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Dateline FEBRUARY 2008:
Monthly Workshops Begin!  Pay-to-Play Reform Ordinance Adopted!

Dateline FEBRUARY 2008:  Monthly Workshops Begin!  Pay-to-Play Reform Ordinance Adopted!

February’s activities included the first of what will be ongoing Workshops and Open Meetings sponsored by W♥V every month.  The first event on Saturday, February 2nd received favorable press coverage as speakers from Citizens Campaign gave presentations about how to request enactment of reform measures in town government. 

The following Thursday, February 7th the Ventnor Commission passed a Pay-to-Play Reform ordinance which used the Citizen’s Campaign “model law” format.  

In other January and February developments, there has been substantial activity by the Ventnor City Planning Board to produce movement in the Redevelopment area, with one meeting approving a 24 condo unit, and another meeting coupled with earlier Commission revisions to zoning requirements paving the way for a 36 condo complex across the street.  There was some controversy sparked by the Mayor’s announcement of his plan to donate city-owned property at 5008 Ventnor Ave. to the developer.  It was acquired in 2004 with taxpayer dollars for $205,000, shows a current assessed valuation of $286,900, and the adjacent identical property recently sold for $400,000.  

One resident who owns a property in that zone, rehabilitated at his own personal expense, questioned city officials at the February 7th Commission meeting about their level of knowledge as to the background of the developer and his former associates, who had collaborated in forming the Alliance Companies and had been chosen, along with Pulte Homes, as developers for the area in 2004.  That venture disbanded after Pulte Homes withdrew its interest in Ventnor.  The Mayor stated that he had not been aware of relevant felony background information at the time he was in negotiation with the firm and its principals. 

Due to the vote on the Pay-to-Play Reform ordinance at that same meeting, there is video coverage from gavel to gavel of the 2/7/08 Commission meeting which will be posted after editing in the Forums.

In other news, there is now an Election 2008 Forum which carries information about the incumbent Commissioners’ campaign for re-election and recent news about one prospective candidate who is testing the waters for herself on behalf of what her letter suggests be a full slate of running mates.  Website visitors are encouraged to check the Forums for up-to-date information.