Mayor Leonard Desiderio

So far, we have been enjoying a wonderful September. The weather has been beautiful, the sunsets have been amazing, and everyone seems very happy to be in Sea Isle City.

As you may recall, during our recent City Council meeting I had the pleasure of announcing the winners of our first ever Beach Tag Art Contest for children, which resulted in nearly 200 entries being submitted to our Beach Tag Office.

We were very impressed with the artwork that was created by the event’s young participants, so we decided to display all of the designs that we received on the second floor of City Hall. At your earliest convenience, I hope you will take the opportunity to visit City Hall and view all of the artwork, which will be on display through the month of October.

And speaking of our Beach Tag Art Contest, I would like to once again thank all of the children who participated in the competition – and also send my sincere congratulations to all of the winners.

My hat is off to Claire Konrad, age 13, who skillfully created next year’s Seasonal Beach Tag; Kevin Andrews, age 12, who designed our “golden” 2023 Saint Patrick’s Day Beach Tag; Mason Corey, age 14, whose patriotic artwork will appear on our Veteran’s Beach Tag; and Emleyn Costello, age 12, who drew a cheerful winter display that will be used for our Holiday Beach Tag.

Last week certainly was a busy one in Sea Isle City.  The week began with our annual Patriot Day Ceremony on Sunday morning at Veterans Park, where a sizable crowd gathered to honor the thousands of lives lost during the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

My thanks go to everyone who was able to join us that day – including Sea Isle’s first responders, who placed wreaths around the park’s Memorial Fountain in honor of the firefighters, police officers and EMTs who lost their lives while trying to save others on that fateful day in 2001. Special thanks also go to retired New York City Firefighter Lou Minchelli and his family, who brought their amazing “Never Forget” fire engine to the ceremony.

As I said during this year’s Patriot Day Ceremony: “As long as we continue to come together as one people on September 11, year after year, we will ensure that the horrors of the past remain in the past, and that those who died will be beacons of hope for the future.  And, perhaps, most importantly, we will be reminding those who would do us harm that we are one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all – and we will fight until our last breath to keep it that way.”

On Friday, I had the honor of attending VFW Post 1963’s POW-MIA Recognition Day Ceremony, which also was well attended.  The ceremony itself was poignant and very well planned – and I applaud the VFW for reminding us all of the sacrifices made by our nation’s POWs and our missing military members who never returned home when the battle was over.

I could go on and on about the men and women of Post 1963 – including their very active Auxiliary, which is the largest Auxiliary in the State of New Jersey – but I will simply say this: “Thank you, VFW … you are a Sea Isle City treasure!”

After a week that included two important memorial services, plenty of sunshine, and the promise of a beautiful autumn still to come, Sea Isle City’s Division of Tourism hosted their 2022 Fall Family Festival Weekend on September 17 & 18 – which we all know is the largest autumn event of the year.

On Saturday of Fall Festival, countless people shopped at the Seaside Vendor’s Market along the Promenade, while many families enjoyed the free amusement rides, food court, live music, and kid-friendly activities at Excursion Park.

Then, on Sunday, the annual Gerard Desiderio Antique Auto Show delighted people of all ages – and for good reason, because the variety of classic vehicles that was on display was amazing.

Also on Sunday, the members of the Sea Isle City Environmental Commission distributed their 2022 Beautification Awards to local property owners who have maintained or improved the appearances of their homes.

I am told that each year the Environmental Commission receives many nominations for these awards – and I don’t know how they choose the winners, because there are so many beautiful properties in Sea Isle City. My congratulations go to all of this year’s winners, each of whom make Sea Isle City shine.

To view photos of the winning properties in this year’s Beautification Awards – as well as pictures of the 9-11 and POW-MIA Ceremonies and Fall Festival – please see the “Recent Photos” section of this week’s newsletter.

The arrival of autumn doesn’t mean the fun we all enjoyed during the summertime has to come to an end. In addition to an abundance of beautiful autumn weather, there are many events and activates coming your way in the weeks and months ahead, so be sure to visit our calendar of events at to learn what’s happening this fall.

I have a reminder from Sea Isle City Police Chief Anthony Garreffi, who wants everyone to remember to keep your homes and vehicles locked at all times – and please do not leave your keys in your vehicles when it is parked.  Sea Isle City is a very safe community, but there is no substitute for good judgment.

This week’s “Shout Out” goes to Sea Isle City native Dustin Laricks, who was named “2022 Rookie of the Year” by the Sea Isle City Beach Patrol. Dustin’s family has a long and well-respected history in Sea Isle City and with the SICBP, and it is no surprise that he has already become a valued member of our Beach Patrol. Congratulations, Dustin!

Smile…You’re in Sea Isle,

Mayor Leonard C. Desiderio