Civic Group in Danger of Dissolving

Berkeley Shores is known for its lagoons and beautiful views. (Photo by Patricia A. Miller)
Berkeley Shores is known for its lagoons and beautiful views. (Photo by Patricia A. Miller)

BERKELEY – A longtime homeowners’ group in Berkeley is in danger of collapsing unless more residents step up to help run it, the organization’s president says.

“Your Homeowners’ and Civic Association is approaching a situation that seriously jeopardizes the future of our association,” said Keith Ruscitti, president of the Berkeley Township Homeowners and Civic Association in a post on the group’s website.

Group officials have asked for volunteers for the non-profit organization in the lagoon home community over the past several years to serve as board directors, officers and volunteers, he said in the post.

But that hasn’t happened.

“The solvency of our association is a serious issue and I cannot stress enough if you appreciate what this association does for Berkeley Shores and the community…some people need to roll up their sleeves and get involved. It would be a shame to see this association have to dissolve, but that is what will happen if we stay the current course.”

The group will hold a special meeting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 13 at the Berkeley Township Recreation Center on Route 9 in Bayville to discuss the future of the organization.

Some of the current executive board members are getting older, have family issues and no longer have as much time to devote to the group, Ruscitti said.

The organization was born in the mid-1980s as an active civic group, dedicated to the quality of life in the waterfront community. Homes in the group include those near the elementary school on Veeder Lane in Bayville and run all the way through to Allen Road on the bayside. One annual membership costs $30.

“The purpose was to implement repairs and protect and enrich the environment,” the website states. “Members would be dedicated to the betterment of the neighborhood and concerned with the ecology. A non-political viewpoint would be maintained to adopt whatever was best for the community.”

Group members ramped up efforts to increase membership several years ago. The mission was successful. There are now roughly 700 members in the association. But more members are needed to help with the group’s activities, Ruscitti said.

Berkeley Shores is known for its lagoons and beautiful views. (Photo by Patricia A. Miller)
Berkeley Shores is known for its lagoons and beautiful views. (Photo by Patricia A. Miller)

“We are aware the demographics of our neighborhood has changed gradually in the past decade and we are trying to adjust,” the website states.

The Berkeley Township Homeowners and Civic Association puts on the free annual Memorial Day picnic at Amherst Beach and the annual Blessing of the Fleet. The group also puts on neighborhood garage sales, a golf tournament at the Cedar Creek Golf Course, a November food drive and scholarships for Central Regional High School students.

Board members also want homeowners to know that the homeowners’ association has nothing to do with “Nextdoor Berkeley Shores,” an online group.

“Over the past few weeks, residents in Berkeley Shores have been receiving solicitation letters from neighbors, encouraging them to join an on-line group named: Next Door Berkeley Shores,” according to the BSHCA website.

The solicitations are from a national group that localizes itself to specific neighborhoods.

“It has absolutely no affiliation with the Berkeley Shores Civic Association (BSHCA),” the BSHCA website says.

“The BSHCA Exec. Board is unfamiliar with its workings and does not endorse it for our BSHCA members,” it states.