Taxpayers, Commissioners Clash Over Meeting Times

Charles Chepek, one of the directors for Concerned Taxpayers of West Wildwood, addresses West Wildwood Commission members Jan. 8.

WEST WILDWOOD - Members of Concerned Taxpayers of West Wildwood (CTWWW), a not-for-profit community group, and West Wildwood Borough Commissioners clashed over the scheduling of 2020 municipal meetings.

CTWWW, which is mostly comprised of second homeowners and summer residents who can't vote in local elections since West Wildwood is not their primary residence, is active in borough politics. Many of its members drive from Philadelphia, and the surrounding suburbs, after work to attend commission meetings.

Charles Chepek, one of CTWWW's directors, claimed commissioners have been changing meeting times at the last minute, making it inconvenient for members of the group to attend, effectively attempting to shut them out from public meetings.

Some members of CTWWW argued that a Friday evening meeting, which was the meeting time in West Wildwood for years, would be ideal, but hoped to compromise with a 7 p.m. start time Wednesdays that would allow group members time to get to West Wildwood after work.

The commissioners decided to hold the public meetings the first Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m., despite the concerns of taxpayers present at the Jan. 8 session. Mayor Christopher Fox did not respond to multiple requests for comment.