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Last Week

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In Recognition

Belmar morns loss of Jane Magovern – local benefactress, Saint Rose Grammar School teacher and wife of Belmar Council President Brian Magovern.

 

I only knew her casually, but I know that she gave much of her life to the many good things that happen in Belmar and its surrounds.  I also salute and thank her for her forty year career as an art teacher at Saint Rose Grammar School.  My girls are among the many hundreds of students whose lives she has been a part of.  I’m quite sure we still have many beautiful things here that were created in her classroom.

The entire town will miss her.

Please read her very nicely written Legacy page here.

Proposed 2015 Budget Released

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Click on the image to read a copy of it that I saved to my Google Drive.  I turned all the pages right side up for you.  Unfortunately, the Belmar resident depicted below doesn’t know about Common Sense For Belmar and is forced to read it from the Borough’s web site.

catClick on the kitty if you want to read the budget sideways.

Did You Know…

that Belmar is the only borough in the county with a strong-mayor, partisan form of government?

 

Let’s have a look at the other boroughs first.

The most common form of of government among Monmouth boroughs is called the “Borough” form of government and all towns that use it have partisan elections.  Wikipedia provides a simple description:

(These towns are) governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by (these towns), the most common system used in the state, is a “weak mayor / strong council” government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.

Here are the Monmouth County boroughs that use the “Borough” form of government:

Allentown

Atlantic Highlands

Brielle

Eatontown

Englishtown

Fair Haven

Farmingdale

Freehold Borough

Interlaken

Keyport

Lake Como

Little Silver

Manasquan

Matawan

Neptune City

Oceanport

Red Bank

Roosevelt

Rumson

Sea Bright

Sea Girt

Shrewsbury Borough

Spring Lake

Spring Lake Heights

Union Beach

West Long Branch

 

Four towns use a nonpartisan three member commission.  From Wikipedia:

(These towns are) governed under the Walsh Act…..by a three-member commission. Members of the commission are elected at-large in nonpartisan elections to serve four-year terms of office on a (staggered or concurrent) basis.  Each Commissioner is assigned responsibility for a specified department within the Borough.

They are:

Allenhurst

Avon by the Sea

Deal

Monmouth Beach

Tinton Falls uses the Mayor-Council form with nonpartisan elections.  From Wikipedia:

The Mayor is the Chief Executive Officer of the Borough and is elected for a four-year term. The Borough Business Administrator reports to, and may act on behalf of the Mayor, in the Mayor’s absence. The Borough Council is the legislative body, made up of five members elected at-large for four-year terms on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats up for election every other year as part of the November general election, with the mayoral seat up for vote at the same time that two council seats are being chosen by voters.[7][36] The Borough Council voted in May 2010 to shift its non-partisan elections from May to the November general election, as part of an effort to increase participation of voters and to cut costs associated with the May elections, with savings estimated at nearly $100,000 during the first decade after the change was implemented in the November 2011 vote.

Keansburg uses a nonpartisan Council-Manager form:

Keansburg operates within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the Council-Manager form of municipal government. Keansburg is governed by a five-member Borough Council, elected at-large on a non-partisan basis as part of the May municipal election to four-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election in even years.

Bradley Beach operates under a nonpartisan “Small Municipality” plan:

Bradley Beach has been governed within the Faulkner Act system of New Jersey municipal government under the Small Municipality plan 5, as implemented on July 1, 1992, based on the recommendations of a Charter Study Commission. The officials that head the government are elected at large in partisan elections, including a mayor who is elected to a four-year term of office and four council members who are chosen to serve three-year terms on a concurrent basis.  As of 2010, the borough’s nonpartisan elections were shifted from May to the November general election as part of an effort to reduce costs and increase voter participation.

 As does Highlands, which, unbeknownst to Wikipedia, recently switched to a nonpartisan system:

Highlands is governed by a Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the Small Municipality (Plan C) form of New Jersey municipal government, enacted by direct petition as of January 1, 1978. The governing body consists of a mayor and four council members, who are elected on an at-large basis in partisan elections to three-year terms on a staggered basis as part of the May municipal election, as part of a three-year cycle in which two council seats come up for election in two consecutive years followed by the mayoral seat.

Only Belmar has a “strong mayor” partisan system:

In July 1990, the voters of Belmar overwhelmingly passed a referendum changing Belmar’s form of government from a three-person, non-partisan Commission form of government under the Walsh Act to the Small Municipality plan 3 form of government under the Faulkner Act. This referendum followed nine months of research and hearings by a Charter Study Commission elected by the residents at a referendum that passed in November 1989 and implemented effective January 1, 1991.

Under the version of the Small Municipality Plan form applicable to Belmar, the Council consists of four members who are elected for staggered, three-year terms at partisan elections each November, with either one or two seats up for vote in a three-year cycle. The Mayor is directly elected by the voters for a four-year term and serves as Belmar’s chief executive office, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Borough. The Mayor sits as a member of the Council, and chairs Council meetings. He is able to vote as a Councilmember, but has no veto over the Council’s actions.

 I don’t think it’s worked out well.  As we can see, in this system the mayor can accumulate too much power.  It’s not healthy and it needs to be changed.  We need a nonpartisan system with a less powerful mayor.

Jim Bean Update

Folks have been asking whether Jim Bean and his wife Tracy are enjoying the extra time they can spend together now that he is no longer in harness as the people’s councilman.  To find out, I sent out the paparazzi to try to get a candid shot of them together.

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I take it that means yes.

Last Week

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Making Waves

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Good News And Bad News For Christie

Announces $200 million for Union Beach

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But could be looking at indictments next week in the GWB affair:

 

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Check out this New York Times graphic:

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Council Meeting Of April 7

Frannie Still Busy

From Facebook:

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