Tuesday, May 14 is Election Day in Ventnor.

By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY

VENTNOR – Although the Imagine Ventnor slate of candidates – Maria Mento, Tim Kriebel and Lance Landgraf – are running unopposed in the Board of Commissioners election Tuesday, May 14, there will be changes in store when they are sworn in at their next regular meeting May 23.

Although no one has stepped up to challenge the team that has been in control of city government for the last eight years, at the last commission meeting on May 9, Mayor Lance Landgraf encouraged voters to cast their ballots either by mail or in person, nonetheless.

Incumbent candidate Maria Mento previously served as administrator and was appointed commissioner after former Mayor Beth Holtzman resigned when she sold her home and moved to Galloway Township. Mento was then elected last November to fill the remainder of Holtzman unexpired term.

“Go out and vote,” Landgraf said before announcing that he would be stepping down as mayor and would return to commissioner status.

“I believe I did the best job I could,” he said.

Landgraf said he embraced the position in hopes he would represent the taxpayers as best he could, that it was time consuming, and that he always worked in the best interest of the city.

Part of his time was devoted to meeting other mayors in other parts of the state. He thanked his wife Kathy Styles-Landgraf and his son for supporting him despite time spent away from family.

Ventnor Commissioner Tim Kriebel.

Tim Kriebel will be sworn-in as mayor at the next meeting, he said.

“My main reason for wanting to be mayor is to continue the goals of the Imagine Ventnor team, but my personal goals are to increase our investments in the downtown areas. There are a lot of short-term goals, medium-term goals and long-term goals,” Kriebel said.

In the short term, it will be getting through the summer and keeping residents and visitors entertained with concerts, sporting events and the like. Mid-term goals include completing the new concert venue on the Newport Avenue beach.  However, Kriebel’s longer term goals will include working to create long-lasting investments in tourism, economy and the environment.

He has been promoting the establishment of an eco-park in the bayside area known as Ventnor West and is seeking funding to make it happen.

“It would make us a more visible location for eco-tourism and provide another reason for people to visit and stay in Ventnor,” he said.

Kriebel said he would also like to do more to address food insecurity.

“I want Ventnor to be a kinder, more open place for people to live, which are lofty goals,” he said.

Kriebel also said he also hopes residents will come out to vote on Tuesday.

“The main reason I want people to vote is to show that Ventnor has vibrancy and is participating in their local government. It seem like it is not necessary, but it would be a real show of support for the Imagine Ventnor team and our goals,” he said. “Besides, it’s important for people to vote in every election.”

Polling locations in Ventnor are:

  • District 1 – Ventnor Community Building, 6500 Atlantic Ave. in the vestibule of the library
  • District 2 – Ventnor Community Building, 6500 Atlantic Ave. in the Dance Studio room
  • District 3 – Ventnor Community Building, 6500 Atlantic Ave. in the Senior Citizens Nutrition Site at the rear of the building
  • District 4 and 5 – VFW Post #215, 601 Dorset Ave.

The polls will be open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

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Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.