LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP— Public officials are hopeful Gov. Chris Christie will speak about the progress of the Barnegat Bay initiative in addition to tax relief during his visit today to Long Beach Island.
Christie will visit Bayview Park in the Brant Beach section as part of his “Endless Summer of Tax Relief: A Conversation at the Jersey Shore” tour. Long Beach Township, a small shore community on Long Beach Island, has a small year-round population of just more than 3,000 residents — with most of the registered voters being Republican.
A spokesman for the Governor’s Office said the event is not a town hall meeting and not geared to a large crowd. Township officials said the governor will speak and then take questions from the public.
Christie’s Endless Summer Tax Relief series intention is to call on Corzine Democrats to “stop holding tax relief hostage and to urge the Legislature to continue the New Jersey Comeback”, a news release stated.
Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph Mancini is not able to attend the event, but he said the governor is also expected to speak on the health of the Barnegat Bay and the administration’s 10-point plan initiative.
“The progress on the Barnegat Bay initiative is what I would like to hear him speak about. Locally, we continue to work to preserve the bay,” Mancini said.
Mancini said he would also like the governor to speak about the township’s continuing fight for a beach replenishment project.
The township is pursuing the eminent domain process in state Superior Court to obtain easements for a beach replenishment project. Over 100 oceanfront homeowners have refused to sign easements granting access to their property to complete the project.
“We’re trying to get this process moved to federal court I would like an opinion on that from the governor,” Mancini said.
The Township Board of Commissioners supports Christie’s tax relief plan, but with the Barnegat Bay in the township’s back yard it is an important, local issue, said Commissioner Joseph Lattanzi.
“We hope to move forward with his 10 point plan for the bay. I think we’re in the very beginning of the process. We’re looking to support that here locally and we continue to do that with programs like ReClam the Bay,” Lattanzi said.
In Dec. 2010, the Christie administration unveiled its 10-Point Comprehensive Barnegat Bay Restoration Plan.
Ninth District Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove R-Ocean, Burlington, Atlantic calls Long Beach Township home and has been a lifelong resident. Gove is the former mayor of Long Beach Township.
Gove will attend Thursday and said it was appropriate that the event will be held at Bayview Park with the Barnegat Bay as the backdrop.
“Gov. Christie has been very supportive of Barnegat Bay. The bay has been one his priorities since he was on the campaign trail and over the last couple of years with the administration, legislature and DEP,” she said.
Wednesday afternoon, Gove said she just received her tax bill and was comparing the breakdown of local, county and state taxes. Relief for taxpayers is also necessary, she said.
Christie campaigned on tax relief for taxpayers and the administration is working to get it through the legislature to get taxpayers relief, she said.
“Anyone who is a resident here is going to get their tax bill today or tomorrow and they’re going to be looking at it. People have been clamoring about property taxes and tax cuts and we have to get something done,” she said.