Mayor Leonard Desiderio

As anyone who watches the news realizes, this year’s General Election will be different from those in past years. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Murphy has declared that New Jersey residents will use “vote-by-mail” ballots for this year’s election.

However, there will be some exceptions to that rule, as voters with a disability or other special circumstances will be able to cast a provisional ballot at their polling locations on Election Day, November 3.  And speaking of polling locations, please be aware that Sea Isle City will only have one polling location this year: the Sea Isle City Library at 4800 Central Avenue.

By now, you probably have received your 2020 vote-by-mail ballot delivered to you via the United States Post Office. After you carefully read the instructions and complete your ballot, you can cast your vote by simply putting your ballot into the return envelope and placing it back in the mail (ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than 8 p.m. on November 3). You also have the option of bringing your completed ballot to any of the eleven secured “Ballot Drop Boxes” throughout Cape May County – including the one in front of the Sea Isle City Library.

In addition to mailing your completed ballot or personally bringing it to one of the County drop boxes, you may also physically bring your ballot to the Cape May County Board of Elections office ahead of time or bring it to your polling location by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

However, we encourage everyone to vote early and ensure that your completed vote-by-mail ballot is turned-in as soon as possible. For more information about casting your vote, contact the Cape May County Clerk’s Office – and please remember that the last day to register to vote is October 13.

On Sunday, a group of family and friends gathered outside of the Sea Isle City Library to dedicate two crepe myrtle trees in honor of long-time community servant Marlene McHale, who passed away earlier this year. The socially-distanced dedication ceremony, which included beautiful words from Marlene’s husband, Mike, and a very special musical presentation by her grandchildren, was a fitting tribute to a woman who was a founding member of Sea Isle City’s Garden Club and a supporter of many other organizations and good causes.

My thanks go to the members of Sea Isle City’s Historical Society, Garden Club and Environmental Commission for hosting Sunday’s ceremony and for helping keep Marlene’s memory alive.

Also this weekend, the Sea Isle City Beach Patrol Alumni Association hosted their annual Hall of Fame Induction Dinner at Carmen’s Seafood Restaurant, where this year’s Hall of Fame inductees were honored. Carmen Conti, owner of Carmen’s Restaurant and a member of the SICBP during the 1940’s, was also honored by the Alumni Association during the dinner.

My congratulations go to the newest Hall of Fame lifeguards, Jimmy Gibbons, Larry Kozakowski, Jerry Lombardi, and Pat Hoban; and special congratulations goes to Carmen Conti, who worked as a lifeguard in Sea Isle City as a teenager to fill-in for older guards who went off to war during World War II.

And speaking of lifeguards, I want to thank all of the 2020 lifeguards who protected Sea Isle City’s beachgoers this year and ensured that everyone was safe along our shoreline during a very unusual and difficult summer. The current members of our Beach Patrol are to be congratulated for their efforts!

One of the most common questions we have received in recent weeks is: “Will Sea Isle City have Trick-or-Treating this year?”  The answer is “yes – but with some restrictions.”

Following Governor Murphy’s announcement on Monday that “Halloween is on” in New Jersey, we reviewed the CDC’s and New Jersey Department of Health’s guidelines regarding the safest ways to celebrate Halloween, and we ask that all people who wish to give-out candy on October 31 – as well as the parents of children who plan to go Trick-or-Treating – to please follow all of the safety instructions from those organizations.

For example, home owners should avoid distributing treats from candy bowls and instead place candy on tables so kids can “grab and go” without close contact. Also, children are advised to travel in small groups, and everyone should practice social distancing at all times. In the meantime, please go to the CDC and NJDOH websites to learn more ways that you and your family can safely celebrate Halloween.

In closing, I once again ask everyone to please shop locally whenever you can. Many of our small business owners have had a very difficult year, and I have already learned of one business that has decided to close its doors for good. So please support our local retailers, eateries and service businesses – and remember that we are all one Sea Isle City and together we will be stronger than ever!

Smile … You’re in Sea Isle!

Mayor Leonard C. Desiderio