While serving his four-year term, the Mayor presides at all meetings of the City Council and has a voice and vote in its proceedings. He fills vacancies occurring in the Board of Education. All bonds, notes, contracts and written obligations of the City are executed on its behalf by the Mayor. The Mayor performs such other duties as the Council may prescribe and are prescribed in the Administrative Code. Additionally, the Mayor performs such ceremonial functions as are allocated to persons holding the title of “Mayor,” as such is known generally in New Jersey law.
Mayor Philip J. Guenther has been a resident of the City of Brigantine Beach since 1962. He graduated from St. Philip the Apostle Elementary School and Holy Spirit High School. He continued his education earning a BA at Rowan University, a MS in Administration at Central Michigan University, and an Ed.D. at Seton Hall University in Educational Administration.
For over a decade, Phil served as a lifeguard on the beaches of Brigantine where he won numerous singles and doubles rowing championships. At Holy Spirit, Phil was a member of the undefeated 1976 Holy Spirit crew team that won the national championship and the Royal Henley Regatta at Henley-on-Thames, England. Phil also won the Dad Vail college championships while a student a St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.
Phil has been involved in public education for more than 20 years. Joining the teaching staff at Atlantic City High School in 1981, he taught both English and Social Studies and coached soccer, wrestling and swimming. Later, he was promoted to the position of vice principal. In 1994 he was named assistant principal of the Atlantic County Vocational School and promoted to principal in 1997. He presently serves as superintendent of Atlantic County Vocational School District, a position he has held since 2003.
Throughout his professional career, the mayor has been actively involved with issues regarding the education of young people. Because of his interest in ensuring that Brigantine’s young people received a quality education, he began his career in public service as a member of the Brigantine Board of Education in 1989. In 1990, he was elected to City Council and two years later he was appointed mayor of Brigantine Beach. He was reelected as mayor in 1993, 1994, 1998, 2002, and 2006.
Phil is proud of the many accomplishments that the Brigantine City Council has achieved during his tenure as a council member and mayor. These accomplishments included: working with State and County representatives to ensure safe access and egress to Brigantine through the construction of the Atlantic City – Brigantine Connector and overpasses at Route 30 and Huron Avenue; the purchase and perpetual preservation of the 180-acre Links at Brigantine Beach golf course as open space; and the implementation of the city’s new Land Use Ordinance.
Through the strong support of City Council and the Brigantine Board of Education; the city’s school system has also gained statewide recognition for its efficiency and effectiveness in educating Brigantine’s young people during Mayor Guenther’s time in office. In fact, the Brigantine schools have been designated as Star Schools and Best Practices Schools by the New Jersey Department of Education. In 2006, the Brigantine Schools have been nominated for the prestigious Blue Ribbon Award by the United States Department of Education.
Phil is also actively involved in projects that benefit all Atlantic County residents through his service as a member of the Atlantic County Mayors Association. In 2001 and 2002, he served as president of the organization. He also serves on the Atlantic County Youth Services and Youth Investment Commission. He has actively contributed to community projects in Brigantine such as the building of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center and the Brigantine Rowing Club, and he continues to coach rowing in the Brigantine Rowing Club’s summer youth program.
Phil lives with his wife of 28 years, Lee Ann, a former summer resident of Brigantine. Phil and Lee Ann are the proud parents of a daughter, Julia.
For more information about the Mayor’s duties, click here to view the City Code and search for “Chapter 3, Administration.”
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