Thirty years ago, Fairness in Taxes was formed to fight the Tax and Spend mentality of the City government. As we know, the current administration has an entrenched tax and spend mentality, as well as a lack of integrity, transparency, and accountability.
Two months ago, with your support, we successfully completed a petition drive for a referendum, immediately stopping the city’s shady plan to purchase the Klause property at 16th and Haven, at the taxpayers’ expense, for the inflated price of 9 million dollars. In the course of the referendum, we discovered the City Solicitor, Dorothy McCrosson had been conducting government business on a private email server and that Mayor Gillian had secretly signed an agreement with the Klause family, which he kept from the public for several months.
Fresh off our success, and with your strong financial support, we are now in the midst of fighting the City’s atrocious plan to spend 20 million taxpayer dollars to bail out the mismanaged Ocean City Housing Authority. In 2015, Mayor Gillian rejected a proposal from a private developer of affordable housing, which would have cost Ocean City taxpayers nothing, simply because he could not control who occupies the facility. While FIT recognizes the legal mandate and need for Affordable Housing, out of 200 New Jersey communities who reached settlements with the non-profit New Jersey Fair Share Housing Center, not one has made taxpayers pay for the construction of public housing. (Please see the attached ad that we placed in the Ocean City Sentinel.) After repeated requests, Mayor Gillian has refused to meet with myself and Vice President Dave Breeden.
At the city’s Affordable Housing Workshop on January 12, the Mayor called FIT members out by name and said FIT was not telling the truth. He said the public, instead, should believe the City and that no one should talk about the past actions of the City that led directly to our current financial crisis. A FIT member correctly admonished Mayor Gillian that those who ignore the past are condemned to repeat their mistakes over and over again.
In 2019, FIT will continue fighting hard for transparency and accountability by focusing on:
- Thousands of dollars spent by the city to prop up money-losing entities
- Ballooning tourism costs
- Bad decisions that are leading to expensive lawsuits against the city
Since I am the new President of FIT and Dave Breeden is the new Vice President, I thought I would give you a brief summary of our experience.
My wife, Marie, and I have been year-round residents of Ocean City for 15 years. I have a BS from the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, and Masters degrees from Cornell and George Washington Universities. After serving as a US Navy Officer, I worked for several major aerospace and IT corporations and am currently managing a program for a large utility company. I also was an Adjunct Professor at Immaculata University. I am currently on the Mayor’s Air Advisory Board and previously served on the Environmental Commission. I am also the webmaster for the new FIT website.
Dave Breeden, Fairness in Taxes Vice President, has lived in Ocean City for 45 years since graduating from Ocean City High School and holds a BA from Richard Stockton University. He has over 30 years of experience in the public sector with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and as Business Administrator for Barnegat Township. Dave was an instructor at Rutgers University and Atlantic Cape Community College. Dave and his wife are the proud parents of a talented 12-year old daughter who attends Ocean City Intermediate School.
I invite all members to visit the Fairness in Taxes Website at www.fairnessintaxes.com for the latest FIT-related news. To renew your Fairness in Taxes membership, please mail your check for $20, written to Fairness in Taxes, at Fairness In Taxes, P.O. Box 565, Ocean City, NJ 08226 or pay online by going to our new website. If you haven’t already done so, please consider a donation to our Fairness in Taxes Legal Defense Fund. Please make your checks out to “Fairness in Taxes Legal Defense Fund” or go to our website. Your contributions will enable us to meet the legal expenses necessary to defend out taxpayer rights.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you!
President of Fairness in Taxes