NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

Pet Tips: Separation Anxiety by Alan
Rider University a favored destination for South Jersey Players

Bill's Point of View:Gloucester City’s Mayor & Council Working Hard Since January

By Bill Cleary

Recently I asked Mayor Bill James, (photo) who took control of Gloucester City's government in January, what has been happening in his first six months in office.  He read off a long rundown of projects that he along with council members Jay Brophy, Bill Hagan, Nick Marchese, Elsie Loebell, Jean Kaye, and Rocky Kormann have been working on over that period of time.

The list contains some 58 items in all. Talk about being busy; Wow!

Imagine the time they have given up from being with their families to work on our behalf. All the meetings they had to attend etc. And remember too they are suppose to be  doing the job as part-time leaders.

I might not always agreed with those who have been in charge of our City; but I continue to admire the members who serve on council, the school board, and other bodies for stepping up to the plate and trying.

The lists of projects the mayor and council have been working on include:

Fire Department overtime, Fort Nassau Playground, Senior Citizen Center, The Budget and Non Represented Employees, Extraordinary Aid, Dooley's Building Lot redevelopment.

Also, Chatham Square - Owners and Prospective Investors, Housing Department and relocation and reorganization, Community Calendar Development, Marina Promotions, Brownsfield Designations and HDSRF  monies for cleanup.

Redevelopment meetings with Keating Scarborough, Beazer and Gloucester Point regarding Southport and freedom pier, UEZ Urban Enterprise Zone program implementation, RCA program - Regional Contribution Agreements and Contractors.

Grants acquisitions and organization of projects in progress, (UDAG) Urban development action grants - agreements, loans and purchases, Investigation of past property acquisitions and sales, Working with planning and zoning boards to assist businesses and residents with application processes.

Three instead of one Engineer to create competitive pricing, Dooley's Demolition, Pirates Den Demolition, Civil Unions and marriages, Comcast Franchise renewal, Nextel/Sprint  tower, New Water Treatment Plant.

Shared services and meeting with officials from neighboring municipalities, Council on Affordable Housing obligations as they relate to redevelopment, Mending political fences for benefits of Gloucester Citizenry.

Mobile Dredge litigation costs, Working with Commerce Bank in effort to bring them to town, Working with Concord Truss Company in effort to bring them to town, Working with Jamco in effort to bring them to town, Working with South Philly Pretzel Company to bring them to town, Working with Joe Franchi in effort to bring his business to town, Working with WaWa Strober Building and DNE Worldpack and planning and zoning to allow for improvements to buildings and create jobs.

Advisory Committee on Feral Cat Population and TNR, Development of a centralized complaint venue for satisfaction & follow – up, Advisory Committee on Renaming of Streets for Gloucester's sons who gave the supreme sacrifice, Advisory Committee on City owned property identification and best use.

Meetings with County and State Representatives, Meetings with neighborhoods regarding Quality of Life Issues, Advisory committee on Broadway Redevelopment, Advisory Committee on Redevelopment - Southport and Freedom Pier, Fire Department Promotions, Public Works retirements and replacements, Summer help hiring.

Planning and Zoning Professionals meeting to identify direction, Celebrations and City Image Issues and promotions, JGSC  group phase 1 and phase 2  recommendations, Master Plan and amendment review and necessary changes, Independent audit of city finances, Personnel Issues.

Holt Truck Traffic and other issues, Advisory Committee on a plan B for what to do with the vacant school site land if SCC doesn't pull through for us, Railroad grass cutting, Welcome to Gloucester City signs and cleaning up city entranceways , Soliciting developers for infill housing on vacant lots, Single stream trash recycling.

Hired Bob Bevan a two term former mayor to assist with the implementation of UEZ Programs, Assist with RCA and investigation of Contractors work to protect seniors from faulty work, to meet with new businesses coming to town, to promote the City and Marina and to investigate redevelopment and prior made agreements related to same.

Quite a list of accomplishments. On behalf of all the citizens in Gloucester City, Thank You Mr. Mayor and Council members.