Ventnor Commissioner Maria Mento, Mayor Tim Kriebel and Commissioner Lance Landgraf took their oaths of office Thursday, May 23, 2024.

By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY

VENTNOR – The Imagine Ventnor team, which ran unopposed in the May 14 Board of Commissioners election, was sworn in Thursday evening and chose Tim Kriebel to serve as mayor for the next four years.

Former Mayor Lance Landgraf swears-in newly elected Mayor Tim Kriebel as his wife Jennifer Dahme and daughter Anderson Kriebel look on.

Kriebel thanked his wife and “sounding board” Jennifer Dahme and his daughter Anderson for their support and understanding that being a city official often takes time away from family.

“I highly recommend anyone seeking public office marry the smartest person they know,” he said.

He noted his daughter is his “chief humility advisor.”

“Her sarcastic use of the word ‘dignitary’…keeps me grounded,” he said.

He noted that over the last eight years, the Imagine Ventnor team has transformed the city from a drive-by town into a destination and vowed to do more to support the business community.

“We pulled every lever we could find to make Ventnor a better home and more competitive for investment and leader dollars,” he said.

He noted that his teammates are well suited for their roles in Ventnor’s government.

NJ Assemblywoman Claire Swift swears in Commissioner Lance Landgraf, while his wife Kathy Styles-Landgraf holds the Bible.

On the Planning Board, Commissioner and former Mayor Lance Landgraf “champions best practices because he lives them every day as a professional” and Commissioner Maria Mento on Revenue and Finance “looks past the spreadsheets and looks for strategic thinking.”

Although there was a change in titles, their roles as directors of the different departments organized under the commission form of government will remain unchanged, with Mento maintaining her role as Director of Revenue and Finance; Landgraf as Director of Public Works, Parks and Public Property; and Kriebel as Director of Public Affairs and Public Safety.

Kriebel also thanked the city’s 339 full- part-time and seasonal employees, including 63 police officers and dispatchers, 45 firefighters, 93 members of the Public Works Department, and 85 lifeguards, who keep the city humming, clean and safe.

He noted that the commissioners work as a team and although they disagree on certain issues, they respect each other and reach compromises.

“I can’t imagine Ventnor being a better place, but I think we can still make it better,” he said.

Landgraf thanked voters for their confidence and reiterated Kriebel’s thoughts on making the city better.

“We’re not done. We have things we want to do better,” especially in the downtown areas.

Maria Mento takes the oath of office while her friend Michael Goloff holds the Bible.

Mento said she is looking forward to the next four years and thanked the people in the audience who signed their petitions to run for public office.

“No difficulties in the Finance Office at this time,” she said.

Former Mayor Beth Holtzman, an original member of the Imagine Ventnor team who was replaced by Mento, sent regards in a statement:

“To the amazing Imagine Ventnor Team, who I still call my team, I am thrilled you are all still leading the great beautiful City of Ventnor. As I wanted to be here tonight for the three of you, life happens, and I am not able to attend. Love you guys, congrats,” she wrote.

The meeting was brief but before adjourning to a celebration at the Kriebels’ home, the board passed resolutions awarding a $226,780 contract for Remington & Vernick Engineers for construction management and inspection services for the traffic signal synchronization project on Ventnor Avenue. It also approved a $43,400 contract to Traffic Lines, Inc. to provide line striping at locations throughout the city.

The board approved the transfer of a plenary retail consumption license from Sapore Wood Fired Pizza to Aroma Restaurant.

The board also agreed to hold a bond sale that will permanently finance previously approved bonds and bond anticipation notes totaling $25.9 million. The bonds being refinanced authorized general capital and utility improvements between 2020 and 2024. With an AA rating, the refinancing plan is expected to save taxpayers on the cost of borrowing for public improvements.

Copyright Access Network 2024

Categories: Downbeach

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

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