Common Sense For Belmar Liberty Begins At Home

January 31, 2012

One Down, Couple Hundred To Go

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:37 am

Thank you, little ole Allamuchy Township, for standing up to the biggest bullies on the block.  Those would be ,of course, Mary Pat “Chuck Schumer” Angellini and her gang of know-it-all busybodies at 125 State St.  Allamuchy sued to prevent itself from being forced to implement Trenton’s “toughest in the nation” anti-bullying law.  (Why is it that every damn law in New Jersey has to be the “toughest in the nation”?  I’m walking on eggshells every time I leave my house!)  This law is a total disaster for the taxpayers.  It requires districts to create  entire anti-bullying bureaucracies, with boards, commissions, reports and tons of new employees, of course.  It expands the definition of bullying to include schoolyard taunts and teases.  And worst of all, it holds the schools legally liable for not being aware of any “bullying” that might be occuring.  Anytime one kid calls another kid fat, there will be a lawsuit against the taxpayers.  This has to be one of the stupidest laws ever passed, even by New Jersey standards.

Of course it’s proponents are shocked that Allamuchy won it’s case before the Council on Local Mandates.  Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), who along with Mary Pat, concocted this monstrosity, called the council a ” rarely used, shadowy fourth branch of government”, and vowed to overcome the obstacles to enforcement of her stupid law.  Well I agree with her on one thing.  The Council on Local Mandates is a rarely used, shadowy fourth branch of government.  It needs to be used every day and to come out of the shadows and start doing it’s job!  Here is my to-do list for them (just off the top of my head):

Police Domestic Violence Training

Police CPR/AED First Responder 

Police Gas Mask Fit Testing

Police Hazmat/Blood borne Pathogens course

Police ICS 100, 200, 800 Certification

Police Counter Terrorism Certification

Police Annual Firearms Qualification

Police Automatic Weapons/Carbines Training

Police Active Shooter Class

Police Firearms Instructor

Police Active Shooter Instructors

Dispatcher CPR/AED Training

Dispatcher EMD Training

Dispatcher Hazmat/Blood borne Pathogens Course

Dispatcher EMD/911 Instructor

Dispatcher Gas Mask Fit Testing

Dispatcher ICS 100, 200, 800 Certification

Alcotest equipment and training

Recording System for interviews and arrests

Mandatory Police Related Equipment

Police and Firemen’s Retirement System Mandates

Police Contract Arbitration

Megan’s Law

Playground Safety Enhancements

Automated External Defibrillators & Training

Planning Board Members Training

Zoning Board Members Training

Master Plan and Master Plan Reexamination Reports

Municipal Engineer Requirements

Municipal Land Use Attorney Requirements

Stan Planning Commission – Plan Endorsement

Highlands Council Plan Conformance

COAH

NJDEP Regulations

NJDEP Storm water Management Programs

NJDEP Water/Sewer testing

Wastewater & Water Quality Management Plans

Stormwater Management Plans

Certified Public Works Coordinator

Certified Recycling Coordinator and Program

Truck & Equipment Washing Facilities

Water Operations Course and Certification

Misc Public Works Training Requirements

Deer Carcass Removal from highways

Court Personnel Training

Court Administrator Training

Mandatory use of State Forms and Tickets

Bullet Proof Glass for Court Rooms

Court Security Plan

Public Employee Retirement Systems Appropriations Mandates

Mandatory Heath Care Insurance Contributions

Mandatory Negotiations Regarding Public Union Groups

Open Public Records Act

Elections Training and Machines

Certified Purchasing Agent

Green Products Purchasing Course

Prevailing Wage Laws for all Publicly Funded Projects

Prevailing Wage Laws for Public Utility Construction

Mandatory Property Revaluation

Public Employee Occupational Safety & Health Act

Office of the State Controller Statutory Reporting Requirements

Public Employee Retirement System/Teachers Pension and Annuity Fund Contributions

Full Day Preschool

Full Day Kindergarten

Special Education Requirements

School Psychiatric Evaluations

School Board Election Recall Officials Training

NJDOE Student Testing Requirements

(School) Public Employee Occupational Safety and Health Act (PEOSH) Right to Know

PEOSH Asbestos Inspection

PEOSH Smoke Stack Permits

PEOSH Water Testing

PEOSH Boiler License

PEOSH Florescent Bulb Recycling

PEOSH Long Range Facilities Plan

PEOSH Fire Retardant Protection

January 28, 2012

I Didn’t Really Even Want To Write About This, But…

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:14 am

since the Mayor conceded that there were violations it really has become news and I’d be remiss in not commenting on it.  I apologize for not having done so earlier.  The whole episode was so distasteful to me that I was sort of hoping that it would just go away. 

First let me say that it’s hard for me to get worked up over violations of laws that I’m not convinced should even exist.  I’ve always maintained that these campaign laws are only attacking the symptom, money in politics, and not the disease, which is the unchecked expansion of government power.  They do not protect the citizens, they only protect incumbents.  But the latest revelations indicate a real pattern of carelessness regarding the law, and this is certainly not a desirable characteristic for us to look for in our elected officials.

It’s true that I chose at first not to comply with one of Belmar’s ill-conceived campaign laws during my 2010 campaign, but I did so sort of as a form of civil disobedience after vigorously criticizing those laws, and actually publicly mentioned that I was not in compliance before anyone ever even brought it up.  Since my campaign was completely self-financed, I didn’t see the need to protect Belmar from the possibility that I might bribe myself.  (After the election I did the required filing during the “amnesty” period declared by the mayor, when all the candidates were permitted to correct any campaign problems they might have had.)

But I have never heard any opposition from the Democrats about the laws they have now admitted to violating.  The mayor even campaigned as a champion of Belmar’s sunshine laws.  So if they like these laws so much, and used their support of them to persuade the public to put their trust in them, I would expect them to at least try to obey them themselves

I’ve tended to shy away from the whole us vs. them, Democrat vs. Republican thing, running indie or third party in order to focus on philosophical, role-of-government type issues .  I think people will be more open to my ideas if they don’t right away peg me as being from the enemy’s camp and therefore simply out to hurt them.   But I have to say that the other night the Democrats were way out of line.

In my opinion, the only one of them that showed any class during that whole encounter was Jennifer Nicolay.  She slightly nervously, but calmly and politely, responded to Mr. Seebeck’s questions.  Claire was, well, Claire.  (She really needs to develop a thicker skin.)   The mayor declared Seebeck’s allegations to be “bogus” (which it turns out they weren’t) and stated that this is “what people hate about politics”.  He and Councilman Magovern then immediately proceded to smear their accuser, repeatedly insinuating he is a pervert because he tried to document (as the state advised him to) possible campaign violations involving workers for the Democratic campaign last year, some of whom were teen aged girls.  So in the mayor’s mind, people hate when someone makes (largely true) allegations against sitting officials but really like when those officials then falsely accuse their accuser of being a pervert.  Wow.  The whole episode was disgusting and if I were Mr. Seebeck I would be contemplating a defamation lawsuit against the council at this point.

 One more thing.  I don’t understand how Brian Magovern can disagree with Mike Seebeck’s statement that he chose the wrong campaign manager.  Doesn’t he get it?  It doesn’t matter that he won the election.  IT WAS ILLEGAL! 

Pretty scary stuff.  Doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence to say the least.

January 26, 2012

Oh, No! Another Scandal?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:17 pm

Breaking! Read: http://manasquan.patch.com/articles/belmar-democrats-admit-violating-election-laws

The Patch article included audio of that portion of the meeting.

I think Mayor Doherty and Councilman Magovern owe Mike Seebeck an apology. That crap about the teenage girls was disgusting and totally out of line. I will write more about this tomorrow or Saturday when I have more time.

January 22, 2012

SID Lives

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:24 pm

Well the SID got another one year lease on life, albeit with a slightly reduced budget, as the council Wednesday night approved it’s continuance by a 3 to 2 vote after a rather contentious public hearing.  Jim Bean voted against it as expected, but surprisingly Councilman Brian Magovern also opposed it, saying that it’s $135,000 cost was still too high a burden for our local businesses to bear.  Bravo Jim and Brian! 

Having a 4 to 1 majority on the council affords the Democratic members the luxury of occasionally voting their conscience (or their own political self interest) and saying no to something the mayor wants without upending the mayor’s plans.  Councilwoman Claire Deicke used one such freebie at the previous meeting, voting against the appointment of Michael DuPont as borough attorney, saying she thought long-time borough attorney Karl Kemm had been doing a perfectly good job. 

If the Republicans are able to win another seat this fall, expect a lot more voting discipline from a 3-2 Democratic majority than the one that currently exists.

Sweeney’s Agenda

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:53 am

In a recent Courier Post interview, published Saturday in the Asbury Park Press, Senate President Steve Sweeney discussed his three legislative priorities for the 2012 session.  As you might have expected, I’m against all three of them.

His number one issue, his mostest importantest, absolute must must must-do legislative goal is……………………..in a bankrupt state, with some of the highest taxes, highest unemployment, worst schools and worst roads in the country……………………..Senator Sweeney’s number one job, to be focused on like a laser beam, is……………………..gay marriage!  That’s right folks, Senator Sweeney has determined that the reason our most productive people have been fleeing this miserable place, the reason nobody can get a job, or afford their taxes, or afford an education, or their car insurance, is that gays can’t get married!  Sometimes I wonder if the people who are in charge of this place even live here.

 It seems a little odd, to say the least, that gay marriage would be so important to a former iron worker, but since it is, let’s have a look at it.  From the story:

“It’s a civil rights issue and … the right thing to do,” Sweeney said of authorizing same-sex marriage, adding that this time he is not going to let the religious community dictate like it did when the issue was voted on two years ago. Then majority leader of the Senate, Sweeney abstained on the 2009 vote.

“I made a big mistake. I apologized for it, and I am going to fix it,” he promised, saying there is a “mood changing” in this country in favor of it with strong support from young people.

In addition to civil rights, he said the lack of marriage equality is costing New Jersey because same sex couples are moving out of the state to New York where they have the right to marry

“We are losing money and talent,” he said.

I guess this time around the gay community either out-bid or out-threatened the religious community.  And I could be wrong, but I think we’re losing fewer people due to the absence of gay marriage in our state than we are to having the highest income tax anywhere, a problem that Sweeney reveals later in the interview that he cares little about.

Of course the correct way to deal with the gay marriage issue is to get the government out of the marriage business altogether.  The way the government taxes you, or otherwise treats you, should have nothing to do with your marital status.  And the government should not be in a position to judge what is a marriage and what isn’t.  Before the Civil War there was no such thing as a marriage license.  Governments only got into the business of requiring their permission to be married, in the form of a license, in order to prevent blacks and whites from marrying.  Just like mixed race couples shouldn’t have to seek the government’s approval, neither should same sex couples.  Marriages should be left to people’s spiritual homes, be they churches, or whatever fits their own beliefs.  The legal aspects could be handled by civil-partner contracts for all couples.  We all have the right to contract, gay or straight.  Actually, civil-partner, or civil-union contracts could be useful for even for couples that want to merge their affairs for non-romantic reasons, such as widowed sisters that live together. 

Leaving it to the government to define what is a marriage, then forcing whatever they decide on the rest of us, is what is causing all the acrimony.  If the government were to make it official policy that Chevys were better than Fords, and that we should all drive Chevys, then the Ford drivers would be fighting with the Chevy drivers.  Wait…they’ve already sort of done that.  Well, you get my point.

Once the senator liberates us from this living hell of not having gay marriage in our state, he will turn his attention to being wrong about the minimum wage.  Of course he wants to raise it.  He doesn’t think that someone’s pay should be voluntarily decided on by the two parties involved, the employer and employee, based on the market, on that employee’s productivity and on the employer’s ability to pay.  Nope.  It should be decided by Steve Sweeney, Chris Christie, and the New Jersey State Legislature.  And you can tell he’s thought it out really thoroughly.  He states:

“When you give people a few more bucks, they will spend it and it will go right back into the economy,”

Obviously Sweeney doesn’t understand that those “few more bucks” were already in someone’s economy before he used government force to take them out.  They didn’t come from the tooth fairy.  They might have built a new factory instead, and employed more people.  And those “few more bucks” it will now cost to hire some people will mean that many low-skilled people, usually those new to the job market, will now be unemployable.  You can’t get ahead if you can’t get your foot in the door.  Sweeney spouts some nonsense about how raising the minimum wage will make people more productive, but he has it backwards.  Most people who work for minimum wage do so for less than a year.  They are not waiting around for Steve Sweeney to give them a raise.  It is the work experience that makes people more productive, and then they can demand a higher wage.

Minimum wage jobs are typically held by teenagers and recent immigrants.  It is the first step to a productive life in America.  It is where you learn how to have a job and how to do a job.  You can not expect people with few or no skills to be paid a “living wage” so they can afford a house and a car and all the nice things in life.  This is why we work hard, and gain new skills, so we can afford these things.

All Sweeney’s law will do is discourage employment and production in this state.  But for demagogues like Sweeney, it’s good politics.  There’s more employees than employers.  And he’s gonna give everyone a raise!

Before moving on to discuss his third legislative priority Sweeney takes a shot at Governor Christie’s proposed 10% income tax reduction. 

Sweeney was unenthusiastic about the 10-percent income tax cut the governor proposed in his State-of-the-State message. He called it a gimmick that sounds good for Christie’s national image but is a way to give millionaires another tax break.

 And:

“What the governor did not tell the public is that the reduction would phased in over three years and that that money is what pays for (property) tax relief, and schools are already underfunded.

“Nobody is screaming about the income tax,” Sweeney said. “They’re screaming about the property tax.

People aren’t screaming about the income tax.  They are leaving.  But the productive people who are leaving aren’t Sweeney voters anyway so Sweeney is probably happy to be rid of them.  And what Sweeney isn’t telling you is that although the income tax is supposed to be used for property tax relief, none of it is being used to relieve anyone’s property taxes.  By means of the school funding formula forced on us by the courts, and supported by Sweeney and the other Democrats, nearly all the money collected in income taxes is funneled to, and wasted by, the corrupt political machines of the urban districts.  The suburbs get almost nothing.  This is why our property taxes are so high.

This brings us to Sweeney’s third priority, his fantasy reason why our property taxes are so high.  It is because we have towns!  And those towns are not following the advice of those fiscal superstars in Trenton!

His third priority would be shared service initiatives and that he favors police consolidations. He said he supports shared services, although some people are “skittish” about doing it.

He said he regretted not making the current budget cap on local government even more strict because it would accelerate sharing of services.

“There is too much overhead in police departments. If I could reduce the number of chiefs and put more policemen on the streets, that’s a win,” he said.

On charter schools, he said they’re not “the be-all and the end-all” and that districts that are not failing may be harmed by them.

“I think they need to be happening where school systems are failing,” he said.

No Senator.  New Jersey always had a lot of towns and a lot of school districts, and a lot of police departments.  But we didn’t always have high taxes.  We used to have significantly lower property taxes than our neighbors.  We used to have no income tax.  And not that long ago we had no sales tax either.  Even with all those towns and school districts and police departments.

The reason why taxes, all taxes, in New Jersey have become unbearably high is because of the insatiable lust for power and control by elected officials like Senator Steve Sweeney.  The public safety, environmental, and financial mandates on local governments, the sweetheart deals given to unions in exchange for contributions and votes, the massive give-aways of the public’s money to any group that can assist them in their craven desire to be elected and re-elected, and the arrogance to think that they can and must regulate anything that moves in this state is why we have so many problems here.  If anything needs a cap it’s Senator Sweeney and his colleagues in Trenton.

Just like Newt Gingrich’s wives, we in New Jersey can’t expect to have a great man like Steve Sweeney all to ourselves.  He is too great for just one state so we must share him with the rest of the nation.  

 Regarding his political future, Sweeney acknowledged he has formed an exploratory committee to look at a possible U.S. Senate run in 2014.

“I don’t even know if Sen. (Frank) Lautenberg will run again. I want to keep my options open.

“I’m an iron worker who ended up in a pretty prominent position. I never dreamed I would be here where I am,” he said, “If you do your job, you don’t know where you may end up.”

 I don’t really like our state senate president.  In the past I have referred to him as “Steve Sweeney Todd, the Demon Senator of State Street”.  He’s the worst, the absolute pits.  He represents everything that’s wrong with New Jersey politics.  In other words, he’s a shoo-in.

 

January 18, 2012

DO NOT READ THIS BLOG!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:31 am

Not today please.  I stand in solidarity with the many websites blocking out their content today in protest of the “Stop Online Piracy Act” ( SOPA).   SOPA is the government’s back door way of destroying free speech on the internet.  I don’t know how to block my blog so please just pretend I’m blocking it and don’t read it.

January 12, 2012

SAD SID

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:19 pm

So the SID’s proposed second year budget (another $175,000!) is due for approval at the Jan 18 council meeting and in order to allay Mr. Shrimp owner Vince Petruziello’s recently stated displeasure at the lack of transparency regarding the SID, a special meeting, open to the public, was held Tuesday evening.  Mr. Petruziello is on the fence about the SID but does have some concerns about the fairness of the SID tax assessment and the focus of the SID’s efforts.  (Of course ALL government programs, by nature of the fact they they involve the use of force against peaceful, honest citizens, are inherently unfair.)  He also was highly skeptical of the high cost of producing a website for the SID, estimated to be around $20,000.  I think that’s an insane amount to spend on a website that I suspect will see very little traffic.  As I pointed out at a December council meeting, I did my campaign website myself with Web Site Tonight from GoDaddy in a few hours at a cost of around $100.  And I bet my campaign website got more traffic than the SID website ever will.

A couple of property owners who were not on the fence expressed their extreme displeasure at being drafted, totally against their wishes, into paying for this high-priced SID.  One was a highly-agitated Mr. Bart Yarnold, owner of Shark River Kayak, and, according to The Coast Star, husband of a paid SID employee, which is pretty strange. 

Another voice of dissent came from Mr. Merril Yeager, of Yeager Automotive, a high-end automotive repair and restoration business.  He stated that the SID, which is geared mostly towards promoting shopping and tourism, does nothing for his business, that he is doing perfectly well without the SID, and wants to be released from his SID tax liability.  His objection, in my opinion, is completely understandable.

I was given an opportunity to ask a few questions of SID director Michael Redpath.  I asked what percentage of business owners in town supported the SID.  He did not know.  I pointed out that if a large percentage were behind the SID then it could be done on a voluntary basis with almost as much money collected as they have now and without all the acrimony.  And if the SID did not enjoy wide support among the business community then maybe they shouldn’t have a SID.  I also asked what the current vacancy rate is and whether they should have a target vacancy rate to determine whether or not the SID was successful after a certain period of time.  Mr. Redpath answered that he did not know the current vacancy rate but thought it might be a good idea to determine what it is and set a target for the SID to meet.  I hope he follows through with my suggestion.  One problem with government programs is they never set a benchmark to determine whether or not the program is working, thus the program, even if entirely ineffective, continues forever.  Politicians generally just want to be seen as trying to do something about a problem, and don’t usually care to follow up and see if what they are doing is really helping. 

I hope the people being forced to finance the SID project aren’t further victimized by this type of callous attitude, typical of the proponents of most government programs.   I’m sure there will be more to talk about after the Jan 18 meeting.

 BTW, although I am very excited about the growing popularity of Ron Paul and his message of liberty, I am trying to keep this blog about local issues and I am resisting the temptation of writing about him every day.  I am a Paul campaign volunteer and have been doing what I can to help him.  If any of you want to follow Dr. Paul’s historic campaign more closely, I recommend www.dailypaul.com for all the latest.

January 4, 2012

Freedom Is On The March

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:49 am

Of course I would have loved for Ron Paul to come in first just to stick it to all the establishment Republican hacks who have been obsessed with destroying him over the last two weeks.   Anyone subject to the type of ugly, non-stop smear campaign that Paul has been the target of recently would be lucky not to find himself in prison, or the object of a drone attack, much less running a strong third in a presidential primary!  And since Iowa, along with several other early primary states, allots it’s delegates proportionately, Paul is pretty much going to get  the same amount of delegates from Iowa as Romney and Santorum.  Still, first would have been better and after the entrance polls and early returns showed Paul leading I was a little disappointed when I got up this morning.  The really good news, though, is that I got more votes than Jon Huntsman!

The other good news is that my friend Jim Bean is going to be sworn in as a member of the Belmar Council tonight.  This is very exciting for me, because, knowing Jim as well as I do, when I see him swear to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution, I’ll know that he actually means it.

Good luck Jim!

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