Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove joined with each of the six mayors from Long Beach Island at Surf City Borough Hall in a meeting with Commissioner Bob Martin of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), within the Christie Administration’s cabinet.
The meeting’s purpose was to discuss local and State issues of importance that included, but were not limited to, beach replenishment, Barnegat Bay and tideland resources.
The mayoral delegation in attendance consisted of Mayor Leonard T. Connors, Jr. of Surf City, Mayor Kirk Larsen of Barnegat Light, Mayor Jonathan Oldham of Harvey Cedars,, Mayor William Huelsenbeck of Ship Bottom, Mayor Joseph H. Mancini of Long Beach Township and Mayor Michael J. Battista of Beach Haven. Surf City Councilman Peter Hartney also attended. Congressman John Adler and representatives from his office participated in the meeting as well.
The 9th District Delegation issued the following statement regarding the meeting:
“We facilitated the meeting in an effort to bring Commissioner Martin up-to-speed with a local perspective on the environmental issues confronting Long Beach Island and surrounding areas. As the new Administration’s representative for environmental issues, we wanted the Commissioner to hear, firsthand, from local officials on matters they are dealing with on a daily basis that could be more effectively addressed by working in cooperation with the state. During the meeting, it was generally understood that beach replenishment has emerged as the most pressing issue for the Island.
“In scheduling this meeting, we felt the mayors’ collective experience of more than a century, between their local government service and their time as residents on the Island, would prove invaluable to the Commissioner. In all, we felt the meeting was productive for all parties involved. Commissioner Martin was responsive to the concerns brought forth by the mayors and assured everyone that there would be a continuing dialogue between his Department and local officials. He stressed the need for changing the Department’s culture to be a working partner with municipalities, rather than a bureaucratic obstacle, which understandably was music to everyone’s ears.”