Brigantine has scheduled for May 13 the special election that will determine the future of its public safety director.

The election is the result of a citizens’ petition to eliminate the position, which oversees administration of the city's departments of beach patrol, fire and police.

Dan Howard was appointed to fill the post on an interim basis last June after several chief’s positions had been vacated. Since then, a court order forced the city to reinstate an acting police chief, while two assistant chiefs and four captains supervise the departments of beach patrol and fire, respectively.

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In February, the group Concerned Citizens for Brigantine obtained enough signatures — 525 of 3,099 votes cast in November’s general election — to bring the measure before City Council. The issue now goes to the rest of the electorate as a result of council’s vote last week not to adopt the resulting ordinance.

City Clerk Lynn Sweeney said only those with permanent residency in Brigantine will be allowed to vote as per state law. The registration deadline is April 22, she said.

“People can either come in to the City Clerk’s or I can mail them (the materials),” she said.

Not all of the estimates are in, Sweeney said, but the election is expected to cost the city as much as $30,000. She said that estimate includes:

About $8,100 to print and mail all election materials, including official and sample ballots, street lists and voting authority books.

The county Superintendent of Elections Office estimated the cost of supplying voting machines and other services at $8,000.

Brigantine will pay $5,000 for six poll workers, three each from the two major political parties.

Legal fees and other incidental costs make up the remainder.

Sweeney said residents will cast their ballots at the same polling places used for the general election: Ward 1 at the Brigantine North School, Ward 2 at City Hall and Wards 3 and 4 at the Brigantine Beach Community Center.

Contact Wallace McKelvey:


@wjmckelvey on Twitter

More than 30 years’ experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines in Illinois, Colorado, Texas and New Jersey and 1985 winner of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association’s John Murphy Award for copy editing.

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