Wednesday, February 28, 2024


Departments Switch: Wildwood City Clerk Moves Departments, Tax Assessor Stays

By Lauren Suit

WILDWOOD — In the latest chapter of drama in City Hall here, the city’s clerk and tax assessor requested that they be moved out Department of Revenue and Finance and away from Commissioner Gary DeMarzo.
Both Wildwood City Clerk Chris Wood and Tax Assessor Joseph Gallagher had made a formal request to become apart of the Office of Public Works prior to the city’s Wednesday May 13 meeting.
Wood told the Herald hat he wanted to work with commissioners that wanted to move the city forward.
“I believe he [DeMarzo] is too intent on revenge and retribution for past personal problems. He isn’t focused on moving the city forward and doing what’s best for Wildwood,” Wood said.
Gallagher has made no secret of his feelings for DeMrzo and had announced at a past commission meeting that DeMarzo had impeded his ability to do his job.
DeMarzo, said he was unaware of the request to move departments and called it “mean-spirited.” He claimed the move stemmed from his fellow commissioners failed bid to unseat him and the current recall effort.
Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. and Commissioner William Davenport denied that the move was political in nature and originate from city employee’s requests.
After the commission’s vote on May 13 only Wood was able to move departments.
Troiano and Davenport voted for Wood moving under William Davenport’s department of Public Safety. DeMarzo voted against the move.
City Solicitor Mark Karavan said that Gallagher could not be transferred out of DeMarzo’s department and will remain under the revenue and finance. The tax assessor, chief financial officer and all elements of the city’s financial team had to remain in the same depart-ment, he said. Karavan said that the law allowed for the city clerk to be under the umbrella of revenue and finance or public affairs and safety.

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