Posts Tagged ‘Ocean Grove secession’


By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net

According to the NY Times, “to secede in Ocean Grove, a majority in both the community and the township must vote in favor of it in a referendum.”

“A bill that would permit such a referendum must first be passed by the State Legislature and signed by the Governor.”

Then, “within 7 months, the referendum must appear on the ballot in either a primary, general or special election.”

“Before the election, however, at least three mandatory public hearings must be held to discuss the consequences of secession”

“If secession is approved in the referendum by the require majority, the Governor would appoint  community residents to a temporary borough council and office of mayor.”

“The appointed officials would run the borough until the January following the next general election, when the residents would choose their own government.”

The last time this was tried was in 1985 when State Senator Frank Pallone placed a referendum for the secession of OG on the Neptune ballot. Most Grovers voted yes,  but unfortunately, a majority of Ocean Grovers could not be a deal maker, because Neptune Township residents voted it down, and those Neptuners have veto power over us.  The same thing happened in 1980.

Back then, after governance control was given to Neptune  in 1980 by the NJ Supreme Court, more and more Grovers became “disgruntled.”   They complained of “a decline in the quality of life.”  A citizens committee advocating secession was formed . They thought that the town was”going downhill” and they were mostly worried about crime.  Some wanted a return to how it was under the CMA, with less noise, less arson, and less dogs running free. They blamed Neptune for what they said is “disruption of the tranquility and charm of Ocean Grove.”

At the time Senator Pallone said, “There are definitely precedents. If you go back far enough, almost every town in Monmouth County seceded at one time because thee were originally only four giant  townships here.”

Back in the 19th century, when Ocean Grove was carved out of Ocean Township, it was grafted onto Neptune Township instead of being given the chance to go on its own.

Since it was typical for towns to be given their freedom back then, we can only conclude that deal making between Neptune and the CMA  gave rise to that arrangement; but that is merely well founded speculation.

Since no economic projections were made in 1980 and 1985, no one could predict how secession would affect taxes in Neptune or Ocean Grove, and that uncertainty affected Neptune voters mostly.

Interestingly, in 1985 there was also a Historic Ordinance Committee that tried to convince Neptune to “issue ordinances that would only apply to Ocean Grove concerning parking, alcohol, animals, garbage collection , noise, mopeds, and building construction.”   That Committee had 100 members and the endorsement of 16 community organizations “ranging from the hotel and homeowners’ associations to the fishing club.”  So they weren’t seeking secession, only reform—which was rejected by the Neptuners.

The mayor then, Lawrence Lawson, said that “he was exasperated by the strained relations between Ocean Grove and the township.”

Well now in 2019 it’s worse—the Neptune negativity towards OG continues.   Strained relations imply some discussion; now the Neptuners just ignore us

And how is it that we still have blue laws regarding alcohol, tobacco and beaching on Sunday mornings.   That is because of the incestuous relationship between Neptune and the CMA, which continues to today;  just look at the North End developers’ paradise.

Do not reelect the  “do-nothing-for-the-Grove” incumbent Committeemen  Lane and Rizzo.


Source:  “Special to the NY Times” October 27, 1985:  “A Historic Jersey Town Longs for the Old Days.”    From the NYT Archives.




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