By CNBNews Staff
GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (February 11, 2020)(CNBNewsnet)—Bob Kotter, who was born and raised in Gloucester City, needs some help from his friends and residents of the community. Bob is battling stage 4 prostate cancer. A U.S. Marine, Bob fought in the Vietnam War. He believes his cancer was caused by Agent Orange which was dropped on the jungles of Vietnam by U.S. planes and helicopters to kill the heavy vegetation.
Recently his chemotherapy was increased to four times a week as cancer has spread to his bones.
For a decade or more Bob lived in the family home in the 400 block of Market Street taking care of his elderly parents. He cooked their meals, kept them and the house cleaned, and made sure they got to the doctors and received their medications. After his mother died the house was sold and he was left without a roof over his head.
"A community activist, I first met Bob in 2006-07 when he was trying to get the City of Gloucester City to clean up their parking lot at Fifth and Powell Street," said Bill Cleary Sr., editor of CNBNews. "The lot was being used by junkies to shoot up. Empty needles and glassine bags were thrown around the lot in plain view. It was also an eyesore as a result of the trash and broken down cars on the lot."
From the 2007 article:
The city property was once the site of the Quaker Food store and the former Sand Bar. The City tore down the properties in the 1980s, paved it with asphalt, and put up an 8-foot high cyclone fence.
Kotter said during the interview,“that was the last time we saw the City. The fence has been decaying for the past several years. People used the vacant property to store their unlicensed vehicles and for changing the oil in their cars.”
In 2016 Bob fought against the terrible odor that was coming from the Blueknight Energy Partners asphalt plant on Water Street, home to eight million barrels of asphalt. Kotter told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "Sometimes the fumes burn your eyes," he said. "My elderly parents who lived four blocks from the plant have been putting up with it for years. But nobody does anything about it even though I have complained to numerous environmental agencies."
Bob loved to walk through the city. He wore a wide brim light green hat with a US Marine emblem. You could tell by his walk he was military. He would start from his parent's home on Market Street head west to the riverfront and cover the entire city ending back at Market and Powell Streets. When he saw that the old GAF power plant was being demolished he was concerned that the property wasn't properly sealed, and, was worried the asbestos inside would spread to the nearby residential neighborhood.
"As a result of his tip, we discovered some interesting history about the GAF power plant that we and the public would never have known if it wasn't for him," said Cleary.
He loved Gloucester City and it upset him to see what was happening to certain neighborhoods in the community. He was quick to point out faults in the hopes by doing so improvements would be made. Take for example in 2018 when he wrote a letter to CNBNews about the condition of the entrance to the city on South Broadway, along with the pot holes on Jersey Avenue, two main highways coming in and out of the city.
"I have attached some photos showing the deplorable road conditions on South Broadway when you enter Gloucester City from Brooklawn and the pot holes on Jersey Avenue from South Broadway to King Street," said Kotter.
"These streets are so bad that if you hit some of the bumps doing the speed limit it will throw you right out of your vehicle's seat. I can't imagine what it does to the front end of your car/truck. Year in and year out these conditions have been allowed to exist. It is a disgrace. I give the person a thumbs up for the nice job he/she did in painting the new yellow lines on the street. However, painting dividing lines in the street before you repair the potholes is just plain stupid. "
"Bob's heart was always in the right place", said Cleary. "He had no ulterior motive. He wasn't running for any political office. Nor did he have an ax to grind. If he saw something wrong he tried his best to fix it because of his love for Gloucester City. Please keep him in your prayers as he needs our help now both spiritually and financially."
Send your check to Runnemede VFW, ℅ Tim Salamatin, 13 East Sixth Street, Runnemede, NJ 08087. Make the check payable to Bob Kotter. You can also send a Get Well card to Bob at the same address.