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Sunday, May 19, 2024

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Board Lauds Boyd; ’21 Budget Adopted

Robert Boyd accepts resolution for 16 years of service on the county’s Technical School and Special Services District School Board from County Commissioners June 22. From left is Director Gerald Thornton

By Al Campbell

CREST HAVEN – Robert L. Boyd “nobly served the Board of Education with a student-forward focus and with dedication and commitment to public education.”
Boyd, a retired Cape May police chief, was honored by the Board of County Commissioners June 22, with a resolution that attested to 16 years on the boards of the county’s Technical School and Special Services School districts. 
He served from May 2005, and as president from June 2012 through June 2018. He served first on the Technical School board, and then on the combined board with the Special Services School District.
Four generations of Boyd’s family attended the meeting to celebrate the honor. Looking on was Carol, his wife. They mark their 59th anniversary June 30.
The resolution was presented by County Commissioner Director Gerald Thornton, Vice-Director Leonard Desiderio, and CommissionerWill Morey, who oversees county education.
The resolution noted Boyd “kept abreast of the ever-changing educational policies and issues, and maintained an environment of collaboration and communication among the students, families, staff and board.”
Each county commissioner added personal recollections about their years working with Boyd. 
“You’ve been such an asset to the entire county. We have a better quality of life in this county because of Bob Boyd,” said Thornton. 
“Your devotion to helping people, and especially the children of the school district, is really something that we will never forget,” said Desiderio.
Commissioner E. Marie Hayes, who retired from the County Prosecutor’s Office, said Boyd was the first police chief she got to know when working in her law enforcement career. 
“You are one of the most unselfish people I’ve ever met in my entire life,” she said. 
Commissioner Jeffrey Pierson said he came to know Boyd since he served as an undersheriff at the Correctional Facility. 
“He was one of the backbones of getting the county Public Safety Training Center here, and really was a great instructor there,” Pierson said.
“You’ve made a big impact in this community,” said Morey. 
“I knew absolutely nothing about education (when first appointed by freeholders),” said Boyd. “You people had faith in me that I could work hard, and we were very successful with that school system and the merger (of the two districts). What a magnificent school system this county has. It is a shining star in Cape May County,” Boyd continued. 
“Most people have no idea what a magnificent facility that is andwhat a great job they do with educating young people,” he said.
Finally, Budget’s Adopted
After a several-month delay with adopting the county’s 2021, $181.94-million budget, caused by the federal Covid relief act sending aid to the county, the spending plan was unanimously approved June 22.
It calls for $135.6 million to be raised by taxes, with a seven-tenths of a cent increase in the rate to .234 cents per $100 of assessed value. 
Thornton said that rate was the second-lowest in the state. He said the average Cape May County property tax bill is $5,403, compared to statewide tax bills of $9,112.
Thornton said funding levels remain at the 2020 level, “along with a deep decrease of full-time seasonal employees” compared to the prior year.
There remains a surplus of $13 million.
Miscellaneous revenues are anticipated to be slightly under $34 million.
Thinking Fourth of July
As businesses and municipalities plan for Fourth of July festivities, the board approved several resolutions permitting the use of county roadways for celebrations.
Lower Township was granted permission to close a part of Townbank Road (CR648) July 3 for its fireworks display.
West Wildwood will be allowed to hold its annual parade July 4, on Glenwood Avenue (CR614).
Cape May will host its Independence Day celebration July 3, when it closes part of Beach Avenue (CR604).
Ag Development Board 
Sue Ann Wheeler, of Goshen, and Leslie Rea, of West Cape May, were reappointed to the county Agriculture Development Board for four-yearterms. They will serve until March 25, 2024.
Change Order with Credit
While most change orders call for additional funds, a resolution approved at the meeting was a $30,827 credit from R. Wilkinson & Sons Construction for work on the Safari Cafe at the County Park Zoo. 
The credit was due to reductions in kitchen equipment, kitchen installations, and credit for a generator.
Chamber Thanks Board
Vicki Clark, president, Cape May County Chamber of Commerce, and Doug Burke, chamber chairman, told commissioners of the remodeling of the chamber’s headquarters on Crest Haven Road, at the GardenState Parkway.
They thanked the board for its $200,000 donation to aid in the renovation, as well as the $1 sale of the land, which permitted the chamber to secure financing for the project. 
The headquarters is closed while the renovation takes place. It is expected to be finished in the fall.
Clark said the project will have better facilities in the building that will aid local businesses. She noted the project also allows businesses to take part in the project.

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