Common Sense For Belmar Liberty Begins At Home

November 26, 2013

Doherty’s Nightmare

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:12 am

In today’s Asbury Park Press:

Should beach fees be set by counties?

Bill advances to transfer authority away from towns

TRENTON — Is it time for the counties to take control of beaches — and beach badges — away from Shore towns?

Democrats in the Legislature say yes. Their argument: If Shore towns gave up control of their beaches, it would clear the way for a regional approach to fortifying against storms. There could be a single beach badge issued by the county, good in any town, and local officials would no longer have to worry about maintaining and policing the tourist hot spots.

Bill A-3891 from Democrats was advanced Monday by the Assembly Environment Committee in a party-line vote. A Senate committee approved the bill in April. Next up are votes by the full Assembly and Senate.

But there’s little love in Shore communities for the proposal, which would allow Monmouth and Ocean counties to assume complete responsibility for the operation and control of beaches, moving that power away from municipalities upon agreement with town officials.

“If something’s not broke, why fix it? Creating a new bureaucracy doesn’t sound helpful,’’ said Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, who’s against the bill.

 

However, there’s an out.  Phew!

 

If the measure becomes law, a town could opt out through an ordinance or resolution and stay in control of the beach.

Doherty said that’s a likely scenario for Belmar.  “I don’t believe there would be any support in Belmar for giving up control of our beach area,’’ he said.

 

That ordinance would pass in record time, even for Belmar.

 

Here is what Mark Rosenwald, a top commenter for the Press said in his comment:

It’s all about the money generated by the beach fees. The towns get to hire their political allies and their kids for summer positions, they use money generated by beach fees for “other” things related to the beach. There are towns in Monmouth County that have used beach money for police vehicles that “help” patrol the beaches for 3 months, cranes and other heavy equipment that are used on the beach for 3 months, and a host of other municipal uses. The Mayor of Belmar wants to use the beach tag money to not only rebuild his pavilions (the town makes a bundle leasing them out) that were lost to Sandy but to expand them for other non beach related use. Fortunately the courts have temporarily stopped this. The amount of money that is quietly, through creative accounting, that is funneled from the beach into the towns is enormous. If Dougherty wants a future in politics, he better get on board with the Democrat leadership.

(Obviously, this Mark Rosenwald guy is opposed to our recovery.)

 

When Politicians “Hope”……Grab Your Wallets!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:55 am

Another public-private partnership fiasco.

From yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (subscription only…sorry):

Failed Hotel Symbolizes Trenton’s Woes

The Lafayette Yard Hotel and Conference Center Will Be Sold at Auction 

TRENTON—When it opened 11 years ago, the Lafayette Marriott Conference Hotel erased this city’s status as the nation’s only state capital without a reputable lodging house.

There was hope that a hotel—located downtown just blocks from the Statehouse—would create a social and business hub that would generate economic activity and nightlife in a city beset by crime and job losses.

Instead, the city-owned hotel struggled financially, as convention and tourism business didn’t materialize. Marriott yanked its brand from the business in June. And the public-benefit corporation launched to run the hotel filed for bankruptcy protection in September……….

……………Now the city, which issued $60 million in bonds to build the hotel, is on the hook for $30 million in hotel-related debt, including $13.3 million owed in city bonds and about $9 million in loans from the state…………

………….Some residents argue that the city didn’t do enough to support its investment in the hotel by promoting local tourism and the area’s Revolutionary War sites. Others blame the state for not promoting the hotel as a place for conventions and association conferences. Still others think it could be successful with the right management………

Yeah, and communism would work too if we could only find the “right management”.

 

A Nod To Rible

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:28 am

(Sort Of)

From last Thursday’s nj.com:

Monmouth legislator pushes student privacy bill as Common Core moves forward

Wall – With large-scale education reforms underway, a Monmouth County Assemblyman looks for ways to protect grade-school students’ personal information.Assemblyman David Rible (R-Monmouth, Ocean) said in a Thursday press release that he has written legislation that would limit the disclosure of student data collected by education officials.

“As we move forward with new educational standards and increased student testing a significant amount of data is being collected from New Jersey’s schoolchildren,” Rible said. “Parents of students are understandably concerned about the data that is being collected on their children and how this information will be used.”

Rible said that the state is in the process of implementing the Common Core education standards which could lead to the collection of even more data. Educators and administrators will collect data to both track student progress and evaluate schools’ success rate.

The measure Rible drafted would allow parents or guardians the ability to choose to have their child’s record removed from data submitted by the State Department of Education to the federal government or non-governmental entities.

I guess this is a good thing but if I were him (and I did run for his seat in 2011) I would be writing legislation to forbid homogenized standards being imposed on our local educators and to forbid the government to collect sensitive data about our children in the first place.

 

November 23, 2013

$5 Million For One-Story Taylor!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:51 am

Presuming in last Tuesday’s post that the two separate beachfront development bonds were each for one of the proposed buildings, the $5 million for 10th and the $2 million for 5th, turned out to be, well, rather presumptuous of me.  I was not correct.  But in my defense, I have to say that the next day Keith Brown at the Patch presumably made the same mistake, although he assigned the $2 million bond to 10th and the $5 million one to 5th.  It turns out that his stated costs for each building were correct, but not because the bonds are for those two amounts.  There are not two bonds because there are two buildings.  There are two bonds because they will be paid back from two different sources.

We learned at Thursday’s meeting that the $5 million bond is for costs that the administration presumes it can completely charge against the beach utility.  That would be 100% of 10th and, according to their “formula”, 60% of 5th.  The $2 million bond is for the 40% of 5th that, according to the formula, is not beach-related and has to be paid for by us.  Since 40% of 5th is $2 million, that means that the new Taylor pavilion is going to cost about $ 5 million to build and the rest is for the public safety building at 10th Ave.

The reason why the total of the new bonds is only half a million dollars lower than the old bond, when 5th is now only one story, is that when they put the original plan out to bid, the bids came in higher than the engineering estimates.  Eliminating the second story actually saved us $1 million, a cost that would have been 100% on the taxpayers, less any grants we could mooch off the state or off the feds.  But they added half a million dollars based on the fact that the bids came in higher than expected.  Brian must have missed that part because he commented twice that eliminating the second story didn’t save us much money.  I had to point out his mistake during the public comments.

And about that formula.  Jim Bean asked how we could use our own formula to divide up the bonds when ultimately it would up to Judge Lawson what the legal allocations would be.  Lawson has required the town to provide him with information about how the pavilion is to be used and is set to rule the matter on Dec 11.  The administration obviously has no idea what he is going to say.  It was completely wrong in predicting his previous decisions.

Here is the formula the administration decided on for the allocation of funding for the construction of the 5th Ave pavilion:  The food concession area 100% beach utility.  The area for beach badge sales, obviously 100% beach utility.  The rest of it, which is basically just a big empty room, would be 50% for the beach and 50% for the town.  Brian seemed to think that anytime the room is used during the summer season that should be chargeable to the beach.  I doubt Lawson would agree.  Even during the summer, most of what goes on there is not for the people on the beach.  And even for the events that some small percentage of beach visitors might want to go see, it doesn’t mean that we should force all badge buyers to pay for it.  Anyway, they arrived at 60% for the beach utility to pay as part of the $5 million bond and the $2 million bond is for the 40% of 5th that we have to pay.

I would have thought that a two story police station/lifeguard station with a medical treatment room, an elevator and a watchtower would have been the more expensive building of the two.  Turns out that one is “only” two or two and a half million.  But the new Taylor pavilion, which is going to be roughly the same size as the old Taylor pavilion and is basically just a big empty room, is going to cost $5 million!  How is that possible?

You saw the video tours I posted of what kind of fabulous estates could be had for $5 million.  And that’s just the asking prices.  You could probably talk them down.  Or for $4.8 million (or maybe less) you can pick up this little shack in Bernardsville, including all that land:

Bernardsville $4.8

.

Or in Belmar you can get basically this:

47706506

November 22, 2013

Belmar Council Meeting Of Nov 21, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:17 pm

November 21, 2013

Anyone Know A Good House Mover?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:51 am

.
What $5 million gets you in Texas:


It also has a bowling alley.

.

What $5 million gets you in Arizona:


 

.
What $5 million gets you in Belmar:

10th Ave

November 20, 2013

58% Of Republicans Don’t Get It (And 91% Of Democrats)

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:43 am

I was very disappointed when New Jersey voted to constitutionally tie our minimum wage to the inflation rate.  I can’t see how the folks that voted in favor of it can now hold Christie responsible for New Jersey’s economy considering that they’ve just attached lead balls to it’s ankles.

Now Gallup is reporting that nationally 58% of Republicans (and 91% of Democrats) support raising the federal minimum wage to $9/hr.  I’m hoping none of you out there support such a thing, but just in case some of you haven’t read what I’ve previously written about it I am re-publishing a post I wrote last February when the New Jersey legislature was working on a minimum wage bill.

Minimum Dollars?…Or Minimum Sense!

Some answers to some of the bogus arguments put forward by proponents of increasing the minimum wage:

1) You can’t support a family on the current minimum wage.

You shouldn’t expect to.  You have to acquire skills first before you can expect to be paid enough to live on your own, much less support a family.  Except for recent immigrants, almost all minimum wage earners are young people still living at home or working part time while in college.  Many housewives also have part time minimum wage jobs during school hours for their young children, but it’s their husband’s paycheck that supports the family.   Besides, it takes a paycheck much larger than any proposed minimum wage would provide to be enough to support a household.  If you want to live independently, you have to acquire the skills to be sufficiently productive.  Paying people based on what they “need”, rather than on what they produce, is communism.  Under communism everybody is poor because there is no incentive to be productive.

2) It’s been a long time since the minimum wage was increased.  It’s time these folks got a raise.

The average time a minimum wage worker works at minimum wage is less than a year.  It’s not like these people are working year after year at minimum wage just waiting for Steve Sweeney to give them a raise.  As they learn the job and become more productive, employers voluntarily pay them more because they’re worth more to the company.  And if they don’t produce in added value to the company enough to cover their cost to that company they need to be let go, not given a raise.

3) Minimum wage should be tied to inflation.

Bad idea.  Rising wages, without a concurrent rise in productivity is one of the causes of price inflation.  Additionally, the price of things, including various forms of skilled and unskilled labor, sends a critical signal to the market.  This is how we know what to do and what to make and how much to make.  Price controls such as the minimum wage distort that signal and waste human and capital resources.

4) Minimum wage helps people rise out of poverty.

Just the opposite.  Minimum wage keeps many people stuck in poverty.  No law is going to make companies pay people more than they produce.  People who have not yet acquired the skills they need to be worth the minimum wage get no job at all.  Structural unemployment is the main effect of minimum wage laws.  If you have a job, any job, at any pay, at least you have your foot on the first rung of the ladder to success.  At that point if you show up on time every day, and always try to do the best job possible, you will get ahead and you will in the long run be successful.  Any job is an opportunity.  For example, service stations used to pay young people very low wages to pump gas.  But when these kids weren’t at the pumps they would help the mechanics fix cars.  This is how most of our mechanics were trained.  They didn’t have to spend thousands of dollars at some technical institute to learn the trade.

By the way, many amenities we as Americans used to enjoy such as gas station attendants, apartment doormen, movie theater ushers and grocery baggers have been eliminated because the minimum wage made it too expensive.  I remember when they used to even bring your groceries out to the car for you!

5) People who want to raise the minimum wage care about other people.  People who oppose it are just mean.

Of course it’s easy the be generous with other people’s money.  (Especially at election time.)  None of those pushing a higher minimum wage have any clue what it’s like trying to run a business in a competitive marketplace.  And when they go shopping they would never patronize a business that charged substantially more than it’s competitors.  Would Steve Sweeney pay $75 for a $20 haircut so his barber could enjoy a higher standard of living?  I doubt it.  Would he pay $25 for a hamburger at McDonald’s so hamburger flippers could be paid a “living wage”?  I doubt that too.  He just wants the political benefit of giving everybody a raise.  He’ll let McDonald’s worry about how to actually pay for it.  Screwing up the economy and forcing people to do things they don’t want to do in order to win elections?  Now that’s mean!

 6) Minimum wage proponents are for workers’ rights.

One of the most basic rights human beings have is the right to freely enter into contract.  If someone wants to take a job, and he finds the terms of employment acceptable, he has a right to do it without the government telling him he’s not allowed to.  And no person, worker or otherwise, has the right to use force to get what he wants, or even what he needs.  That is theft whether you use collective bargaining laws, minimum wage laws or a gun.

November 19, 2013

Beachfront Development Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:28 am

At a special (rush rush rush, as usual) meeting Thursday night at 5:30, the council will have a first hearing on an ordinance to rescind the controversial $7.1 million beachfront development bond and first hearings on ordinances to issue two separate, smaller bonds.  The first of these new ordinances appropriates $5 million and bonds about $4.8 million of it.  I presume this is for the 10th Ave public safety building.  The second ordinance appropriates about $2 million and bonds about $1.9 million.  This will be for a single story 5th Ave replacement for Taylor.  There will be no banquet hall.

I’m glad this time they made separate appropriations for the two projects so we know what we’re paying for each.  Boy, they do seem expensive.  You can live in some of the nicest manses in town for a couple of million and that includes owning the land.  But of course they weren’t built with the most expensive union labor.  Yes, I realize that private dwellings aren’t built to the same stringent (and expensive standards) required of public buildings.  Still, seems like a lot.

I still can’t swallow the mayor’s explanation for all this.  Hard as I try, I gag every time.

It had nothing to do with the over 500 signatures collected demanding a referendum.  That was not a factor at all (gag).  It had nothing to do with all the impassioned pleas (including several by this writer) at the borough council meetings.  They were not even  a consideration (gag…gag).  And it certainly had nothing to do with Judge Lawson’s order to proceed with the referendum and his order to only use badge revenues for parts of the project that are beach-related.  Losing those two lawsuits had nothing, I repeat, nothing to do with the decision to forgo a second story on Taylor.  Couldn’t care less about that (gaaaach).  It was all because when the mayor was out campaigning for his Democratic colleagues the people told him they didn’t want a two-story Taylor.  He had no idea!  Why didn’t they say something?  (GAAAACH……BLEEEECH……..GAAAAAAAACHH!)

You know it would be bad if he were lying about all this, but it would be worse if he was telling the truth!

***

BTW, Lawson hasn’t yet ruled on the redevelopment lawsuit.  If the ruling goes against the Borough, we’ll probably be told that while having their Thanksgiving dinner together, Brian, Claire, Jennifer and the mayor got to talking about redevelopment and decided maybe it wasn’t such a good thing after-all.

November 18, 2013

The Rise Of Libertarianism

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:34 am

The two most well-known libertarians of our time talk about it.

 

November 16, 2013

Warning! Not For Children

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:15 am

A reader writes:

Hey David:
The Patch just did a piss-poor job on the Common Core curriculum fiasco.
What they missed like all the stupid but well-meaning parents in NJ and most other states… is they have already signed off on a system that will collect data- they can’t see but people can access in government, industry- you name it. Parents will never know who is accessing the data collected from pre-K to college.

He’s referring to this pretty lame story the Patch recently ran on the subject.

He also sent along this must-watch video of Tennessee high school student Ethan Young speaking at a Knox County school board meeting:


 

I, personally, can’t think of one good thing to say about Common Core.  It is the complete opposite of how we should be educating our kids.  What kind of vibrant and diverse culture will our country have, what kind of innovative and dynamic economy will we have, if our children are all programmed to be interchangeable robots?  You know liberals are big believers in diversity when it comes to physical characteristics, but they think that what’s in our heads should all be exactly the same.  Wouldn’t we be better as a country if the people had a great variety of formative experiences?  Isn’t that part of how we became such a great country in the first place?  And who the hell wants the federal government, with it’s partner Bill Gates, data-mining and keeping permanent, detailed records on every single one of our children?   Ugh!

Also, not that anyone cares, but Common Core is a violation of the 10th amendment of the U.S. Constitution and illegal under the federal General Education Provisions Act.  (Don’t believe their nonsense about it being some kind of state initiative.  It is not.  Its federal.)

I came across this set of short videos by Jane Robbins of the American Principles Project.  She does a fantastic job of explaining just how bad Common Core is.  Please, please watch these.  You must have this information.  They’re only about 30 minutes in total.

Part 1

 

Part 2

 

Part 3

 

Part 4

 

Part 5

 

You know these people will never let up.  If we even are able to get rid of Common Core, they’ll just repackage it as some new scheme.  I wish you folks would start thinking of getting the government out of the business of educating our children and take a serious look at educational choice through a voucher system.

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