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Some Kinds Of Green Are More Important Than Others

Osprey nest removed from in front of traffic camera twice.

Belmar Meeting Schedule Change

The borough has announced a new, truncated meeting schedule for now through the end of summer:

May 1, 2014
May 20, 2014
June 4, 2014
July 1, 2014
August 5, 2014

Wha?  Why so few?

You know, I think that if they’re going to cut the number of meetings in half, we should cut their council stipends in half.  After all, the only people who benefit from this change are they themselves.  If anyone in the public doesn’t want to attend a meeting they don’t have to.  But the members of the council are required to go.  Also the clerk, administrator and heads of the police and public works are supposed to be there.  Maybe we should dock them all a day’s pay for each cancelled meeting including January’s, February’s, March’s and April’s cancelled meetings.

This reduction in the meeting schedule comes on the heels of a recent policy change whereby the public’s participation in the public comments session is limited to “comments” only.  Because it’s not called the pubic comments and questions session, no questions will be publicly answered.

For years I’ve been arguing that when the subject is good government, less is more.  But the only reductions we’ve seen from this government are in accountability, transparency, receptiveness, communication and in its appetite for interacting with the public at large.

Libertarian Party Meeting Venue Change

This Saturday’s Monmouth County Libertarian Party organizational meeting has been moved to the Town and Country Inn, 48 Route 35 in Keyport.  Come at 11:00.  Stay for lunch.

njlp

 

burger

 

Make Coffee Legal

And then tax it!

All of you know that I’m strongly in favor of ending marijuana prohibition, but I have to admit that I cringe every time I hear someone offer the promise of increased tax revenues as a reason to do it.

It’s a bad reason.  We wouldn’t legalize murder and then tax it.  We wouldn’t legalize theft and then tax it.  (Actually we do, sort of.)  If it’s legitimately the government’s business to prohibit a certain activity, then they need to prohibit it.  But if certain activity is none of the government’s business then they need to butt out completely.

I am not enjoying my big cup of Cafe Bustello coffee this morning at the government’s pleasure.  I’m not enjoying it because I paid sales tax on it.  I’m enjoying it because it makes me happy and I have a right to make myself happy.

We need to legalize because adults have a right to smoke pot if it makes them happy.   Of course they should pay sales tax on it like we do on everything.  But a special marijuana tax would be a mistake.

We have this situation where the government is using “sin taxes” to decide what disfavored groups will be singled out to carry more than their fair share of the tax burden.  These sorts of laws are meant to divide us and not to bring us together.  They are the kind of tools that have been used by totalitarian governments throughout history.  And you never know when you will suddenly find yourself as part of a newly disfavored group.  Are you paying attention soda drinkers and french fry eaters?

Besides all that, why do people so universally think that it’s such a great thing to suck dollars out of the real-people-freely-spending-their-own-money economy and put it into the government-politics-cronyism-corruption-vote buying-back room deals economy?

I just don’t understand it.

Is May 8th St. Patrick’s Day?

Irish

Have Lunch With Some Libertarians

The Monmouth County Libertarians are having an organizational meeting over lunch at the Manalapan Diner on Saturday, April 26.  Anyone who has an interest in liberty is welcome to sit in.

From our state Vice-Chair and 6th District Libertarian congressional candidate Dorit Goikhman:

Let’s get active in Monmouth County!

This is an organizational meeting for Monmouth County NJLP Members, but we encourage attendance by anyone liberty minded – whether from Monmouth County or a neighboring area. Big L and little L libertarians ALL welcome.

Monmouth County NJLP Members will:
1) adopt bylaws;
2) appoint officers;
3) gauge interest in joining with the Central NJLP Committee;
4) determine a schedule and goal for future meetings

Anyone who comes out will get a chance to introduce themselves and ask questions. However, only NJLP members residing in Monmouth County will be allowed to vote.

The goal here is to start building a network of liberty minded friends in your local community.

Please come out and bring some friends!

The meeting starts at 11:00.  Come see why the Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the United States and the only political party that has been increasing in membership.

 

On The Road

Getting an education.

With many high schools closed for spring break, this is sort of a rush week for college open houses.  As the father of a high school junior, it’s now time to figure out which would be the best one to teach my daughter all sorts of things that aren’t true.

Wednesday we took a day trip to Drexel University in Philadelphia.  Nice school.  She liked it.  Yearly tuition is more than my take home pay.  Maybe if they would only taught her half as many things that aren’t true it might be more affordable.

Yesterday we took a short 12 hour drive to University of Rhode Island and then to Syracuse, NY. 

To me, Rhode Island seems like a real bargain.  Tuition is a third less than Drexel and it seems they teach a lot more stuff that isn’t true. 

What I’ve picked up so far is that capitalism is destroying the planet and oppressing every living creature on it except white male human beings.   

Anyway, we’re off now to Syracuse’s “information” session.

strings

SENATE, No. 648

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2014 SESSION

 

Sponsored by:

Senator  MICHAEL J. DOHERTY

District 23 (Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren)

SYNOPSIS

Blocks beach fees in shore municipalities accepting certain government provided beach replenishment funding and dedicates two percent of taxable receipts under the sales and use tax collected in the shore municipalities to the shore municipalities.

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

AN ACT blocking beach fees in shore municipalities accepting certain government provided beach replenishment funding and dedicating two percent of taxable receipts under the sales and use tax collected in the shore municipalities to the shore municipalities, amending P.L.1955, c.49 and supplementing chapter 61 of Title 40 of the Revised Statutes.

BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

1.    Section 1 of P.L.1955, c.49 (C.40:61-22.20) is amended to read as follows:

1.    a. The governing body of any municipality bordering on the Atlantic Ocean, tidal water bays or rivers which owns or shall acquire, by any deed of dedication or otherwise, lands bordering on the ocean, tidal water bays or rivers, or easement rights therein, for a place of resort for public health and recreation and for other public purposes shall have the exclusive control, government and care thereof and of any boardwalk, bathing and recreational facilities, safeguards and equipment, now or hereafter constructed or provided thereon, and may, by ordinance, make and enforce rules and regulations for the government and policing of such lands, boardwalk, bathing facilities, safeguards and equipment; provided, that such power of control, government, care and policing shall not be construed in any manner to exclude or interfere with the operation of any State law or authority with respect to such lands, property and facilities. [Any] Except as provided in subsection d. of this section, any such municipality may, in order to provide funds to improve, maintain and police the same and to protect the same from erosion, encroachment and damage by sea or otherwise, and to provide facilities and safeguards for public bathing and recreation, including the employment of lifeguards, by ordinance, make and enforce rules and regulations for the government, use, maintenance and policing thereof and provide for the charging and collecting of reasonable fees for the registration of persons using said lands and bathing facilities, for access to the beach and bathing and recreational grounds so provided and for the use of the bathing and recreational facilities, but no such fees shall be charged or collected from children under the age of 12 years.

b.    A municipality may by ordinance provide that no fees, or reduced fees, shall be charged to:

(1)  persons 65 or more years of age;

(2)  persons who meet the disability criteria for disability benefits under Title II of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. s.401 et seq.);

(3)  persons in active military service in any of the Armed Forces of the United States and to their spouse or dependent children over the age of 12 years; and

(4)  persons who are active members of the New Jersey National Guard who have completed Initial Active Duty Training and to their spouse or dependent children over the age of 12 years. As used in this paragraph, “Initial Active Duty Training” means Basic Military Training, for members of the New Jersey Air National Guard, and Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training, for members of the New Jersey Army National Guard.

c.    A municipality providing for no fees or reduced fees pursuant to paragraph (3) or (4) of subsection b. of this section shall track, in a manner deemed appropriate by the governing body of the municipality, the number of persons who qualify under the provisions of those paragraphs.

d.    (1) On or after November 1, 2012, any municipality that accepts federal or State grants or aid for the purpose of replenishing storm-damaged beaches shall not adopt or enforce ordinances to collect fees pursuant to subsection a. of this section.

(2)  Every municipality that accepts federal or State grants or aid for the purpose of replenishing storm-damaged beaches shall be required to provide free public toilet facilities for persons using the beach during the period of time from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

(3)  If the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs determines that a municipality is not complying with the provisions of this subsection, the director shall not approve the budget of that municipality, as required by N.J.S.40A:4-78, until the budget is properly amended, and may subject the members of the governing body to the penalty provisions of section 52 of P.L.1947, c.151 (C.52:27BB-52).

(cf: P.L.2011, c.75, s.1)

2.    (New section)  a.  There is established in the General Fund a special fund to be known as “The Shore Municipalities’ Sales and Use Tax Collection Fund.”  An amount equal to the revenue derived from a tax rate imposed pursuant to the “Sales and Use Tax Act,” P.L.1966, c.30 (C.54:32B-1 et seq.), of two percent in shore municipalities shall be monthly credited from the General Fund to “The Shore Municipalities’ Sales and Use Tax Collection Fund.”

b.    (1)  For purposes of determining the amount of sales and use tax revenue attributable to the imposition of the sales and use tax in a shore municipality, the Director of the Division of Taxation shall base the determination on the place of business from which a unit of sales and use tax revenue is reported.

(2)  The director may provide for an alternative method of determining the amount of sales and use tax revenue attributable to the imposition of the sales and use tax in a shore municipality if a unit of sales and use tax revenue is attributable to the imposition of the sales and use tax upon a taxable transaction that:

(a)   is not associated with a place of business; or

(b)  is attributable to a line of business for which the place of business attribution method does not accurately reflect the origin of a unit of sales and use tax revenue.

c.    The Legislature shall annually appropriate all monies credited to “The Shore Municipalities’ Sales and Use Tax Collection Fund” for distribution to shore municipalities.  The Legislature’s annual appropriation of “The Shore Municipalities’ Sales and Use Tax Collection Fund” balance shall be distributed on a monthly basis wherein distributions of reported collections occur no later than the twentieth day of the month following the due date of the report.  The monthly distribution shall provide each shore municipality with an amount equal to the sales and use tax revenue deposited in “The Shore Municipalities’ Sales and Use Tax Collection Fund” that is attributable to the imposition of the sales and use tax in that shore municipality from the most recently reported sales and use tax period that precedes the date of distribution.  For purposes of determining the amount of the distribution for a shore municipality the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting shall rely on the Director of the Division of Taxation’s method of determining the amount of sales and use tax revenue attributable to the imposition of the sales and use tax in a shore municipality pursuant to subsection b. of this section.

d.    As used in this section:

“Shore municipalities” mean municipalities with governing bodies authorized to make and enforce rules and regulations by ordinance pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1955, c.49 (C.40:61-22.20), concerning municipal authority to regulate beaches.

3.    This act shall take effect immediately and section 2 shall apply to State fiscal years beginning on or after the date of enactment.

 

STATEMENT

 

This bill blocks beach fees in shore municipalities accepting certain government provided beach replenishment funding and dedicates two percent of taxable receipts collected under the sales and use tax in the shore municipalities to the shore municipalities of origin.  The purpose of this bill is twofold: (i) open beaches that are supported by public funding to the public; and (ii) to supplant shore municipalities beach fee revenue streams with sales and use tax revenue attributable to shore related commerce.

The bill prevents shore municipalities that accept federal or State aid to replenish beaches damaged by storms from collecting beach fees. The bill’s beach fee prohibition applies to fees imposed through the sale of beach tags or otherwise.  From a technical perspective, the bill blocks the enforceability and adoption of municipal beach fee ordinances.

The bill also requires shore municipalities that accept federal or State aid to replenish beaches damaged by storms to provide free restroom access for beach goers from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

The bill includes penalty provisions for municipalities that violate the restrictions on beach fees and restroom access.  The bill requires the Director of the Division of Local Government Services to disapprove of a municipal budget that violates the bill’s beach fee and restroom access requirements until revised accordingly.  The bill also grants the director discretionary authority to apply N.J.S.A.52:27BB-52 penalties to noncompliant municipal governing body members, which penalties include fines, jail time, and office forfeiture.

To supplant the loss of revenue from the beach fee prohibition, the bill calls upon the Legislature to annually appropriate two percent of the taxable receipts collected under the sales and use tax in shore municipalities back to those shore municipalities.  The bill establishes “The Shore Municipalities’ Sales and Use Tax Collection Fund,” which is where the two percent of the taxable receipts from shore municipalities is to be credited.  The bill calls for the distribution of funds to shore municipalities to occur on a monthly basis wherein distributions follow collections by one month.

The bill’s method of determining the municipality of origin associated with sales and use tax revenue is based on the registered place of business associated with a sales and use tax return report.  However, the bill does allow the Director of the Division of Taxation to devise other methods of determining the municipality of origin for sales and use tax revenue where the place of business method is inaccurate due to the absence of a place of business or the nature of the underlying line of business associated with the transaction.

The bill takes effect immediately, except that the provisions calling upon the Legislature to appropriate two percent of the taxable receipts collected under the sales and use tax in shore municipalities back to those shore municipalities applies to State fiscal years beginning on or after the date of enactment.

 

**************

 

So even if Judge Lawson allows us to use badge revenue to pay for most of the $7 million pavilion construction bond, it won’t do us any good if there’s no such thing as beach badges anymore.  We might be able to get the money from the proposed redirection of sales tax money, but maybe not.  Maybe Christie will just veto it.  We don’t know.

We should table the bond ordinance until we see where this goes.  Of course pulling the bond off the agenda of the next council meeting would be politically problematic.  And the scheduled April 25 meeting at which the bond was supposed to be passed has already been postponed until May 1 (a Thursday?!)

(So far this year four borough council meetings have been cancelled.)

Redevelopment Trial Was Today

Eyewitness account:

Dave:
I thought Ed and Kenny did a fine job this morning. Basically, they focused on “blight” as allowing a municipality to designate an area,and the most recent definition NJ Supreme Court in that case Galletin vs….. Boro redevelopment atty Bill Northgrave argued that blight still exists since the pavilions have not been rebuilt…………….Judge Lawson’s decision will be forthcoming.

*

Lawrence Lawson.  Great name for a judge.

Don’t Know About Agenda 21?

Well maybe you should because Belmar is in it!

Please Google it and read about it.  It’s not real good.

Basically, it’s a plan, in the name of “global sustainability”, to do away with national sovereignty, personal sovereignty, property rights, free markets and even representative democracy and have the U.N. decide everything for all of us.  It would eventually pretty much eliminate everything that makes America special including our Constitution.  Even many rational Democrats are strongly opposing it.

Agenda 21′s outreach to local governments is called the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, or ICLEI.   It is also called “Local Governments for Sustainability“.

Here is a link to their FAQ page where they try to debunk what they call “conspiracy theories circulated about ICLEI and Agenda 21″.  After reading it, I am actually more convinced than ever that the ICLEI and Agenda 21 are serious threats to our American way of life.

Ocean County reacted to this U.N. plot to control the world by passing a 2012 resolution condemning Agenda 21 in very strong terms.

Belmar reacted too.  We became one of only seven towns in New Jersey crazy enough to have joined the ICLEI.  (Not sure what year.)

New   Jersey

  • Belmar
  • Clifton
  • Eatontown
  • Hamilton
  • Maplewood
  • Marlboro
  • Newark

As a matter of fact, our borough clerk is listed as a contact on the ICLEI website for any towns thinking of joining in the fun:

Click here

 

You know some of us in town still believe in the traditional American values of individual liberty, property rights, personal responsibility and non-negotiable national sovereignty.  We would prefer Belmar not be a part of anybody’s progressive, one-world government dream.