I want to remind you about our town hall meeting on affordable housing at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Ocean City Tabernacle, 550 Wesley Avenue.
Joining me and the city team will be: Shirley Bishop, a former state Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) executive director and private consultant who helped negotiate Ocean City’s affordable housing agreement; Rick Ginnetti, an affordable housing consultant for municipalities and housing authorities throughout the state; Jacqueline Jones, executive director of the Housing Authorities in Ocean City, Vineland and Buena; and Carol Beske, founder of ACT Engineers who has been responsible for the successful completion of many multimillion-dollar projects throughout New Jersey.
A presentation will outline our affordable housing obligations and plans, and there will be time for everybody to ask questions. The subject is very complex and it’s also extremely important. We have an obligation to help provide this basic need to all members of our community. And it’s not an option. The state Supreme Court has ruled that every municipality in New Jersey must create its fair share of affordable housing for the region.
Any municipality that fails to comply with its obligation is vulnerable to “builder’s remedy lawsuits” in which developers can seek court approval to disregard zoning ordinances and build at high density in any neighborhood — in exchange for creating some affordable housing units.
The latest weather forecasts call for snow from Saturday night into Sunday. As of now, the forecasters anticipate 2 to 4 inches of accumulation. If snow covers West Avenue, remember that parking is prohibited on this emergency route, and please try to limit travel as road conditions may be hazardous.
Atlantic City Electric has begun work to improve reliability in Ocean City by installing special equipment to reduce the number of customers affected when power outages occur. The work will require temporary interruptions of service. For more information and for a schedule of where interruptions will take place, please visit www.ocnj.us/ACE or sign up for our project updates.
I want to let you all know that while the New Orleans Saints will be a very tough opponent on Sunday, Ocean City will do its part to support the Philadelphia Eagles. The bridge lights on the causeway will remain green from now through the game.
Michele and I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the families of two men who helped create iconic Ocean City businesses. Edward B. Johnson, who was the co-owner of Johnson’s Ice Cream and Candy, passed away last Saturday at the age of 93. Donald L. Blomdahl, 82, also died last Saturday. He was the owner/candymaker at Rauhauser’s Candies until his retirement in 2012. I hope you all will join me in paying tribute to these members of our community.
Mayor Jay A. Gillian