I have made it a point to stay away from comments on BRIGANTINE NOW. I wanted it to remain a forum for the people to express their opinions without government interfering. I have continuously read the posts and your comments on the boards and always take your thoughts on this forum into account when I am making decisions.
I feel the need to comment on the person of the year post because it seems to focus on work done during and after super-storm sandy. It’s been a challenging and hectic time for all municipal employees and residents. There has been a lot going on during the storm and after, including a lot of work that most would not be aware.
The employees of the city are civil servants. It’s their jobs to work for the community. Yes, they are working harder than the average day and probably working harder than they have experienced in their careers but it is their jobs. Many employees have had to put their family lives aside during and after the storm for the community. It’s hard for them but it is their jobs
This includes many other employees and elected official than listed on the “person of the year” vote. For example, after the storm the majority of work is in the construction department. The construction official has to evaluate each home. He has been working non-stop to inspect each home and make determinations, which affect the insurance and funds available for the home owner.
To answer some questions: It is both Lt. Reed and Lt. Bennett that post to our police, twitter and channel 2 accounts. That was our communication to the public during the storm. I heard your complaints about communication and am working on better communication that includes an updated main city web-page and other forms of communication. We will have that available for you soon.
Public works did an outstanding job in debris clean up. The morning after the storm we had contractors removing debris and Atlantic Electric restoring electric. By Thursday we had most of the debris cleaned up and electric restored, a community outreach program established and initiatives to get people into temporary housing. I still hear from FEMA and State representatives how far above the curve we are compared to other municipalities. Thank you to all the civil servants for that!
We have had three town hall meetings with FEMA representatives and many other discussions in-between. So much more than other municipalities. The news isn’t good but at least we are working as a community to recover and fight the new advisory maps!
With all that said. I want to say when voting for the “person of the year” please selects those that are VOLUNTEERS. We city employees get our rewards from doing a job well done for you the community. That’s our job. That’s why we get up in the morning. That’s our value in life. It’s the volunteers that get no monetary award, that help in their off time that work for the community with no rewards: these are the people that deserve the person of the year.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all employees and the community for their work, dedication, and tireless empathy and compassion during these hard times for our community. It takes an island.
If it wasn’t for everyone working together we wouldn’t be at this point in recovery. We are not whole but we should be proud!