White, Kakstis Bid Adieu as Beach Haven Council Members

Dec 12, 2018

The Dec. 10 Beach Haven Borough Council meeting marked the final session for Jim White and Donald Kakstis, who declined to seek re-election and will leave the five-member panel at the end of the month. Replacing them will be Jaime Baumiller and Daniel Allen, who ran unopposed in last month’s election.

White was one of five members of a borough council ushered in when Beach Haven’s new form of government went into effect in July 2010. He originally did not seek re-election in 2014, but ended up back on the council after getting enough write-in votes to win one of two seats open at the time. Kakstis won the other council seat.

A 74-year-old retired New York City police officer, White said it was an “honor and privilege” to serve on the council. He thanked Borough Manager/Clerk Sherry Mason for helping him and the other council members get accustomed to the job.

“One thing I’ve learned is that on the council, you have to make the people and the taxpayers the number one priority,” he said. “You have to listen to them.”

White added, “There will always be differences in opinion because you can’t have five council members in lockstep with each other. But you have to leave personalities out. On some issues, you might lead or you might follow, but then you look to find a middle ground and work from there.”

The 73-year-old Kakstis, a retired executive director at Johnson and Johnson Corp.’s worldwide engineering and construction services, also thanked Mason and the various professional staff and employees.

“When you come on to the council, you have a lot of ideas, but then you find out you don’t always understand how government works,” he said. “It was a privilege to serve on the council and work with so many fine people.”

Mayor Nancy Taggert Davis said White and Kakstis both “came to the council with different skills and backgrounds.”

“Jim was a big part of the improvements to Veterans Memorial Park,” she said. “He also worked closely with the police department in an effort to keep the town safe.”

Davis said Kakstis’ background in construction was “extremely valuable” when the borough was in the process of building the new municipal building, which opened earlier this year.

“He was there when we had meetings with the architects and other professionals, and his expertise played a large part in getting the project done,” said Davis. “Don was also very instrumental in resolving our flooding situation. I know that the two of you will be extremely missed.”

— Eric Englund  

ericenglund@thesandpaper.net     

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