Authors Posts by Donald Wittkowski

Donald Wittkowski

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Ocean City Settles Sex Lawsuit Involving Former Beach Tag Director

Ocean City agreed to pay $200,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that a former beach tag director had a sexual relationship with a then-teenage girl under his supervision, according to court documents posted online. City spokesman Doug Bergen declined to comment Monday on the settlement, which was filed in October and first made public Saturday by the legal blog NJ Civil Settlements. Michael Testa and Justin White, Vineland attorneys who represented the plaintiff, could not be reached for comment Monday...

Ocean City’s North End Beaches May Get a Facelift This Fall

Large chunks of the dunes along some of Ocean City’s north end beaches have been sliced away, as though someone took a gigantic cleaver and cut them in half. What’s left are cliff-like walls of sand that tower 7 or 8 feet above the beach in spots between Third and Fifth streets. Although Ocean City isn’t scheduled for its next round of beach replenishment until 2018, there is a possibility fresh sand could be added to the badly eroded north end beaches this year to get them in tip-top shape...

O.C. Board of Realtors Food Drive in Full Swing to Help...

Multimillion-dollar beachfront homes, trendy downtown boutiques and upscale sailboats traversing the waterways provide a decidedly affluent backdrop in Ocean City. But there are lesser-known parts of town where people are suffering, where poverty and hunger exist, said Gloria Votta, chairwoman of the Community Services Committee for the Ocean City Board of Realtors. “It would surprise

Mayor Unveils $79.7 Million Municipal Budget for Ocean City

Mayor Jay Gillian proposed a $79.7 million operating budget Thursday night that includes spending for an unprecedented capital program to upgrade Ocean City’s infrastructure, but comes with a price – a nearly 3 cent increase in the local property tax rate. “For the extraordinary amount of work that is getting done, I believe the budget is responsible,” Gillian said while unveiling the 2017 spending plan during his annual “State of the City” address before City Council. “I never like to see taxes go up by even a cent. But this is work that has to be done.”

Barr Announces his Support for Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline

Bob Barr can see the massive outline of the B.L. England power plant and its towering smokestack in Beesleys Point across the marshlands from his Ocean City home. The plant has been operating for decades, but Barr fears it may shut down as early as May, taking its jobs and local tax benefits with it. Hoping to keep the facility open, Barr disclosed Wednesday that he intends to vote in favor of a plan to run a 22-mile natural gas pipeline to the plant through South Jersey’s environmentally protected Pinelands. Although best known as being an Ocean City councilman, Barr holds another key position as a member of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission, the agency that oversees the 1.1-million-acre Pinelands preserve...

Mayor to Propose 2017 Budget Plan

Mayor Jay Gillian will deliver his proposed 2017 municipal budget during Thursday night’s City Council meeting, but his administration is not yet saying whether the spending plan includes a tax increase for Ocean City property owners. Doug Bergen, the mayor’s spokesman, said city officials were working on the final details of the budget on Wednesday afternoon. “They’re still playing with the numbers and getting things finalized,” Bergen said, declining to say whether a tax increase is planned...

Coastal Living Magazine to Highlight Ocean City Once Again

The magazine that gave Ocean City oodles of free national publicity last year by crowning it as the “Best Beach in America” will feature the resort town again in an upcoming issue. Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, revealed Thursday night that Coastal Living Magazine plans to publicize one of the island’s wackiest Memorial Day weekend traditions. Known as the Business Persons Plunge, the annual event features hundreds of nattily attired men and women marching blithely into the surf to kick off what city officials hope will be a busy summer tourism season. Speaking during the Chamber of Commerce’s annual installation dinner of officers and board members, Gillian told the audience that Coastal Living contacted the city on Thursday for information about the Business Persons Plunge. The magazine plans to publish an item about the plunge in its May edition and may also highlight other Ocean City events, she said...

Boardwalk Reopens as Construction Project Winds Down : All Clear

There were no cheers, no applause, no speeches. There was absolutely no hoopla at all. At 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, union carpenters Joe Kurtz and Aaron Taylor unceremoniously removed the last remaining barrier that had blocked access to the Boardwalk between Ninth and 10th streets during a reconstruction project. The lack of fanfare, however, did not detract from the importance of the occasion. The 2.5-mile Boardwalk is now open from tip to tip just in time for the Presidents Day holiday weekend. “Obviously, this is the centerpiece of everyone’s vacation, as well as a way of life for year-round residents,” city spokesman Doug Bergen said of the Boardwalk...

Proposed Keller Williams Office Building May Return in Redesigned Form

The developer of a $2 million office building that critics believe is grossly oversized for its proposed location overlooking the main gateway into town will probably redesign the project to address a series of objections raised by Ocean City planners and the public. Paul Chiolo, owner of the Keller Williams real estate firm, has been considering his options following the city Planning Board’s 7-2 vote on Jan. 11 to reject the company’s proposed new corporate headquarters at the foot of the Ninth Street corridor...

Security Upgrades Coming for Ocean City Dog Park

Dirt went flying and the sound of playful barking filled the air Saturday afternoon as canines Molly and Justice tore through the sandy soil at the Ocean City Dog Park. “Whoa,” Susan Chorba shouted to her two young German shorthaired pointers to try to slow them down when they approached her at high speed. “This is what they do,” Chorba said. “I can let them run around here without them being on a leash. They can’t do that anywhere else in town. This is why we need a dog park.” Tucked away near the marshlands at 45th Street and Haven Avenue, the park offers canines plenty of space to romp around off-leash without their owners having to worry about them getting loose. The facility is enclosed by a tall metal fence and includes electronic entrance gates to keep the dogs secure...