IN RECOVERY, MAYOR ISSUES CRITICISM

keelerMayor Maria Fernandes, below, issued criticism to Council President William Keeler, right, and suggested holding off reappointing borough Attorney Joe Oxley, left. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

maria-fernandes-2007Sea Bright Mayor Maria Fernandes may have lost a limb, but she hasn’t lost any of her bite.

Fernandes, who’s been recovering from a mild stroke suffered in October, recently had her left leg amputated just below the knee. She’s laid up at Monmouth Medical Center, which prevented her from attending Saturday’s annual borough government  reorganization meeting.

But that didn’t stop her from making herself heard. And Fernandes blasted her elected counterparts via letter.

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BUDGET ITEMS STRAINING SEA BRIGHT

sb-dpw-truckOfficials have imposed austerity measures on road repairs and other public works projects. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Not long after adopting the town’s annual spending plan, Sea Bright officials are moving their fingers toward the panic button on a couple line items that are already nearing their established limits.

At the forefront of the strain are legal fees, which have run much higher than expected, and appear to be increasing partisan tensions at the borough council. Adding to the fiscal pressure is public works’ road maintenance budget, which was pounded as hard as the shoreline town was with heavy snow and a series of northeasters.

Now, the council is halting all non-essential expenditures and is looking at reducing the hours of some part-time employees to compensate. Beyond that, the council must draw up a plan to bring spending for those two items down, a task that already has divided the governing body.

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