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CAPE MAY - During a six-hour meeting April 7, Cape May City Council held another vote on a resolution to have the city contribute to the Concerned Citizens for Sewell Tract litigation against the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The resolution was defeated each time it had been brought to a vote, with Council members Zack Mullock and Stacey Sheehan against the city contributing to a third party’s litigation, and Mayor Clarence Lear and Councilman Shaine Meier in favor. Deputy Mayor Patricia Hendricks has abstained during every vote because her husband, Charles Hendricks, is the president of the non-profit organization. 

A 2-2 tie means the resolution to contribute cannot pass.

What made this vote confusing was the fact that even a favorable vote on the resolution wouldn't have made a difference, since the city failed earlier in the meeting to adopt its 2020 budget. Attempts to insert an emergency appropriation into the temporary budget for this purpose also failed to pass the super majority threshold required for such an action.

Once the 2020 budget is adopted, this measure will presumably return to the agenda in a meaningful way. Without a change in support by either Mullock or Sheehan, it cannot pass until Patricia Hendricks plans on unrecusing herself for the vote.

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