Common Sense For Belmar Liberty Begins At Home

September 29, 2012

Bean’s Complaint To The Dept Of Community Affairs

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:39 am

I set up a separate page because I didn’t want to fill the whole front page of the blog with it (I guess he had a lot to complain about.)

                                                See Bean’s complaint HERE 

                                                Doherty’s original complaint is HERE

 

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September 28, 2012

Belmar’s Cone Of Silence

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:01 pm

I really think I’m going to have to start videotaping the city council meetings and put them up on the blog.  Some of the best and most important things said at the meetings, both by members of the council and members of the public never make it into the minutes and are never reported in the Star or the Patch.

It’s kind of like the Cone of Silence from the old Get Smart TV show except at least in the show it never worked.  Here in Belmar it works perfectly!

I promise I’m going to look into that.

Pictured below: an exchange between Mayor Doherty and myself at last week’s meeting.

 

Bean Strikes Back!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:47 pm

In case you haven’t heard, Mayor Matt Doherty has filed an ethics complaint against Councilman Jim Bean over Bean’s refusal to abstain from voting on the re-vote of the accessory-dwelling ordinance.  It’s reported on in the Coast Star here, and the Patch here.

Now Bean has filed ethics complaints of his own against Mayor Doherty and his Belmar’s attorney Michael DuPont. 

They will be published tomorrow here at Common Sense For Belmar.

September 24, 2012

Gary Johnson: Dream A Little

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:57 pm

September 22, 2012

I Can’t Write This Column

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:12 pm

Wednesday evening the mayor, whilst scolding Councilman Bean, pointed to his own abstentions and those of Councilman Magovern.  He said when they had conflicts, they came down off the dais and did not only not vote, that they didn’t utter a peep.  (He was just trying to get Bean to shut up.)

Of course  Bean knows how to abstain when he has a conflict, such as when he abstained from the vote granting a paving contract to his employer, who is a paving contractor.

I decided to review all abstentions over the past year or two to see if any were over anything more significant than granting a special events permit, a contract, or a promotion.  The only abstentions I can recall were over routine, rubber-stamp type things that nobody in town would really care about anyway. 

Obviously the accessory dwelling ordinance is anything but routine.  It represents a major change to the town and was, and still remains, a highly contentious issue.  It’s probably the most important ordinance passed under the Doherty administration so far.  Abstaining from that vote can hardly be compared to abstaining from voting to issue a special-events permit to the Fishing Club!  In the absence of any real conflict (Dupont’s babbling about an “abundance of caution” notwithstanding) I would expect and demand that all our elected officials be heard from on this issue.

 Anyway when I went to the meetings agenda and minutes page of the new official Belmar website I found that there is nothing there!

Turns out the town granted an $11,000 no-bid contract to a new company, Your Target Marketing, to re-design and run the town’s website.  Of course they’re not new to Matt Doherty.  They are the same company that runs the Belmar Democrats website.   Hmmm…..  No “abundance of caution” there.

Whatever the reason, all information about past meetings, save the most recent two, is gone.  (So much for open and transparent government.)  This is entirely unacceptable.  Even if it’s just an oversight, and the information will be restored soon, it’s clear that our $11,000 website developer did not use an “abundance of caution” when testing the new product they sold us.

And this is why I can’t write this column.

Government Shouldn’t Be Run Like A Business

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:40 am

Politicians all the time tell us their intention to run government like a business.  To my dismay, even Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson has been saying it.

I don’t like it.

Businesses want to grow and become more rich and powerful.  They can do so without being a threat because our relationship with them is purely voluntary.  If we don’t want to have anything to do with a particular business we don’t have to.  But government is force.  Government is coercion.  And you can’t get away from it.  Although some level of government is necessary, we don’t want an entity that can legally use force and coercion against us to become bigger, richer and more powerful.

If we want a certain service provided to us in a business-like fashion, why not just get it from an actual business?  And if we don’t like that business we can always go to a different one.

The Mystery Letter That Started It All

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:30 am

I asked the mayor Wednesday night how it was delivered, whether it came by email or by the Postal Service.  He answered that it was neither.  It just somehow appeared in his mailbox at city hall.  Nobody saw anybody put it there.

My theory is that it was the Tooth Fairy.

Anyway, here it is:

  

September 21, 2012

Recession? What Recession?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:34 am

Business sure is booming for the lobbyists.

Meanwhile In The Real America:

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:28 am

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Median income in Ohio hits 27-year low

Ohio households were poorer last year than they’ve been in more than 25 years, and the number of people living in poverty is higher than it’s been in more than 30 years, according to a census report released yesterday.

“People are getting squeezed from every direction,” said James Newton, chief economic adviser to Commerce National Bank.

When adjusted for inflation, the 2010 annual median household income in Ohio of $46,093 was down by $543 from the previous year, and down 15.3 percent from the peak of $54,395 in 2000, according to the census’s Current Population Survey, which was released yesterday.

The inflation-adjusted figure hasn’t been lower for Ohio since officials began keeping that record in 1984, census officials said.

Ohio’s level of poverty — 15.3 percent — was worse than the nation’s, which was at 15.1 percent. Ohio’s level jumped 2 percentage points from 2009; it has never been this high since those records were first kept in 1980.

 

September 20, 2012

Bean’s Recusal Refusal

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:54 pm

It was high drama at the council meeting last night as Jim Bean voted again on the ordinance to remove the age restriction on renters of accessory dwellings.  In doing so he defied the pleadings of the Mayor and a few residents and the threats from the borough attorney to vacate his vote (does he even have the power to do that?  I thought his role was purely advisory.) 

I know Bean is taking a lot of heat for this but it really was his only option.  He has stated (correctly, in my opinion) that there is no conflict since his rental unit already has heat and he already has tenants that are not senior citizens.  If the law would have no direct effect on him then how is he conflicted?  All he is doing is allowing other landords to have the same choice of renters that he enjoys.  It is nothing like husbands of teachers voting to give their wives raises, which is the kind of conflicts that recusal is supposed to prevent.  All this high talk of an overabundance of caution is just an overabundance of nonsense.  He’s either conflicted or he is not.

If he recused himself for the second vote, it would be a de-facto admission of wrongdoing that would be gleefully used by the Democrats as a club with which to repeatedly beat him over the head.  As a matter of fact,  Bean’s agreeing at last month’s meeting to having another vote was used last night to imply an admission of making a mistake.  Well his consent to having another vote was the mistake.  But Bean was ambushed that night with no forewarning of the (anonymous) complaint that was to be made public, and even so stated on that occasion that it was his understanding that the purpose of the law was to allow the conversion of unheated units to year round use.  He should have asked to delay the vote on having a re-vote until he could re-read the ordinance to confirm he had no conflict. 

Anyway, I’ll grouse more about this charade when I have more time.

One more thing though……..Am I the only one who remembers Jim Bean openly discussing his ownership of a rental property in front of all those who now accuse him of having kept some kind of dark secret?  Just wondering.

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