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The First Four Years

Gave no bid contract to wife’s client, Ashbritt.

Gave no bid contract to wife’s client and large campaign donor Ferreira Bros.  Nearly $1 million in wire transfers to Ferreira never appeared on any payment of bills lists (for council review) until the information was OPRAed by a private citizen and then there was a news story about the problem.

Broke debris-removal contract with de Rouville and replaced them with AshBritt.  de Rouville is now suing Belmar.

Broke flood water pump-out contract with Broadco and put a stop payment on a check sent to them.  Replaced them with union contractor J H Reid.  When asked at a public meeting why Broadco was replaced, borough administrator said “Broadco sucks”.  Broadco is now suing Belmar.

Used emergency powers to continue no bid work by Ferreira long after actual emergency had passed.

Bid out boardwalk and seawall construction together, then only built the boardwalk but used the combined price to allow an illegally large (as a percent of the total job)  $2 million change order.  Changed stories about the reason for the change order two times.  Allowed change to proceed without Council approval.  Chairman of the contracting company that asked for the change order sits on the board of trustees of wife’s client, LIUNA.

Ignored pleas from constituents, from Jim Bean and from the State of New Jersey not to distribute charitable donations himself but to let reputable charities do it, then lost $9500 worth of Shop Rite gift cards.  Blamed Jim Bean for finding the discrepancy.

Never bought any boards with the $727,000 in “Buy a Board” donations.

Despite pleas from residents and from Councilman Bean, refused to separate funding for 10th Ave safety building project and instead holds its construction hostage to his controversial plans for Taylor.  Safety building still not constructed.

Lost $100,000 renting boardwalk trailers to private companies, calling it “good business”.

Spent $10,000 on beach balls for photo ops.

Replaced fleet of storm flooded Crown Victoria police cars with expensive Chevy Tahoe SUVs.  Insurance then only paid value of used Crown Victorias.  FEMA won’t make up the difference.

Failed to notify 736 owners of flood damaged properties of their eligibly for a tax reduction under a county program.

Handpicked mostly campaign contributors for Boardwalk Advisory Panel.  Panel then rubber stamped plans for rooftop golf, public bathhouses and 2nd story banquet hall that would have served liquor.

Spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for architectural plans for pavilions that nobody wanted.

Forced Councilman Bean to sue in order to get access to gift card records.  Accused Bean of wanting to embarrass storm victims.  Lost in OPRA court.  (Bean later discovered that nearly half the cards were lost or stolen.)

Forced resident Ted Ehmann to sue in order to get access to public documents.  Lost in OPRA court.

Forced Coast Star newspaper to sue in order to get access to public documents.  Lost in OPRA court.

Illegally declared beachfront an “area in need of redevelopment”.  Tried to grant himself power to enter into privately negotiated no-bid deals with developers.  Concerned citizens sue.  Declared lawsuit “frivolous”.  Lost lawsuit.

Illegally planned to use badge revenues to pay for 5th Ave community center.  Concerned residents sue.  Declared lawsuit “frivolous”.  Lost lawsuit.

Illegally enacted law giving union contractors unfair advantage in bidding for projects in Belmar.  Concerned residents sue.  Declared lawsuit “frivolous”.  Lost lawsuit.

Ignored lawfully collected petitions against $7.5 million bond and 2 story Taylor pavilion with liquor license until sued and forced to accept them by Superior Court judge.

Dropped 2 story idea and introduced new bond that was still $7 million.  Included $1 million in projected engineering costs.   Hundreds of petitions collected against new bond.  Refused to accept petition signers’ demands or negotiate about the size of the bond.

Told petitioners that it’s their fault there will have to be a $17,000 special election.  When informed that the law calls for the vote to be held in November at no cost to taxpayers, changed his story and said it’s a good deal to spend $17,000 on an early special election so he can keep crony Epic’s contract if he wins the special election.

Lost election 58% to 42% despite $thousands in funding by laborers union.

To this date refuses to accept petitions against pro-union “responsible bidder” language added to our code.  If not accepted by October 31 there will need to be another special election at taxpayer expense.

Belmar Democratic Committee has accepted so far this year $5000 from International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and $7000 from Laborers International.

Has not held an executive session (where the Council is informed about sensitive issues like lawsuits) in 3 years.  When asked why there have been no executive sessions he said there was never anything to discuss.

Rescheduled or canceled 13 council meetings so far this year.

No longer accepts questions from the public during public comments sessions, saying it’s for “comments”, not “questions”.

Allowed Belmar’s total debt (minus school debt) to rise from $15 million to $39 million, higher than Manasquan, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Avon or Bradley Beach.  Bragged that he hasn’t raised taxes.

In a possible violation of 90-day rule, sent out taxpayer-funded campaign letter soft-peddling the debt.  Letter failed to mention $4.5 million FEMA loan that was used to balance the budget.

Refused to finance Silver Lake flood control project until Republicans made it a campaign issue, then took credit for it.

Characterized people who spoke out about any of this as being “against recovery”.

Smeared critic Mike Seebeck in a public meeting, implying Seebeck wanted photos of teenage girls when Mr. Seebeck was actually documenting suspected Democratic campaign violations as NJ ELEC had asked him to.

Smeared critic David Schneck in a public meeting 19 days before an election, falsely characterizing  a remark sent in September to this blog by an  anonymous commenter of unknown political affiliation as a “Republican attack” on Doherty’s son.  (The remark attacked Doherty and only mentioned his son.)  Called the remark a “post” rather than a “comment” on his campaign Facebook page and refused to correct commenters who wrongly attributed the remark to Jim Bean or to David Schneck.  Facebook comments that attempted to correct the misinformation were immediately deleted.

Built a boardwalk.

Their Votes Count As Much As Yours

DJAIS

 

Day 18!

Belmar Democrats defiantly refuse to comply with Borough’s campaign contribution disclosure law!

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Republican entry is purple because it is a link that was clicked on.

Democratic entry is black because there is no link.

Milestone

1000+ Hits 10 Days Straight

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Contribution Disclosure Page Changed…..

AGAIN!

They just pulled down the false information they put up yesterday that said that they didn’t file 29 day pre-election reports with NJ ELEC.

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Of course they’re still in violation because those reports need to be published on the borough website and they aren’t.

9-8 REPORTING OBLIGATIONS OF CANDIDATES FOR ELECTED OFFICE.
a. Each and every candidate for any elected office within the Borough of Belmar, and each elected official who is a candidate for elected office other than for the office of Mayor or Council of the Borough, shall file with the Borough Clerk a true and correct copy of each and every campaign finance report they are required to file with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, and shall do so not later than the date that the said report is due to be filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.

 

Common Sense Attacked By Mayor

There is a story in today’s Coast Star about how the mayor attacked this blog at last week’s Borough Council meeting.  There are also some vitriolic and factually incorrect letters sent in by some of his drones.

Of course they don’t hate this blog because a month ago some anonymous commenter said that the mayor might want to hide behind his son and get photo-ops with him.  They hate this blog because I make available to the public information like you see below and because I tape and publish the Borough Council meetings.

Think of how carefully they must have scoured these pages looking for dirt and that’s the worst thing they could come up with.  And to this date they have never been able to refute a single word I’ve ever written.

Borough Web Site Changed In Response

And what it says now isn’t true!

 

A few hours after I posted my earlier story, the Belmar campaign disclosure page was suddenly updated:
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“no contributions -no report filed with NJELEC”

Um….what are these?

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You see even if there are no contributions you still have to file the 29 day reports with the state.  And they did.  These are from the NJ ElEC website.  So they are lying on the Belmar webpage and they are still in violation of Belmar’s law that requires them to send Belmar a copy of everything they send to the state.

By the way, they may not have gotten any contributions to their campaign accounts during the reporting period but the Belmar Democrats still got a nice little contribution a few weeks ago:

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Of course in Belmar you are not allowed to use party committee money for election campaigning because the names of the individual contributors – in this case IBEW members – would have to listed on the Belmar webpage and there’s no way to know who they are.  Since it’s not considered to be a campaign contribution – it’s supposed only to be used for things like party-building – it doesn’t have to be filed with Belmar and it doesn’t appear on the Belmar campaign contribution page.   So it would be a violation of the 2007 ordinance that Doherty as a councilman worked so hard to pass, and gave all those speeches about, if you did something like this:

2013 flyer

2013 mailer warning of the terrible consequences of a Burke/Schneck council election victory.  (The other side has black and white  photos of Tom Burke and myself and outlines all the misery that Tom and I had planned to inflict.)

 

“These aren’t Republican issues or Democratic issues,

these are common sense public policy issues,” said Doherty. “Jim (Reilly) and I are running on a platform of honest and open government and we believe that by enacting the points outlined here, we will be able to restore much of the public’s lost trust in their elected office holders.”*

*Matt Doherty in his 2005 race for state assembly.

“Fully disclosing campaign contributions is an integral part of an open and honest government.”*

*Matt Doherty as a councilman in 2007 pushing for more stringent campaign finance laws for Belmar.

“I believe that fully disclosing all campaign contributions is necessary because the people have the right to know who is financing politicians’ campaigns,” Councilman Doherty added earlier this week. “The more information voters have about a candidate, the better informed they are, and this will lead to a better decision at the voting booth. In addition, shedding light on the campaign finance system will ensure it is not abused by politicians at the expense of tax payers.”*

*Again, in 2007.

One provision of Belmar’s “toughest in the state” campaign finance laws is that all filings made with the state also have to made with the borough at the same time.  The 29 day pre-election report was due to the borough on October 6.  Here is a screen shot I took this morning, October 22, of Belmar’s campaign disclosure page.

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The first link is to the Republicans’ 29 day filing.  Let’s click on it.

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Filed October 6, exactly on time!  Further down it shows that some guy named Schneck contributed $200 worth of raw fish.  That’s weird!

The Democrats haven’t filed yet.  All that talk that opened this column was meant for other people.  Now that it’s show time, now that it really matters, their reports are completely AWOL.  This is a total violation of election law in Belmar that Doherty helped to pass.  When do they intend to file?  After the election?

BTW, his people have run gubernatorial and congressional campaigns.  It would be hard to believe this is some sort of oversight but I guarantee that’s what we’re going to be told.

Employment Followup

Just to followup and close out on these two stories, the mayor’s broker’s registration through his new employer was approved last Thursday.

Below is his FINRA report as of this morning.

 

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He may not believe me but I do honestly wish the mayor good luck with his new job.  With that said, I put this story to rest.

 

Reader Submitted

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