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Bean/Seebeck Media Release

I guess they consider me to be part of the media:



Last week the voters of Belmar soundly defeated a plan to borrow 7 million dollars to fund construction of a public safety pavilion at 10th Ave and a new Taylor pavilion at 5th Ave. It’s important to remember that the referendum was not about whether to build or what to build. It was about the 7 million dollars and the voters made absolutely clear in that special election that they don’t want to spend that much money on pavilion construction. Honestly, most constituents I’ve spoken with who voted “no” were not opposed so much to the plans as they were to the cost.

I’ve maintained all along that we can build those pavilions, or similar pavilions, at a much lower cost. We need to look at why the cost seems so much higher than it should be.

Of course the $1 million fee that Maser Consultants is charging us needs to be examined. There is no way that engineering costs should contribute that much to the cost of a project this size.

But the bigger problem, as I see it, is the anti-competitive language added to our municipal code earlier this year by ordinance 2014-01. The requirements made of any company bidding for a public construction project in Belmar now include this paragraph:

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 a benefit configuration being no less than required under the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act, or the bidder certifies that they will not pay any less than the journeymans rate as defined by the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act, are minimally required to demonstrate that a bidding entity is “responsible.”

Companies that bid for work in Belmar, now, by statute, must either be a participant in an approved union apprenticeship and training program or pay a wage higher than the going rate.

We can see how this law has affected the competitive environment for public projects in Belmar. When the previous pavilion design – the one that included a two-story Taylor Pavilion – was put out to bid last year, this clause was not part of our code and ten companies bid for that work. But when the current plan was put out to bid this year, with that language now part of our code, only three companies sent in bids. This is not the way to get the best price.

I don’t understand why the mayor and majority of council members would pass laws that drive up the costs of public projects in their jurisdiction, costs that will be passed on to their constituents. We should not enact laws that mandate additional benefits or higher pay for workers when they work in Belmar than they get for the same work in other towns. Bear in mind that this law is not only about the pavilions. It will drive up the cost of all projects in Belmar including the major improvements to the Lake Como outflow system currently being planned.

This is grossly unfair to Belmar’s taxpayers and I respectfully, but strongly, call on Mayor Doherty and members of the Council to immediately remove this language from Belmar’s bidding requirements.

In order to resolve all the controversies surrounding the pavilion plans and start building as quickly as possible, I would like to see a first reading to amend this language from Ordinance 2014-01 at the next Borough Council meeting scheduled to be held September 9th and a second reading, public hearing and vote on the matter at the following meeting, which is currently scheduled for October 7th.

This is an absolutely necessary first step in moving forward on pavilion construction that the taxpayers of Belmar can afford.

If the mayor does not respond to this request, I consider it another affront to taxpayers and will take other actions to force the mayor to hear their voices.

Contact Information

Councilman Jim Bean


  1. Tom Burke wrote:

    Well, I sure do agree with the whole of this release…..glad you are part of the media as I know you will handle the news properly in this blog.

    I fully support the efforts proposed by Councilman Bean, and the Bean Seebeck campaign. Mr. Mayor, please do not stand in the way. Your constituents have spoken.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Permalink
  2. MATH WOMAN wrote:

    Mr. Bean.Plan on having to take further action. The math does not work for them.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink
  3. Venerable Bede wrote:

    There are 565 municipalities in the State of NJ. Prior to Belmar’s adoption of this amendment to the bidding ordinance, only two out of all 565 amended their ordinance and thus “limited competition” I called South Brunswick and the Business Administrator who was against it, was not consulted prior to the ordinance change. He feared future law suits among other things. Even DCA’s Thomas Neff wrote our business administrator C.C. one day before the hearing on May, 2,2014 ” Please come prepared to explain why the project as bid contains a requirement for an apprenticeship program.”

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

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