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Back To The Futures

Many of you know that I was the very first Belmar resident to publicly speak out against the union apprenticeship requirement added to our bidding law by ordinance 2014-1.  It was the night of the ordinance’s First Reading and Introduction, January 28, 2014.

The Coast Star reports:

………….While Council President Brian Magovern said adding this amendment will ensure companies bidding “meet the standards of the borough of Belmar” and have been trained to do the work tasked, a few residents questioned the amendment, particularly the apprenticeship program requirement.

Dave Schneck, of C Street, asked why having a company participate in an apprenticeship program “takes precedence over just your fiduciary responsibility to get the lowest price for the taxpayers.”

Acting borough attorney Edward Washburne said the state statute is written so a borough does not have to hire the lowest bidder because they might not be the lowest responsible bidder.

“It’s written to take financial and public policy considerations — keeping them in mind,” he said.

But, Mr. Schneck said, by not giving it to the lowest bidder because they do not partake in the apprenticeship program, “it seems to me that you’re not acting in the interests of your constituents. You’re acting in the interest of someone else.”

That someone else, he said, could be Robert Epifano, chairman of Epic Management, in Piscataway, the company that rebuilt the borough’s boardwalk after Hurricane Sandy and was awarded the contract to rebuild two pavilions at the beachfront.

Epic utilizes such an apprentice program and Mr. Epifano is a management trustee for the Laborers’ International Union of North America [LIUNA] Training and Education Fund, which “provides curriculum, instructor training and support services to more than 70 affiliated Laborers’ International Union of North America training centers [Training Funds] located throughout the United States and Canada,” according to their website, located at

“This seems to me to be a conflict right there” and a “way to give Epic an inside line on some of these bids,” Mr. Schneck said.

Ms. Connolly said the amendment would not prohibit companies from being awarded a contract as Metra Industries, in Little Falls, and MSP Construction Corp., in Newark, who are currently doing water infrastructure improvements in the borough, would both qualify under the amended ordinance.

According to Ms. Connolly, “you can be a completely non-union shop and still qualify.”

Mr. Schneck said there was also a conflict of interest as Maggie Moran, Mayor Doherty’s wife, once worked for LIUNA.

Mrs. Moran worked for LIUNA for two years, from 2010-2012.

“This has to be looked into,” Mr. Schneck said. “This doesn’t smell right.”

“Your responsibility is to the public. To do this work as cheaply as possible,” he said. “Not to have us subsidize union training programs. This is not right.”

He had asked the council to table the ordinance until it has been “explained to the satisfaction of the public.”

The governing body declined to do that and voted on amending the ordinance.

Prior to Councilman Bean’s vote, he echoed what Mr. Schneck said.

“I don’t think our job up here is to find better businesses to do work for us. I think our job up here is to get the best bang for the buck and to make sure the job is done correctly,” he said. “I don’t know how forcing people to have apprenticeships is going to fix that.”

He then talked about the “coincidence” that Belmar hired two companies, AshBritt and Ferreira Construction, that Mrs. Moran had ties to in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and that now the borough is amending its ordinance to include the apprenticeship qualification when the chairman of Epic sits on the board for LIUNA, which Mrs. Moran used to work for.

Councilman Magoven said “I think you’re giving the mayor’s wife too much credit for being a power broker.”

“She has a small office in South Belmar, New Jersey,” he said. “She’s not affecting an international company getting contracts to come to us in Belmar. She’s not that powerful.”………..


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Maybe this should be changed to read:  Maggie Moran is some woman with a tiny, little office in South Belmar and no power.  In fact, nobody ever even heard of her.

Anyway, here’s the Back to the Futures part.

Before there was the shadowy “Building the Future Foundation” that sent so much “Vote Yes” literature to our houses last month, there was the “Building Our Future 2012”  campaign organization which succeeded in convincing New Jersey voters to pass a $750 million (!) higher education construction bond.  As Ms. Moran points out above, she managed the campaign.

Here is what the popular blog More Monmouth Musings reported about it in October of 2012:

………imagine that a group of politicians, unions, business groups, colleges, gas and electric companies, water companies, insurance companies…pretty much everyone who supported Corzine’s plan to sell or lease our highways and his plan to borrow $450 million to fund stem cell research comes along and asks you to guarantee a $750 million loan to build, equip and expand facilities on college campuses.

Again, not hard to imagine because its happening. The group is called Building our Future: Yes on #1. Its list of donors smells like #2 if you’re concerned our New Jersey’s fiscal health and your own.

As of October 10 the group’s donors had kicked in $900,000 to persuade you to vote for their largess, according to The Star Ledger. (Ultimately they raised over $2 million.)

Most of Building our Future’s donors have a financial stake in the passage of referendum, which could create dozens of large construction projects on college campuses across the state.

The group’s first donors include: PSE&G ($200,000), New Jersey Carpenter Contractor Network ($100,000), New Jersey Resources ($100,000), Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters PAC ($100,000), New Jersey State Electrical Workers ($100,000) and the American Federal of Teachers New Jersey ($10,000).

William Paterson University was the first higher education institution to donate to the cause, with a $33,000 check, according to the ELEC filing. University officials said the money came from private donations to the William Paterson Foundation, the school’s nonprofit fund raising arm.

This group knows how to raise money. $900,000 since they were formed in August. They also know how to spend it. Save money? Not so much. Their web site cost over $18,000.

The Corzine connections to the group run deep.

Maggie Moran was the first chairperson of the group, according to their ELEC reports. Moran was Corzine’s Chief of Staff when he served in the U.S. Senate. She was his Deputy Chief of Staff while he was governor. Laura Matos was the group’s first treasurer. Matos served in the governor’s office for Jim McGreevey, Dick Cody and Corzine. Moran and Matos are now partners at M Public Affairs, Inc. Building our Future: Yes on #1 shares office space with M Public Affairs in Lake Como. Building our Future: Yes on #1 and M Public Affairs have the same phone number. Of the $188,000 Building our Future: Yes on #1 spent through October 9, $55,000, including the $18K web site, was paid to M Public Affairs.

The new chairman of Building our Future is union leader William T. Mullen. The new treasurer is John Duthie who is also the treasurer of the NJ State Laborers PAC and the Laborer’s International Union of North America………….

As of this writing, “Building the Future Foundation” has not made any campaign filings to the state, at least none that we can find.

Stay tuned.


  1. Shrugged wrote:

    Mayor Doherty sold out the people of Belmar to the unions to help his own political future. He is taking instruction from his wife who is selling out the state for her own personal gain. It’s not snakes like the Doherty’s-Moran’s that upset me, it’s the idiots that support them. Like council president McGovern. He is to stupid to put the pieces together even when it slaps him in the face.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink
  2. Shrugged wrote:

    Councilman Magoven said “I think you’re giving the mayor’s wife too much credit for being a power broker.”

    “She has a small office in South Belmar, New Jersey,” he said. “She’s not affecting an international company getting contracts to come to us in Belmar. She’s not that powerful.”………..

    We are being governed by fools….voted in by the people.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 8:21 am | Permalink
  3. DR. ZAIUS wrote:

    I got to get back to my planet. Or maybe go to a different state? I’m thinking North Dakota—Plenty of work there. I have enough fur to stay warm.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 8:21 am | Permalink
  4. Guest wrote:

    Belmar is being run by fools … that’s the 3000+ voters.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink
  5. Anonymous wrote:


    it’s the idiots that support them. Like council president McGovern

    Council president McGovern gives idiots a bad name.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink
  6. Teddy Ehmann wrote:

    So glad what I uncovered almost two years ago has found more receptive ears in our small community. It’s not that I told you so…but, I did.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 4:09 pm | Permalink
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    If the union apprenticeship program is so great, how come Lake Como does’t have it? after all their Mayor is very pro union and very active in organizing labor, Maybe he knows better than to sock it to the tax payers.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 6:30 pm | Permalink
  8. VITO CORLEONE wrote:

    This arguement between the good people vs. the kool -aid drinkers of Belmar must end. Elect Jim Bean.Did anybody tell Christie the ‘NO’ votes won?

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 6:29 am | Permalink
  9. Guest3 wrote:

    Who is sparks media, and why is everything from Belmar seem to involve one single company.All those Belmar brochures must fit very nicely in the Tinton Falls landfill!

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

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