Mayor Jay Gillian is running for re-election after initially being elected in 2010.
He will be challenged by Ed Price.
The mayor serves a four-year term and is the head of the administration in Ocean City. He works with Ocean City Council, but is not a council member and doesn’t have a vote.
Ocean City Patch sent a series of
questions to each candidate in this year's elections. The questions listed
below are listed as sent, and each answer is published as received, with
corrections for minor errors.
The subject of today's "Meet the Candidate" profile is Mayor Jay Gillian.
Why are you running?
I'm running for another term as Mayor for a few simple reasons:
1. I love what I'm doing, and I love Ocean City.
2. I'm proud of what has been accomplished during my first term.
3. I want to continue the progress we've made as we've stabilized operating expenses and significantly increased our capital improvement program.
4. I want to provide proven, common sense leadership to maintain Ocean City as "America's Greatest Family Resort," a great place to live, raise a family, invest or visit.
It's that simple.
What do you feel are the most pressing issues?
The residents I've spoken to over the past four years want to maintain the level of services we enjoy in Ocean City and expect the local government to deliver these services in the most cost efficient manner possible.
In addition they want to see continued improvements to our infrastructure. The condition of our roads and drainage systems will remain the priority.
What are some of the positive things that have happened in the city under the current Administration?
* TEAM WORK AND COOPERATION -I've worked in partnership with City Council to restore civility to local government affairs. The days of bickering and grandstanding are over. Now when elected officials or the Administration and Council differ in opinion, they work together to reach consensus on policy decisions, projects and funding.
* STORM RECOVERY - Ocean City was cleaned up, fixed up and back in business faster than any nearby community following Hurricane Sandy. Ocean City was one of the only communities to have a contract in place over a year before the storm that provided for equipment and debris and sand removal. The Administration provided the leadership for the formation of OCNJ CARE, a non-profit organization that raised and distributed over $600,000 in relief funding to local homeowners and businesses. The City government worked in partnership with the non-profit group, local churches and the business community in the months following the storm to get people back in their homes, get damaged businesses reopened and get the community ready for the summer season.
* CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS - The Administration developed and City Council adopted an aggressive five year Capital Improvement Plan that included $10 million in much needed investment in the City's infrastructure. This is double the amount of improvements in previous years. Approximately $5 million has been allocated to long awaited road and drainage improvements. Prior to my term as little as $1 million was allocated for roads and drainage, which led to a huge back log in needed repairs. New check valves were installed in many locations during my first year in office. The first phase of the much needed boardwalk replacement is nearing completion. Twelve bulkheads were replaced in the last two years - more than the previous six years combined, The long awaited Merion Park road and drainage improvements are currently out to bid. The list goes on and on.
* FINANCIAL STABILITY - The Administration has controlled spending and held taxes to responsible levels. The City ended 2013 with a fund balance of $5.8 million, the largest in history. City budgets during the past four years have been well under the Governor's 2% cap. The City's debt has been restructured allowing the aggressive Capital Improvement Plan to be implemented without burdening future Administrations and Councils with large spending increases. Tax assessments have been adjusted throughout the island, providing for a more equitable distribution of taxes consistent with current market values.
* EFFICIENCY - The Administration proposed and City Council adopted two significant reorganizations of the city government during the past four years. Management has been reduced by the reorganizations and attrition resulting in one less department head and four fewer middle managers. City team members are working across department lines more than ever before and are truly "doing more with less" as they deliver the services our residents, property owners and guests expect and deserve.
* LABOR CONTRACTS - The Administration negotiated the most favorable labor contracts for the taxpayers in the City's history. The contracts provided fair salary increases of approximately 1.2% a year, significantly less than previous contracts. These contracts, combined with needed reform of pension and benefit costs have been key factors in the financial stability of the City.
If reelected, what would you tackle in your next term that you weren't able to get to in the last four years?
The focus will remain on improving our infrastructure, and $20 million in improvements to our roads and drainage systems, which is what our capital plan calls for, will make a noticeable difference.
Other capital improvements I'm committed to include the continued reconstruction of the boardwalk, the construction of a new skate park, and improvements to Carey Field.
What is your background?
I've spent all of my adult life working to make Ocean City a better place:
Mayor , 2010 - 2014
Ocean City Library Board of Trustees, 2010 - 2014
Ocean City Board of Education, 2002 - 2010, Served as President
Shore Memorial Hospital / Shore Medical Center Board of Directors, Served as Chairman
First Night Ocean City Board of Directors
Miss New Jersey Pageant Board of Directors
First Tee of Greater Atlantic City Board of Directors
New Jersey Amusement Association Board of Directors
Shore Tomorrow Campaign Co-Chairman
Ocean City Historical Museum Board of Directors
Ocean City Boardwalk Merchants Association Past President
Ocean City Business and Neighborhood Development Inc. Past President
2009 Exchange Club Book of Golden Deeds Award
2008 Bailey Award for community service presented by The Press of Atlantic City
1999 Ocean City Citizen of the Year