Council ends this year’s fight with Shore Regional

Boro took battle over school budget to state

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

SEA BRIGHT — After some debate, the Borough Council has decided to abandon any further appeal of the budget of Shore Regional High School.

The council, at its Sept. 16 meeting, voted 3-2 against trying to win any additional reduction in the school’s budget for the current year.

Borough residents rejected the tax proposed to support the Shore Regional budget of $11.1 million, and the Borough Council subsequently recommended cutting the budget by $1.3 million. The state commissioner of education, after considering that recommendation, reduced the budget by slightly more than one-tenth of that amount, $161,000.

Mayor Gregory W. Harquail, an independent, had urged the council to press ahead with an appeal of the commissioner’s decision in an effort to keep the momentum going and win a further reduction of the Shore Regional budget.

But Councilwomen Maria Fernandes and Dina Long, both Democrats, and Councilman William J. Keeler, a Republican, voted against appealing further. Councilmen Andrew Mencinsky and Charles Galloway, both independents, favored pursuing the appeal further but were on the losing side of the vote.

In other action, the council voted to hire James McCue as a patrolman for the Police Department. McCue, a resident of Shrewsbury, will be sworn in at the council’s Oct. 7 meeting. He has been a special officer.

McCue fills a vacancy created by the council’s firing of officer Scott A. Keenan earlier this month for an "egregious" act while on duty last Sept. 30. Keenan was suspended without pay by the council last Oct. 18.

The police force now is back to full strength with 11 full-time officers, including the chief.

The council gave final passage, 5-0, to an ordinance updating the regulations on making cuts in borough streets. It was proposed in anticipation of construction on the Tradewinds oceanfront site of 20 new luxury homes.

The council also introduced two other ordinances, one revising and reorganizing the ordinance on building fees and the other imposing time limits on tow truck operators on the borough’s call list of 15 minutes to get back to the dispatcher when summoned and 30 minutes to arrive on site.