Only one candidate turns out for FIT’s “Candidates Night” in Ocean City

first_imgBrenda Moiso, who is running for the Fourth Ward Council seat in Ocean City’s May 10 municipal election.By Donald Wittkowski  A Candidates Night forum in Ocean City turned into the Candidate Night. Brenda Moiso, who is running for City Council’s Fourth Ward seat, was the only candidate to show up Friday night at the forum sponsored by the community group Fairness In Taxes. “It’s just me,” Moiso exclaimed with a laugh as the event was getting underway at the Ocean City Free Public Library. The seven other City Council candidates running in the May 10 municipal election declined to attend for various reasons, said Jim Tweed, moderator of the forum. Tweed noted he has been involved with a number of political debates and candidate forums since 2004 and this was the first time that just one candidate showed up. Tweed explained that at least two candidates declined to attend because they took offense to an advertisement that Fairness In Taxes placed last week in the Ocean City Sentinel. The ad was critical of city government and questioned why the local Ethics Board was eliminated. Moiso said the ad didn’t bother her and even if it had, she still would have showed up to discuss her candidacy and her stance on key issues affecting the city. “I have to be honest. I didn’t expect to be here by myself,” she said while sitting alone at a long table in the front of the room. For more than an hour, Moiso fielded questions on a variety of topics from many of the nearly 50 people in the audience. In doing so, she described herself as a “strong, independent voice.” Moiso said her top priority is to alleviate the flooding problems that often swamp the island and leave many streets underwater during coastal storms. “That’s the biggest issue facing us,” she said. She argued that overdevelopment is largely to blame for the flooding. Much of the city’s open space has been gobbled up by construction projects, which has created too much density, she added. “We have very little open space,” she said. “We have so much development.” Moiso said if she were elected to City Council, she would consider enacting a temporary moratorium on large-scale construction projects while the flooding problems can be addressed. She called for a collaborative effort between Ocean City, New Jersey, the federal government and neighboring coastal states to fight tidal flooding. “It’s bigger than Ocean City,” she said. Moiso also cited the importance of rebuilding the city’s roads, replacing its aging infrastructure and keeping the beaches replenished with fresh sand. Moiso has lived in Ocean City for 32 years and is the owner of Philly Pretzel Factory stores on the Boardwalk and in Somers Point. In her opening statement Friday night, she focused on a series of accomplishments during the nine years she spent on the Ocean City Board of Education, including serving as its president during her last two years. Among them, the board negotiated new contracts with teachers and support staff, made major capital improvements to the Ocean City High School and developed long-range strategic plans to guide the district, she said. Moiso said her time on the school board gave her valuable experience in dealing with complex issues and projects.last_img

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