Thursday, December 18, 2008

Council Settles Tax Dispute, Councilmember Keady Resigns

Highlights of last council meeting of 2008 (12/17)

~The city has settled a dispute of back property taxes owed by Paramount Homes, developers of North Beach condo complex. City will realize over $560,000 in revenue, but involves a sizeable compromise: City wanted $620,000 in taxes, Paramount wanted to pay $180,000. Click here for Interview with City alternate redevelopment attorney Tom Hastie regarding this and other uncollected taxes to follow...
~One-term councilmember James Keady thanked the public for the opportunity to serve them for the past 3 1/2 years, in a farewell message so brief that it prompted Deputy Mayor Jim Bruno to call it, "too short". Despite having vowed to never vote with Keady and following through on that threat for most meetings, Bruno said despite their differences the two "saw the light on a lot of issues" of which the public was not aware. Bruno was the only elected official to make a farewell speech about Keady.

The council offered no replacement for Keady, whose term expires in July. Keady told Asbury Radio family obligations necessitated his resignation. He has had a child with his new partner, who owns a home in Pt. Pleasant. The depressed housing market has made selling the home and moving his family to Asbury Park impossible at this time.

City Manager Terry Reidy complimented Keady's service to the community. "The best decisions in government are made when there are differences of opinion; and they're best when made transparently," said Reidy, who cited Keady for having provided both in a professional manner and served well. During the public portion, several people thanked Keady for his service. Click here to hear this portion of the meeting.
~The council unanimously appointed Sue Henderson to represent the city on the Deal Lake Commission. Henderson, who served for years as the president of the Homeowners Association, has led countless community efforts, managing to rise above political factions to accomplish a great deal. She takes over the post at a time when the city continues to withhold several years' dues from the financially strapped commission.
~The city has completed the Emergency Management Plan, said Fire Chief Keddy. The State Police have approved the plan, which Keddy said will be made available for posting on the site. Asbury Radio alerted the public to the previous antiquated plan more than two years ago. At the end of the public portion, click here to listen to public portion, the Chief gives this update. Also hear Rev. Gil Caldwell, pictured above, read his letter to Keady.
~The council introduced an ordinance granting five-year property tax abatements to encourage building.
~ The City is accepting bids for vehicle repairs and dumpsters.
~ It is no longer necessary to separate paper from cans and glass when recycling! Merry Christmas!!

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