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DESPICABLE ACT-Two weeks ago a vandal(s) took a sharp instrument and ran it 6a00d8341bf7d953ef0111688fb252970c-120wi along the side of Mayor James hummer that was parked in front of his house on Monmouth Street, Gloucester City.


A day or two after this happened ClearysNoteBook (CNB) received two comments about this detestable crime from individuals who thought it was funny that the mayor’s car had been damaged. 


I had originally edited the remarks from those two comments that were received about the vandalism.  After giving the incident further thought I feel the public should know what mayor and council have to deal with on occasion as they go about their every day life. 


The sentence that didn’t appear in the comment received from a person who signed their name Unreal reads, Theres money for what Dictator James wants it for. I'm glad his truck got keyed!!! Hahahahahahhahaha.


Missing from the comment received from a person who signed their name Brooklawn reisdent reads, I do hope Terri can do somthing and shove it in Mayor James face. For our sake and for the Gloucester's sake this man needs to go. I heard someone keyed his car which I find funny. See mayor what goes aroound does start to come around. It was signed Brooklawn reisdent (misspelled words by author). 

I have been writing about local politics for sometime. Over the course of 40 plus years there have been times that members of an opposing political party have torn down their opponents signs. But I can’t recall any incident that caused property damage to a candidate or an elected official’s property. It is one thing to disagree with someone’s political beliefs but this is going too far.

What is really astonishing is the fact that some people like those who wrote these rotten comments feel the mayor deserves to have his car “keyed”.  The fact that they find it funny is even more abhorrent. Since there was no publicity about this crime for over a week it makes one wonder whether the people who wrote these comments committed the vandalism. I know the police are investigating the matter. 

UPDATE ON TRASH/COMPOST PLANT-Resident Mike Stanton at a recent council meeting asked Mayor James a question about the plant. Stanton said the answers he received were contrary to what was written by this reporter in December.  Stanton said, “According to Mayor James, Councilman Brophy, and Jack Lipsett, the city does not own the land and that all Organic Diversion (OD) did was express an interest in locating here.  Per Brophy we are as likely to get a car port service next month as we are the garbage facility.”

 CNB asked City Solicitor John Kearney for further explanation. 


Question-Was our December article on this topic wrong?


Kearney-Your story is accurate. The deal is at its preliminary stage and the City does have a letter of intent signed with OD which is where the numbers in your story came from. As this is the beginning the comments by elected officials are also correct. In the present setting either party could walk away from the deal and that very well might happen as we move along. 


QUESTION-Someone suggested the City would receive more money in tax revenue for a building on 9 acres instead of the proposed deal mentioned in the article. I would assume the City looked into this suggestion?


Kearney- For the City to realize $200,000 in tax revenue the property would have to have an assessment of around $8 million. I expect the value of the land and improvements at the OD site when completed to be in the $1.5m range. At least I hope so. So whoever made the suggestion to you is obviously ignorant of how the world works.


QUESTION-Why did we go public if we didn't want ARCO to know about the plans?


Kearney-We went as public as we had to and no more. In order to have the end user we needed to have a Letter of Intent signed and for the City to do this we needed public action by the Governing Body. At this point I think BP ARCO is still just interested in getting out and we have constructed a great method for them to pay for the cleanup and give us the land. I am sure that BP ARCO daily searches the web for mentions of it and I just have no idea what would happen if somebody in public relations at BP got this. It might help but its an unknown and you avoid unknowns in negotiating a deal.


QUESTION-Why didn't someone correct me after reading in the December article that the City owned the property? 


Kearney-I read that as the future arrangement and as such its accurate. The City getting ownership of the property is the least critical issue and the easiest to solve. The problem here, as in all of Southport, is the condition of the property, the cost of cleanup, the timetable and the economics of the proposed deal.


QUESTION-Why is the City going to help clean up the ground if we don't own it?


Kearney-Any commitment of resources would be dependent on the entire deal. The City frankly has no resources for any cleanup. With this property what is envisioned is that the City sponsors the cleanup using State and BP money because BP has agreed to transfer ownership to the City.


“Look it would be a lot easier and there would be a greater chance of success if we could proceed with this matter in a private way, putting the deal together and announcing it when we have the deal. The self-anointed activists were not elected to anything and are pursuing their own political agenda. The citizens elected this administration and we are trying to bring about the revitalization the City desperately needs,” Kearney said.