Respect Brigantine Petition. Letter to the Editor

Letter to the editor from Linda Wynkoop…

It is most disappointing to read the nasty tone of the ads and letters to the editor attacking the people and ideas behind the “Respect Brigantine” petition drive.

Attempting to get signatures so that a matter can be placed on the ballot, and all can learn and make an informed decision in May, is one of the tenets of democracy this country was built on! They are merely proposing to look at what might be a better fit considering the declining population of the island; they are not planning to overthrow the government.

This nastiness is all the more reason to support this measure. Instead of a D, R or BTA initials after a name, we could all be united in a stronger, thriving Brigantine!

Another cause of distress: our recent tax bill! While there was a lesser tax increase proposed by Mayor Guenther and Andy Simpson that got voted down, the Brigantine Taxpayers Association supported the higher tax proposal. I was under the impression they were supposed to fight against tax increases. Perhaps if this was proposed by two other people, the BTA would have supported it?

Linda Wynkoop

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2 thoughts on “Respect Brigantine Petition. Letter to the Editor”

  1. Does anyone on this island pay attention to any issues that don’t have to do with ‘walking their dogs?” Obviously Ms. Wynkoop doesn’t or else she would remember that the bulk of the tax increase, which in comparison to previous years could be considered modest, went to not only fund the bill for cleanup after Sandy (you remember Sandy, right? … big storm, big mess, lots of cleanup) but also to create a fund to cover the expected loss of revenue from the over 1300 tax appeals that were filed this year. Its called ‘responsible budgeting’

    Also please explain to me how a committee comprised of 4 Republicans, all connected to and supported by the two Republican councilman, have figured out the best way to ‘unite us all.’ I think there was a pretty considerable ‘unifying’ voice heard in the last 2 election years.

    And while we are at it, someone … anyone, please explain to me how a group of 3 commissioners with no pre-set qualifications or experience in city management are supposed to do a better job than the qualified, experienced professionals that we already have? Municipal management is not an endeavor to be left to people who are looking for ‘on the job training.’


    Republicans lost their one hundred years stranglehold on Brigantine. Republican politicians were so stunned by voters throwing them out of power that they are now trying this: Change the government to the outdated commissioner form where they hope to elect two of the three commissioners and again control Brigantine.

    The failed commission government was ousted by Brigantine voters in 1989. Vincent Sera, Vice-President of a small group circulating a petition to return to the antiquated commission government wrote a letter to the editor with these incorrect statements:

    1. “You are simply giving the people of our community the opportunity to decide for themselves if they would like to return to the three-commissioner form of government.” Not so!

    Brigantine voters decided recently by voting out the Republicans, and elected well qualified new council members. These council members are fighting hard to cut expenses to keep down taxes. They work with a new professional city manager who is doing a superb job of keeping down costs and negotiating contracts to benefit taxpayers. Who would want to go back to political boss commissioners who will replace the heads of departments and reward their cronies at the expense of you the taxpayers?

    The petition is not being circulated by “the people of our community”. Instead, people who are not from Brigantine are going door to door urging people to sign. When asked what they know about a commission government, these petition circulators said they have no idea!

    2.Three commissioners is “working well for many other shore communities.” Not so!

    The commission form of government is so bad that New Jersey went from 60 commission municipalities down to 25. But New Jersey now has 42 council-manager governments such as we have in Brigantine.

    Would you rather have skilled, knowledgeable, experienced persons heading your city’s departments, or three commissioner political bosses who have no experience or knowledge about the departments they will head?

    It is nonsense for petitioner’s saying that a slight change in population to 9,450 is their reason for changing to a wasteful commission. Brigantine’s council-manager type government functions well in communities from 3,600 to 62,000.

    3. Outrageously, the four petition promoters say they are “not trying to promote any political party.” Yet,
    *Each of them is a Republican.
    *There is no Democrat among them.
    *The petition was sprung on the public at a function sponsored by the Republican Club at which the main speakers were Republican Mayor Guenther and Republican Council member Simpson.

    It’s time for the petition promoters to tell the truth to the people of Brigantine: Wasn’t this hoped for change of government hatched at a meeting of Republicans because they couldn’t elect five council members and now want to change to three commissioners in hopes they can elect two of the commissioners and try to rule Brigantine?

    Don’t sign the petition. When asked to do so, just say NO.

    If you already signed the Petition, ASK TO HAVE YOUR NAME REMOVED. For help doing so call 609-266-1509 and leave your name, address and telephone number.

    Marge Tefankjian
    4501 Harbor Beach Blvd.

    Al Dragon
    404 30th Street South
    Brigantine, NJ 08203

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