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Administration Stonewalling On Helicopter Info

A couple of residents have OPRAed the Borough for information about the arrangements for the helicopter landing.  They received the kind of responses we’ve come to expect from this administration and the kind that have resulted in so many successful OPRA complaints made against Belmar.



Here is the response:


Our public officials don’t use email.  They meet in dark alleys and whisper to each other.

The police log that was attached can be viewed here.  There is nothing on it about the police being sent to the site of the helicopter landing.

But the police were there.


So there was no communication with the police cheif about it but somehow the police were there but there is nothing about it on the police log.


Here is the other OPRA request that was sent:



And the reply:


Here is the single attached document (which, incidentally, incorrectly claims that Mr. Ayala is a resident):



This is impossible.  Where are the approvals?  I’m pretty sure the DOT doesn’t give verbal approvals, where is the document?  And are we to believe that with all the arrangements that had to be made for this event that there was not one single solitary email on the topic between Mayor Doherty, Administrator Connolly, Chief Heisman  or anyone else at the Belmar Police Department and Leo Ayala?

The only way that could even be possible is if the use of written communication was intentionally avoided.

Common Sense exclusive image:img_6507Two unidentified Belmar public officials discuss the planned helicopter landing.


  1. belmarguy wrote:

    Another Lawsuit Coming Your Way Lawless Matt & Belmar Council!

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 9:36 am | Permalink
  2. legion wrote:

    Lawsuit? Or more appropriately, how to file charges? Sorry, I do not know the procedure. I have been waiting for some evidence or proof of criminal action. This whole helicopter situation may seem small, but it could be a start, a way to get rid of this mayor. At least to recall him.

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 10:42 am | Permalink
  3. A Reproter wrote:

    I checked with people in the know. It is not illegal to land a helicopter on public property,it is at the discretion of the public officials if it is OK. Matt is extremely lucky that no one got hurt or an eye injury during the landing and takeoff. It is recommended that a safe landing zone be created.

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink
  4. Love the Beach wrote:

    I didn’t see where the letter states Leo is a Belmar resident. Connolly said he is a resident of HEI? Did she mean an employee? Who knows but as usual it seems as if she doesn’t know what she is doing. In my opinion she has to go as much as Matt does and this Chief. The symbolism of the number “3” in this case, represents disaster. They still just don’t get it or they just don’t care. Pathetic….

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink
  5. HMM? wrote:

    Or private server in Mayor Doherty’s home residence bathroom or basement. Leo Junior was his Facebook name. OPRA emails to Leo Junior or Leo Jr. That might shed some light.

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink
  6. legion wrote:

    #3 Please read Mr. Pringle’s response in the piece Bean/Seebeck Strike a Nerve.

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    #3, you are correct, it is not illegal to land a helicopter on public property. However, like you said, “It is at the discretion of the public official”S” (plural). Matt Doherty has stated it was his decision. Herein lies the problem. It was his decision with zero input from the council or the public. Now the bigger problem, public funds were being used on behalf of a private citizen. Why was Colleen writing this letter on my time ? The planning of and landing of this helicopter was in no way town business. The town has one obligation in this and that is to issue the permit to land. Looking at Colleen’s letter, it appears that the town was using resources to make it happen. That, my friend, is a no no.

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink
  8. Guest wrote:

    Police were dispatched to the area? Per the police report – #16-12024 @ 18:27 – “Community Policing – 98 Fifth Ave. @ 500 Ocean Ave.” This activity was for 97 minutes.

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink
  9. admin wrote:

    Yup, there it is. Thanks, guest.

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink
  10. Fed Up wrote:

    How does Connolly “understand that HEI has been in contact” without any documentation provided of how she came to that understanding. Was it a dream. Where did she get the name Raymond A. Syms of HEI from another dream. Did she pick a name out of a hat. How did she get the date July 7, 2016 and time without communication from someone. The “open park area” in the drawing. What drawing the requester did not receive any drawings. What hard copy of what is she sending through the mail. Again not provided to the requester. This all must be a dream sequence of with a hidden agenda that did not follow the law.

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink
  11. Eugene Creamer wrote:

    Belmar and Lake Como taxpayers paid administrative/police costs for Leo’s show …. inasmuch as Leo has money burning a hole in his pocket …. I’m sure he won’t mind paying loaded rate reimbursement.

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 1:13 pm | Permalink
  12. Doherty Dope wrote:

    #8 I do not want to pay for police officers to supervise the safety of a couple getting engaged. Leo Ayala should pay the costs not Belmar taxpayers. Leo should also pay for Colleen’s time spent coordinating and reviewing the missing documents, again not Belmar not taxpayers.

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink
  13. legion wrote:

    Colleen’s letter to the NJDOT is dated June 28th, the helicopter event happened on July 7th. The Mayor stated in the Coast Star that the plans were not finalized until the last minute and that is why the Council members were not notified. What does “until the last minute” mean? Perhaps that is why written matters are not provided easily. Good luck with OPRA requests.

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 2:16 pm | Permalink
  14. Anonymous wrote:

    Do you know who your Belmar Community Polive Officer’s identity and how to reach that person?

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Permalink
  15. Just the facts wrote:

    News flash . The mayor is a liar

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink
  16. watchman wrote:

    It is clear to me that the Mayor believes that he owns Belmar and that he can ignore local ordinances at his desire and discretion. I would call that person an autocrat.

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink
  17. A Voter 2 wrote:

    #16 Watchman, where have you been??? This has been the Belmar Country Club NOT the Boro of Belmar.

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 6:30 pm | Permalink
  18. Anonymous wrote:

    Here’s the funny thing, Colleen basically takes charge of each and every council meeting. When the mayor or council are looking for an explanation or even when they aren’t, Colleen is always opening up her mouth to put her two cents in. Now, go back and watch the meeting when the helicopter landing was brought up. Specifically, watch Colleen. She obviously knew about the helicopter but in this instance she said nothing. As a matter of fact, everyone should go back to the video just to watch Colleen once the helicopter is mentioned.

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink
  19. joe goofinoff wrote:

    Colleen basically takes charge of each and every council meeting.
    We’re all in a heap of trouble if she is the go to guy for an “explanation.”

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink
  20. watchman wrote:

    OK, so Ms. Connolly is in charge, the Mayor is the voice behind the curtain and the council members are rubber stamping stooges. The mayor still has the title of authority. They all smell bad.

    Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 9:14 pm | Permalink
  21. OLD MAN wrote:

    I thought I heard a helicopter and got up early. Damn.. it was only a car running with a bad fuel pump (probably). Need more rest. .Bye for now

    Sunday, July 31, 2016 at 5:50 am | Permalink
  22. Tom Carvelli wrote:

    When I built my house in Belmar there was more paperwork than this needed to temporarily shut down the street for a crane. In addition, there were fees for the requisite police officer and vehicle. At the very least someone should be reimbursing the town for police services. This could be either Mr. Ayala or the helicopter company.

    On the legality of a landing, it appears that, in the absence of an emergency, Belmar’s zoning forbids it. So in order to legally land, the zoning would have to be changed, at least temporarily. This requires process, notice and public comment.

    Sunday, July 31, 2016 at 7:14 am | Permalink
  23. Voter wrote:

    This matter of getting authority from DOT and FAA took months Lawless Matt Doherty is lying. There was plenty of time to follow the proper regulations and inform the council.

    Sunday, July 31, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink
  24. Green with Envy wrote:

    #18 – I was reading through all of this and thought the same thing. Thanks for saying it! She answers for almost every question but nothing when the helicopter question came up.

    Monday, August 1, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

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