Common Sense For Belmar Liberty Begins At Home

September 30, 2013

We Owe $48 Million Dollars!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:11 pm

Jim Bean sent this to me and vouches for it’s accuracy.

Please click on the image below.

table new

September 28, 2013

Special Planning Board Meeting Of Sept 24, 2013

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Part 1
 

Part 2

September 26, 2013

A Man Of Letters

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Mayor Doherty has a letter in today’s Coast Star, and I always get a lot of hits when I pick apart one of the mayor’s letters, so here goes.  As always, my comments are in red italics.

 

On Jan. 9, Governor Chris Christie stated, “Belmar is leading the way to recovery,” as he looked at all we had cleaned up and when we installed our first piling for the boardwalk. (Of course Christie said that before Doherty took a hard left turn off the road to recovery and onto the road to urban renewal, or redevelopment or whatever the nom de jour is.)  In addition, Gov. Christie joined us on May 22 to open the new boardwalk stating, “Belmar is back. The boardwalk is back. And summer will be back in New Jersey, right here in Belmar. Matt, thank you.”  (I had no idea that the changing of the seasons was dependent on man-made structures.  I thought it had something to do the the angle of the earth’s axis.  Obviously, the governor is as given to political hyperbole and emotionalism as the mayor.)

We are proud to work with the governor, and we do not allow political differences to get in the way of doing what is right for our residents.  (Actually, the political difference between Christie and Doherty is not exactly a Grand Canyon.)

I want to thank the residents of Belmar for showing a tremendous amount of resilience and determination as we continue to recover from Sandy. (Ditto.)  There is no other town that has come as far as us, (he must be referring to debt accumulation) and it is because of the great people of this town. While we can celebrate how far we have come, it is important to remember we still have families displaced from their homes and we will not rest until every family is back home where they belong. In addition, we will continue our work to bring the public spaces back to pre-Sandy conditions, or better.  (That depends on what you mean by “better”)

Unfortunately, there is an element in our town that has worked against our recovery. (Google defines recovery as: 1. a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength. 2.the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.  So tell me, who exactly is opposing “recovery?  Give me their names.  And enough with the word “element” already.  It’s getting old.)  This is a small faction (Hundreds signed the petitions.) in town comprised of political opponents who are more interested in imposing a political doctrine on our town and families, than working with us to help with recovery. (Yeah, we hold this crazy political doctrine that says that a town shouldn’t grant multi-million dollar no-bid contracts to outfits that just hired the mayor’s wife.  And we believe that we should not acquire another $7 million of debt when we have no solid information on how much of the existing $40 million debt will be paid by FEMA and whether the state will allow us to use badge revenues to pay for the additional debt.  Even more insane, we actually trust the voters to participate in an important decision like this.)  I can assure all our residents that no matter how many frivolous lawsuits they file, (Those “frivolous” lawsuits were filed by former mayor Ken Pringle.  I guess the voters must be pretty stupid to elect a frivolous guy like Ken Pringle as their mayor in five consecutive elections.) how many false allegations they level, (Name one that was false please.) or how much mis-information they intentionally spread, (All I’ve heard is somebody was off by a couple of feet on one of the building’s elevations.  I highly doubt it was intentional.  But we’re expected to believe that leaving a total of a million dollars in wire transfers to Ferreira off the payment of bills list five times was unintentional, even though there were multiple conflicts of interests possible with the transactions.) nothing, and I mean nothing, they attempt (including asking the will of the voters) will stop our mission to recover from Sandy.  (Again, for the 58th time, nobody opposes true recovery.)

Council President Claire Deicke, Councilman Brian Magovern, Councilwoman Jennifer Nicolay and I work together as a team — Belmar’s Team. (To the Democrats, teamwork means nobody has an idea in their head that differs from what the mayor thinks.) We will continue to work together as a team because that is what our town needs. We have seen our residents come together this past year (That’s true.  The grass-roots group “Let the Citizens decide” came together.) and we need to show that same level of leadership. So on behalf of Belmar’s Team, your elected officials working together to bring our town back, (That’s the problem.  We want our town back.  You want to change it.)  we pledge to continue working on your behalf and do what is right for the residents of Belmar.  

The Lawsuits

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:52 am

Just in case anyone wants to see them, here are the two lawsuits filed by Pringle on Friday.  And for the 52nd time, their purpose is NOT to “stop the recovery”.  The lawsuits were filed in an attempt to get  Belmar to proceed more carefully in it’s beachfront redevelopment plans.  They were filed to make sure the public was on board with the plan.  And they were filed to make sure the proposed funding source could be depended on.

Lawsuit requiring the Council to have a referendum on the $7.1 million bond.

Lawsuit seeking a ruling on whether the proposed funding source violates the public trust doctrine

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Let me just note that I find it personally gratifying that the videotapes of the borough council meetings provided here at CommonSenseForBelmar apparently were useful in providing the court with the information about the Council’s discussions on these matters.  If I can get on the council, maximizing government transparency is going to be one of my highest priorities.

September 25, 2013

My Promise

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In his comment on the Patch article about last night’s planning board meeting, Ted Ehmann makes the following point:

Headline should read: Belmar Mayor, the only coastal community Mayor to use Sandy for “redevelopment power grab”.  Go ahead do a search online – let’s see Toms River Redevelopment, Seaside Redevelopment, Spring Lake Redevelopment.  Under NJ Redevelopment Law the only lasting remedy, after the fact, is to elect officials who will refrain from the powers invested in them by the law.  Search online: residents sue over redevelopment.  You will be online for hours.

In response I hereby make to the people of Belmar the following pledge:  I will never, as a councilman, vote in favor of any resolution or ordinance that requires the use of the special powers granted to the mayor and council by the declaration of the beachfront as an area in need of redevelopment, or the rest of Belmar as an area in need of rehabilitation.

September 24, 2013

Doherty Reacts!

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His statement to the Patch, with my comments added in red italics:

“These are two more lawsuits in a line of frivolous lawsuits (Yeah, that Ken Pringle….he’s such a frivolous guy)  that will in no way slow down or stop our recovery from Sandy,” Doherty said. (Nobody is objecting to replacing what was lost in the storm.  Apparently Doherty didn’t like what Belmar was before Sandy and wants to build a completely different Belmar now.)  “We have worked really well across party lines with the Governor (he’s not really my kind of Republican), with other elected officials from other towns (what do other towns have to do with our boardwalk?) and the only time anyone has tried to slow down or stop our recovery (see above), it has been from one small faction in town.”  (Hundreds of voters signed the petitions, Mayor.)

Petitioners Respond!

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(We) will be taking the appropriate steps to ask the Superior Court to compel County Election Officials to place the bond ordinance referendum on the ballot and to re-issue vote-by-mail ballots as necessary.

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Is It Really Too Late?

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UPDATE: Too Late For Easy Referendum Question Inclusion For Belmar Redevelopment

Group wants to put decision on ballot; county clerk says the ballots have already been printed.

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Let The Citizens Decide

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Press Release

September 23, 2013

Heads Up! ***Updated

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There’s a special Planning Board meeting scheduled for tomorrow night, Tuesday September 24th at 7:00 PM, on the redevelopment plan Mayor Doherty wants to implement.  The plan includes the construction of major buildings at 8th Ave and 13th Ave like the ones pictured below.  The plan also gives our mayor  “the power to convey or lease public property (as provided in a redevelopment agreement) to a designated redeveloper without public bid.”  As is par for the course. the whole thing is being rushed through, so you better hurry if you have anything to say about this.

ReDev

 

Update!  Important comments from Ted Ehmann:

 

Page 22, XII of proposed Plan claims the Boardwalk Plan has “consistency” with the 2004 Master Plan.  Belmar’s Master Plan Emphasizes: Quality of life improvements and foster/reinforce a strong sense of community and encourage social sustainability. Most striking in the Master Plan is the need for “extensive public outreach and meetings”.

The plan became available last Wed. 9/18 and is being approved this Tues. 9/24.   Was not in the Coast Star and a small legal notice appeared in the APP Saturday.

Quality of life issues is what created the plan’s first lawsuit in May.  When the mayor would not say for sure that there would be no bars and liquor licenses on 13th Ave. Pavilion.

Regarding the designated area I will use the apples and oranges analogy.  Both are fruits.

Let’s say that oranges are traditional areas of redevelopment. That is acreage within a municipality that at one time was tax revenue producing.  Then as in the criteria used by our mayor and the Planning Board in March, the area suffered from “fire or storm”.  Remedy:  Designate for redevelopment and have private developers purchase said land and restore it to tax revenue producing acreage.

The mayor and his developer are trying to make an apple an orange;  Belmar and the boardwalk. The beachfront acreage is municipal land and can never be tax income producing.  Further complicating this is that beachfronts and boardwalks are under the Public Trust Doctrine and even if we wanted to (unlike the marina) we can’t sell them to private interests i.e., privatize. Further complicating the issue: In order to get redevelopment status, the said acreage had to be depreciated by the storm.  But after the storm the town did a 20 million dollar bond.  The boardwalk and beachfront are worth more today than before Sandy.

 

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