Kelley Woerther has served as a member of the Historic Preservation Committee, is an active member of We Are Wildwood, and is married to former mayor and now city councilman Tim Woerther. She has filed numerous failed ethics complaints costing the city thousands of dollars, and has a penchant for Facebook activity that is unusual for someone in her position. Mr. Woerther is widely thought to be considering a run for Mayor in 2020, but will his wife's unorthodox social media endeavors and serial ethics complaints present a drag on his ambition?
Kelley Woerther was an early fan of the controversial Facebook site Wildwood Shenanigans that was known for posting bizarre and often offensive photoshopped images of Mayor Bowlin and Wildwood city council members. It factored heavily in the 2019 political campaign that saw the defeat of censured incumbent Tammy Shea, with her gaining only 23 percent of the vote. One of the most controversial images was the face of Wildwood Mayor Bowlin photoshopped on the naked body of a young female astride a wrecking ball. Kelley, "liked" the image.
Screen Shot: Wildwood Shenanigans
Soon after Wildwood's 2018 League of Women Voter's forum Ms. Woerther made the particularly undiplomatic move of stating on her Facebook page that "some of the residents that spoke at the forum sounded like fools."
Screen Shot: Facebook Page
During campaign season when controversy beset the anonymous website, Ms. Woerther had light to nonexistent activity on the Wildwood Shenanigan's Facebook page, and she even "unliked" some previous posts. But immediately following the election it appears that Ms. Woerther is once again supporting the controversial site. Most recently she "liked" an image of a Councilman with enigmatically-placed bandaids across his eyes and an abstruse reference to "political jokes".
If this were an isolated image it might appear as innocent as it is juvenile. The fact that Ms. Woerther continues to "like" a page that has been widely-panned as being below the dignity of office holders, makes her continued support of it an unconventional political move.
Like anyone else, Ms. Woerther has a right to her opinion
and the right to express it. However, as someone who has taken on such a public role in Wildwood politics, her continued alignment with the controversial Wildwood Shenanigans page is a choice that shows commitment to the type of political discourse that has bruised Wildwood's image and promotes factionalism as opposed to cooperation.
Last year was a particularly fractious time for the Wildwood City Council. After the latest election, residents, the Mayor, and many members of the council have expressed hope that we can move on in a more civil and cooperative fashion. I know that many on the council believe we can, and our residents deserve no less.
It remains to be seen how Team Woerther responds to the challenge laid down after the 2019 election. So far their response has been as disappointing as it is unconventional.