Common Sense For Belmar Liberty Begins At Home

February 27, 2011

Who’s The Boss?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:47 pm

Check out this video:

        www.youworkforus.net

They have a pretty good blog too, click here:

February 26, 2011

“The Toughest Campaign Laws In The State”

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:16 pm

In the last election we heard boasting that under the governing Democrats Belmar implemented the “toughest campaign laws in the state”.  Well it is now entirely possible that every candidate for office in Belmar last fall, all seven of us, whether wittingly or not, are in violation of some provision or another of those laws. 

The latest revelation comes from an article in Thursday’s Coast Star.  It seems that Belmar resident David Kinsel contributed small amounts to Richard Wright’s 2008 council race and to the Republican ticket’s 2010 campaign.  Mr Kinsel is owner, or part owner, of a club called Headliners.  The club is in Neptune, but it is located close enough to Belmar to fall under the jurisdiction of Belmar’s laws concerning political donations by alcoholic beverage license holders.  Unlike the Barclay’s in-kind contribution(s) to the Democrats, which was the free use of the establishment itself, the Kinsel donations were personal contributions so it’s not clear  any of the Republicans even knew who Mr. Kinsel was or of his ties to Headliners.  If Councilman Wright knew, or somehow should have known, then his past votes on taxi licenses, parking permits, etc would be in violation of Belmar’s ordinances.  We’ll know more about it after next week’s council meeting. 

I do want to make clear that, in my opinion, operating a bar or liquor store is a perfectly honorable profession and should not negate one’s right to free speech, in this case in the form of making campaign donations. 

So it is now possible that the only un-conflicted member of our governing body is Councilwoman Jennifer Nicolay.  This is because she was appointed to fill the council seat vacated by Matt Doherty when he took office as mayor and so has not participated in the apparently criminal act of running for office here.  This is where “the toughest campaign laws in the state” have gotten us. 

(My own sin, by the way, was to not report to Belmar my contributions to my own campaign.  Since I accepted no outside campaign contributions I didn’t think that the disclosure ordinance applied, but I guess technically it does, so if someone wanted to be really mean they could make a complaint and force me to pay the $250 fine.  Actually it may be too late to file a compaint now anyway.) 

My point, stated for the umpteenth time, is that the answer is not to hand politicians more and more power over our lives and livelihoods and then write more and more laws to make it seem that they won’t abuse that power.  Politicians that want to sell their power can always find a way.  (A plain paper envelope stuffed with cash works fine.)  My long term solution to our current dilemma is to strictly limit the power of our elected officials (who seem to think it’s their job to micro-manage every form of human activity in our town) and to de-criminalize running for office.  Scrap every one of Belmar’s campaign laws, including the incumbency-protecting campaign contribution disclosure provision that the Democrats are so fond of.  I also think we should look into switching to non-partisan elections to keep the parties and their special interest benefactors, like the unions, out of our politics.

 And for the short term?  I see no choice other than to name Jennifer Nicolay dictator of Belmar!

February 24, 2011

Buggy Belmar.com

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:12 am

Hopefully the new Belmar website is still a work in progress and the bugs will be ironed out soon.

Navigating to the meeting agenda and minutes page (my favorite page) now takes a little doing and has some broken links.  Here is the way that needs to be fixed:

1) Click on “Municipal”

2) Drop open window under button “Municipal Boards”

3) Click on the bottom link in drop open window “Mayor and Council” .  (There’s a drop open window at the top called “Mayor and Council” but that one won’t lead you to anything about the meetings.  There shouldn’t be two links with the exact same name that go to different places.)

That will bring you to this:

Mayor & Council

 

Belmar is governed by a five-person Mayor & Council, which typically meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month in the Council meeting room at the Municipal Building at 601 Main Street.

To view the Mayor & Council‘s Annual Schedule of Meetings, the Mayor & Council‘s Meeting Agenda,or to view Minutes of past meetings of the Mayor & Council, click here.

About Meetings of the Mayor & Council

The Mayor & Council encourage the public to attend their meetings, and to learn about Belmar‘s municipal government and operations.  To read about pending projects the Mayor & Council are working on, please click here.

Each meeting usually begins with an Agenda Session, which starts at 6:30 p.m.

Agenda meetings are open to the public in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act (the “OPMA”). If the Mayor & Council have items before them that are protected from disclosure by the OPMA, such as personnel, litigation or other matters as enumerated by the OPMA, the Mayor & Council will move to go into Executive Session to discuss such matters privately. Minutes of these meetings will become available when the reason for their confidentiality no longer apply.

The regular meeting of the Mayor & Council begins no earlier than 8:00 p.m.

The agenda for each meeting is posted to the Borough‘s website as soon as it is available, which is usually no later than the end of the business day (Tuesday) prior to the Council meeting, click here.

The agendas of each Regular meeting of the Mayor & Council provide members of the public with two general opportunities to be heard. The first opportunity for public comment is prior to the Mayor & Council‘s consideration of Resolutions on the calendar, and is limited to comments on the pending Resolutions. Paper copies of the Resolutions are usually made available to the public for review at the meeting.

There is also a general public comment session at the end of each meeting at which members of the public are free to make comments to, or ask questions of, the Mayor & Council. In addition to these public comment sessions, the public has the right to speak during the public hearing that must precede the adoption of any ordinance.

4) Then you have to click on one of the “click here”s.

When you do that you get this:

Not Found, Error 404

The page you are looking for no longer exists. Perhaps you can find what you are looking for by searching the site archives by page, month, or category: Plus something that looks sort of like a site map but kind of jumbled up. 

Actually the links on the page I copied work, so you can click on one of them and see for yourself.  They all go to the same error page.

There’s another way to get there that works.  Drop open the “Online Records” window and scroll down to “Meeting Agendas and Minutes”.  That will open a second drop open window.  Click on “Mayor and Council”  (this is a different link than either of the other two “Mayor and Council” links).  This will bring you to the agenda and minutes page. 

There’s also no direct link to the calendar anymore, so it’s quite a chore to find upcoming meetings.  You have to click on one of the upcoming events on the home page that is the type of event you are looking for.  If you want to see all events, you have to go to each calendar one at a time.  When you go to the municipal calendar, the month of March has no events on it.

Other pages have problems too.  The “Downtown” page is all events from 2010.  The “History” page has bugs.  I wish someone had spent the time to test all the links and sort out the problems before the new site went live.

February 22, 2011

The Next Big Scam

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:44 pm

From today’s Wall Street Journal:

The federal government next week will launch a massive study to see whether workers who helped clean up last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill are getting sick as a result of those jobs.

The study was commissioned after some cleanup workers reported chest pain, headaches, breathing difficulties and other ailments that they believed were linked to the oil spill, said Dale Sandler, chief of the epidemiology branch of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the government office heading the study.

Here we go again.

February 21, 2011

What We’re Up Against

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:22 am

In the “Your 2 cents” page of yesterday’s Asbury Park Press’ @issue section there is an entry from someone (a teacher, I presume) using the name “sniperfire”.  The appropriately-named writer illustrates the arrogant mind-set that that results from a policy of allowing the unionization of public workers.  Let’s examine it one sentence at a time:

.

If a teacher who starts at $32,000 a year is paying a couple of thousand a year for benefits, what is the benefit of being a public employee. (sic)

.

1) $32,000 is starting pay.  For a young person fresh out of college with no family to support that’s not bad.  And the salary quickly rises.  The average pay for New Jersey public school teachers is around $65,000 (5th highest in the country) plus benefits that put it into six figures.  And that’s the average.  For every one of “sniperfire’s” $32,000 teachers, there’s an $80,000 teacher.  AND THIS IS FOR 9 MONTHS WORK!

2) There should be no benefit to being a public employee versus a private employee.  As a public employee, your pay necessitates the use of government force in the form of taxes.  Because the use of force is involved, we should be careful that there be no special advantage taken.  We used to understand that and that is why civil servants used to make less than those in the private sector.  The only benefit was the job security that came with working for the government.

3) Learn how to use a question mark when a sentence is in the form of a question, teacher!  (again, I presume).

.

Regardless of what people think, there is a zero chance of a public employee ever becoming rich.

.

1) Many of us in the private economy would consider yearly compensation north of $100,000 pretty damn rich, especially for 9 months work.  And there are many that make over $200,000.  For some, like the recently-indicted Michael Ritacco, even that isn’t enough.

.

They are all upset because the economy went into the dumps, and they picked the wrong line of employment during a recession.

.

1) The economy is “in the dumps” because of the massive expansion of the public sector at the expense of the private sector.  Recessions don’t just happen.  They are caused.

2) The recession has affected nearly every worker in the private sector. So in “sniperfire’s” opinion, anyone who gets paid through the voluntary exchange of one’s labor for a paycheck picked the “wrong line of employment”.  Unlike unionized public workers, we have to produce for our employers something of greater value to them than the amount of our pay.  The use of force, during a recession or not, is not a moral way to get ahead.

3) Not very many of us picked our line of work “during a recession”.  I, for example, have been working in the same industry since 1978.

.

When the economy picks back up and everyone starts making all their money again, will there be cries for the public employee to get their benefits back?

.

1) The economy will not pick back up as long as we have the bloated public sector “sniperfire” advocates for.  In the USSR, where everyone was a government worker, their recession lasted seventy years.

2) Even before the recession public workers made more than their counterparts in the private economy.  The recession just made the gap even greater.

3) Unfortunately, even Chris Christie isn’t talking about ending public workers’ benefits.  He is only trying to get them a little bit closer to what they are for the rest of us.

.

New Jersey will never get out of the ditch as long as we are forced to employ people like “sniperfire”.  Our only hope is in declaring bankruptcy, firing all the “sniperfires” out there, and starting over with a limited, and non-unionized public workforce.  And we should privatize the schools while we’re at it.  Let “sniperfire” see how much fun we in the private sector are having.

February 19, 2011

Big Government At It’s Worst

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:27 am

And Bahrain is our “friend”

February 17, 2011

Fox News Apologizes

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:13 pm

Freedom For Me, But Not For Thee

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:11 pm

So the Doherty administration wants to loosen some of the laws restricting life and politics in Belmar.  As a libertarian I should be pleased, especially since it was I who had publicly questioned the need for one of the laws slated for repeal, the ban on sandcastle building. 

But I’m not pleased.  The laws that Doherty & Co wish to repeal (the sandcastle ban not withstanding) are precisely the ones that have caused them so much difficulty and embarrassment over the past few weeks.  (And Matt has admitted to breaking the sandcastle law.  He just didn’t get in trouble for it.)

The law that caused the most problems is the one that forbids the three members of last year’s Democratic ticket from voting on taxi licenses and parking permits after accepting a campaign contribution from the holder of a liquor license (in this episode, the Barclay).  At borough attorney Karl Kemm’s suggestion they invoked the “doctrine of necessity” to give them the excuse to ignore that law and vote on the matters in question anyway.  (If the three conflicted members recused themselves they would lack a quorum and would not be able to hold the votes.)  Now they are talking about again employing the “doctrine of necessity” in order to vote to repeal the very law they stand accused of violating!  This is not a “potential” conflict of interest or a “perceived” conflict of interest.  This is a real conflict of interest and should not be permitted.

The Democrats, over Republican Richard Wright’s objections, also plan to end Belmar’s restrictions on a practice called “wheeling” in which funds donated to a local party are used to promote specific candidates, thus skirting the reporting requirements.  This is another law they have been accused of violating and again they should not be allowed to use the “doctrine of necessity” in order to be able to vote to repeal it.

I suggested at last night’s meeting that one way to resolve the problem would be for one of the conflicted Democrats to resign and be replaced by somebody who didn’t have the conflict.  This way on the affected votes the two remaining conflicted parties could recuse themselves, and Mr. Wright, Ms. Nicolay and the new person would constitute a quorum and could vote.  This would be a much simpler solution than repeatedly having to invoke the doctrine of necessity.  Borough attorney Karl Kemm agreed that that would end the problem.  Needless to say, my suggestion was not greeted with much enthusiasm among our council Democrats.

They also panned Councilman Wright’s suggestion that they repeal Belmar’s onerous campaign finance “sunshine” law.  This is the requirement that all donations, even as little as one dollar, be reported for publication on Belmar’s website.  Mr. Wright is absolutely correct in his assertion that this requirement intimidates those who might wish to contribute to the opposition.  I have been quite vocal in my opposition to this law, which in my view protects incumbents and inhibits free speech.  It was gratifying to see Wright agree, but of course that law, like our trio of conflicted Democrats, is not going away any time soon.

I’m glad Mayor Doherty plans to end the ban on sandcastles.  I say live and let live.  Let Mr. Doherty and the other beach goers build their sandcastles if that’s what they enjoy.  I don’t object.  But I find happiness in other ways, such as sitting with my family at the water’s edge and enjoying an occasional cigarette, never littering, and always being respectful of nearby non-smokers.  Doesn’t my happiness matter?  No, as a matter of fact, it doesn’t.

Like I said at the top, it’s “freedom for me, but not for thee”.

Fox News To Issue On-Air Apology Today

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:09 am

Read about it here.

February 16, 2011

Faux News Channel

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:43 am

 

The maker of this video has Fox’s email wrong.

It’s yourcomments@foxnews.com

This one is even more damning:

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress