount through the community rating system, by which a community can lower flood insurance rates by taking a number of steps to get points.

“Why is that when it came into being in 1991, why hasn’t Little Egg done anything to gain those points?” she asked. Township Engineer Jim Oris said the township had joined with other shore communities and decided to have the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department develop a regional Ocean County Hazard Mitigation Plan and was waiting for that to be completed. “That’s part of the eligibility,” said Oris.

“But it was started in 1991. It’s inexcusable that it has taken so long,” said Stevens. “We had Hurricane Irene, and Sandy was 2½ years ago. It shouldn’t have taken this long.”

The committee hired a number of new workers in the construction department; many will take the place of Jay Haines, who died last October. Loesch said the appointments took as long as they did because of the civil service rules and regulations.

Oliver Clifford was appointed construction code official at a salary of $89,400. William Marshall was appointed building subcode official at an annual salary of $73,000.

Mark Ellis was appointed administrative department head to the construction office at an annual salary of $7,000. John Kelly was appointed fire protection subcode official for $5,000, and John Helmsteller was given a provisional appointment as inspector. Deborah Albright was appointed as a permanent clerk to the construction office. 

Pat Johnson

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