Common Sense For Belmar Liberty Begins At Home

January 31, 2014

Taking Weekends Off?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:03 am

This dip happens every week.

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You don’t have to mow the lawn, so what’s your excuse?

January 30, 2014

The Great Gift Card Caper?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:27 pm

I’m sure it’s just some sort of mistake somewhere but it has to be explained.  Bear in mind that this would not have come to light if Jim Bean had not forced the administration to release this information with his OPRA request.

From today’s Coast Star:

Councilman Bean questions where nearly $10,000 in gift cards went

$17,000 sent to Belmar Elementary School, but only $7,950 received

During Tuesday evening’s council meeting, Councilman Jim Bean questioned where nearly $10,000 in ShopRite gift cards earmarked for Belmar Elementary School students ended up.

Soon after Hurricane Sandy hit in October 2012, the Borough of Belmar purchased $20,000 worth of ShopRite gift cards to dole out to residents in need— $17,000 of which was meant for Belmar Elementary School [BES]. The borough was able to purchase the $20,000 worth of gift cards for $18,000, which came out of donations received by the borough post-Sandy.

However, when Councilman Jim Bean filed two Open Public Records Act [OPRA] requests — one with the school and one with the borough — to see how many gift cards were given to BES from the borough, there was a discrepancy in how much the school was given.

According to the OPRA requests, Belmar Elementary School business administrator Loretta Hill said the school received $7,950 in gift cards while Belmar borough clerk April Claudio said they gave the school $17,000 in gift cards — figures Councilman Bean said at the meeting he had both entities double or triple check.

At the meeting, Councilman Bean brought this discrepancy up, questioning Kelly Williams, coordinator of social services in the borough, who was in charge of doling out the gift cards the borough received, and who delivered the gift cards to BES.

Ms. Williams replied that she had “hand delivered” them to the school’s nurse, Mary Pat Wallace, who then distributed them.

Police Chief Tom Palmisano, who Councilman Bean had called on to ask what he thought of the situation, said he would “look into it myself.”…………………………

………………………….Mayor Matt Doherty, who was not at the meeting on Tuesday night, said “Councilman Bean has been opposed to our recovery from Sandy since day one.”……………………….

*****

The town says it gave the school $17,000 in this document.

The school says it received $7900 in this document.

 

 

Ferreira In Port Authority Scandal!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:54 am

Partners with Christie’s Brother!

Real Estate investments based on insider info from the PA?

 

From North Jersey.com:

Governor Christie’s brother, Todd Christie, and two business partners have bought and sold a handful of properties within walking distance of the PATH station in Harrison, slated for a $256 million renovation funded by the Port Authority and championed by the governor, records show.

Todd Christie and his partners — one the owner of Ferreira Construction, a large firm that has done tens of millions of dollars of work for state agencies since Christie took office — created a company and began buying small residential lots in early 2011, about a year before the train station renovation was approved by the Port Authority.

The company built three homes on those lots in the first year and sold each of the improved properties — after the announcement of the station overhaul — for nearly triple the property’s original price. The company also demolished a home and sold the vacant lot to the school board in Harrison, where Todd Christie’s partners grew up and have worked in real estate for the past decade………..

 

And……….

Asbury Park Press ties it to Belmar!

 

The Todd Christie-Ferreira Construction-Sandy money circle of friends

…………………….Ferreira Construction has other Port Authority connections including one that ties into Sandy recovery money.

Ferreira Construction donated $2,600 to Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty’s campaign in 2010. A few days after Sandy hit, Ferreira received a no-bid contract to help remove storm debris and eventually earned nearly $750,000 for the work.

In an Asbury Park Press story last year, Doherty said he did not make the choice for Belmar to contract for debris removal with either Ferreira or AshBritt, which employed subcontractors. Rather, Doherty said that decision was left to William Young, the borough administrator at the time.

Young eventually left Belmar to go to work for the Port Authority. In the story, Young said when he chose Ferreira he did not know of the political contribution to Doherty.

 

Actually I have obtained a secretly recorded video of an unauthorized “executive session” where the two discussed it:

 

January 29, 2014

Council Meeting Of January 28, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:18 am

January 28, 2014

Meeting Tonight!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:22 am

The Council meeting originally scheduled for Jan 21 will take place tonight.  I’ll be there to complain about this:

 

ORDINANCE 2014-01

 

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING

CHAPTER IV, DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE, OF THE GENERAL ORDINANCES OF THE

BOROUGH OF BELMAR PERTAINING TO SECTION 13, RECEIPT OF BIDS

            WHEREAS, the Borough of Belmar finds that it is in its best interest to define the term “responsible” as contained in competitive bidding statues governing its purchases of construction goods and services;

            WHEREAS, the Borough of Belmar wishes to ensure that contracts are awarded in an atmosphere that invites competition and guards against favoritism, improvidence, arbitrary conduct, extravagance, fraud and corruption so as to secure the best work or supplies at the lowest cost practicable;

            WHEREAS, the Borough of Belmar possesses great discretion in determining the “lowest responsible bidder” and is entitled to specify the terms of the contract when it solicits bids and the criteria that bidders must meet in order to be considered a “responsible” bidder in the exercise of its proprietary duties and responsibilities;

            WHEREAS, the contracting authority of the Borough of Belmar is entrusted with the power to determine whether a respective bidder is the “lowest responsible bidder”; and,

            WHEREAS, the Borough of Belmar solicits bids and/or proposals on many different types of construction contracts with varying factors affecting each purchasing decision, and therefore must take into account reasonable benefits to the community’s welfare arising from each bid and in the exercise of its proprietary functions.

            WHEREAS, the Borough of Belmar seeks to add a section to the General Ordinances to amend the ordinance section 4-13 pertaining to Receipt of Bids ;

            NOW, THEREFORE BE IT ORDAINED by the Borough of Belmar, County of Monmouth, New Jersey that Chapter IV, Department of Finance, of the Borough of Belmar, Revised General Ordinance is amended and supplemented as follows:

SECTION I.  Chapter IV, Section 13, Receipt of Bids, shall have the following section added in its entirety:

c. Responsible Bidders

1.      The Borough of Belmar, through its contracting authority, shall require an entity that bids on a public contract produce satisfactory evidence that the business entity is properly registered and authorized to conduct the type of work to be performed, including evidence that demonstrates that the entity possesses or complies with requirements of the Internal Revenue Service, New Jersey Departments of Treasury and/or Labor, as well as complying with the general business license requirements of the State of New Jersey prior to the award and during the term of the contract.

      (a) The provision of satisfactory evidence by the bidding entity, is that it provides or participates in an apprenticeship and training program approved and registered with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship & Training, as well as benefit configuration being no less than required under the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act is minimally required to demonstrate that a bidding entity is “responsible”.

2.      The contracting authority, in order to make its determination as to whether the bidding entity is responsible, shall confirm and substantiate that the contract awardee can reasonably be expected to complete and perform under the contract specifications, and the contracting authority may require the successful bidder to post a bid, performance, wage/fringe benefit and/or material bond(s).  The contracting authority shall also determine if the successful bidder can reasonably be expected to complete the project within the time constraints as delineated in the request for bids and/or proposals.  The contracting authority shall also determine if the bidding entity maintains a satisfactory level of past performance and integrity as well as possesses the financial, supervisory, personnel, material, equipment and other resources and expertise to satisfactorily meet its contractual responsibilities and obligations.

3.       The contracting authority may factor in its determination of whether a bidder is “responsible” such factors as bidder’s record of conformity with environmental, labor and health & safety laws including compliance with the requirements of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

4.      All bidders shall be required to provide a certificate of insurance, designating the Borough of Belmar as an Additional Insured under all pertinent policies, specifying all required coverages, including general liability, workers’ compensation, completed operations, automobile, hazardous occupation, product liability and professional liability at such time as the contracting authority deems appropriate to protect the interests of the Borough of Belmar.

SECTION II.  If any section, paragraph, subdivision, clause or provision of this Ordinance shall be adjudged invalid, such adjudication shall apply only to the section, paragraph, subdivision, clause or provision so adjudicated and the remainder of the Ordinance shall be deemed valid and effective.

SECTION III.All Ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent with or in conflict with the ordinance are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency

*

With the Council granting itself the power to be completely subjective if it wants to, a lot fewer  contractors are even going to bother trying to get work in Belmar.

January 25, 2014

Will NJ Be Next?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:16 pm

From nj.com:

Legalize marijuana in NJ? One lawmaker says yes

Calling New Jersey’s war on marijuana “a miserable failure,” state Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) said yesterday he wants to follow in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington state and legalize the sale and possession of marijuana here.

Allowing New Jersey to regulate the growth, procession and sale of recreational marijuana would dry up the illegal drug market, clean up street corners and stuff the state’s coffers with a new source of tax revenue, Scutari said in laying out his case during a conference call.

The proposed legislation – expected to be introduced within the next month – comes on the heels of legalization of pot in Colorado and Washington but almost certainly faces an uphill battle in the Statehouse, supporters and opponents concede.

Scutari said there is no companion bill in the Assembly but he hopes a sponsor will come forward.

“We’re not delusional about how simple the effort would be,” Scutari said. “But I think from a standpoint of moving this state and this country forward on its archaic drug laws, I think it’s a step in the right direction.

“It’s high time that we address this issue head on,” he said.

.

I wonder if the pun was intended.  Of course I think he’s absolutely right.

The story continues:

.

Scutari, a sponsor of the state’s medical marijuana law, said the legislation would not be a decriminalization of the state’s marijuana laws.

“All that does is, to some degree, free people to obtain the marijuana, but it’s still going to be manufactured and dealt illegally. And that’s absolutely the wrong direction that we should go in,” he said. “We should be trying to get drug dealers and criminals off our street corners and this is an effort for doing that.”

.

Right again!  The only way to get rid of the crime associated with illicit drugs is to remove the black market.  You don’t see gang wars being fought over the distribution of staplers or toothpaste, or even alcohol for that matter.

.

He said details still have to be worked out, such as how many licenses would be permitted. Legalizing marijuana would create a regulated Industry in New Jersey that would promote job creation and tax revenue, he said.

“It will provide us with a tremendous cost savings and time savings for our law enforcement officers,” said Scutari, a municipal prosecutor. “It’ll save our citizens from the unnecessary multiple court appearance and criminal record and it’ll provide us with much needed tax revenue.”

.

I’m against the taxing part of it.  The government already gets way too much money to do the tasks that it’s legitimately supposed to do.  And if the tax on pot is too high it will encourage smuggling and a black market much like we see with cigarettes.

You know I happen to know first hand (from a long time ago) that pot does not make people fight, curse loudly, pee in people’s yards or vomit in their driveways.  You never hear about anyone smoking pot and then disturbing the peace.  Maybe what we should do is allow D’Jais to enjoy the use of their property in the winter months by allowing it to operate as a cannabis cafe.  I guarantee whatever revenue they lose by not selling liquor would be more than made up for by sales from the snack bar!

January 24, 2014

Adjourned!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:35 am

To the obvious dismay of the capacity crowd, the D’Jais hearing was adjourned until February 27.  Skip to the 5:00 mark to see the stuff about D’Jais, including the identification of the attorneys and their clients, both for and against.

January 23, 2014

Flashback

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:31 pm

Last summer Doug Sweeny wrote a letter to the Coast Star with some interesting info about arrests in Belmar:

HOW TO INCENTIVIZE D’JAIS BAR ‘TO TARGET AND CONTROL BETTER CUSTOMERS’

Submitted by DOUG SWEENY

The July 25 Coast Star provided a timely snapshot of Belmar via the police blotter, a fact-based perspective on Belmar’s chronic challenge. During two weeks in June, Belmar charged almost three dozen people with crimes. An analysis follows:

Of 34 people arrested, 28 or 82-percent were in their 20s; 74-percent of the arrests occurred on weekends; only 5 of the people arrested were from Belmar. 85-percent were so-called “tourists” from Staten Island, Belleville, Woodside, Hoboken, and elsewhere … “Snooki wannabes.” Of course, they’re not here “touring”; they’re partying and violating the laws.

Going deeper, 47-percent of the arrests occurred at 18th and Ocean or a block either side, [you guessed it, D’Jais Bar!] and none arrested were from Belmar. And the crimes on 18th and Ocean weren’t just noise violations, but aggravated assault, possession of a weapon, unlawful possession of a weapon, assault by auto, and several DWIs, according to the police blotter. All but six arrests were South of 10th Avenue and of the six in the north, most were on Main Street, not in the quiet residential blocks.

What can we conclude?

For one, despite previous attempts to control D’Jais and its unruly patrons, it remains ground zero or the magnet for mayhem, as Belmar’s previous mayor aptly termed it. One easy solution: this multimillion dollar cash cow should pay 47-percent of Belmar’s public safety budget of $3.01 million [what their patrons cost us] as an incentive to target and control better customers. And they should find some way to reimburse the residential neighbors who are deprived of their “right of quiet enjoyment of their property,” a cornerstone of N.J. law.

And two, it’s no wonder property values are depressed in the South end with many oceanfront lots and new homes unsold. This area accounts for over 80-percent of Belmar’s crime. It should receive a proportionate amount of police coverage, especially on weekends, and the focus of council members, many who reside in the quiet North end.

DOUG SWEENY
Ocean Avenue, Belmar

The D’Jais Application For Zoning Variance

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:05 am

Here

January 22, 2014

Flashback

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:08 pm

About a year ago the topic of Ocean Ave liquor licenses was a hot issue at a special Planning Board meeting:

 

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