Meet the Candidate: Jay Gillian

Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian is running for re-election on May 13.

Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian (Patch file photo)
Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian (Patch file photo)
There are two candidates running for mayor of Ocean City in May 13’s non-partisan elections.

Mayor Jay Gillian is running for re-election after initially being elected in 2010.

He will be challenged by Ed Price.

The mayor serves a four-year term and is the head of the administration in Ocean City. He works with Ocean City Council, but is not a council member and doesn’t have a vote.

Ocean City Patch sent a series of questions to each candidate in this year's elections. The questions listed below are listed as sent, and each answer is published as received, with corrections for minor errors.

The subject of today's "Meet the Candidate" profile is Mayor Jay Gillian.


Why are you running?

I'm running for another term as Mayor for a few simple reasons:

1. I love what I'm doing, and I love Ocean City.

2. I'm proud of what has been accomplished during my first term.

3. I want to continue the progress we've made as we've stabilized operating expenses and significantly increased our capital improvement program.

4. I want to provide proven, common sense leadership to maintain Ocean City as "America's Greatest Family Resort," a great place to live, raise a family, invest or visit.

It's that simple.

What do you feel are the most pressing issues?


The residents I've spoken to over the past four years want to maintain the level of services we enjoy in Ocean City and expect the local government to deliver these services in the most cost efficient manner possible.

In addition they want to see continued improvements to our infrastructure.   The condition of our roads and drainage systems  will remain the priority. 

What are some of the positive things that have happened in the city under the current Administration?


* TEAM WORK AND COOPERATION  -I've worked in partnership with City Council  to restore civility to local government affairs.  The days of bickering and grandstanding are over.  Now when elected officials or the Administration and Council differ in opinion, they work together to reach consensus on policy decisions, projects and funding.           

* STORM RECOVERY - Ocean City was cleaned up, fixed up and back in business faster than any nearby community following Hurricane Sandy. Ocean City was one of the only communities to have a contract in place over a year before the storm that provided for equipment and debris and sand removal.  The Administration provided the leadership for the formation of OCNJ CARE, a non-profit organization that raised and distributed over $600,000 in relief funding to local homeowners and businesses. The City government worked in partnership with the non-profit group, local churches and the business community in the months following the storm to get people back in their homes, get damaged businesses reopened and get the community ready for the summer season.

* CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS - The Administration developed and City Council adopted an aggressive five year Capital Improvement Plan that included $10 million in much needed investment in the City's infrastructure.  This is double the amount of improvements in previous years.  Approximately $5 million has been allocated to long awaited road and drainage improvements. Prior to my term as little as $1 million was allocated for roads and drainage, which led to a huge back log in needed repairs.  New check valves were installed in many locations during my first year in office.  The first phase of the much needed boardwalk replacement is nearing completion.  Twelve bulkheads were replaced in the last two years - more than the previous six years combined,  The long awaited Merion Park road and drainage improvements are currently out to bid.  The list goes on and on.

* FINANCIAL STABILITY - The Administration has controlled spending and held taxes to responsible levels.  The City ended 2013 with a fund balance of  $5.8 million, the largest in history.  City budgets during the past four years have been well under the Governor's 2% cap. The City's debt has been restructured allowing the aggressive Capital Improvement Plan to be implemented without burdening future Administrations and Councils with large spending increases.  Tax assessments have been adjusted throughout the island, providing for a more equitable distribution of taxes consistent with current market values.

* EFFICIENCY - The Administration proposed and City Council adopted two significant reorganizations of the city government during the past four years.  Management has been reduced by the reorganizations and attrition resulting in one less department head and four fewer middle managers. City team members are working across department lines more than ever before and are truly "doing more with less" as they deliver the services our residents, property owners and guests expect and deserve.

* LABOR CONTRACTS - The Administration negotiated the most favorable labor contracts for the taxpayers in the City's history.  The contracts provided fair salary increases of approximately 1.2% a year, significantly less than previous contracts.  These contracts, combined with needed reform of pension and benefit costs have been key factors in the financial stability of the City.

If reelected, what would you tackle in your next term that you weren't able to get to in the last four years?

The focus will remain on improving our infrastructure, and $20 million in improvements to our roads and drainage systems, which is what our capital plan calls for, will make a noticeable difference.

Other capital improvements I'm committed to include the continued reconstruction of the boardwalk, the construction of a new skate park, and improvements to Carey Field.

What is your background?

I've spent all of my adult life working to make Ocean City a better place:

Mayor , 2010 - 2014

Ocean City Library Board of Trustees, 2010 - 2014

Ocean City Board of Education, 2002 - 2010,  Served as President

Shore Memorial Hospital / Shore Medical Center Board of Directors, Served as Chairman

First Night Ocean City Board of Directors

Miss New Jersey Pageant Board of Directors

First Tee of Greater Atlantic City Board of Directors

New Jersey Amusement Association Board of Directors

Shore Tomorrow  Campaign Co-Chairman

Ocean City Historical Museum Board of Directors

Ocean City Boardwalk Merchants Association Past President

Ocean City Business and Neighborhood Development Inc. Past President 


2009 Exchange Club Book of Golden Deeds Award

2008 Bailey Award for community service presented by The Press of Atlantic City

1999 Ocean City Citizen of the Year

Big c April 16, 2014 at 05:39 PM
I think the mayor has done a good in four years. We can't forget about the job he was forced into taking when the storm hit. I am a second homeowner who rebuilt my home after the storm. The mayors office was a big help to me. The city runs pretty good, there are things that could be better. But overall this is a very nice place.
vic April 16, 2014 at 06:56 PM
to evaluate the kind of job jay Gillian has done as mayor, just consider how bud knight sold out the whole city to developers and perillo just argued with everyone from the environmentalists over using ipe on the boardwalk to city council over cutting 4 firemen positions. then compare those 2 previous administrations to how mayor Gillian personally led the recovery after hurricane sandy and tell me that he has not done a good job. what could you possibly be using as a standard?
vic April 16, 2014 at 06:58 PM
please don't try to use the argument that mayor Gillian has sold out the city to developers. that was done back in 2004 and 2005 when bud knight was the mayor. when Gillian became mayor it was a already a done deal. don't forget, he was only elected 4 years ago.
Kathy O'Connor April 16, 2014 at 07:29 PM
Has Mayor Gillian done anything at all to correct the situation? He is backed financially by the biggest developer in Ocean City - his campaign manager is a realtor. The City council is set up to go along with him and his backers on everything and anything they want. There are supposed to be checks and balances in this city but the city council, except for Pete Guinosso is a puppet for the administration who is a puppet for the Mayor's financial backer - the biggest and most prosperous developer in town. (my opinion, of course) Vic - you can cheerlead all you want for the status quo and hopefully you will get a pat on the head for your efforts but it doesn't change the facts. City council - is in the pocket of the administration. The administration is in the pocket of the developers and realtors so until that changes, OC will continue the downward spiral it is on. But the few who have prospered, will continue - watch him - watch them. I hope these people understand that they may be fooling some - like you, Vic. But the rest of us - and that number is growing - can see exactly what is going on - you guys fool only a few. This is Not rocket science.
Kathy O'Connor April 16, 2014 at 07:37 PM
And, Mr. oh so Clean OC You know what some realtors are - right? you know above all. and you know that some people who "serve their community" are just doing it to gain some kind of prestige because they see themselves climbing the political ladder- they do so called charitable work - only to self promote you know the kind of people who do that and so do we. These guys who do that - they are so transparent. And no matter how far they think they have climbed, what they have done in the past is on paper and in emails and is evidence of their true nature. You understand, don't you? I am sure you do, Mr. oh so clean oc.


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