Imagine Sandy striking

floating nuclear plants

Although what the 100-year superstorm Sandy did to the shore was horrendous, it could have been worse.

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In the early 1970s, Westinghouse and Tenneco Inc. sought permission from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build twin 1,000-megawatt floating nuclear power plants 2.8 miles off the coast of Atlantic City.

This was opposed by the Atlantic County Citizens Council on the Environment. Three members of that organization were registered by the NRC as official interveners to represent the opposition of the community, which soon included the county and state governments.

Over the next couple of years, the ACCCE brought in scientists and experts from as far away as California to Richard Stockton College to inform the public of the dangers of such an enterprise.

County freeholders placed a question on the ballot that asked, "Do you want a nuclear power plant 2.8 miles off Atlantic City?" The idea was voted down by a margin of 2-to-1.

During the next two years, the ACCCE interveners repeatedly argued their case before many NRC sessions held in Atlantic City and Washington, exhausting the ACCCE treasury. The citizens organization prevailed upon the state Public Advocate, which assigned legal assistance in support of its case. That and other developments led to the final NRC disapproval of the planned offshore floating nuclear power plants.

Had the industry plan been approved and implemented, considering the overwhelming strength and destruction of the storm, it is possible we could have suffered a catastrophe on our shores and ocean greater than the land-based Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown from the Japanese tsunami of 2011. The impact of superstorm Sandy could have been much worse.


Egg Harbor Township

John Williamson is a past president of the Atlantic County Citizens Council on the Environment.

Sandy fallout will affect

Brigantine revaluation

Prior to Hurricane Sandy, Brigantine was in the process of conducting a complete revaluation. The revaluation was prompted by the enormous number of tax appeals that occurred each year since the previous revaluation. It is now clear that in the prior revaluation property values were overstated because the revaluation firm did not take into account changing market conditions resulting from the economic meltdown.

The purpose of a revaluation is to bring about a higher degree of equalization between taxpayers by assessing property at its true market value as of Oct. 1 of the pretax year. In other words, if the new assessments are to become effective in 2013, they should reflect what the market value of each property was as of Oct. 1, 2012.

Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey Shore in late October and caused substantial physical damage to many properties in Brigantine. Although that damage can be taken into account, the impact of the storm on true market value will not be known until there are sufficient sales in the future.

Brigantine cannot afford to waste taxpayer money funding another faulty revaluation that will be outdated as soon as the new assessments are put on the books. Unfortunately, we have lived through this movie before, and it resulted in thousands of tax appeals and thousands of disgruntled taxpayers.

At this point in time it would be foolish to base the market value of Brigantine's real property on values as of Oct. 1, 2012.

We must give the market sufficient time to absorb the impact of Sandy.

This will take some time. I feel it would be prudent for Brigantine to postpone its revaluation for at least another year.

Revaluations are expensive. We cannot afford to do one every few years. Let's learn from the past and get this one right.



More voters favored

Democratic giveaways

This past election proves that a Republican will never again be elected to the presidency.

Republicans, with their call for fiscal responsibility, cannot compete with Democrats and their giveaway policies.

The voters' response in this past election is proof that more people favor entitlements than fiscal responsibility. Yet they do not understand that the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is rapidly being depleted.

I will sadly miss the GOP, but of more importance will be a lack of desire for people to achieve the American Dream without government assistance.


Mays Landing

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