Ship Bottom Resident Wants Sponsored Funding for Concert Series

Aug 08, 2018

Mike Kistner is curious – about why Ship Bottom stopped collecting donations at its weekly summer concerts and how other Island communities manage sponsorship of their concert series. He brought this curiosity to last month’s Ship Bottom Borough Council meeting, where he was challenged by officials to spread the word about sponsoring concerts.

“It just wasn’t as good as you would think,” Borough Clerk Kathy Wells said of the passing a donation tin at weekly concert series to offset the cost of the program, noting the borough would ask for volunteers from the beach badge collectors to collect the money.

Kathleen Flanagan, chief financial officer, said the borough still accepts donations.

“Anyone can come to my office and donate,” she said, adding recreation departments in other Island communities are comprised of taxpayers associations or other civic-minded groups that solicit sponsors for those concert series. “As borough officials, we can’t solicit money.”

The most the borough can do is send information about its programs out with its mercantile license, Wells said. Any other communication about funding programs is prohibited by officials.

Council President Ed English, who chairs the parks and recreation committee and who also owns a business in the borough, said as a business owner he could solicit funds for the concert series. He won’t, he said, because as an official it's against the law.

In Beach Haven, “Concerts on the Green” are arranged each summer by the Beach Haven Community Arts Program. The organization was formed in 2000 for the express purpose of continuing the tradition of the free concert series.

Long Beach Township’s concerts are also sponsored by local businesses, and in Harvey Cedars, the recreation department is run by residents, who are allowed to solicit monies for its events. —G.G.S.

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