ICYMI: Top Assembly Democrat rips Phil Murphy for 'campaigning' instead of 'governing'

Are Little Towns on the Chopping Block? Rams Accolades; Plastic Bag Tax; Commentary

CNBNews Tips and Snippets


William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet


MERGING LITTLE TOWNS IN NJ--The State of New Jersey is conducting a study on the possibility of merging the smallest towns in the state. There are a total of 191 communities on the table, according to NJ Advance Media. Nearly 200 of New Jersey's 565 towns could be slammed together as a potential cost-cutting measure to help ease the state's crushing tax burden.  Towns with populations of less than 5,000 people would be forced to merge with an adjacent town.

Some of those towns in the immediate area include Audubon Park (population 993), Avalon (population 1421), Brooklawn (1954), Cape May (3529), Clementon (4924), Gibbsboro (2157), Lawnside (2923). 

To see the full list (click here)

The idea of merging small communities with larger ones is not new. In the 60's, for example, there was some discussion about merging Brooklawn with Gloucester City but the plan never went any further than the talking stage.

The panel is led by state Senate President Steve Sweeney and dubbed the Economic and Fiscal Policy Working Group.

The committee is working on measures that could ease the burden facing state residents after federal tax reforms limited property tax breaks used by many in the state. On average, municipal government accounts for less than 30 percent of state residents' property tax bills. The real tax titan is the school system, which more than half of the state's average property tax bill is tied to.


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Gloucester Catholic's Evan Giordano is the South Jersey baseball player of the year. Photo courtesy of Philly.com

ACCOLADES FOR THE RAMS—The winningest team in state history when it comes to championships, Gloucester Catholic High School, (Gloucester City, NJ)  captured their 19th title with a 10-3 victory over DePaul in the Non-Public A final, according to NJ Media.  They finished 20-8 overall, also winning the Diamond Division crown and owning a victory over third-ranked and Non-Public A champion St. Augustine during the regular season. They were No. 14 in the NJ.com Top 50 and No. 4 in the final South Jersey Top 20.

Gloucester Catholic proved to be a hitting machine. Averaging just over nine runs and 11 hits a game, the Rams owned a .420 batting average. Evan Giordano, the conference Player of the Year, led the way with some explosive offensive numbers (see above), while junior outfielder and Florida State commit Lillo Paxia batted a healthy .612 with 32 RBIs. Junior second baseman Tyler Cannon emerged as a potent offensive player, finishing with a .433 average and 27 RBIs, while Jake McNellis and Nick Nocella also hit over .400.

On the mound, senior lefty and Maryland commit Andrew Vail (7-2, 2.42 ERA, 72 strikeouts) set the tone. Anthony Solometo, a freshman committed to North Carolina, picked up the win in the state final en route to a 4-0 season, while sophomore Tyler Parks also went 4-0.



ANOTHER NEW JERSEY TAX!- Both houses of the NJ Legislature passed  6a00d8341bf7d953ef0192abded29b970d-800wiA3267 (Vainieri Huttle)/S2600 (Ruiz) which establishes a fee on single-use plastic carryout bags used in certain stores and dedicates fee revenue to "Healthy Schools and Community Lead Abatement Fund." The bill, which now goes to the Governor's desk for signing, imposes a 5-cent fee on single-use carryout bags. The Sierra Club believes that this method to deal with plastic bags might actually make the problem worse. Not only should there be a full ban on plastic bags, but this bill undermines the ability of local municipalities to create stricter bag regulations and bans, according to the Sierra Club.  Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, released the following statement:

“It’s shameful that the Legislature has pushed through this bill that will make plastic bag problems worse in New Jersey. Instead of passing a full statewide ban on bags, they voted this bill through, so they can steal the funds for plugging holes in the budget. Even worse, the bill usurps efforts by municipalities like Jersey City and Hoboken to implement higher fees or create complete bans. There is already language in the Budget from the Plastic Fee Bill even before it is passed. The money is supposed to go to the Lead Abatement Fund and instead it is going to go into the General Fund. This is not about plastic bags or lead, it is a scam to grab money for the budget. We need Governor Murphy to veto or CV this bill!

“This bill caters to the supermarket lobby who want to make money off the fees while people continue to use plastic bags. We should be focusing on implementing a full state-wide ban on plastic bags."

6a00d8341bf7d953ef017743e3f4f9970d-600wiThe vacant Freedom Pier property (photo credit CNBNewsnet)

COMMENTARY--We are happy to see the Not Your Mother's Music Festival will be held in Gloucester City on Saturday at Freedom Pier and Proprietors Park. At long last something positive is happening at our beautiful waterfront. Philadelphia has taken numerous abandon waterfront piers in their city and made them into recreational spots during the summer months using corporate funds to develop them. Gloucester City has been sitting on a gold mine and doesn't realized it. 

The Freedom Pier acreage has set vacant for too long. How many people remember the fanfare after the federal government deeded the ground to the city in 1991 for a $1. Our politicians have had 28 years to develop that ground. And they have failed terribly.

Who can forget all those promises made by the James Administration and  other mayors in the past that were never fulfilled. James has had 12 years to carry out his promises. Many of those years were wasted on the Otts on the Waterfront project. We can thank him though for our annual increases in our property taxes.

Over a million dollars spent on improving Freedom Pier and it just sits there, a vacant wasteland. Over a million dollars has also been spent on development plans for that property that never got off the drawing board. Many architect firms and lawyers have gotten rich on the backs of Gloucester City taxpayers.

But for now let's give the people involved a cheer for volunteering to put this event together.

And let's see how the event turns out before you lambaste those volunteers.  Maybe this will be the start of more events coming to that location.    (See Delaware River Waterfront)

6a00d8341bf7d953ef019aff0d4035970d-600wiThe promise of the Otts on the Waterfront restaurant that never was fulfilled (CNBNewsnet photo credit)


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