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Ocean Council Meets Thursday, Administration Changes Expected

OCEAN TOWNSHIP: This Thursday, June 8, the Ocean Township Council will meet at 5 p.m. for the Workshop - (Second Floor and open to public for most of it) and at 7 p.m. for the regular session in the main room on the first floor.

Since the May 11 public meeting, activities have been in a Special Executive Session where it is believed the Council has been deciding on a new Business Administrator to replace Andrew Brannen. Ocean has had a temporary, experienced manager with added help from Mayor Siciliano (compensated with salary for the time required) as agreed by Council earlier when Brannen left. Council thought it better to add supporting time to not have things fall in the crack, since the temporary person will be juggling a lot of ongoing as well as new activities in the town.

That decision was not unanimous, as Deputy Mayor Acerra wanted to have more council members pitching in to avoid the added costs. For all other council members, the vote was to add the coverage to keep up to date with activities in tow.

At the May 11 meeting the ordinance to deal with adding cats to the local animals to be controlled was taken off the table so it could be further studied. The cats matter turns out to be more complex, with significantly different views by the public, as well as the Council taking precaution to do the right thing. It was stated several times the concept is not to eliminate cats, including feral animals, but to find a means to control any negative things they may bring to neighborhoods.

Residents were seeking a ruling that would deal with several issues: health, property damage and other issues. Some were cat lovers (Mayor Siciliano said he was) and others were not. Health issues had to be included in the answers, as did avoiding animal cruelty, evidenced in the opinions brought to the floor.

A second sticky issue, the Highway 35 / Deal Road development, still in the "Concept mode" the Mayor reminded, for some residents took the form of appearance issues based on possible business and buildings proposed. For other residents the issues got into traffic jams impacts, and for others the environmental impacts. Mayor Siciliano reminded all that the matter has not matured in the developer's plans to bring it the Planning Board where negotiations, and "tweaking" might impact the concerns expressed.

The meeting lasted just shy of an hour and a half. It ended with still open questions on the cats and traffic jammers issues.

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