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Tonight’s Agenda

On A Path To New Jersey?

Not if I can help it!

Belmar Well Represented

Go Jade!

2nd St Paddy’s


Last Week

Blame Me



That’s A Lot Of Sheets!


All Our Irish, Good And Bad

I love the Irish but man there’s a lot of turkeys on this list.


Report To The People

Just got back from Hampton’s 2019 town meeting where Karen and I voted on everything going on in our government from the budget, to filling the town clerk position, to changes in zoning law, to whether someone needs to run over to Staples and pick up a box or two of paper clips.  Well maybe not the last thing.

At the polling station they had available copies of Hampton’s 380th annual report.  Between the two beautiful glossy covers are 314 pages of everything you could possibly want to know about what the municipality has been up to for the past twelve months.

I know these must be expensive to print but I feel any money spent forwarding the goal of transparency is money well spent.  Actually a few years ago I wrote a column suggesting Belmar do exactly this.  (The idea came to me from looking at the annual reports to shareholders from companies I have some stock in.)  I know Belmar doesn’t have a lot of extra money to spend, but doing something similar and mailing them out to every resident and taxpayer might be a way to connect with the folks and help bring them along on some of the painful choices Belmar is going to have to make in the coming years.

Online version is here if you care to look at it.

Bean Grinds The Numbers…

Makes interesting discovery.

Guest column from former Councilman and 2014 mayoral candidate Jim Bean.

I present:


I compared the actual revenues and expenses between the 2010 and 2017 budgets and wanted to share the numbers with you.

When the municipal budget is put together there are two columns; projected revenues and projected expenses. As the year goes by and the town collects and spends, these numbers are filled into the column called actual revenues and actual expenses. These are the real numbers of what Belmar collected and what Belmar spent. I took the 2010 actual revenue and expenses and compared them with 2017 actual revenue and expenses. The General Ledger accounts match up, so it is an apples to apples comparison.

I removed the so called “surplus” being added to both year’s revenues. The surplus is actually how a municipality balances the projected and actual accounts. It comes from last year’s projected column minus the actual’s column. This difference is moved to the following year while the expense difference stays in the budget as part of the “surplus”. Confusing? yes. The surplus changes year to year and I felt it was immaterial. I am comparing the actual real spending and taxing. Yes there is some money there in the surplus account but it has to stay there as part of the budgeting process for the following year.
The first tab in the 2010-2017 Budget Comparison excel sheet is the actual revenues comparison,the second tab is the actual expenses. At the top is the amount both increased for all utilities and the municipal account in 7 years. The 3rd tab is the changes in amounts for everything.
In the 2010 to 2013 revenues and expenses sheet – tab 1 is the revenue for these dates and tab 2 is expenses for these dates.
In the 2014 to 2017 revenues and expenses sheet – tab 1 is the revenue for these dates and tab 2 is expenses for these dates.
In 7 years…
Municipal account revenues increased by $520,219 and expenses increase $1,753,252, leaving a deficit of $1,233,032.
Water & Sewer account revenues increased by $133,242  and expenses increases by $502,275, leaving a deficit of $369,032.
Beach Utility revenues increased by $419,423  and expenses increases by $1,218,825 leaving a deficit of $799,402.  Please note: to be fair, the beach utility has a expense increase of $536,489 because of the bonds and interest from Sandy. This is shown in the expenses worksheet. When this is removed from the equation it leaves a deficit of $262,913.00.
Parking utility revenues increased by $146,257  and expenses increases by $10,972  leaving a real surplus of $135,284.
All of these added together leaves a $2,266,183 hole in the budget.
Final analysis…
Belmar and its utilities is spending $2,266,183 more then they were 7 years ago with no revenue increases to cover the costs.
There is your no tax increase in 7 years.
For your reference:
These are the 2 excel sheets I pulled the numbers from for the budget comparison.  You can use them to check my math and my methodology.