Councilman Niles Stephens Tried to Use Wildwood Public Safety Reserve Funds in Other Communities &qu
A May 2, 2018 email from Councilman Niles Stephens to the Wildwood Public Safety Board shows that Stephens, a candidate for Mayor, wants to transfer Wildwood money to other communities where he thinks it is needed more.
Although Stephens "did not know what that looks like" he said that it may include funding for "Crime Stopper refrigerator magnets" to be used in higher crime neighborhoods such as "North City."
Stephens suggested that such a proposed "spread" of safety may help Wildwood residents be safer on the way to "sporting events or activities in the city."
In the email, Stephens
expressed concern over the municipal budget showing "$1.3 million dollars listed in the Public Safety Reserve Fund."
Stephens stated that "money from Wildwood's Public Safety reserve fund" should be used "to help distressed communities deal with crime problems." "I don't know what that look likes...Equipment...Community event...additional officers at sporting events...Crime Stoppers refrigerator magnets."
Some may think it a noble sentiment to redistribute Prop P tax money from a wealthier community to another, but sending of taxes from one community to another is legally problematic.
Moreover, Stephen's idea may be a bit tone deaf when there have been increasing concerns regarding car break-ins and thefts in Wildwood.
Stephens also indicated his opposition to using funds for repairing potholes in Wildwood, which itself could give the Stephen's campaign somewhat of a bumpy ride in the weeks to come.
(SCREEN SHOT OF EMAIL OBTAINED BY WWM)