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Other Than That I Agree Completely

Today is a vacation day for me and I have about an hour to kill so I figured I’d pick apart Walter Murray’s letter that appeared in yesterdays Coast Star.  Mr. Murray, by the way, is Jennifer Nicolay’s next door neighbor.

Here we go:

LET OUR TOWN COUNCIL AND MAYOR DO THE JOB THEY WERE ELECTED TO DO
Submitted by WALTER MURRAY

On Oct. 29, 2012 Hurricane Sandy devastated Belmar. (True) Half of our town was flooded and our boardwalk along with all the pavilions was completely destroyed. (I heard that Taylor could have been salvaged) For almost three years, Mayor Doherty and our current town council have worked tirelessly to rebuild what we lost. (Did we lose rooftop golf, bath houses and a two story banquet hall?) Within a year, the Mayor, with the cooperation and assistance of the majority of Belmar residents, was able to have the debris caused by Sandy removed. He then had a beautiful new boardwalk built. (The original companies hired to do the clean up were both fired just days after they were hired and replaced by companies with ties to the mayor’s wife.  They both sued Belmar for breach of contract, costing the borough thousands of dollars in legal fees. One of the suits is still in litigation so the cost is still going up. The company that won the bid for the boardwalk is also connected to the mayor’s wife and stuck us with an illegal $2 million change order.) Our boardwalk, benches, water fountains and beachfront playgrounds and showers are praised by everyone — residents and visitors alike.  (The palm trees have to go.)

The town was able to accomplish this with no increase to real estate taxes (Debt more than doubled) and despite the negative actions and negative comments of a small group of citizens. (That’s true. We were unable to stop all that.) This group, in my opinion, has worked against the wishes and the best interests of the majority of Belmar residents. (I’m sure the Star made him add the “in my opinion”. When I write to them they make me add “in my opinion” to every sentence.) Unfortunately for Belmar this same group has now turned its attention to the rebuilding of the Taylor Pavilion. (No, the Taylor pavilion plan was rejected by the voters in last year’s special election. We thought the issue was settled but the mayor has now brought the same bad plan back. This is why our merry band has had to re-mobilize and fight another day.) This group professes to want the Taylor Pavilion rebuilt. (Some of us do and some of us don’t. But none of us want a $4 million bond in our name.) However, at the council meetings I have attended, they raise objection after objection that seem to me to be designed to stall the rebuilding. (Sit down and shut up!) I have never heard them offer any constructive ideas on to how to get the job done. (We have been saying to build a simple building for seasonal use at a reasonable cost.  Not a grand year round facility with a full kitchen, heating, air conditioning and the look of a Super 8 motel.) This group has consistently challenged the cost of replacing the Taylor Pavilion, but to my knowledge they have never presented a viable FEMA approved plan. (Give us the kind of money the mayor spent developing his plan and we will present a very good FEMA-approved plan. Does Mr. Murray expect the proposed plan’s critics to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money to create a plan for the mayor to reject without even looking at it?) FEMA is important to this project. By building to FEMA codes and standards it ensures that Belmar will have a Pavilion built with the best construction materials available and that if another storm results in the need to rebuild we will be eligible for FEMA assistance in the rebuilding process. (Nobody has ever suggested that we not follow FEMA standards or any other building codes. This is a lie being pushed by the mayor and his friends. When some of us say to replace what was there, we obviously mean to build it to modern standards.) Building to FEMA standards is expensive, but the town did put the project out to bid and we took the lowest bid. (FEMA doesn’t require all the extravagances in the proposed building, only that it be strong and elevated. And the mayor tried to rig the bidding rules to favor his friends but our “small group” was able to put the kibosh on that.) By using approved FEMA funds, insurance money, private donations and approved Beach Utility money the cost to Belmar residents is at worst $15.77 yearly and at best $0! (OK, everybody together now: MOST OF THAT MONEY BELONGS TO THE BEACH UTILITY, NOT THE MUNICIPALITY. WHEN THE JUDGE IN THE LAWSUIT RULES AS SUCH, BELMAR TAXPAYERS WILL BE STUCK HOLDING THE BAG.)

Why does this group continue to stand in the way? Let’s move on. (We would love to move on. Please ask the mayor to drop his bad plan so we can move on.) The Taylor Pavilion, which hosted over 200 events in the year before the storm, should have been rebuilt already. (If the mayor wanted to simply replace what was there, built to modern codes, we’d be done already.) The majority of Belmar residents elected Mayor Doherty, Councilmen Brian Magovern and Thomas Brennan and Councilwomen Jennifer Nicolay and Janis Keown-Blackburn because we believe in their vision for a better Belmar. (Mr. Murray is selective about when the will of the people should be respected and when it shouldn’t. Has he forgotten that a majority of Belmar residents voted against this pavilion plan?) Our mayor and each council person support the rebuilding of Taylor Pavilion. Let them do the job we elected them to do!  (So why does New Jersey bond law allow for referendum petitions? And in 42 states, towns are not even allowed to bond without voter approval. This is because we do not elect kings. We own the government and we are supposed to tell it what to do and not do.)

WALTER MURRAY
Fourth Avenue, Belmar Manasquan Tourism

 

*********Extra bonus!  Tim McCorry’s letter too!

STILL NO TAYLOR PAVILION FOR BELMAR WHILE OTHER TOWNS ENJOY NEW FACILITIES
Submitted by TIM McCORRY

As I understand it, there is a bipartisan agreement that guarantees a 4.1 million cap for the reconstruction of Taylor Pavilion. We should proceed. (There was no “bipartisan agreement”. One petitioner, WHO VERY CLEARLY SAID HE WAS SPEAKING ONLY FOR HIMSELF, said he might be able to reconcile himself to the $4.1 million. The mayor immediately jumped on that and pretended to have some sort of agreement.)

The expeditious rebuilding of the boardwalk after Sandy was a source of civic pride. The continued existing of the hole in the ground at Fifth Avenue (I guess he’s speaking metaphorically) that once was Taylor Pavilion, while other towns enjoy their new facilities, is now a source of embarrassment. (What other town borrowed money and built a  $4 million community center on their boardwalk?)

Our elected leaders have staked themselves to this proposal. Let’s move on and hold them accountable for their performance at the voting booth. I believe that’s how it’s supposed to work. (No, that’s not how it’s supposed to work. We need to control our elect leaders so they do what we want them to do. Simply voting them out after they screw up is not a plan. They might be gone but their expensive screw-ups still have to be paid for.) 

TIM McCORRY
12th Avenue, Belmar

Both letters reprinted with the permission of the Coast Star

I Guess I’m Supposed To Be Happy About This

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I guess I’m supposed to be happy that on nice weekends the parkers drive down my street at a rate of about one car every 10 seconds.  I can’t even get out of my driveway onto the road with my bicycle.

I guess I’m supposed to be happy that they leave my street full of litter when they finally go home.

I guess I’m supposed to be happy that when I get to the beach, if I want to be anywhere near the water I have to sit 3 feet away from somebody’s screaming, sand-kicking kids.

You know that if the town were to be more careful with the beach utility’s money, and if the beach utility didn’t have many millions of dollars of debt…with another $2 million added just this month…It wouldn’t have to encourage so many people to come here and buy badges and I wouldn’t have to be so happy all the time.

FILED!

 

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Countdown……Day 19

When an ordinance is passed it does not officially take effect until 20 days after official notice of its passage appears in a newspaper of record.  Today is the 19th day of the 20 day period after publication in the Asbury Park Press of official notice of passage of the unbundling ordinance, 2015-24.

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You recall that when the petitioners turned in their petitions against the original bundled ordinance they also gave notice of the existence of a letter held in escrow by their attorney, Ed Bonanno.  The letter would release the borough from the obligation to act on the petition after the unbundling ordinance became law.  When the Council ridiculously pretended not to trust Bonanno to release the letter, he was too nice to them and agreed to let borough attorney Mike DuPont hold the letter.  Problem was that when the letter was re-written to make DuPont the escrow agent, the stipulation that when and only when the 20 day period after notice of the unbundling ordinance expired would the letter be released was left out.  The petitioners went to court on July 8 to have the mistake corrected.  The outcome was reported on this blog:

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So if there is going to be any monkey business it would pretty much have to be done today.  Hold your breath everybody……………

Also published 19 days ago was notice of passage of the separated ordinance to bond $4 million for the 5th Ave. pavilion.

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Of course the whole reason the bundled ordinance was petitioned against was so that the overpriced and unaffordable plan for the 5th Ave. pavilion…the same plan that was rejected by the voters last year,….could be petitioned against without affecting the Lake Como project.  I am not on the Committee of Petitioners but I have been helping collect petitions against the $4 million bond and I can report that the petitioners have been working very hard for the last week or so.  Did we collect enough signatures to stop the bond and rescue the taxpayers?

Stay tuned……

Democratic Committee Reports

For the 1st and 2nd reporting periods.

I only published pages that had any information on them.  Click on the images if you want to see all the blank pages too.

The April reportScreen Shot 2015-07-29 at 4.18.56 AM

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The July report.Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 4.20.33 AM

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Speaking Of Other Belmars….

There’s a website, MarineTraffic.com, that tracks the location of oil tankers around the world.  It reports this morning that the Belmar is moored in the Finland Gulf.

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Bad Belmars

As you all know every morning I scan Google (set at last 24 hours) for things about Belmar.  I do this so you don’t have to.  And as you’ve seen on these pages you never know what kind of things I’m going to find.

I guess within the last 24 hours a mugshot somehow related to the word “belmar” was added to the site Mugshots.com.  I hit the link and it brought me to a page on the site set to search for term “belmar”.  Turns out there’s a lot of bad people named Belmar.  Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 6.08.06 AM Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 6.09.26 AM

Bad in Belmar

Also in the search results were some pretty scary looking dudes that have been in the court of our own Judge Lavender.

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 I hope none of these guys read the blog and get pissed off at me.  I didn’t mean to call you scary.

Better Late Than Never

The Republican candidate for council in this fall’s election must have read my posting of Belmar’s campaign disclosure laws on Saturday.  About an hour ago his reports were added to the borough’s campaign disclosure page.

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Click on the image below to read the full report.

burke report

 

Last Week

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Petitioners Speak!

In yesterdays mail:

Scan 2

 

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