July 14, 2020

To some folks it may seem like we’re beating this pandemic, because many businesses have re-opened and outdoor activities are once again taking place. However, spikes in COVID-19 cases are appearing all across the country, and we’re also seeing new cases here in Cape May County – including in Sea Isle City. Every day, the County releases a report on the number of COVID cases in each municipality; and while the number of residents in Sea Isle with the virus remains very low, we have experienced numerous non-resident cases of COVID-19.

“Non-resident” is a broad term that includes summer renters and anyone who does not have Sea Isle City listed as their primary residence. Many of these latest cases include individuals in their teens and twenties, who reportedly have attended house parties and other gatherings where the virus has spread. Obviously, people of all ages need to do the right thing and follow all safety guidelines from county, state and federal officials – if not for their own well-being, for the safety of others. 

I state all this not to point fingers or lay blame, but to emphasize the importance of everyone remaining vigilant and taking this seriously. The City receives many communications asking that we enforce mask wearing and social distancing. Frankly, this is an extremely difficult issue to enforce consistently. Also, quite frankly, this must be a matter of personal responsibility. It’s as fundamental as one of the core values of this City: Respect. Show respect for your fellow man and your neighbor; set an example for your children and your family. This is not hard to do; and it’s not about politics or personal rights. Nobody believes more in individual liberty and the rights of the people than this administration, but being mindful of other people and their health is just the right thing to do.

As you probably know, our beach replenishment project is fully underway. While it’s not an optimal time to temporarily close beaches, strengthening our shoreline is a critical effort that will add stability to our island and have long term benefits for our community. I’m grateful for everyone’s patience as we add much-needed sand to Sea Isle’s mid-town and south-end beaches. Right now, the project is making good progress, and we’re hopeful that the mid-town replenishment work will be completed by this weekend; after which work will continue at the south-end, where beaches will be replenished between 74th Street and the jetty south of 93 rd Street. As the project proceeds, we’ll let everyone know which beaches and dune paths are closed on our City website, www.seaislecitynj.us . Look for the “Beach Fill” tab on the website’s homepage for daily updates.

In case you haven’t heard, last week we were able to open our outdoor basketball and hockey courts. I realize that many people were eager to see these facilities re-open and wondered why they were closed. The answer was a simple one: we followed the governor’s directives in an effort to protect the public. We may not always agree with the decisions that are made at the state level, but we have to remember that executive orders carry the weight of law. I thank you all for your patience and cooperation during these trying times.

Finally, I want to offer my condolences to the Iannone family on the passing of my dear friend, Jim Iannone. Jim was the best of the best. He was a military veteran, having served his country as a member of the United States Army. Nobody cared more about Sea Isle City than Jim. He was always ready and willing to help anyone with any problem. Jim served the City as a commissioner and deputy mayor for 22 years. When I started my career in public service, Jim was an early mentor, and I came to rely on his counsel and friendship over the course of his life. I’ve asked that City flags be lowered to half-staff for the remainder of this week; and please keep the Iannone family in your thoughts and prayers as they go through this difficult time.

As always, please stay safe, stay well, remain optimistic, and remember that we are all one Sea Isle City and together we will be stronger than ever!

Mayor Leonard Desiderio