N.J. citizens group asks judge to block ruling against a spending initiative

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January 24, 2011

By Kyle Maichle

MARGATE, New Jersey: Members of the Concerned Citizens of Margate have filed a motion with Judge Valerie Armstrong asking for a stay on her December 21, 2010, decision to not allow the city to abide by petitions requesting for an spending initiative on the ballot.[1]

Armstrong dismissed the petitions because Magrate is a city formed under the Walsh Act instead of the state's home rule laws.[1] Under home rule laws, referendums can be placed on the ballot to challenge expenditures involving indebtedness. The judge's ruling allows the Margate City Commission to issue $2.3 million in bonds for renovations to a fire station.[1] If a stay is issued, the city cannot move on any of their plans until the Superior Court's Appellate Division issues a decision over the appeal filed by the citizen's group according to City Solicitor Mary Siracusa.[1]

John Steven Woerner, Maureen P. Dougherty, and Anne Pancoast of the Concerned Citizens of Margate are the named plaintiff's in the case.[1] The named defendants are Margate City Clerk Thomas Hiltner, Margate City Commissioners, and the City of Margate.[1]

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