It had to happen sooner or later, since Brigantine second homeowners make up about 70% of the local tax base.
Politicians see the potential power of this large taxpayer group that currently has no local voting rights or say, in how the city is run.
Brigantine Democrats are actively (and smartly) courting this potentially large voting block, hoping a substantial number will register for the upcoming special election on May 13. On that day, voters decide the fate of Brigantine’s Public Safety Director position, something the DEMS want to keep, but the REPUBS want to eliminate.
Brigantine Democrats likely believe 2nd homeowners will be more inclined to keep the Public Safety Director.
The Democratic majority of Brigantine City Council wants more cooperation between the City Manager and local Police, Fire & Emergency Services. The Public Safety Director position is a go-between that helps accomplish that goal. Presumably, a PSD would also lead to more financially sound operations within the city.
So, are the DEMS wooing these potential voters for a quick hit at the polls? Maybe. But we’d also like to think they’re acknowledging the obvious: Brigantine is more than just 9,000 full-time residents, 3,000 active voters, and a ‘full-service’ city operation.
Brigantine Beach is no longer NJ’s best kept secret. Politicians are savvy enough to see the benefit of warming up to all these so-called ‘outsiders’. These future voters see value in the new Brigantine. They’re already casting their ballots via home buying, land development and real estate speculation. (and maybe one day, retail business).
Brigantine politicians would be wise to represent the interests of ALL taxpayers. Don’t be surprised to see someone get the backing of newly registered voters…. and pull an upset this November….and maybe this May 13th too.