Deadline Extended To Apply For A Seat on Fort Hancock Advisory Committee

Applicants must self-nominate by the new deadline of July 21.

A school group gets a tour of Fort Hancock from a member of the Sea Grant Consortium on May 1, 2013.
A school group gets a tour of Fort Hancock from a member of the Sea Grant Consortium on May 1, 2013.
Enthusiasm by community members to take part in a group that will shape the future of Sandy Hook has motivated the National Park Service to extend a deadline for nominations to the Gateway National Recreation Area Fort Hancock 21st Century Committee. 

The previous deadline was July 14, but after an article ran in Patch that 8 of the 20 seats were expiring in August and needed to be filled, the National Park Service heard from members of the community, and the deadline was extended to July 21.  

"We are extending the nomination process by a week not because we lack for excellent numbers or applicants, but to make sure that all aspects of the community know about this opportunity and have a shot at membership," said Gateway Superintendent Jennifer T. Nersesian, in a July 14 statement.  

John Harlan Warren, external affairs officer for Gateway National Recreation Area, who assists the group, said, "This is a good problem to have."  

Warren said so far "a couple dozen" people have raised their hands to fill the vacant seats. To apply, a citizen must self-nominate -- not nominate another person, he said. 

The Committee has met a dozen times so far, about every six weeks, and the required all-day meetings typically are held on weekdays.

"It's a big commitment," said Warren. "It will take a lot of time. There's a lot of meetings, a lot of work outside of meetings. Not everyone can do it."

Typically meetings are held in the Sandy Hook Chapel, but during the summer the group has to find another location due to the weddings at the venue. The next public committee meeting is at 9 a.m. on Friday, July 18 at Twin Lights historic site in Highlands. The meetings are open to the public, and the comment period is at 1 p.m. People interested in obtaining leases at Fort Hancock for adaptive re-use have attended meetings to observe proceedings, he said. 

Anyone interested in being a member, including current members whose terms are expiring, must submit materials in hard copy to the office of Gateway’s Superintendent no later than July 21. The address is Gateway national Recreation Area, Office of the Superintendent, 219 New York Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10305.

Nominees are asked to describe and document their qualifications for membership and include a resume listing their name, title, address, telephone, e-mail, and fax number.

After the park selects nominees, these nominations are vetted through the Department of the Interior and the White House. 

Nominations are sought to represent the following communities: real estate, recreation, cultural resources and historic preservation, business and hospitality. 

The Committee sees to have representatives from Monmouth County and the municipalities of Highlands, Sea Bright, Rumson and Middletown Township. See a list of members here.  At this time, there is currently no representative of Middletown in the group. 

"I’m so impressed by the dedication for the people that come, meeting after meeting. By the quality of their question, and their determination to see Fort Hancock survive, and even thrive," said Warren.

For more information, contact External Affairs Officer John Warren at 732-872-5970 or by e-mail.


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