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Dune Projects Face Objection From Property Owners

2-18-13

Senior Correspondent Desirée Taylor
NJ Today

Superstorm Sandy ravaged parts of Long Beach Island. But communities that had completed engineered dune projects, suffered less damage than those with no protection. That’s why the mayor of Long Beach Township, Joseph Mancini, says it makes sense to continue to move forward with a plan to build a 22-foot high dune system along the entire 18 miles of the island. Government funding would pay for about 95 percent of the $160 million project. But the stumbling block, says the mayor, are nearly 100 beachfront property owners who have not signed easements, granting access to their property.

“In Long Beach Township, we have 470 oceanfront homes. So how do you have 300 people signed for the good of the community and their neighbors receive funds?” challenged Mancini. “I can’t do that. And we’re not going to do that. We just have to convince people this is the way to do it, stop being greedy. You know, welcome to LBI. This is what you do here.”

WATCH VIDEO:

This has been a divisive issue on this island for years and it has led to legal fights. An attorney representing some of the holdouts says his clients aren’t against dune projects, they just want to be fairly compensated.

Attorney Ken Porro said many of the property owners are not wealthy and depend on rental incomes to support the property.

“If you take away their access by putting in a dune, you take away their views, their property values depreciate. But what happens with the dune easements is there’s no compensation for loss of value, there’s no compensation in taxes,” said Porro.

Other shore communities have tackled this problem by using eminent domain to take properties. But Mancini hopes that won’t be necessary because some holdouts have changed their minds after seeing the devastation of superstorm Sandy.

“I signed my oceanfront easement. All my friends signed their easements. It was the thing to do,” Mancini said.

A map in town hall has a list of the property owners who have not signed easements. Attorney Ken Porro says this list is also online.

“When the mayor posts people’s names who are upholding their constitutional civil rights … shame on him,” said Porro.

Mancini responded that “[Porro's] absolute untruths, lies have cost hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damages because he’s telling people things that are not going to happen.”

The first post-Sandy dune project will likely be in hard hit Holgate. Where the mayor says, there is just one remaining holdout. But previous dune projects will also need replenishing. They mayor believes it is the only way, the shore will recover and survive against another devastating storm.


  • Art Levy

    Ken Porro said, ““If you take away their access by putting in a dune, you take away their views, their property values depreciate. But what happens with the dune easements is there’s no compensation for loss of value, there’s no compensation in taxes.”

    This makes very little sense. Because if you don’t put in a dune, that oceanfront property has no protection from a storm. As a result, its resale value would be almost worthless. And renters would have no assurance that the space they put a deposit on in February would be in livable condition that summer. An oceanfront home without “putting in a dune” is like a car without bumpers, or an infant in a car without a baby seat. The odds of impact may be low, but the result when it happens could be devastating.

  • Jack

    Mr. Porro can put any spin on this he wants. The bottom line is Mr Porro is the one who stands to gain the most.. He does not give a damn about the property owners, the community or any of those holdouts. He is using the Constitution as a cloak to prey on property owners to finance his own payday. Compensation for the loss of value? What value is there in an unprotected property? Now that the world has seen the damage done by Hurricane Sandy. we know that we are never truly safe from Mother Nature. or the likes of people like Mr. Porro.

  • Yanni kaloudis

    Mr Porro is nothing more than a glorified ambulance chaser! The only people who will win in the end are the people at his law firm and himself. The loser’s will be the property owners whom he’s claiming he has their best interests in mind and the many many people on these beachfront communities who will have their property values drop due to not having beach replenishment. Eventually ALL NJ residents will suffer due to the increase in taxes from this pointless litigation and the drop in property values. The shore communities bring in Billions and Billions of dollars to NJ’s economy, and we can not afford to loose that revenue. Southern Ocean county brought in $1.12 BILLION in tourism dollars in 2012 and LBI Region tourism supports 14% of all employment to Ocean County. This is something that the state can’t afford to loose! Mr Porro, Stop telling half truths to good people to line your pockets!

  • Tom

    Mr. Porro collects fees from his clients, while counselling them to let their property value decrease. Makes no sense. This is all about the money, and Mr. Porro’s clients are losing money every day they listen to his poor advice. I lost my home in the trailer park because the dunes were breached in Holgate. Where’s my compensation for that Mr. Porro?

  • Holgate Resident

    I respect the property rights of homeowners. In fact, I wish I’d had more say in protecting my property and the beaches the taxes ALL Holgate homeowners pay to maintain. Sadly, because there were many beachfront homeowners in Holgate who did not sign the easements to allow beach replenishment, on the beach in front of their homes, many other residents in Holgate have now lost their homes completely or have thousands of dollars worth of damage. Where was OUR right to be protected, to protect our homes and financial investments? Mr. Porro and his client don’t seem to be concerned at all about the hundreds of other property owners in Holgate and our property rights. Holgate now needs one last client of Mr. Porro’s to sign the easement so that the entire community in Holgate will be protected from future storms, including his client’s property. He’s in it for a big, easy payday and some free press for his law firm. How much will his client get once he takes his cut? Not as much as they have been promised by him, I’m sure. It seems unconstitutional that hundreds of people will suffer the loss of the property protection beach replenishment would offer because of the rights of just one person. I hope the last property owner reconsiders and finally allows the beach replenishment project to begin, and soon. If that homeowner waits much longer another storm may come along and they may join the many residents in Holgate who no longer have a home left to protect.

  • Holgate is Home

    I really hope the last holdout signs their easement and the Holgate beach replenishment project starts this year. How can you claim to care about your home and the town where you live and not sign? Makes no sense to me. And they claim you’ll lose your view? You live ON the beach, you’ll always have a view, just maybe not the same one you used to have. Take a few steps outside and go on the beach.

  • Ellen Kehr

    A tragedy such as Super Storm Sandy brings out the best and the worst in all of us. Thankfully, my husband and I are truly blessed to be surrounded by loving,helpful people who have supported us with comfort and concern. Even though we have to demolish our primary residence in Holgate and start over, we know we can count on the support of family, friends and neighbors to sustain us through this difficult time. There are countless others who, like us, share a network of human beings sharing their grief. We depend on them for moral support… not financial. Now, when money gets involved in the mix, it becomes a totally different scenario. A loss of a view will never win an arguement over the loss of a home and the valuables that go with it. It is time to move on to the new “norm”. Things will never be the same and we have to adjust to the fact that in order to make LBI safe for all of us to enjoy, we need to make some sacrifices to protect our properties… be it elevating, demolishing and starting over or signing an easement for the good of the whole.

    • Jude Rickman

      Ellen and other owners who have lost or damaged properties, I have been doing some pro bono legal work in Staten Island and meeting folks who have lost their homes, despite petitioning in 2010 to get dunes replaced that had been eroding or otherwise impacted since the 1990′s. These are wonderful resilient people – some of whom will rebuild there and others who will relocate. This has been food for thought for me, as in law school I was fortunate to study the constitutional questions, which alsdo have far reaching implications, as rights once abridged are surely no easier to reclaim than houses. I have faith that your community will find a way to move forward together to rebuild.

  • LBI

    Is there a way for people to find out who the holdouts on the island are so that we don’t rent from them? I’d rather spend my money on a property where I know the owner cares about the community.

    • Yanni kaloudis

      Call the township office I’m sure they will be happy to tell you.

    • LBI2

      That is a very interesting thought. I wonder what effect it would have on the reasoning of the holdouts that do rent their houses out if a list of addresses for the rental houses and rental agencies was available. Since this is a monetary issue, maybe it would be good to let people “vote with their wallets”

  • Bethy

    I loved having family get-togethers at the shore and even contemplated buying one to “share” amongst the cousins. There’s no way we would put ourselves in that kind of jeopardy (financially) now. Not sure if any promise of protection/insurance could get me to risk it as a vacation home as many totally lost out. Sad, I really like the shore, but I don’t see there being anything to go back to.

    • Kate

      This kind of devastation happened before, in 1962. It’s very uncommon for a storm to have the power that Sandy had. If this were 1962 and you felt the same way, you would have missed out on over 50 great years at the shore! There’s plenty to go back to– most businesses are open already and the whole POINT of the shore is the ocean and beach and that’s still there!

  • Don Smith

    I read this article with interest. My community was very proud of our dune and some of it was I bet close to 30′ high. After Sandy it was totally gone. In part due to the bulkheadded beach to our north. When long beach says they are building a dune will you harden it in any way? I would propose if you are going to build a dune that you add a PVC bulkhead of about 30′ depth that will come 22 feet high. Wind and dune growth will cover the wall in time. Till then stairs can help with beach access to limit foot traffic over the dune. This will protect and enhance beach front values. Anyone in long bech not wanting this I will give you the compensation I got for my place being gone 100% and you just give me the keys to your place. I will make the extra drive from Mantoloking. Better yet we have a bus trip for the hold outs to tour Mantoloking. Maybe that would open some eyes.

  • Komandur

    No man is an island and, through shared responsibility, everyone in a community experiences a sense of well-being. The triumphs and tragedies of one are the triumphs and tragedies of others. This sense of togetherness is what makes the community grow and prosper. Unlike other parts of LBI, Holgate has been the worst affected by Sandy largely in part because of lack of protection due to the absence of dunes. The widespread damage to homes and the closure of the trailer park due to complete devastation would leave even the most hardened among us in tears. Although Holgate will never be the same again, the community will rebuild and the community spirit will be rekindled. But this can only be possible if all of us in the community come together for the common good – the greatest good for the greatest number of people. In this context, I am appealing to Mr. Porro to drop his case and convince his client to join and be part of the community in helping Holgate to rebuild and emerge stronger than before.

  • Love LBI

    Mr. Porro’s misleading advice to clients has caused hundreds of millions of $$ in damage to our town. Not only have ocean front homes been destroyed due to lack of dune replenishment but also the homes behind them. The fact is that without beach replenishment all of our home values will decrease because all it takes is another storm to breach the temporary dunes. The lone holdout in Holgate needs to see that this is not just about her but the entire community.

    • Yanni kaloudis

      Well said! She also needs to realize that this will be quite costly for her, and that her attorney is filling her head with visions of dollars that will never materialize! He will be the only one to get any substantial money out of this situation.

    • Kate

      Just take the property, eminent domain. If I were mayor I’d give all these holdouts in Long Beach Township a final date and, if the easement isn’t signed by then, TAKE THE PROPERTY. I am usually TOTALLY against this sort of thing but they are putting everyone in jeopardy so the heck with them!

  • Kim Davies

    Without the dunes, the property value of the holdouts goes down along with everyone elses. The property is worth so much less with no dune in front to protect it from storms. It is worth so much less with destroyed and boarded up homes surrounding it. It is worth so much less if no one will buy or rent in Holgate due to the fear of another storm. The last holdout whose house is dangling 16 feet in the air due to the loss of the present dune, still won’t sign. Mr Porro said the owners want to be compensated for a decrease in property value. It comes down to money. They want money to compensate for the loss of their view. To me, it isn’t lost. They can raise the house to see over the dune. Yes, they have to pay to raise the house, but they have to pay to repair the house now anyway and in the end they get their view . The rest of us have to pay to repair/replace our houses and we don’t get a view of the ocean when we’re done. Our lives have been severely impacted by those who chose not to sign and now we have to pay for the fall out from that choice. This is my primary residence. My belongings were washed away, things that have sentimental value that cannot ever be replaced. Insurance (which I have faithfully paid for 25 years) is paying a pittance against my repairs. I am not alone and the Holgate Community has pulled together with support for one another. We are coping with damages that could have been much less if the choice to sign had been made 10 years ago when first proposed. Dunes would have been in place and as evidenced by other replenished parts of the island, damages would not have been catastrophic. I can only hope that those who have not signed can see/hear past their attorneys and realize that the very thing they feel they are holding out for (property values and views) are slipping away from them day by day.

  • Frank Benintendo

    Mr Parro is talking like a abulance crashing lawyer. Talking trash and not speaking the turth. He talks about vaules going down, yes they are going down because he has told his client that they should be compensated for a view that has no value without any beach replenishment. Without beach replenishment all of the property is losing value. Has he told that to his client. He states that without beach access there is lost of value to his client. That is not true because they can build a private beach access across the dune so long as it meets local building codes.

    So Mr. Parro what about “We the people”. Your client is putting undue harm on the rest of the community by not signing. Your client is making our property values go down as well as your clients. Your client is making our rentals (which some need to pay their mortgages) not wanting to rent because the renter does not know if there is going to be a house or even a beach to enjoy. Why would they want to rent in Holgate. As a true ambulance chaser you are the only one that comes out of this hole. Your client loses property value without beach replenishment, we lose property value; your client pay your fees and now she loses all of her neighbors and any friends they may have had, and you walk away with your pockets filled with gold. I feel that this is more about your needs to make money and not your clients rights.

    Yes there are laws on the books to give just compensation for land use. As I see it with beach replenishment they can still use their house, their land, and the beach. If they need to see the view of the ocean they will have to get off their butts and walk to the dune or from the second floor and see the ocean. And if your client has a recerse living house the value of a view is a mute point. Sometime we all need to sacrifice a little to take care of others and not be selfish an only think of one self. I know you are only thinking of the money you stand to make but holding out and the longer it goes the better for you and no one else.

    You continue to say it your clients constitutional right, but what about our rights. Other ocean front property owners have signed up as they are in the thinking that this is the right thing for the community and it is like buying a insurance policy. We all spent a lot of money on flood insurance and might have to pay even a lot more. Beach Replenishment is like the primary insurance policy and the flood insurance is like the secordary policy just in case. I ask you now to be a big person and give your client the proper counsel to sign the easement for beach replenishment. You might think time is on your side, but if we don’t get beach replenishment now it could be to late if we have another Sandy. As it is we will have to go through one more Hurricane season. So once again tell your client to sign and buy that insurance policy because we could all be homeless.

    • Love LBI

      Well said!

  • Vince Mastria

    Holgate is a paradise that currently looks like ” water world”. Pictures do not begin to show the damage to so many homes and the heart break of so many people. It is inconceivable to me that in lieu of such a catastrophic event that fellow human beings are more concerned about ” following the money” then doing what’s right. The right thing is to sign the easements so we ALL can continue to appreciate such a beautiful place.

  • cindy klein

    PLEASE SIGN THE EASEMENT! You don’t live in a vacuum. Many, many folks and their homes/families are at stake. Do the right thing, please. It matters.

  • Michael

    As has been said so many times before, since Sandy and without beach replenishment, oceanfronts are basically worthless. Replenishment is the ONLY way to begin to regain value. It’s that simple. Let’s face it, beachfront owners have been gambling for years and they lost. They have lost enormous amounts of $$$ in property value, a portion of which may never be recovered, even with replenishment. The only way to begin to recover whatever those properties will eventually be worth is to get those beaches and dunes in shape. Would any of us purchase any of the beach front properties in their current condition without a reasonable guarantee of protection ? Of course not. The clock is ticking. So wake up holdout and do the right thing. You’ve cost the residents millions. Don’t let it happen again. SIGN THE EASEMENT NOW and get those beaches and dunes in place before the next big one.

  • Mark Felt

    For some of us, it may be hard to understand why Mr. Porro would devote himself to the cause of people who are so obviously putting their selfish needs above those of the community. But there are others among us who, having a little background knowledge of his past, understand exactly where he’s coming from. Think about it. If both your parents were white-collar criminals who served jail terms for fraud and tax evasion, wouldn’t you be more likely to rally to the cause of other rich people who wanted to take from the community instead of protecting it? Wouldn’t it be really important to you to defend people like that? Just google “Porro duo of deceit” and it will all make more sense. This is an especially meaningful line from the USA Today article from April 18, 2005: “Kenneth Porro, one of Al Porro’s three sons, insists his father didn’t intend to commit any crimes. To that, Al Porro sighs with exasperation. “Every guy in prison says he didn’t have criminal intent,” Porro says. “It isn’t who’s right and who’s wrong; it’s what can be learned from this.” To most people, it looks like Ken Porro is just trying to make tons of money by spinning an anti-civic stance into in a false “civil rights” issue. And he is doing that. But he also clearly has a more personal mission at stake, and you can’t expect someone like that to be reasonable or clear-headed.

  • Bill

    Interesting article Mark. There is one pasage in the article that is particularly poignant:

    “The danger, he says, arrives once a person begins accumulating outsized power and wealth. What’s often lost, he says, are humility and sound judgment.”

    Sounds like the situation we are facing with the lone holdout in Holgate.

  • Year-round Holgate Resident

    Clearly Mr. Porro has been retained on contingency and is looking out for the greater good – that is, HIS greater good, not the residents of Holgate who will surely suffer again when the next seemingly annual “100 Year Storm” strikes the Jersey Coastline. Say what you will, those areas on LBI and otehr areas in NJ where the dunes were properly constructed and maintained suffered the least collateral damage — how much “value” does one place on a view of utter destruction since that’s the view that the beach front “holdouts” have if they look to their due-west. It’s a nice view looking east, but turn 180 degrees and see the devastation to which their holding out has surely contributed. How much “more” rent will these hoeowner, make that THIS single homeowner command this summer with that view?

    • Kate

      YES!!!!

  • Clarice

    Mr. Porro, I feel bad for the clients you represent. You give them advice to hold out…you tell them they can get more from the township. But it’s sad that they will in the end, if the replenishment does not happen, they will end up with nothing of value. The argument that home values will go down is incorrect. The 1962 storm devastated this island, why, because there were no dunes. The waves had nothing to hold them back. I remember the dunes being put in, the stone jetties being put in. Why do all that…because it works. It was done to protect the island, it’s people and their property. People complained when the original dunes where put in. The same argument you are making now. But did their home values go down, no. Home prices have sky rocketed. And they will again after the dune replenishment. But I can guarantee they will go down without it. Who would want to buy a home knowing the next storm will wash it away! Why because now we have even less protection than prior to Sandy.
    So as I said, I feel bad for your clients who listen to your advice. They have already lost so much, because the replenishment was not done prior to Superstorm Sandy and without the replenishment they will only loose what little value remains.

  • Gunther

    After raising a couple of kids and getting them through college we decided to go into more debt, purchasing a 1972 Liberty mobile home at the LBI Trailer Park. We didn’t realize one could pack so much fun into summers, by just being here anytime you wanted, which was every weekend possible. After 2 short years Sandy showed up, and the 1972 Liberty was no more, but the place is magical, so we put off retirement a little longer and purchased another trailer in a neighoring park. Mr. Porro, hopefully you will suggest to your client that by signng the easement, many will enjoy the magic of Holgate for years to come.

  • Nicole

    The holdout is clearly out of touch. They must be aware of the severity of the situation by now, so it must be a total lack of compassion and lack of care for their own property, let along any others. Every single nor’easter, every single gust of wind, every single high tide has made me anxious since the storm. I am anxious for my house, anxious for my parents, anxious for my neighbors. I wish I knew how to make this woman, and the others like her, realize that there is a lot more at stake here then their dang views. And unfortunately, they think they are protecting their property values, but their inaction is actually making theirs, and everybody else’s, property values drop.

  • Dawn

    Shame on Ken Porro….we are almost in the month of march and if the last easement is signed , we may hopefully have some type of beach replenishment in Holgate in time for the next hurricane season in August. Mr.Porro is misguiding his clients while destroying communities. If you are reading this post, you should rewatch the video embedded in this article, in the opening scene there is a yellow home on its side, That is the original home of one of the holdouts that moved to a beachfront home up the block from their original home that Mr. Porro represents…that is how vulnerable ALL of the homes in holgate are without beach replenishment. SHAME on you Ken Porro for encouraging your client to be the ONLY holdout putting a whole community in jeopardy…

  • Art Levy

    IAccording to this report, Ken Porro “says his clients aren’t against dune projects, they just want to be fairly compensated.” Fair compensation is based on the home’s value. So to me, the following would represent fair compensation:
    1. Appraise the value of the home with no dune, and an unblocked ocean view. Call that X.
    2. Appraise the value of the home with the dune, but an obstructed ocean view. Call that Y.
    The township pays the homeowners 25% of X, and the homeowners pay the township 25% of Y. The difference is fair compensation.
    The logic: if the dunes lower the value of the home, then the township owes the homeowner. But if the dunes raise the value of the home, then the homeowner owes the township. Pretty simple math.

    • Yanni kaloudis

      But Art, given your logic how would ken porro line his greedy pockets?

      • Art Levy

        Like everyone else in Holgate. With sand, and muck, and broken glass, and bits of siding, and splattered photos, and shattered dreams. You’ve had to carry those things in your pockets, Yanni. I think it’s his turn now.

        • Guess Who

          Just pay her 300,000 and she’ll sign. That’s not a lot to protect Holgate’s rateables. Kaufman cannot be forced to sign; she is standing on that principle. Mayor Mancini won’t pay a penny to holdouts; he is standing on principle. Just like our divided Congress. Let ‘s work out a compromise for the good of all.

          • Yanni kaloudis

            That’s what some would call extortion, and does she really need another $300,000?

  • Ken Martin

    Mr Parro, You mention that some of the holdouts are not wealthy people and need the income to support the property. How are they going to rent the property if there are no dunes to protect the property against the next big storm. You can not rent a property that is sitting in the ocean or a block away from its foundation.

    You further mention that taking away their view lowers their property value. What is the value of the human lives that are at risk without the dunes. If the next storm hits in mid August, can you give me the dollar value of the missing dunes in front of your clients homes compared to the hundreds of people that live behind that property? In super storm Sandy 125 people in the United States died . That includes 60 in New York — 48 of them in New York City — 34 in New Jersey and 16 in Pennsylvania. Think of what these numbers would have been if this storm hit at peek season.

  • LBI Lady

    An Open Letter To Marilyn “bunny” Kaufman + Ken Porro (her lawyer)

    I am a member of the Holgate Taxpayer’s Association, as well as an owner of beach front property. I am sure you are receiving many letters from other members. Like the other members who will be writing to you, I feel it was my duty and obligation to do so, just as I felt it was my duty and obligation to my property, as well as that of all the other Holgate residents, to sign over my easement rights, which I did when asked, because we very CAREFULLY read the information supplied which described exactly what signing over our rights entailed. Once we had finished reading all the materials we realized it was it was to the benefit of all to sign (including ourselves) and to the detriment of all (including ourselves) not to sign. And, this was before Hurricane Sandy occurred. Now that we have experienced the devastation brought about by Hurricane Sandy I no longer feel it is just a duty and obligation but a NECESSITY to sign over ones easement rights.
    As a beachfront homeowner, I love my beautiful views (which we have), and the refreshing sea breezes, which we enjoy as well. I also recognize that sometimes the welfare and considerations of others have to come before my pleasures, and that these considerations need to take priority.
    If you read the conditions the signing over of your easement for the purpose of Beach Replenishment carefully you would realize and I quote Mr. Bill Hutson, Trustee of the Holgate Taxpayers Association,
    “A ‘Perpetual Easement’ in this case is not FOREVER. It is only the lifetime of this Beach Replenishment project, which is 50 years. Once the Beach Replenishment project is done, the Army Corps of Engineers will return every 7 years to re-nourish that beach. Also if there is hurricane damage, as there was during Hurricane Sandy, they will return and refix the beach (as is the case of Harvey Cedars, Surf City and the parts of Long Beach Township that have been replenished).
    An easement for the Beach Replenishment does not affect the selling or buying price of property.”
    What you do have to realize is that by not signing the easement, as soon as possible, it will absolutely affect the property values, which already have dropped significantly. And that is only if you still will have property to value, which is also something to consider!!
    Therefore, any person who has any sense of reason and understanding of the impact on the community, and any conscience about the better good of the community of Holgate and its future, cannot have any justifiable reason for not signing the easement.
    The only deductions that can be made for not signing the easement is the desires of pure greed, total inconsideration of the better good of the community of Holgate, its residents and properties. Suffice it to say it is unfathomable to me, how anyone can be so totally self absorbed in their pure greed that they put that before any sense of responsibility to others. I cannot imagine being so devoid of any integrity whatsoever that a person would jeopardize the welfare of an entire community, people and property, at the risk of damage and destruction to all, including themselves, out of pure greed, or lack of any personal integrity and honor.
    There is no other “nice” way to word this. You are holding a whole community hostage by your senseless lack of character and reason. The irony is, sooner or later, you will have to sign…
    That is if there is any property that exists to sign an easement for… You will not be protected or any more secure than any of us in the community. There lies the rub, how you can be so shortsighted to not realize the ramifications of your lack of action!!!!

    As you comfortably rest your backside in your gated community in Naples, Florida, in one of your 3 properties, without any care for the consideration and welfare of others, you hold a whole community as hostage and jeopardize the safety, welfare and economic stability of the whole community with your only interest – pure greed. Understand that the “substantial compensation” that you are demanding as the ransom to signing the easement for beach replenishment would be coming directly from the pockets of your Holgate neighbors who have already had significant financial losses from the damages caused by Sandy.
    We have heard about the existence of consciousless beings before, ( e. g.Madoff, Hitler) but being exposed to it first hand is a horrifying experience.
    You are a despicable excuse for humanity.

    I know you will probably not read this letter, or any of the others you receive, as in my head I have already discerned you are totally devoid of any moral obligation, let alone admirable human qualities, but if there is a glimmer of a hope that someone can awaken that in you it was worth the effort.
    In hopes this has some impact,
    A very disappointed, frustrated and ANGRY Holgate Taxpayer

  • OZ house owner

    I do not have much to add to all of the very logical, rational and economic arguments presented in the comments above that, given the destructtion caused by Sandy in Holgate, the dune replenishment project will not lower the value of the property, but in fact is necessary to restore them to their prestorm values. And eventually, as has happened with prior storms, due to the enhanced storm protection, will eventually continue to appreciate. The problem is that when you are dealing amoral, unethical individuals who simply do not care about working for the greater good of the community, logic simply does not work.

    That said, hoping that deep down there is some microcosm of human and emotional decency in our remainig holdout, I thought I might try to get through on a personal appeal.

    As seen graphically in the first scenes of the video, I am the owner of the OZ house in Holgate, a term of endearment given by the Long Beach Townhship police, that was completely blown off its pilings, turned sideways, eventually landing up against my neighbor’s house. As described by Ken Porro, neither my neighbor (a permanent resident) nor I are wealthy. Luckily though, it appears that we may be in a position to rebuild, however I can not ay the same for my neighbor, who is currently trying to figure out how he will survive this crisis. Ironically, not only are we directly across the street from the remaining holdout, Marilyn (Bunny) Kaufman, but prior to moving to her oceanfront house, she owned my house! So, Bunny, how would you feel if you still owned my house? How would you expect your oceanfront neighbors to behave, given your total loss? I know how I would behave. Maybe I am one of the naive ones, but I would have signed the easement long ago, because I know how important all the family memories, rental income, etc. that having a home in Holgate mean to everyone, not just me. So, please, even if you do it in memory of all the good times that you had in your old house, or out of pity for those who have experienced catastrophic and/or irrecoverable damage, sign the easement. I have no doubt that if you do, in the long run, everyone will win, except for poor Ken Porro.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  • Craig Moffett

    As others have said, the attorneys are the winners here and it’s THEIR pure greed that has thwarted our progress regarding this issue! It’s tough to respect the profession…it’s the ‘one bad apple’…

  • brent

    The perfect solution:
    Somebody videotape Bunny’s and Mr. Porro’s faces as Holgate snakes its 25-ft dune IN FRONT of Bunny’s house to protect her rear ocean view, leaving her home exactly as currently exists. You want the ocean and zero protection B&P? You got it. Hell I’d chip in to re-align and pave a 200-ft stretch of Long Beach Blvd, would you? That’d be one helluva viral Youtube video….

  • Joe Gavin

    The attorney, Mr. Porro, must know that the property value is only realized if there is reliable dune protection to insure the safety of the home and the surrounding homes. It seems to me the short sightedness of the attorney (Mr.Porro) and his client not only is a detriment to the community but to his client a well. If without the easement the dune project cannot proceed all the properties are at risk including the clients. Flood insurance costs alone could soar and challenge any perceived value. It is a shame that one selfcentered individual can effect the values, safety and enviornment of a whole community.Could GREED really be the motivation? How sad.

  • 37 summers in Holgate

    As a summer resident whose (non-beachfront) home was destroyed by Sandy, I cannot understand why a beachfront homeowner would not sign the easement. The mayor has worked diligently to address the concerns of these owners, while Ken Porro only seems to be working diligently to ensure the biggest payout for himself. He is making money, while the property values of these beachfront homeowners continues to decline. And as word gets out who they are, they may find they are no longer welcome in their community. That’s a loss that can not be quantified monetarily. A man with the ethics of Ken Porro, is not working for the benefit of his clients – he is working only for his own benefit. As to those homeowners who “are not wealthy, and depend on rental incomes to support the the property”, how many of those homeowners is Porro representing? Certainly not the lone holdout in Holgate. Actually, Ken Porro is not representing anyone – he is only using them for his own financial gain.

  • Vince Mastria

    By the way. An article written in the Asbury Park Press clearly shows Bunny Kaufman and her son with an inurance adjuster viewing the damage to their home the day Holgate residents were allowed back. I believe 11/9.

  • Carol Mastria

    Dear Mr. Porro, I hate to contradict your statement that your clients are not wealthy people, but the fact is that the one remaining holdout in Holgate (who is your client), is not a poor person struggling to pay the mortgage with rental income. Have you and your client stood on the beach in front of her house looking towards the street? Then you have seen the devastation of the homes of the people who live beyond your clients home. Look left and right as well. These people are all affected by your clients inaction due to your counsel of waiting for a payday. If they wait too much longer, there will not be a house to rent out, to view the ocean or enjoy with her family. I hope and pray daily that you and your clients develop a social conscious, empathy for her neighbors in Holgate, and sympathy for those who lost their only home, their entire life’s work (not their summer rental home) and sign the easement before it is too late!

  • Carol Mastria

    Just one last comment. What really makes me sad is that all of our pleas will be ignored by the person that we need to save our slice of paradise. If she really cared, we would not be talking about this 4 months after Sandy.
    It would be done. :( (

  • Ali

    Shame on you, Kaufmans
    Double shame on you, Porro
    SHAME!!! SHAME!!! SHAME!!!
    May Karma meet you and do it’s job appropriately.

  • Yanni kaloudis

    Update! It has been confirmed that the last holdout in holgate has fired Ken Porro and has sought out different legal council. To the best of my knowledge this is the SECOND Holgate homeowner to have fired Kennith Porro in the past 2 months!!! While the last remaining holdout has not yet signed the easement I think we can see a trend that Porro and his clients’ might have differing views when it comes to what their best interest is. I am hopeful that the last holdout and their legal representation cam come to some sort of agreement with the town. Good-bye Ken….

  • Vincent DiSalvio