Camden County March 11 News/Events
Healthier cardinals means earlier smoke signals By David Uebbing

UPDATE ON NEW AGREEMENT BETWEEN GLOUCESTER CITY AND M.A.G./CHEERLEADERS

The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.

Presidnet John F. Kennedy

 

GLOUCESTER CITY NJ---(cnbnews.net)We heard from Gloucester City Solicitor John Kearney on Saturday, March 9, regarding the new legal agreement between the city and M.A.G. Enterprise/Cheerleaders.

For those unfamiliar with the case, the owners of M.A.G., Frank Antico Jr., and John 6a00d8341bf7d953ef01287560bbf1970c-500wi Meehan sued the city planning board in 2010 for violating their First Amendment rights and won. Part of the original settlement called for the city to pay $35,000 to M.A.G. Plus Antico and Meehan were to pay no real estate taxes to the city for nine years. Records show the Club pays $16,400 annually in property tax. The total value of the accord was estimated at more than $180,000. The club owners could have made the city pay its legal fees. By giving the Club the nine-year tax break the city avoided having to make a lump sum payment to the owners.

After reviewing the case court documents CNBNews discovered that this deal was ruled moot in January 2012 because both sides reached an amicable agreement without the court's help. The new agreement was never made public until CNBNews contacted Kearney asking for an explanation.

See CNBNews article A Great Tip and CNBNews letter to Kearney.

 Solicitor Kearney had promised CNBNews a written copy of that new agreement. But, in an email received on Saturday, March 9, he states there is no written agreement available.

Kearney writes, “The MAG case was settled for payment of attorney fees and cost of $154,500 over time, and an agreement to adjust the zoning ordinance during the master plan update to allow for MAG’s use at its present location. The fee award was spread out over time and there is still a payment of $34,750 to be paid by Jan 30, 2014.

“The convoluted abatement idea was abandoned as unworkable within the statutory framework.

“There was not a written settlement agreement. The details were agreed to by Council at various meeting(s) after the lawyers talked.”

Solicitor Kearney was asked how is the verbal agreement memorialized for public records?

He stated, "The minutes and correspondence would be the record. I wrote Jeff Baron on March 20, 2012 confirming the terms which followed a meeting where Council OK’d the deal." 

We also asked where are the times and dates for payments being made exposed for public views?

"At the meeting, in the minutes and on the bill list," Kearney said. "If you have any further questions please contact me." 

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