The Hammonton Gazette 06/12/24 Edition

Michael Holte dances with daughter , Ava , during the The Sunshine Foundation Hammonton Wishing Well Chapter ’ s “ You Are My Sunshine Daddy Daughter Dance ” on June 9 . For more photos , see Page 12 . hammontongazette . com Wednesday , June 12 , 2024

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Volume 28 • Issue 24

Cannabis ordinance passes first reading

BY KRISTIN GUGLIETTI GAZETTE STAFF WRITER
HAMMONTON — Mayor Stephen DiDonato was the deciding vote to approve an ordinance on first reading , which would allow cannabis licenses , Class 1 Cultivator and Class 2 Manufacturer .
DiDonato said it was the “ single biggest vote ” he ’ s done since his 14 years on town council .
When it was time to vote during the June 10 special town council meeting on Ordinance # 014-2024 “ An ordinance to amend Chapter 181 and Chapter 254 of the general ordinances of the town of Hammonton permitting certain cannabis uses , establishing local cannabis establishment licenses and imposing a cannabis transfer and user tax ,” the vote was 4-3 to have a second reading .
Council members Stephen Furgione , Anthony Marino and Renee Rodio voted no while
Thomas Gribbin , Jonathan Oliva , Sam Rodio and the mayor voted yes .
The reasoning some voted yes to have a second reading is to hear more information from the public and learn more before deciding to approve or not approve the ordinance .
The second reading will be on July 22 at 7 p . m . at town hall where council will decide if the ordinance will pass or not . Members of the public are welcome to attend .
Before council voted , several members of the community voiced their concerns .
Frank and Lorraine Chappine of Hammonton discussed health , environment and safety concerns .
Rick Sepe of Hammonton discussed traffic concerns near where the new potential indoor cannabis establishment would be and how allowing the cannabis licenses could lead to more
See COUNCIL , Page 9

Daddy-Daughter Dance held before Father ’ s Day weekend

Photos Courtesy of Liz Pantalone / Elizabeth Grace Photography
Michael Holte dances with daughter , Ava , during the The Sunshine Foundation Hammonton Wishing Well Chapter ’ s “ You Are My Sunshine Daddy Daughter Dance ” on June 9 . For more photos , see Page 12 . hammontongazette . com Wednesday , June 12 , 2024

Thousands attend Food Truck Fest .

Photo Courtesy of Liz Pantalone / Elizabeth Grace Photography
Jenn and Codee pick up a sweet treat from Colleen Esau at Cannoli World .
BY KRISTIN GUGLIETTI GAZETTE STAFF WRITER
HAMMONTON — People throughout downtown had five hours from 4 p . m . to 9 p . m . on June 8 to get their grub on and try a little bit of everything at the Hammonton Food Truck Fest .
MainStreet Hammonton Executive Director Mica McCullough said this year they had a total of 35 food trucks , which is the most trucks they ’ ve had .
“ I heard from a couple of businesses that they ’ ve had a really successful evening , and that ’ s our primary mission as MainStreet Hammonton to bring people downtown so

Chieco grateful to serve

BY KRISTIN GUGLIETTI GAZETTE STAFF WRITER
HAMMONTON — Hammonton Superintendent of Schools Robin Chieco attended her last board of education meeting on June 6 . She will be retiring from her position , and Hammonton High School principal Thomas Ramsay will be the new superintendent .
Board President John Lyons called the June 6 board of education meeting to order and all board members were present at the Samuel A . Donio Memorial Library except for Board Vice President Luke Coia and Folsom Representative John Thomas who were absent . Board member Kelly Donio was present virtually via Zoom call .
Since it was Chieco ’ s last board of education meeting , she took some time to thank the board for their support for the past seven years .
“ Although some decisions are more difficult than others , we were always able to put students first and ensure their health and well-being was our priority . I ’ m also grateful for the confidence that the board had in me to lead this district especially during my very challenging times . I ’ m extremely grateful to the community of Hammonton for accepting and welcoming me . Coming from a small town in Pennsylvania , I immediately felt at home when I arrived here in 1988 . The wonderful sense of community

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See ballot on Page 27 or online at surveymonkey . com / r / Hammys2024
they can see how great Hammonton is and put it on their map and come back and visit the businesses ,” McCullough said .
The Whitewalls played music at the beer garden while Dan Keiser Trio performed at Front Street and DJ Ty with BME played the top hits at Central Avenue .
According to McCullough , closing down Front Street was new this year and with this year ’ s success , MainStreet might close Front Street again to make room for some of the food trucks .
Twenty-two of the trucks had vegan / vegetarian options and 17 of the trucks had gluten-
See FOOD TRUCK , Page 4
and strong family values that I experienced allowed me to grow both professionally and personally ,” Chieco said .
Chieco said she still remembers her first day when all the new teachers rode the school bus and toured the blueberry farms in Hammonton .
“ As I was a teacher for 20 years prior to moving to administration , I never forgot the wonder of working with students to learn new concepts and to grow as individuals . I will forever remember my classes and the valuable lessons I learned from my students ,” Chieco said .
She said she hopes her time in the classroom made her a better superintendent .
“ As a teacher you are always trying to find a new way to reach students or better engage the class . I try to approach many challenges I faced over these past seven years with a lens on what the teachers were experiencing in the classroom . I made my decisions based on what is best for students ,” Chieco said . She thanked the staff and said she will miss them . Board member Linda Byrnes thanked Chieco for her dedication , leadership and for being studentcentered in her career .
Earlier in the meeting after roll call and the pledge of allegiance , Lyons read Finance item No .
See BOE , Page 8
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