Four years ago: Wildwood mayor forced to pick between police and mayorship

In December 2009, Gary DeMarzo was appointed mayor of Wildwood. But his tenure was put in jeopardy almost immediately when a Superior Court judge ruled in February 2010 that DeMarzo had to choose between his position as mayor and his job as a city police officer.

DeMarzo, then 43, had been a full-time police officer since Feb. 10, 1998. He was elected to the Wildwood Board of Commissioners in May 2007 and took an unpaid leave of absence from his job as a police officer. He was allowed to hold both roles under court rulings that restricted his participation in the city's operations related to the Police Department and other areas.

But he chose to remain as mayor after the 2010 ruling, which he appealed. The state Appellate Court last month upheld the Superior Court’s decision.

DeMarzo lost his bid for re-election in 2011 and is now trying to return to his position as police officer. He said he filed an appeal to the state Supreme Court Monday for them to hear this case.

The veteran police officer said he wants to be able to earn his benefits and work toward his pension. He said this decision will mean many public employees will not be able to seek public office.

“I want to finish my career,” he said. “Everyone from senators to school board members have used the law. … I was personally harmed and punished for running for public office. I should have been allowed to return to my previous position after my term in office, just as countless others have done in the past.”

Four months ago: Egg Harbor Township bridge damaged by flooding

In June, heavy flooding damaged the bridge between English Lane and English Creek Avenue in Egg Harbor Township. Atlantic County announced this week it has started work on a $3.5 million project to reconstruct the 99-year-old bridge.

The county will install a concrete bridge that will be 7 feet, 3 inches high to alleviate flooding and accommodate boats that travel underneath.

The reconstruction will occur in two phases over the next 22 months. A detour will be in effect periodically when construction occurs.

"This roadway is widely used by both our residents and visitors to the shore,” County Executive Dennis Levinson said. “We are anxious to continue this progress and complete the bridge as scheduled. In the meantime, we appreciate the public’s cooperation and patience as we move forward in making necessary improvements to our transportation infrastructure.”

Seven months ago: Health care facility plans new center in Rio Grande

In March, CompleteCare Health Network, a nonprofit health organization that serves about 50,000 uninsured people in Cape May, Cumberland and Gloucester counties with nearly 20 medical and dental facilities, announced plans to open an urgent-care center at the ShopRite in Rio Grande.

The new facility, named RiteCare, will be an option for patients seeking nonemergency care after hours and on weekends. The RiteCare offices will treat walk-in patients for common illnesses and injuries. It also will offer health screenings and tetanus, pneumovax, PPD and flu shots.

CompleteCare will host a grand opening for the new service at noon today at 1700 Route 47 in Rio Grande.

Contact Joel Landau:

609-272-7215

@landaupressofac 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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