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Bean Grinds The Numbers…

Makes interesting discovery.

Guest column from former Councilman and 2014 mayoral candidate Jim Bean.

I present:


I compared the actual revenues and expenses between the 2010 and 2017 budgets and wanted to share the numbers with you.

When the municipal budget is put together there are two columns; projected revenues and projected expenses. As the year goes by and the town collects and spends, these numbers are filled into the column called actual revenues and actual expenses. These are the real numbers of what Belmar collected and what Belmar spent. I took the 2010 actual revenue and expenses and compared them with 2017 actual revenue and expenses. The General Ledger accounts match up, so it is an apples to apples comparison.

I removed the so called “surplus” being added to both year’s revenues. The surplus is actually how a municipality balances the projected and actual accounts. It comes from last year’s projected column minus the actual’s column. This difference is moved to the following year while the expense difference stays in the budget as part of the “surplus”. Confusing? yes. The surplus changes year to year and I felt it was immaterial. I am comparing the actual real spending and taxing. Yes there is some money there in the surplus account but it has to stay there as part of the budgeting process for the following year.
The first tab in the 2010-2017 Budget Comparison excel sheet is the actual revenues comparison,the second tab is the actual expenses. At the top is the amount both increased for all utilities and the municipal account in 7 years. The 3rd tab is the changes in amounts for everything.
In the 2010 to 2013 revenues and expenses sheet – tab 1 is the revenue for these dates and tab 2 is expenses for these dates.
In the 2014 to 2017 revenues and expenses sheet – tab 1 is the revenue for these dates and tab 2 is expenses for these dates.
In 7 years…
Municipal account revenues increased by $520,219 and expenses increase $1,753,252, leaving a deficit of $1,233,032.
Water & Sewer account revenues increased by $133,242  and expenses increases by $502,275, leaving a deficit of $369,032.
Beach Utility revenues increased by $419,423  and expenses increases by $1,218,825 leaving a deficit of $799,402.  Please note: to be fair, the beach utility has a expense increase of $536,489 because of the bonds and interest from Sandy. This is shown in the expenses worksheet. When this is removed from the equation it leaves a deficit of $262,913.00.
Parking utility revenues increased by $146,257  and expenses increases by $10,972  leaving a real surplus of $135,284.
All of these added together leaves a $2,266,183 hole in the budget.
Final analysis…
Belmar and its utilities is spending $2,266,183 more then they were 7 years ago with no revenue increases to cover the costs.
There is your no tax increase in 7 years.
For your reference:
These are the 2 excel sheets I pulled the numbers from for the budget comparison.  You can use them to check my math and my methodology.


  1. Average Joe wrote:

    This is NOT your average analysis. I need time to digest this. Talk later

    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    Do you divide that $2,266,183. by the number of properties in Belmar in order to get enough tax increases to get the budget balanced?

    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    #2- No- To balance the budget your need to have revenues equal expenses. Expenses being the amount that is currently being spent to run the town, PLUS, what is needed to begin to pay off our bonds, P and I. Therefore, the ONLY way to keep the tax rate the same is to CUT EXPENSES. That means some tough decisions on salaries, amount of employees, benefits, and purchasing of assets as needed. Belmar is falling into the same trap that the State of New Jersey has. We need leadership with a strong set of cohunes to CUT EXPENSES, The party is over. And it irks me when people continually blame the prior admin. for not raising taxes. Surrounding towns have also NOT RAISED TAXES in the past few years. The difference with our town and others is that , as I have stated in the past, Doherty and crew were on a Democratic careless spending spree, writing blank checks to all, Police, Public Works, …… taking care of all of their donors, lawyers, buddies, liquor business owners and such. AGAIN, CUT ALL BUDGETS whatever percent it may need to balance a budget without raising taxes. Otherwise Walsifer and crew will also be voted out.

    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink
  4. Average Joe wrote:

    #3. Bradley Beach has raised taxes. However all your other points are valid. Cut cut cut first.

    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink
  5. Question wrote:

    BELMAR is just over 1 mile in size town, how much do We pay the head of Belmar DPW?

    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink
  6. Guest wrote:

    #5. Way too much and it is a disgrace that he is continuing his overpaid employment here. Strike 1 for Walsifer and council.

    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink
  7. Aileen wrote:

    Thanks Jim. Gotta raise taxes, cut budget AND get a handle on PILOTs moving forward….how much does new development revenue really benefit the municipality I wonder.

    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    We keep hearing about the problems and so far zero cuts have been made. This new administration has no plan whatsoever. Give the head a the dpw a new contract was dumb. How much does the new BA make compared to the old one ? Where are the cuts ? Was the increase in beach badges just a way to spend more ?

    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    #4- Go to Spring Lakes’ rate has gone down and Heights up slightly. Also google how Robbinsville and Cranbury have actually lowered property taxes. It is possible to lower taxes ya know. I know, kinda of hard to believe. CUT EXPENSES and get rid of these high paid cronies. THE PARTY IS OVER. Cut benefits and lay off people if you have to. NO NOT RAISE TAXES. If Walsifer and crew fail, we can all vote for Dillberger to straighten things out.

    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink
  10. Summer Timer wrote:

    Thank you Mr.Bean, well done… This is a very transparent and telling presentation… Question for Mayor and Council, is the municipality operating a cost effective government???

    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    #10- so far NO. How do you create a new position and still be fiscally responsible ?

    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    Thanks much for your work Jim.
    #11 – Sir/Madam, I think your jumping the gun hear. Let’s weight and sea on this.

    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    Good job Mr. Bean.
    Mr. Walsifer, any comment ?

    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink
  14. Jim Bean wrote:

    #3 bravo….exactly what I was trying to show. If expenses don’t match revenues, after a couple of year its going to create a big deficit. Not rocket science just basic economics.

    My thoughts….

    1) #2 I was told as a rule of thumb if taxes go up 1 cent per $100 it brings in $500,000

    2) 2017 was a down year for the beach utility because 2015 & 2016 were record years. This reduced revenue a little but not enough to change the numbers dramatically. Same with property taxes, they goes up or down a little every year.

    3) The beach utility expenses went up the most % wise. Think about the million the beach utility bonded after Sandy. Where did it all go? The debt statement shows $8 million still needs payed off. FEMA payed for the boardwalk (right?)so what was the $8 million still owed used for? That’s a lot of money.

    4) When Mayor and Council passes a temporary budget and tell the voters they don’t know what’s in it, as what occurred 2 meetings ago, in my opinion this is unacceptable. Not one council member even questioned it. The projected numbers to the actual numbers can be guessed off of last year’s numbers. That’s how budgets work.

    5) These numbers are always available, they just took an OPRA and a little analyzing. The fact that we had 8 years of “yes” votes from everyone on council is proof that nobody looked at them or if they did, they didn’t care of the hole that was being dug and said nothing.

    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 8:56 pm | Permalink
  15. OLD MAN wrote:

    As Peter Falk and Jack Palance said in am old WWII movie as the Germans were approaching. ” I think we are screwed”.

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 4:21 am | Permalink
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    Thanks for all you do Dave,

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink
  17. Katrina wrote:

    Thank you Jim.
    Can you tell us what you would have done in the case of this years budget. And why? Please understand I’m asking this in all sincerity. I get the bottom line numbers, but if but if I were on council I wouldn’t really have the ability to do the annualization you just did.

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink
  18. anonymous wrote:

    #5-Let’s see if head of DPW will receive his annual $15G bonus that he was given each year by the former BA

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink
  19. Jim Bean wrote:

    Thank you #17 for asking.

    I’m just trying to get the public to understand that they should demand accountability. This is our money that’s being spent.

    As I suggested to several council members, I would have done even more reports then the one I presented and published all of them online so the taxpayers understands what money is being spent on and what is unknown. They have the 2018 real revenue and expenses (which were not presented to me even though I OPRAed them. My guess would be because they are not 100% complete) I’ll repeat, everyone on counsel has access to 2018 numbers as they stand now. Going off of these numbers, someone in a leadership role needs to inform the public what expenses are being cut immediately and what revenues are going to be raised and why they think it should be done. If a temp budget is needed show us the numbers why and what the plan is. The excuse they didn’t know what was going on doesn’t work because the Mayor and Council President have been up there for years.

    I can’t stress enough that they have access to more data then I do. And why can’t they do the annualization that I did? I’m a computer guy not an accountant.

    I hope I answered your question.

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink
  20. Aileen wrote:

    I think Katrina was asking, knowing what you know, what would you do with our budget, what/where would you cut, how would you handle taxes, etc.? LMK if I’m incorrect.

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink
  21. Summer Timer wrote:

    #17…. Here is where to look… Numbers are rounded off to make math easy… Line item 22 on expense tab up $260k… item 35 up $580k… item 37 up $100k… item 42 up $720k… item 45 up $122k…. item 72 up $115K…. When adding all these expenses, there is an increase of $1,897,000 when comparing 2010 and 2017… These are the expense categories to review in an effort to cut cost….. They fall into two categories, insurance and human capital..

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink
  22. eugene creamer wrote:

    raising revenue may be better than cutting expenses … a Belmar street parking space is gold in the summer.

    check-out how Asbury Park is using Pay-by-Plate street parking to raise revenue.

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink
  23. Jim Bean wrote:

    ooooohhh. Missed the boat on that question.

    off the top of my head with no current data from borough hall.

    Here are some of the ideas I would advocate for if things were different. Remember I was asked for these. I’m not just writing to see my name up here.

    1)All hiring is frozen. All hourly employee must punch a finger print time clock so overtime can be regulated. (timeclock plus has a nice system or others)

    2)Bars would pay a greater rate for the amount of police calls within a 2-block area of their bar. More police needed higher the fee. This is where the majority of new revenue would come from.

    3)Jack up Lake Como policing rate or force them into the same deal with their bars.

    4)Tax increases would be necessary but would come with an expiration date. Once the deficit is paid off the tax rates goes back to where it was before.

    5)Do across the board cut in departments. I don’t care what the % is needed, but it would be the same across the board. For instance, 3% cut in all departments to get the borough down to targeted expense.

    6)When salary re-negotiation time comes make all negotiations public. I want to make sure the elected officials aren’t trading favorable treatment for votes.

    7)All extras in the borough would stop until deficits comes back under control. Website needs redone but can wait, any festival that cost more then it brings in must stop, any building the borough is renting that it doesn’t need should be let go, etc.

    8)The water and sewer must break even. Raise the rates or fix the amount of water wasted through out town.

    9)Make the marina profitable. It is now a bar with boat parking. Find a way to get more money out of Chef international through their 2 bars on 9th ave pier.

    10)Settle the lawsuits. Beg for forgiveness

    11) and last as a IT guy, upgrade the outdated systems at borough hall and DPW so better data can be gotten and better decisions can be made.

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink
  24. Summer Timer wrote:

    I respectfully disagree with raising any new revenue, no matter the source… This does not address the issue of over spending… This is not just a Belmar issue, but a state wide problem…

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  25. Rev wrote:

    Add a Belmar City a 10% tax on bars that charge an admittance fee. The town should make a dollar for every $10 cover charge.

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Permalink
  26. Truth wrote:

    I have an idea we should ask Matt how we get out this pickle Belmar finds itself in.So when you see Matt, Jenn , Brian walking around town you should ask them politely how we get out this financial crisis Belmar finds its self in.

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink
  27. anonymous wrote:

    Why not renegotiate with Chef’s regarding both of their leases for the marina?

    let’s be honest- they are sweetheart deals. I am sure any reputable vendor would love either of those spaces, will be able to make them profitable and still not take advantage of the town

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink
  28. dizzy wrote:

    Matt: I’ve moved on, it’s your problem.

    Jenn: What problem? Everything is fine.

    Brian: Duh…

    They don’t walk around town.

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink
  29. Tom Dilberger wrote:

    #26 – Their answer would be – stupidity got us into this mess, so why can’t stupidity get us out of it?

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink
  30. OLD MAN wrote:

    Mr. Bean. Don’t think the time clocks take fingerprints.I think it’s bio metrics? That is what my son said and he is an accountant. He also agreed we need a “temporary” raising of revenue to help us during the transition from stupidity to reality. Best of luck taking aspirins prior to diner now. I hate this cold weather.

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink
  31. Anonymous wrote:

    Jim, You are right on the money on all points. Addressing the Policing issue with Lake Como: I for one spoke out against this from the beginning on may aspects. The deal was that Lake Como would pay %25 of the police budget. It required us to hire an additional 5 on top of the 20 (at Drew’s request) officers we had. I would love to know exactly how many Officers we now employ, The issue is that if we have over 26 Officers employed, it is now costing us MORE for OUR(Belmar) police protection. Also our politicians need to spend $20k to have a Police Department Survey completed. Presently we have one Chief of Police and TWO Police Captains. The department needs to be re-structured. Walsifer should be fully aware of this. It is utterly ridiculous to have TWO Police Captains for a 25 Officer Dept. The survey may also come with recommendations on how to more efficiently run the department. We may require 25 Officers (along with specials) in the summer, but can certainly get by with 15 Officers thru the winter months.
    And Summer Time- I agree raising revenue is not the final answer because it never fails that when you bring in more money, you tend to spend money wastefully. However I would like to recommend one simple was to raise revenue. Have a graduated cost for seasonal beach badges throughout the summer. May-$70,June$80, July$90, August$100. This will force people to buy badges earlier regardless of how the weather turns out for the season. This will also cost the week, or two week renters to shell out more later in the summer. A slight better deal than buying daily badges.

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink
  32. Jim bean wrote:

    #30 you are correct. I was using the slang term for the timeclocks. For an old man you know your stuff. I’m impressed.

    Monday, March 11, 2019 at 9:13 pm | Permalink
  33. Summer Timer wrote:

    #31…. You are correct about the police department… I would also look at the marina staff as well as DPW… At the appropriate time the town employees should contribute more to the health benefits they recieve, as insurance premiums for the town have increased… Everyone wants the top executive or elected official but when they are appointed to these positions they FAIL by not making the difficult decisions… Throwing money at a problem, only perpetuates the issues…

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink
  34. OLD MAN wrote:

    #32 I just listened to my son. He knows a lot about accounting and has two degrees. He also said it’s ok for the water/sewer dept to have cash at year end. Reserves, cash , should be established for emergencies. Not a bad idea to have cash reserves , identified by category, for all possible replacement and repairs of all town assets. That is what he said. I need morning aspirins now. Bye.

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink
  35. Katrina wrote:

    This post is really informative. Thank you all for your input.

    A lot of Jim’s idea seem very sound although I’m sure there are legalities involved with former contracts entered into by the previous administration.
    Cutting expenses will take a lot of nerve on the part of our public officials. Everyone thinks it’s a great idea until it effects them directly. #21’s human capital cut being the hardest of all.

    I personally understand that our taxes will have to go up. What I resented most through the Doherty years was the “ no taxes increase tag line”. Lying to get elected is the lowest of low. I’ve been told that all politicians lie. That doesn’t make it ok. Jim Bean is the prime example of someone honest and forthright who was ripped to shreds because he called people out on their negligence and malfeasance. Because he was “ angry”. Here we had the worst natural disaster and a Mayor spending like a drunken sailor and so many people in town rode along with it. No one wanted to hear the word NO.

    Seems everyone has seen the light. The realities have hit home.

    Now it’s up to this administration to not only bring out what was done before, but to make the tough choices and decisions that will most certainly “anger” a lot of people.

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink
  36. Review them now wrote:

    In the interim we have got raise taxes to steady the ship. When settled take the giant step and lower the budget, clean house.

    We need more ratables, period. And Not at fire sale prices either. We were already duped by Dirrty’s profiting from a disaster and by the complicity of the voters who elected him and his cronies.

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink
  37. The Commish wrote:

    Cut the budget first before raising taxes. I figure we need to cut some 3 million out of the budget. Tell each department head they need to cut 20% and let them decide how to do it

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink
  38. Anonymous wrote:

    Nobody’s taxes need to go up ! Where are the cuts that must be made ? Hiring back the dpw guy was a terrible start.

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink
  39. heebeegeebee wrote:

    They rehired Campbell?

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 7:03 pm | Permalink
  40. legion wrote:

    Refigure the purpose of the Methodist Church property, the so-called library annex, used by the borough for senior activities. It is no longer used as a church or school and the structure can be sold or demolished and a nice house can be built there, something which can yield property taxes. Move the activities to the Taylor Pavilion, a place that was supposed to be used for senior activities, not just for the site of Women’s Club meetings. Revenue can be increased and a salary position eliminated, the fellow who worked at the library, who is now running that church site, another politically appointed person, by the way.

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink
  41. Anonymous wrote:

    Winder if the concept of a “Time Study” was ever entertained in Government?

    Clearly it would reap benefits to determine the usage of the Church Community Center with no parking for the Seniors. The Merriemaker catering hall can host senior community events. The 2nd floor of the Community enter is a hot house and a cooping hideout for louie on the computer doing make work on your xime. Have Marshall check that misuse out right now!

    Remember when Mcdirty set up that Community Room for seniors at borough hall? Oh that’s right, that room was a crumb from a different election cycle for dummies!

    Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink
  42. Church vs. State wrote:

    I believe we rent the Methodist church because MerriMakers is for a private company and our municipal gym is for St. Rose. Both are problems and both need to be changed.

    Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink
  43. Reality wrote:

    Lose Merri Makers.
    That company has screwed us out of all the events that used to be held at Taylor Pavilion.
    It is unfortunate to have an outside business take over a building that should be used by residents.
    How about hold some new events there.such as

    Antique show/ sale

    Free music for all

    College fair

    Job fair

    Arts and crafts activities

    Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink
  44. shaking my head wrote:

    and #43 bring back the rocking chairs on the back deck

    and I agree bring back the craft fairs and shows at the pavilion

    Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink
  45. Truth wrote:

    Meri Makers only leases a small snack bar that’s it read the contract.

    Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink
  46. Anonymous wrote:

    I predict a lawsuit filed by Merri-Makers for breach of contract somehow related to a person with the initials of Colleen Connelly. Like an STD, the gift that keeps on giving.

    Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink
  47. Heckler wrote:

    Anyone checking open dates for the catering facility at Belmar’s Borough Hall?

    Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink
  48. anon wrote:

    What a shame. With all the new construction around town that occurred over the 7 yr period that Jim covered… [2010-2017] …the increase in tax receipts from the new ratables plus other income increases[Lake Como?]was fairly substantial yet still only about a third of the increase in spending. The word profligate does not do it justice. Can anyone ,other than a government entity, who was not previously running huge surpluses, relate to or get away with that? Sure, see you in bankruptcy court!There needs to be legal recourse holding public officials accountable to taxpayers for egregious conduct like what happened here. But you can bet none of the NJ pols will ever do a thing like that to their buddies.

    Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

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