Little Egg Harbor Retiring Tax Assessor’s Payout Tops $100,000

Jan 23, 2019
Photo by: Pat Johnson The Radio Road beach, also known as Graveling Point, has eroded from recent storms.

Little Egg Harbor Township’s retiring tax assessor, Joseph Sorrentino, has accumulated $100,005 in sick and vacation time over his 39 years working for the township. On Jan. 10, the Little Egg Harbor Committee approved the payout, which will be distributed in increments of $2,000 a month until it is drawn down.

Also during the January municipal meeting, Linda Cicco retired after 14 years, having started as a clerk for the Township Clerk’s office and then serving as confidential secretary to the mayor. Her sick and vacation time payout was $1,700.

The dredging of the Kentucky and Louisiana Drive lagoon system on Osborn Island has been completed, said Township Engineer Jason Worth, and the dredge now moves behind Ocean Boulevard. The township did receive an extension to the dredging permit, to Jan. 15. Township sidewalk projects are completed on Mathistown Road and in Veterans Park off Radio Road.

The federal shutdown has put a stop to the shoreline restoration of Iowa Court as the Department of the Interior cannot process the final piece of the permit puzzle, an environmental assessment required by the Environmental Protection Act.

Osborn Island resident Gary Rizzolo said the Iowa Court cul-de-sac and the Radio Road beach at Graveling Point both lost sand during the last few major storms and high tides. He stated a portion of the cinder block wall at the end of Radio Road was in danger of falling over.

“That’s certainly a place that gets used a lot,” said Mayor Bobbi Jo Crea. “Obviously we need to do something to make sure no one gets hurt.”

Worth said he would take a look at it and alert the Ocean County Road Department.

Committeeman Ray Gormley said the township has secured the next phase of its dredging application to dredge the lagoons on the east side of Radio Road in Mystic Island, from Monroe’s Marina to the bridge over Great Creek. “We will be having a meeting with the 550 homeowners of that portion of town, tentatively on March 15 – depending on what school auditorium we can get,” said Gormley.

Resident and senior advocate Art Mooney said he was disappointed that the township has decided to go to one meeting a month during September and October – joining June, July, and August as single-meeting months. “In 2018, we had 19 scheduled meetings, and this year it’s down to 16 meetings.” Mooney said that in the summer of last year the township held four special meetings – ones that are considered emergency meetings, not published in the newspaper, but announced on the website and on the clerk’s bulletin board.

“This is not consistent with the Sunshine Law and your promise of transparency,” he said.

“As long as we can accomplish what we need to accomplish, one meeting a month does us better,” said Crea. “The information will be the same.”

Mooney asked if there would be more special meetings; Crea answered that she “does not have a crystal ball.”

Committeewoman Lisa Stevens took offense at Mooney’s suggestion of not being transparent. “I think we are very transparent. We are always available by email or phone; I think we are doing a good job.”

Crea agreed, and announced she would be holding monthly “Meet the Mayor” sessions at the Little Egg Harbor Library, though she did not have a date as of that night. “Stay tuned,” she promised.

The long-shuttered senior center on Radio Road was due to open on Jan. 14 after repairs were completed to the roof.

A resident of Flax Island Drive in Holly Lake Harbor asked when the township might be able to repair the bulkhead at the end of her street. Gormley said that although some bulkheads in the community had been replaced, the township would like to get a list of those it owns so official can budget for more than one. “Please be patient; it will take some time with a new budget and new funding,” he said.

Mr. Kominski, a resident and small-business owner from Mystic Island, was told the township’s ordinance relating to parking is being tweaked to change the weight limits of trucks that can be parked overnight in the township. Kominski said he had been discriminated against by a neighbor who continually calls code enforcement or the police department whenever Kominski parks his work truck at home. His place of business is in Galloway Township, and he said it makes no sense for him to leave his truck there if he has a call to pull a boat out in the Little Egg area. “For some reason I’ve been singled out by a neighbor who doesn’t want a hard-working man to make a living.”

Crea said the township attorney is working on changing the ordinance to make it more sensible. “We want to make sure when we do introduce it, it is right.” It usually takes two meetings to approve an amended ordinance, she said.

— Pat Johnson


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