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Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’ Category

Pastor John Digiamberardino, the new COO of OGCMA. Internet photo.

Pastor John Digiamberardino, the new COO of OGCMA. Internet photo.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Considering how long it took to find J.P. Gradone, it comes as a shock that the CMA has already replaced him, especially since Gradone resigned less than one month ago.

We have received word from a reliable Blogfinger source that the current Senior Pastor of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in OG has already signed a contract yesterday to become the new COO starting in June.

He is Pastor John Digiamberardino.   Pastor John, as he is understandably called, had been the Pastor at St. Paul’s UMC in Brick for 10 years before being named to the spot in OG three years ago.  He also has been a CMA trustee since 2011 and is currently program chair.  The new COO is married and has 2 children; he works as an Uber driver in town.   It is said that he likes music and sports.

Since we know nothing about the inner workings of the CMA, and since we know nothing about why Gradone left, we will have to wait for more information regarding what changes might occur with the new COO.

As we have pointed out in the past, the CMA has its central religious mission, but it also has important ties to the secular community of Ocean Grove as with the North End Redevelopment Plan and the reconstruction of the North End boardwalk which has lately hit some snags.

Then there is the delicate matter of their relationship with the gay community in town.

So, with that in mind, we are reporting on this significant appointment and keeping our eyes open as to its implications for all of us who live in the Grove.

 

 

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Tent reconstruction behind the Great Auditorium. Photo by Prosper Bellizia, Blogfinger staff. ©  3/27/16  Ocean Grove

Tent reconstruction behind the Great Auditorium. Photo by Prosper Bellizia, Blogfinger staff. © 3/27/16 Ocean Grove

PINK MARTINI  “Clementine”

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JP Gradone resigns. 2013 Blogfinger photo.

JP Gradone resigns. 2013 Blogfinger photo.

This announcement was received today by Blogfinger.  It was addressed to “all concerned”  No other information is available.  If any of our readers have opinions or facts about this matter, please comment below:

 

From Dale Whilden, President of the CMA:

“This is to inform you of a recent change in the staffing of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. Mr. JP Gradone has recently resigned as the COO/Executive Director of the Camp Meeting Association. Should you have questions that would normally have been addressed by Mr. Gradone, please contact Sharyn at the Camp Meeting office who will direct your call to the appropriate person.”

 

Here is a link to our coverage of Gradone’s arrival in OG:

https://blogfinger.net/2013/12/11/new-chief-operating-officer-at-cma-moves-in-and-gets-to-work-on-beach-repenishment/

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Ocean Grove, New Jersey. April 20, 2015. By Paul Goldfinger. © Blogfinger.net

Ocean Grove, New Jersey. April 20, 2015. By Paul Goldfinger. © Blogfinger.net Click to enlarge.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

“I hereby acknowledge the good hand of God in leading me from the beginning until now.”     With these words, written in 1897, Elwood H. Stokes began his autobiography called “Footprints in My Own Life” published in 1898 in Asbury Park by the Press of  M., W. & C. Pennypacker.

A note on page 8 gives a clue as to why he was inspired to write this book.  The frontispiece says “Upon these sea-bleached sands I wrote my name, but one swell of the rising waters wiped it out forever; so will the fast flowing billows of time soon erase my name from the records of earth, and the world will pass on as though a generation of us had never existed.”

Stokes  (1815-1897)  was born into a poor family of Quakers.  He had an uncle named Job.  When he was 16 years old he wanted to join the other boys in sinful activities.  He said, “I tried to plunge into sin, but an invisible power held me back.”  He married Hannah Neff when he was 23.  They had one child–Mary.

After becoming a preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church he traveled the circuit and later was given assignments in New Brunswick, Trenton, Newark and Morristown among a number of such New Jersey towns.

At the age of 29, in Long Branch, NJ, Stokes saw the ocean for the first time, and he was powerfully impressed. He said,”I looked! I was astounded! I had seen lofty mountains and noble  rivers; I had seen the beautiful valley, the sloping hill, the winding rivulet; I had seen nature and art combined, forming the most romantic landscapes;—-but never, never had I seen a sight so majestic as the mighty ocean.”

He rose in the ranks and was present on July 31, 1869 when Ocean Grove was founded by a group of Methodist preachers. In 1870 he was named President of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association and he kept that position until he died. He was a much beloved religious leader who led the development of Ocean Grove to the point where huge crowds would come in the summers.  Thanks to him, Ocean Grove today is the longest active Camp Meeting in the United States.

In his latter years, the religious leaders in the Grove became concerned about increased secularism.  Stokes noted that with the increased prosperity of the Camp Meeting attendees, more and more activities were focused on pleasure rather than religion. But Stokes continued his hard work in promoting the Camp Meeting religious life including services on the beach  attended by thousands and sacred music in the Tabernacle.

He never finished his autobiography, so the last chapter was written by his friend and colleague Rev. Dr. Ballard who concluded by saying, “Whatever may come in the future–however much the forms and customs may change as they have already changed—the names of Ellwood H. Stokes and Ocean Grove will stand together while time has a history or eternity a record.*”

MOLLY O’DAY

 

*All quotes are from Stokes’ autobiography.

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Whitefield Avenue runs down the middle of Embury Arms providing private parking spaces. Blogfinger photo. 9/22/15 ©

Whitefield Avenue runs down the middle of Embury Arms, oriented north and south,  providing private parking spaces. Blogfinger photo. 9/22/15 ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Recently a reader wondered about the Embury Arms condominiums. Her concern came about in the midst of our real time discussions of the North End Project and Mary’s Place zoning. She asked how that large condo project came about and whether there were issues then similar to the ones that we have been considering recently.

Embury Arms condominiums on Whitefield Avenue consist of 112 units. It was built in the 1980’s. Old OG newspaper reports say that the CMA approved the project in 1978, and then the ground breaking ceremony was held in 1980.  Those news reports never mention approvals by Neptune Twp nor do they mention any concerns about historic preservation.  They do talk about energy conservation measures that won awards for the developer.

These condos are 1 and 2 bedroom apartments within four large 3 story buildings. The complex sits in the middle of the Grove, surrounded by Benson, Delaware, Heck and Abbott Avenues. Embury and Webb Avenues stop short as they go west to Delaware Avenue, right at the border of the Embury Arms  condos, and Whitefield Avenue goes straight through the middle, with private parking spaces on the perimeter of a public street.

Ocean Grove Times, August 25, 1978.

Ocean Grove Times, August 25, 1978.

An ad in a 1982 local newspaper  describes “authentic Victorian designs.”  The apartments were starting at $49,900.00.

These are the Embury Arms buildings as seen from the Delaware Avenue side. Blogfinger photo/ ©

These are the Embury Arms buildings as seen from the Delaware Avenue side. Blogfinger photo/ ©

The official 2015 CMA summer guidebook map shows Webb and Embury going straight through  to Lawrence Avenue, but they do not and they never did because west of Delaware, where Embury Arms now sits, there were stables, used mostly for storage by the Camp Meeting Association. Apparently some of the buildings were rented out for parking, but it was not an area for public parking.

It is not our intention to review the detailed history of this  condo project, but anyone walking by has to wonder how the heck the developer got permission to do this distinctly un-Grovian style condominium complex. It not only is contrary to the Master Plan as we know it, but it takes up space that could have been filled with single family Victorian style homes in order to match the appearance of the rest of the Grove.

Embury Arms provides PRIVATE parking by allowing head-on placement of vehicles on Whitefield Avenue that is partly on private property (using the theoretical front yards of those lots) but it also allows the cars to stick out over where the public sidewalks should be. In other words, that parking lot violates the public pedestrian right of way.

Note how

Note how the sidewalk (pedestrian right of way) ends to allow parked cars to protrude into that right of way.  This is Whitefield Avenue taken by walking from Heck Avenue.  Blogfinger photo ©

Normally the right of way along a public street is 40 feet wide, consisting of the road (auto right of way) and the sidewalks (pedestrian right of way) measured together.

Yes they put some recessed sidewalks there, but that is private property, and public access could theoretically be shut down at any time. The Whitefield Ave. auto right of way is intact for cars driving through, but is not inviting for autos to drive through, and warning signs threaten anyone who would dare park there.

In addition, the project deprived Ocean Grove of many potential public parking spaces if private homes had been built on streets. Instead, all those curb cuts created a giant parking lot. Where else in town is a public street (in this case Whitefield Avenue) used for private parking?

The property was originally used for stables, so no private homes were demolished to make room. Undoubtedly the CMA, the Township, and the developer were in collusion to create this massive mistake, but the history of the time* indicates that OG was not as proactive in historic preservation then. It was a time when governance here was in a state of flux**, and the public did not protest much.  There was a suit that delayed completion, but eventually the Embury Arms condominiums were finished.   At least the condo developer of Embury Arms provided parking, even though the law was stretched to make that happen.

We have no information as to how the zoning was finessed to allow this, nor do we know what the Planning Board had to say. At any rate, it is a done deal, and nothing can be done about it at this point.

It is interesting that there is an earlier precedent.  In 1964, across from Days, a large hotel burned down, and in its place rose the Arlington Court Co-op.  consisting of one bedroom apartments for which no mortgages were allowed.   This was a new idea for the Grove, and evidently no one cared that single family Victorian homes were not built.  The CMA was in charge then and they must have supported the idea.   (? sound familiar)

However, now we are in a position to do something about the largest condominium development in the history of Ocean Grove—the North End Redevelopment Project.  But there is concern that public apathy will once again allow a wrong-headed condo project to go ahead. We have seen this illegal process before.  If no one takes  legal action when work begins or sooner, then, as with other projects in town, nothing can be done after the fact.

The CMA and the Township are counting on public inaction.  Will we let them do it again?

CREDITS:

Ted Bell*, Ocean Grove historian

Jack Bredin, Blogfinger researcher

Tom Constantino, Blogfinger researcher

** In 1980, governance of Ocean Grove was turned over to Neptune Township by the NJ Supreme Court. That transition must have taken years to work out, but the Embury Arms project took hold during that delicate time.

NANCY WILSON  “Please do it again.”

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Inside the Great Auditorium, June, 2007. This image appears in Bell, Bell and Dufresne's definitive history of the GA. By Paul Goldfinger © Blogfinger.net

Inside the Great Auditorium, June, 2007. This image appears in Bell, Bell and Dufresne’s definitive history of the GA. By Paul Goldfinger © Blogfinger.net

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger:

It turns out that Tony Campolo is a well known Baptist Evangelical preacher.   He has been to the GA many times in the past and has a reputation for being a very entertaining speaker.

In recent times, he has caused some controversy because of his opinions about gays and about gay marriage. According to OGU, he is an “activist” who has “publicly expressed his support for the inclusion of same-sex couples in the church. ”

According to OGU, he has said, “I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the church.”

Rev. Tony Campolo. Internet photo.

Rev. Tony Campolo. Internet photo.

Ordinarily Blogfinger would take no interest in the GA Sunday sermons, except this time a local organization, Ocean Grove United, has called for its members and friends to “welcome” Rev. Dr. Tony Campolo when he comes here Sunday to be the guest speaker.

Is this the first time that an organization other than the CMA has formally planned to “welcome” a speaker at the Sunday sermons?

But what interests us the most at Blogfinger is that OGU, in a follow-up email, has not only repeated its notice to supporters to “make every effort to attend” on Sunday, but now they say that Rev. Campolo “has received a great deal of flack for supporting the lgbt community, and those who disagree with him will not turn out for his program. It is extremely important for the CMA to see that Ministers who preach love will pack the house. Please tell friends and neighbors as well.”

Is that true that only Campolo’s supporters plan to show up?

In addition OGU asks its supporters to “gather outside the auditorium at 9:30” The service begins at 10:30 am.

So, without making any judgments, I have to say that this sounds like a political demonstration/message and thus meets our criteria as news. Even if a group gathers one hour before the event, and even if there are no signs or chants, their very presence will carry a powerful message as described above,

This is not the first time that a situation like this has occurred in the Grove, and this conflict will affect the entire town in one way or another. No matter how Sunday morning unfolds, Blogfinger will report on it.  Those of you who attend can email us with your views or you can comment under this post.

 

THE MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR WITH THE PHILADELPHIA BRASS ENSEMBLE:   “Abide With Me; ‘Tis Eventide.”

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OG beaches are closed every Sunday until 123:30 pm.  Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net

OG beaches are closed every Sunday until 12:30 pm. Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net

 

To The Editor

I am joining this conversation a little late, however, I have two things to add:
1) I have never thought of the “urns” as urns. I always thought of them as “planters” or “flower pots”.

2) I  disagree with Sunday morning beach closings.    I wish this was discussed more in. I cannot understand why it continues. Obviously, it is tied to Christian Church worship and it is wrong to make such a restriction to this “public” facility.

Link:    Blogfinger article about the urns on the boardwalk

DAVID KENNEY

Ocean Grove, NJ, July 29, 2015.

 

DIANA KRALL:

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Lake Avenue----the northern edge of OG, west of where the North End zone begins

Lake Avenue—-the northern edge of OG, west of where the North End zone begins. Paul Goldfinger photo.  June, 2015. ©˙  Blogfinger.net. Click to enlarge.

The North End Redevelopment area along its northern edge.  Blogfinger.net photo ©

The North End Redevelopment area along its northern edge. Blogfinger.net photo ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

In our April, 2015 article about the Planning Board’s 2007 decision to recommend designating the North End property as an “area in need of redevelopment,” we mentioned some concerns about the validity of that ruling which would lead to the change in zoning that permitted condos, hotel, underground garage, etc.   ( link to that important article:

Irregularities at the 2007 Planning Board

Since then we have come up with some more information that sheds further doubt on the legality of the resolution.

We ask the question: Did the Planning Board have all the information necessary to make an informed decision when they recommended by resolution, Feb. 28, 2007, that the Township Committee designate the North End “an area in need of redevelopment?”

We believe that critical information was withheld from the Planning Board which may have changed their 2007 decision. Our new evidence suggests that the designation of “area in need of redevelopment ” should never have been recommended.

TIMELINE:

On February 1, 2006, WAVE applied to the New Jersey Secretary of State as an LLC (limited liability company).   We believe that the sole purpose of forming that LLC was to develop the North End of Ocean Grove. This application, per se, is beyond reproach, but, and this is a big but, were visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads? Were they planning then on zoning changes at the North End? If so, that would be a problem.

Consider this quote: “In January 2007, Wesley Atlantic Village Enterprises (WAVE) and the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association executed a Developers Agreement which set forth the terms by which WAVE and the OGCMA had agreed to proceed with WAVE’s proposal for the development of the site. Among other things, that Developers Agreement provided that WAVE and the OGCMA would serve as Co-redevelopers of the Subject Property.”   This information was with-held from the Planning Board.

The 2007 quote above is from a recent Memorandum of Understanding signed by WAVE and the OGCMA. It clearly shows that those two developers were planning in January 2007 to go ahead with WAVE’s North End Development Plan before the Planning Board ever took its vote and before the Township Committee adopted the NERP on March 24, 2008.

Note that they refer to themselves as “co-redevelopers.” That term can only mean that they were counting on receiving the special designation “area in need of redevelopment.”

On February 28, 2007, the Neptune Township Planning Board passed a resolution (07-12) recommending that the Township designate the North End “an area in need of redevelopment.”

On June 11, 2007, the Neptune Township Committee passed a resolution designating the North End “an area in need of redevelopment,”

On June 9, 2008, the Township Committee designated WAVE and the OGCMA as Co-Redevelopers.

On April 28, 2015, The OGCMA (the owner of Block (1) agreed to transfer control of Block (1) to WAVE by way of a 99 year master lease renewable in perpetuity.

ANALYSIS:

According to the New Jersey Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, in the section defining “Determination of Need for Redevelopment,” there is a statement** (see below) that this special designation be made only if the area ” is not likely to be developed through the instrumentality of private capital. ” **

The timeline above clearly shows that the WAVE and OGCMA partnership had discussed and created plans for the North End development. Clearly they were ready, willing and able to take on that project and they were counting on the special designation.

So why did the Planning Board think that private developers could not do the job? If they had known that those private developers could do the project, they should not have approved the designation, but they did not have that information.

It is our belief that the CMA/WAVE partnership did not want anyone to know of their redevelopment plans in order to obtain the special designation which legally should not have been granted to them under NJ law. **

Unfortunately, there was no effective court challenge to the Planning Board/Township decision, and now the NERP is law under the special designation that they should never have been granted.

Who should have challenged the Township Committee’s Resolution designating the North End “an area in need of redevelopment?” The Home Owners Association, of course, but they were busy cheerleading for the Township Committee, who were “in the tank” with the yet to be named developers.

This history suggests a purposeful distortion of the legislative intent.

The Township Committee should rescind the “Redevelopment designation.” The high density zoning for Block (1) would then automatically revert back to single-family houses. The Committee can do that because there is no signed Re-developers Agreement.

After that, the developer would have the option to prepare site plans for single family homes or they could present their present plan to the Board of Adjustment.

This would correct all the mis-steps of the past, and the entire process would not have to start over again with WAVE’S new proposed plan.

** Determination of need for redevelopment (40A:12A-5). New Jersey Local Redevelopment and Housing Law.

“Land that is owned by the municipality, the county, a local housing authority, redevelopment agency or redevelopment entity, or unimproved vacant land that has remained so for a period of ten years prior to adoption of the resolution, and that by reason of its location, remoteness, lack of means of access to developed sections or portions of the municipality, or topography, or nature of the soil, is not likely to be developed through the instrumentality of private capital.”

Credit:  Jack Bredin, researcher.

KEVIN KLINE   from the film DeLovely

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Deisel (L) and Chico, two OG dogs, frolic at the Asbury after-hours north beach.  Blogfinger photos. ©

Deisel (L) and Chico, OG friends, frolic at the Asbury Park after-hours north end dog beach. June, 2015, Michael Goldfinger photos.

Once again summer has hit the beautiful beach town of Ocean Grove, and once again, the town provides no recreational area for residents and their furry companions. Ocean Grove is generally considered to be “dog friendly.” Many Grovers have canine members of their families.  There is a sizable dog population in town.

In early May of 2014, I and several other Ocean Grove residents provided a very detailed plan for the formation of an OG K-9 club that would virtually cost the town zero dollars. We provided various locations which would have little impact on residents in the area. We had volunteers who were prepared to maintain the location and enforce park rules. The Neptune Township Committee thought the park was a brilliant idea. A Blogfinger poll of OG residents found that 52% of residents polled wanted a park. All the Dog Park Planning Committee needed was approval from the OG Camp Meeting Association.

The idea and plans were soon presented to the CMA. We left the meeting feeling extremely upbeat, thinking we had presented a very good case for why a dog park would benefit the residents of Ocean Grove.

Who wouldn’t want a location where the people of this small beach front community could gather every day of the year, engage in small talk, and make new friends? Turns out the OGCMA didn’t. We were told that the park didn’t meet the “mission of the Association.”

Asbury Park off-hours north beach for dogs.  Owners are very careful to police the area.  June, 2015.  MG photos.

Asbury Park off-hours north beach for dogs. Owners are very careful to police the area. June, 2015. MG photos.

Soon after, we again approached the OGCMA with an alternate idea. Let’s pull a page from Asbury Park. They allow dogs to play on their most northern beach during the hours that the beach is closed. Dog owners there are extremely respectful and aware that they share this beach with swimmers. The beach is almost always kept clean from dog waste, and there haven’t been any incidents resulting in complaints.

So we suggested that dogs be allowed on the most northern beach in Ocean Grove, after beach hours. This would be the location behind the white building that borders Asbury Park. Even during beach hours, this small stretch of beach is hardly utilized by swimmers. So how could that be a bad idea? Well, once again the CMA turned us down.

We hoped that  they would listen to us, since we all are Ocean Grovers. We understand that the foundation of this town is built around CMA beliefs, but, times are changing, and residents deserve to be heard and met half way. The blanket statement, “it doesn’t meet our mission,” is extremely vague and an easy out.

So once again, we  raise the question regarding a location where dogs can safely play in Ocean Grove:

Previously we suggested the open grassy area on the south side of town near the intersection of Pennsylvania and Inskip Avenues. Next we proposed  the North Beach, which would require nothing but responsible dog owners.

Now here is yet another location (shown in photograph)—-The corner of Broadway and Fletcher Lake (Central) Avenue.

Chico checks out the suggested location by Fletcher Lake. MG photo.

Chico checks out the suggested location by Fletcher Lake at Broadway. MG photo.

That corner already has a fenced in playground, tennis court and shuffle board area. Behind all those locations lays a big grassy strip, perfect for a dog run. One side is already fenced in and the other side is water. The only thing needed is fencing on the north and south side. The tennis court and playground would provide a buffer, and residents who didn’t want a park wouldn’t see it back there

If anyone has any suggestions on how we can move this concept forward, please comment or contact me directly. I am still committed to this project and believe that a dog park would only add to the pleasures of living in this town.

Thank you,

Michael Goldfinger for the proposed OG K-9  Club

Contact Michael Goldfinger via Blogfinger@verizon.net

Ocean Grove, NJ,  June 9, 2015

PATTI SMITH  with VINCE GIORDANO AND THE NIGHTHAWKS    (From Boardwalk Empire)

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Northern Lights.  Ocean Grove seeks transparency.  Paul Goldfinger photograph.  April, 2014 ©

Northern lights. Ocean Grove seeks transparency. Paul Goldfinger photograph. April, 2015 ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

In our last article, we reported that the Redeveloper for the North End was chosen in 2008 by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association and included not only the OGCMA itself, but a mysterious entity called WAVE. (Wesley Atlantic Village Enterprises.)

Ordinarily a redeveloper for a “zone in need of redevelopment” would be chosen by the Township, but somehow that was handled differently here. Usually the choice of redeveloper involves sealed bids, public notices, and hearings regarding who the bidders are and how the winner is chosen. We have no information as to how that process was accomplished in this instance and who the members of WAVE are.

A contract ( a “developer’s agreement”) must be signed between the Redeveloper and the Township that would spell out exactly what the Redeveloper’s obligations are. Evidently such a contract was never signed, because it appears that one is to be negotiated now. (see below)

Hill Wallack, a law firm that specializes in such projects said, “A developer’s agreement between the designated redeveloper and the municipality is required, and it must contain a time frame for commencement of development, as well as other statutorily mandated requirements. The agreement specifies the rights and responsibilities of the redeveloper. The terms and flexibility of that agreement can be the difference between a successful project for a developer and a financial disaster.”

It was at a Neptune Township meeting on June 9, 2008, that the choice of Redeveloper was on the agenda as Resolution #292. During the open part of the meeting, the Mayor requested public comments regarding resolutions on the agenda. The quotes below are from the typed minutes of that meeting:

“Former Mayor, the late Joseph Krimko said that he thought that Resolution #292 would be open and transparent and at some time a contract would be prepared detailing what the developer would be doing. He thought there would be several meetings prior to that final hearing.”

 

Then “Mayor Bishop stated quite frankly he did not remember that.

” Then “Mr. Anthony (the Township attorney) stated you have to negotiate the contract to come up with a plan.”

Then “Mr. Krimko stated he just wanted to make sure that meetings were held prior to the final hearing.”

Mrs. Argyros, a lawyer in the audience, “questioned what type of developer’s agreement would be used in Resolution #292.”

“Mayor Bishop stated it would be a standard agreement.”

Later in that meeting, the actual resolution was read. It said that the CMA “selected Wesley Atlantic Village Enterprises, LLC (WAVE) as the developer of the property, and WAVE is the contract purchaser of the site.” *

Later, the minutes say that the “Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association and WAVE have agreed to serve as the Co-Redevelopers of the property.”

Another provision says, “……The Township, the Camp Meeting Association, and WAVE believe that the redevelopment of the zone pursuant to the terms of the Redevelopment Agreement are in the best interests of the Township and will promote the health, safety and welfare of its residents……”

So, we see that the Neptune Township Committee approved the Co-Redevelopers in 2008, but the Camp Meeting Association conducted the actual process of selecting the redevelopers.

Finally, Mayor Bishop announced that a “Negotiating team for the Redevelopment Agreement will be himself, Ms. Jahn, Mr. Bascom and Mr. Huhn.” As it turns out, that Redevelopers Agreement was never consummated. It also appears that the WAVE group was not publically identified and *it seems that they have a contract to buy the property.

This meeting in 2008 marks the formal beginning of a public process which places special obligations on the participants including transparency.

Fast forward to the Neptune Township Committee meeting of Monday, April 13, 2015. The NERP was not on the agenda, but during the public portion, Mr. Jack Bredin asked about negotiating the Redevelopment Agreement. He wondered how the Township Committee could negotiate with people that they do not know. Ann Horan, President of the OGHOA, went to the mic and  stated, “We have done a lot of research as to who the principals of WAVE are, and we still have no idea.”

The Township Attorney, Gene Anthony, said , “We know who they are.” But evidently he did not want to name names.  Why the privacy on this point?

The negotiation process began today, Wednesday, April 15, 2015. A meeting was held with the Township Engineer, Township Attorney, Committeeman Bishop and W.A.V.E. representatives. The CMA did not attend nor did Committeewoman Mary Beth Jahn who is supposed to be on the negotiating team.

According to Rick Cuttrell, Township Clerk, once an agreement is reached, the finalization has to occur at a public meeting.

AARON COPLAND   “Fanfare for the Common Man.”

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