Authors Posts by Donald Wittkowski

Donald Wittkowski

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Mayor Jay Gillian Touts Ocean City’s Capital Plan

OCNJDaily.com talked with Mayor Jay Gillian about his focus on Ocean City’s neglected infrastructure over the past eight years. The discussion follows in this question-and-answer format...

Mayoral Candidate John Flood Says Ocean City Has Too Much Debt

City’s capital plan, municipal debt and taxes in the third story published in OCNJDaily.com leading up to the May 8 election. He also describes how he would plan, finance and build major construction projects to ease the tax burden associated with the city’s debt payments. His comments follow in this question-and-answer format...

Gillian, Flood Battle Intensifies in Ocean City Mayor’s Race

Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian and his opponent, John Flood, traded barbs and new allegations Thursday in an escalation of their campaign attacks just six days before the municipal election. Their increasingly hostile rhetoric included charges by Flood that the construction of a city restroom project was coordinated to benefit a Boardwalk pizza shop owned by Gillian, while the mayor responded that Flood is creating “more fake news.” In a press release, Flood also alleged that the mayor has set up a “secret” email account on a private server to keep communications with his senior staff about city business “out of the public eye.” “The city’s official domain name and emails go to OCNJ.us...

Gillian, Flood Snipe at Each Other in Mayor’s Race

In dueling public statements, Mayor Jay Gillian and his opponent, John Flood, accused each other of misconduct on Monday as the mayor’s race took a decidedly nastier turn with only a week to go before the Ocean City municipal election. The fray began when Flood issued a press release accusing Gillian of “diverting” city resources away from a critical flood-control system to instead concentrate on a public restroom project that Flood alleges will benefit the mayor’s Boardwalk amusement park business. Strongly denying the allegations, Gillian responded with his own statement criticizing Flood for using “baseless propaganda” in what he said is Flood’s “desperate attempt to get elected at all costs” on May 8...

E-ZPass Toll System Arrives on Ocean City-Longport Bridge

Toll collector Arthur Sparks nodded at the motorist who pulled up to pay his fare Monday afternoon on the Ocean City-Longport Bridge and told him, “How are you doing there, buddy? We now have E-ZPass.” Sparks’ greeting was simple, but the meaning behind his words was monumental. After decades of having to pay their fares the old-fashioned way, motorists now have the option of using the automated E-ZPass system when crossing over the toll bridge into Ocean City. For them, that means no more fumbling for cash or coins to pay the toll. The slow and cumbersome process inevitably backs up traffic on the bridge, especially during the busy summer tourism season...

Ocean City’s Dredging Program Advances With New State Permit

Rich Stahler, a resident of Waterview Boulevard, recalled a terrifying incident in 2000 in which one of his neighbors slipped off his boat dock and fell into the lagoon. “It took six of us to get him out,” Stahler said of the rescue effort. The man wasn’t in danger of drowning. Instead, he sank chest-deep into the muck and mire of the Waterview Boulevard lagoon and had to be hauled out. The sediment-choked Waterview lagoon is emblematic of other shallow and treacherous channels lining Ocean City’s back bays. However, bayfront residents are about to get some relief as part of the next round of the city’s dredging program to deepen the lagoons and channels. Ocean City has become the first municipality in New Jersey to receive a state permit allowing it to dredge along the entire length of the barrier island, officials announced Saturday during a town hall meeting attended by about 100 residents...

Ocean City Mayoral Candidate John Flood Speaks One on One With...

With less than two weeks to go before the election, mayoral candidate John Flood drew sharp contrasts between himself and Mayor Jay Gillian during a public forum Friday night that was supposed to be a debate between the two men but turned into a one-man show. Capitalizing on Gillian’s absence, Flood broadly criticized the two-term mayor’s spending practices and policies while laying out his own proposals for the city’s finances, construction projects and more transparency in the local government. “You have two men with two drastically different styles and feelings about how this town should be run,” Flood said...

Ocean City Council Approves $78.8 Million Municipal Budget

City Council on Thursday night approved a $78.8 million municipal budget that continues Mayor Jay Gillian’s push for capital projects to upgrade Ocean City’s critical, but aging infrastructure through a series of new road and drainage improvements. The 2018 spending plan raises the local tax rate by a penny, adding an extra $50 in local taxes per year to a home assessed at $500,000. The figure does not include county and school taxes, which are assessed separately...

Business Owner Lynne Cates Named Ocean City’s “Working Woman of the...

Of all the tributes that were showered Wednesday on Ocean City business owner Lynne Cates, the most emotional and poignant one came from her husband of 27 years. Fighting back tears, Dave Cates told the audience that Lynne serves as the family anchor for him and their daughters, Dana, 21, and Tara, 20, and son, Gregory, 18. “She’s just a rock,” he said. “She’s always there for us.” Lynne Cates was honored Wednesday not only for her skills as a wife and mother, but also for her business acumen as the owner of the Sun Seekers boutique on Asbury Avenue in Ocean City’s downtown shopping district...

E-ZPass Toll System Coming to Five Cape May County Bridges

The Cape May County Bridge Commission announced Wednesday that the new electronic E-ZPass tolling system will go live over the next eight weeks on the commission’s five bridges along scenic Ocean Drive in Cape May County. The implementation of E-ZPass will occur sequentially, with the Ocean City-Longport Bridge being the first one to go live on or about April 30. The Middle Thorofare Bridge will be next on or about May 7, followed by Grassy Sound on or about May 14, Corsons Inlet on or about May 21 and Townsends Inlet by June 25...