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Monday, July 15, 2024

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Ex-Wildwood Mayor Named City’s Business Administrator

Ex-Wildwood Mayor Named City’s Business Administrator

By Christopher South

Ed Grant
File Photo
Ed Grant

WILDWOOD – The city has brought in a former mayor and retired business manager for the county to help get it on a stable footing, after going more than five months without a business administrator.

Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. said Ed Grant, mayor from 1990 to 1994, is an efficiency expert who understands the community and will work with every department and “come up with fixes” for problems he might discover.

“We are lucky to have him,” Troiano said.

Grant was the Wildwood City Council’s president from 1985 to 1990, before the city had the commission form of government it has now, and then became mayor. He worked for Cape May County from 1979 until his retirement, serving as the county purchasing agent, chief financial officer, treasurer and, finally, as business manager. He currently serves as the administrator for the Borough of Cape May Point.

Grant said he will be working with and advising City Clerk Lisa Brown, who has been serving as the interim administrator since Jan. 10. The city began the year without a business administrator because the contract of Steve O’Connor ended Dec. 31, 2023, along with the term of the previous administration. Brown was appointed for a period of 30 days, with the understanding that her appointment might be extended.  

“The commissioners brought me in to work with her, all the departments and the commissioners,” he said when reached at his office in Cape May Point, adding he would work as a resource for all of the departments.

Grant said he would be dividing his time between Wildwood and Cape May Point, spending three to four hours per day in each spot with additional hours as needed. He plans to go through all the financials and department reports and see what is needed. He said he did not know how long the arrangement would continue.

“We will have to wait and see,” he said. “We will do what we have to do to help everyone do their jobs better, and every three months we will determine if this will continue or be a more long-term situation.

“Everything is on the table at this point.”

Grant said he had retired to Florida when the shutdowns associated with Covid-19 went into effect – closing its beaches, golf courses and workout rooms, among other things, and he got a call to come back to Cape May Point.

For as quiet a community as Cape May Point is — it has only one retail facility — Grant said he is never bored.

“This is my second tour of duty here,” he said. “During the first I was amazed at how incredibly busy it is here. It’s a very active community.”

Troiano said Wildwood is a totally different animal, both from Cape May Point and from the time Grant was an elected official.

“We have all the effects and needs of a major city. Can you imagine this (Barefoot Beach Country Music Fest) concert in Avalon, Stone Harbor or Cape May?” the mayor asked.

The Barefoot Beach Country Music Fest ran four days, June 20-23, and was expected to attract about 35,000 people. Troiano said Wildwood has a lot of major events that make operating the city a special task.

Call Christopher South at 609-886-8600 x-128 or email csouth@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Christopher South is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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