N.J. citizens group asks judge to block ruling against a spending initiative
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.
Armstrong dismissed the petitions because Magrate is a city formed under the Walsh Act instead of the state's home rule laws. 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. 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.
John Steven Woerner, Maureen P. Dougherty, and Anne Pancoast of the Concerned Citizens of Margate are the named plaintiff's in the case. The named defendants are Margate City Clerk Thomas Hiltner, Margate City Commissioners, and the City of Margate.