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Friday, April 12, 2024

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Mahaney, Swain Sworn in to Office in Cape May

 

By Jack Fichter

CAPE MAY- Edward J. Mahaney Jr. received his oath of office as Mayor of Cape May July 1 at noon from County Freeholder Director Dan Beyel.
A few minutes later, Terri L. Swain received her oath of office as councilwoman from Beyel.
Interim City Manager Bruce MacLeod sat at the council table with the newcomers. He is handling both the job of city manager and chief financial officer following the firing of Luciano V. Corea Jr. as city manager two weeks ago.
Mahaney said he would not make a state of the city address since he had only been mayor for about 20 minutes. He said the diverse segments of Cape May’s population needed to work together “to help city council identify, plan and implement resolutions to problems.”
Mahaney promised a very “inclusive form of government” for residents.
City Council will begin meeting four times per month for the next three months. In September, council will determine if it wants to continue to meet weekly, said Mahaney.
“We have a number of major issues facing this council and this city which are going to require extra time,” he said.
Council will hold a business meeting on the first and third Tuesdays at 7 p.m. and hold work sessions on the second and fourth Tuesdays at 1 p.m. with a short business meeting after the work session. The 1 p.m. meeting would not be used for public hearings of ordinances, said the mayor.
Mahaney said the new meeting schedule would provide the public with more input on issues. He said council was proceeding with plans to televise city council meetings on Comcast Cable.
New procedures for putting items on council’s agenda will be put into place, said Mahaney. He said items would not appear on the agenda at the last minute.
He said he would ask council to review the procedures for public comment at council meetings. Mahaney said he would like to remove time limits for speakers from the public.
Council could comment on public comment if it wishes, he said, noting he would answer questions from the public at that point in the meeting.
Adjustments will be made to the city’s boards, commissions and committees because some persons serve on two or three boards, said Mahaney. He said residents would serve on one board or commission.
The mayor said a letter would be sent out asking those on the planning board, who are not up for reappointment, to voluntarily submit their resignation. He said he wanted the board to better represent a cross section of the community.
He said the city was in a severe situation with a master plan update that has to be completed by next March and renewal of the expired Plan Endorsement, which gives the city preferential status for state grants and loans.
All board and commission members will be provided weekend training sessions beginning in September, said Mahaney.
Swain, who got married three days before receiving her oath of office, said it had been a “remarkable week.” Swain she was a hard worker and took her council position “very seriously.”
Linda Steenrod was elected by council to serve as Deputy Mayor.
(Cut line- Mahaney takes oath as his sister, Patricia Brand, holds the Bible.”

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