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Board Appoints 2 to Top Posts; Another 96th Street Bridge Repair Looms

Kevin Lare will assume new titles as county administrator and clerk of the Board of County Commissioners.

By Al Campbell

CREST HAVEN – Appointments were made for three top county posts for three years each by the Board of County Commissioners Nov. 23. 

Administrator, Clerk of the Board Named 

Effective Jan. 1, 2022, Acting Administrator Kevin Lare will assume new titles as county administrator and clerk of the Board of County Commissioners. As such, he will act as the chief administrative official for the five-member all-Republican board.  

According to a resolution passed the same day, his salary will be $136,780 (rounded up) annually. That document, posted under “Public Info, Government Salaries” on the Herald’s website, includes many American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) members and non-union employees’ 2022 salaries. 

There had been debate in the past regarding having one person be both administrator and clerk of the board. There was no similar discussion at the passage of the current resolution.   

County Counsel Named 

In the absence of Board Director Gerald Thornton in the meeting conducted by Vice Director Leonard Desiderio, commissioners unanimously appointed Jeffrey R. Lindsay as county counsel. 

As such, Lindsay, Thornton’s stepson, will head the county Department of Law for three years, effective from Dec. 11, 2021. 

According to the salary resolution passed at the meeting, his annual salary will be $168,546, the same as that of the county prosecutor’s first assistant prosecutor. 

Another 96th Street Bridge Fix 

The 96th Street Bridge linking Middle Township and Stone Harbor over the Great Channel will get a $2.98 million rehabilitation due to a resolution passed Nov. 23. 

Proposals for engineering services were sought in August. Five firms submitted proposals. County Engineer Robert Church said that WSP USA Inc. was deemed most qualified to provide those services. 

The New York City firm was contracted for two years starting Nov. 24, with three one-year options. Funding is from a 2018 bond ordinance.  

Rescue Plan Funds 

A $115,600 advertising and promotion package was approved Nov. 23 by commissioners to aid the county’s tourism industry. The contract with EffecTv, a Comcast entity, started Sept. 6 and will run through June 18, 2022.  

Funding will be from the American Rescue Plan funds from the federal government to bolster the economy after the Covid pandemic. 

The county’s Department of Tourism will work with the firm to promote various events and services in the area. 

Award Contract for Audit Services 

The county received a single proposal Oct. 27 after it requested proposals for audit and financial services. 

Commissioners awarded a contract to Ford, Scott & Associates LLC for those services. The term is for a year with two additional one-year options starting Jan. 1, 2022.  

The resolution passed unanimously. 

Zoo Attendance Soars 

Commissioner E. Marie Hayes, who oversees the County Park and Zoo, reported a record 35% increase in attendance this year. 

Attendance through the Route 9 entrance was 178,870 vehicles and 554,146 people, as recorded by the electronic eye going through the zoo.  

The average attendance at the park and zoo in 2010, 2011, and 2021 was 132,000 cars and 396,000 people. 

“I don’t think anyone can disagree that our park and zoo is one of the major attractions in our county, and the numbers really come to prove it,” Hayes said. 

Spout Off

Lower Township – As a retired long time bus driver for NJT,and an even longer resident of LT : Thank you to all the school bus drivers for an accident free year. It is a monumental achievement in this day and age!

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Del Haven – I couldn't help but note that a Republican Rep likened Trump's speech to that of a drunk uncle at a dinner party, when he ranted about Milwaukee as being a terrible "city", Pelosi…

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Wildwood – I think it's only fitting wbp honors past chief cirelli with some sort of badges on their uniforms . Chief Lou lived for the summers and only wished the best for our city

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