Reader Feedback: Bring Back Brigantine Castle

Excerpts (edited) from BrigResident III….

The answer (to budget problem) is not getting rid of jobs. Everyone thinks that’s the first thing that should happen. You’d all be singing a different tune if YOUR job were on the line.

If you’re a second homeowner… that’s wonderful. But if you can afford not 1 but 2 homes, the price you pay for taxes is not that huge. Look at other towns that pay the same and have less services. What Brigantine needs is NEW REVENUE.

Brigantine needs to stop the “small tucked away island” thing….and get into the new age. You want Summer people to come to Brigantine, spend about $2,000 a week on a overpriced summer rental and then have to take their families and drive 45 mins or more to go on a boardwalk, water park, real mini-golf course, etc.

We spent 4+ million dollars on a community center that is NOT being used properly. We spent money to buy land for “parking lots”. Instead….let’s get some family stuff on this island, we could survive just like OC, Wildwood, Sea Side, etc.

Brigantine has one over-priced arcade, one hill and grass mini-golf and nothing else. If you want people to come here, build stuff for the families to stay here. 4 or 5 pizza places won’t gonna cut it.

There’s no reason we can’t bring back the Brigantine Castle, Boardwalk with shops, etc.

Salaries & employees are not the issue. Do research on ANY town or city. Over 50% of their budget is salary… with one exception… they have stuff to bring NEW revenue into their towns.. WE DON’T.

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11 thoughts on “Reader Feedback: Bring Back Brigantine Castle”

  1. Finally someone speakin out about something I’ve been saying for years !!! It’s just if someone like myself says it , well never mind , I couldn’t agree more . I’ve been on this island full time for 30 years and have raised and still raising 4 children. Quite frankly the children that live here year round have nothing to do. The big hang out for these children is outside Wawa and cvs parking lot and they get yelled at , where else do they have to go? I do not allow my 12 year old to hang out there do basically its either her friends come to our home or to their home and its sad because they have virtually nothing too do, alot of them end up in Trouble. Lets open a brigantine. Castle type pier that will not only attract tourists because we welcome tourists , but something for our kids to do, and also open up jobs for the kids that are old enough to work but cannot get jobs on the island because there are no kid friendly places that they can work for a couple bucks and keep them out of trouble. I agree 100% with your proposal and hope someone else reads this that will actually put something like this in motion. Thank you for posting this.

  2. In Brigantine, over 63% of the budget is salary. and I have done considerable research. I submitted the research to the Town Council…. your statement “Do research on ANY town or city. Over 50% of their budget is salary…” is not correct according to my research. So, to what “ANY town or city” are you referring? I am interested in your factual, actual information. Rhetoric is not admissible BTW- many people in our country have already lost jobs due to the state of the economy. Brigantine is not immune to the woes of our times.

    The jobs of those NOT employed by the City of Brigantine is not at issue here.

    The fact the someone owns a 2nd home is not the issue here.

    MANY Other towns PAY LESS and have MORE services which is contrary to your statement.

    Salaries, pensions, benefits and the number of employees in Brigantine most certainly ARE the issue. I gave many factual reasons in my article for the statements.

    I do agree with your statement that Brigantine needs to create NEW revenue. At present, Brigantine treats homes as the ratable base for the towns purse. BUT the town council recently disbanded the Tourism commission (which it seems no one was aware even existed). Perhaps you may want to join the new group that is forming. Brigantine NOW may have information on just “who” is putting it together. I’m sure they would love to have someone with your great ideas join in.

    In the meantime, the matter of over-staffing and over-paid employees for the City of Brigantine will continue to be an issue. It will continue to be brought to light by the OVER-TAXED payers of Brigantine

  3. BrigResident III

    Bonnie, I am wondering is it the fact that you own 5 homes in brigantine and are upset with your taxes, file an appeal like everyone else that thinks they’re to high. Also many towns don’t have the services we do, many towns have volunteer ambulance and fire and wait upwards of 30 min for an ambulance. We who pay taxes get what we are paying for and that is fine with me, I like knowing if I have to call 911 someone is here with in minutes, I like knowing my home is secure because of our police department. Have you sat there and talked about the school, how about your county taxes that by the way are MUCH more of a monetary impact then the brigantine tax. If I’m not mistaken Brigantine is peanuts compared to the 2-3,000 my county tax is going up. Your entitled to your opinion, bu get the facts straight brigantine is a safe & clean community due to the employees you want to see loose jobs, guess were not all fortunate as you. Brigantine will remain strong!! And there’s more supporters then you know and your little “research”!! Layoffs isn’t the key word REVENUE is what will make the city better..

    1. Brig Resident III-
      Brigantine will not be any less safe or clean if Salaries and Staffing is brought into line, just like the world didn’t end with the fiscal cliff… In fact bringing light to these practices that have run amuck is a good thing. Overspending on a certain sector of the budget is not fair to the Taxpayers at large and is not warranted. There are many changes that can occur without significant impact. OR we can choose to not clean the beaches or have the correct beach staffing to prove a point (like Feds DHS did in releasing criminals). The only problem with this approach is that DHS was outed for very poor management- and so will Brigantine, if any noticeable changes occur. And any failures will be on the heads of Administrators and Department Managers/ Chiefs.

      I’m sure that there are staunch supporters for the employee base to remain status quo. I’m sure you and your family do not want any change in this area… that is understandable- you or your family/friends have a vested interest in salary & staff remaining status quo…..

      No one in any of the posts I have read, is discounting the quality of services provided by the Brigantine Police Department and other city services.
      BUT- 8 Full-time Dispatchers paid in the $60k salary range along with hourly Dispatchers is not fiscally responsible. That is not personal. That is a FACT. That is just one example of the overspending in the area of employment. There is a lot of reductions that can take place without impact. That is a FACT- I didn’t understand your -little “research” comment.

      The School budget is also a problem in the area of salaries.

      You are right-
      The county budget also has a problem of overspending.

      AND
      The State budget also has a problem of overspending.
      The Federal budget also has a problem of overspending.

      BTW- Stockton California just received permission to go into bankruptcy. With the pensions and other perks afforded to the employees of Brigantine, we could be headed in the same direction. You cannot continue to BORROW against future years without an impending impact. Then the town and employees will truly suffer.

      I agree that Revenue will also help the city.

    2. Filing an appeal is an option, but then the Tax rate just gets raised… It is a vicious cycle. It’s a shame that the answer lies with the “cuts” mentioned.

  4. New REVENUE is sorely needed In Brigantine….and we’re not talking tax hikes. New REVENUE can be had by doing simple things that are common elsewhere: Use basic technology to collect fees.

    Example: let a visiting fisherman buy a non-prime time weekday 4×4 pass for the beach. They would gladly pay $50-$100 to drive on our beaches for a few days or a week. Forcing them to buy an ANNUAL pass is dumb and we lose money since they don’t buy ’em. The fisherman could easily use their smartphone to pay & do the transaction online. They automatically get a 4×4 PASS emailed to their smartphone. Fisherman could easily show their smart phone receipt upon inspection by the beach patrol. No need to schlep to the community center.

    The city claims this process is too expensive & complicated to set up. That’s a crock. Anyone could set it up in :30 minutes…for NO cost.

    1. Great idea BrigantineNOW! Could this also be done for Beach badges? BTW- City claiming too expensive equates to- “I can’t means I won’t or I don’t know how”… Your offer is FABULOUS! … a great concept for many City Departments…. I hope they take you up on your offer!!!!!!!

  5. BrigResident III

    The 8 dispatchers are need there 2 per shift and then 3 that float on others days off, as far as per hour part time dispatchers, they are not costing the city money if they aren’t working. People are all entitled to your opinions, but again the employees aren’t the issues, it is revenue, if there was a ton of money coming into Brigantine then we wouldn’t even be having this debate. How can people come and vacation in a shore town that has nothing but a few pizza places, one mismanaged mini-golf course, and a 18 hole golf course we don’t advertise. You pick up that phone and call 911, you’ll be thankful that dispatcher that answers and gets you what you need for you and your family is there, day in and day out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year! While we sleep they help keep us safe along with our officers and firemen. Wake up and find something else or someone else to go after, don’t headhunt employees, stand up and our council meetings and ask the question, why is there no revenue coming into Brigantine, why is there no boardwalk, water park, etc etc. Families want stuff to do in the summer and the beach and pizza will not cut it. And using California as an example not a good one, they are wayyyy over there on the west coast, we are over here on the east coast, there is no departments or cities in Atlantic County even close to that.

    Revenue makes money for cities, bring in more revenue, Bring back the Brigantine Castle that brought year round revenue from people all over the place!!!!

    1. Dispatch from CENTRAL dispatch- 7 days a week, 24 hours/day. $60k Salary PLUS benefits and pensions for each dispatcher is way tooooooo high, not in keeping with that position. Pensions will kill the town. I am not “going after” anyone. 8 lieutenants on the FD is absolutely insane. The salaries in all departments are not realistic in this fiscal situation that we all face right NOW. Boardwalks aren’t built in a day…

      and WHO would take on that Boardwalk project that you speak of as if it is realistic????? It does not seem like a viable project. Do you have a method for this project? Casinos are feeling strains and you think a Boardwalk is a viable project?
      Have you researched the financial possibility of a Boardwalk or The Castle? I have not, but tend to think that it would be cost prohibitive…..BUT there are other options to bring in revenue. ie: sponsorships for triathlon, 4×4 beach events, golf events, polar bear, etc. that bring in money from sponsors….

      … and If there was a Boardwalk, you would expect TWICE the City staff that we have now.

      Families come in the summer and have a great time in Brigantine. They go to the Boardwalks in other towns and then come back to Brigantine and relax…. The BIG houses pay the bills thru taxes- BUT they cannot continue to pay at such escalated rates which are currently caused by employee factors in the budget. The salaries & pensions & benefits are killing Brigantine’s ability to budget effectively.

      You can continue to ignore the fact that Brigantine is over-paid and over-staffed. That is your right. It does not change this fact. There are solutions. Ignoring those options now will only prolong the final outcome…which will be lowering the salaries and eliminating positions. There is not enough money to continue to fund the employee base. Borrowing to pay for high salaries and benefits and pensions and days paid for sick days accrued and over-staffed departments is bad business…. and when it comes down to the money, Brigantine is a business- it’s not your Mom.

  6. Brig Resident III seems like you have a vested interest in job cutbacks-perhaps your own job?
    Brigantine, like every other small town, needs to cut the fat. New Jersey is Greece-no money and no economic sense. No one wants to see anyone lose their job BUT the number of patronage jobs that Brigantine has carried over the decades has got to stop.

    All the ideas of bringing in revenue with entertainment are great but why is it taking so long to come up with a solution for the money woes? Possibly because Brigantine residents allow a mayor to be a mayor without term limits. Come on, people, wake up and realize that everyone will lose their shore property if something doesn’t change. All shore towns will be afforded by millionaires only and the sleepy little fishing town that Brigantine was will be gobbled up by the wealthy.

    1. i am a fulltime owner and resident and have had family on the north end several blocks from where the castle was, and went throught mess that would come with the parked busses and unruley and many times rude turists that would come and watched what that situation did to my elderly family members and suggest for you to build the casyle across from youre house and see how you deal with it, see how it transformes youre quiet neighborood in to a noisy trash strewn street, nomore island paradice in youre world. fran

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