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Belmar Ignores Open Public Meetings Law

I have on these pages reported on lots and lots of lawsuits against the Borough since our current mayor took office in 2011.  And although I am interested to know about them, and based on the hit counts when I publish them the readers have a lot of interest in them, a certain group of Belmar residents WHOSE JOB IT IS TO KNOW ABOUT THEM hasn’t shown the least amount of interest.  That would any Democrat who has been on the Belmar Council during this mayor’s tenure.

The only legal means that exists for our elected officials to discuss litigation, discuss the hiring of attorneys for litigation and plan the strategies for dealing with pending or ongoing litigation is through “closed” or “executive” sessions of the Borough Council. Minutes are required to be taken at closed sessions and those minutes are to be made available to the public once the case has been adjudicated.

From the Digital Media Law Project:


I checked the meeting minutes for the first six months of this year for the following towns. They had executive sessions on the dates listed.


January 19

February 1

February 16

March 7

March 21

April 18

May 2

May 16

May 25

June 6

June 20

Sea Girt

February 10

March 23

April 13

April 27

June 22

Spring Lake

February 9

February 23

March 22

April 12

Spring Lake Heights

January 11

January 25

February 8

February 22

March 14

March 28

April 11

April 25

May 9

May 23

June 13

June 27

Bradley Beach

March 8

March 22

April 12

May 10

May 24

June 14

June 28

Although Belmar is probably involved in more lawsuits than all those towns put together we had exactly zero.  In fact there has been no legally called executive session since Doherty took office.  Either the Council is meeting about closed session issues in secret or they are not involved in them at all.  Either scenario is unacceptable.


  1. Guest wrote:

    How can the town council decide to sell the small parking lot on 10th Ave. to Barry Deppe in secret?

    Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    This posting shows exactly why this mayor needs to resign or be recalled.

    Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Permalink
  3. Tom Dilberger wrote:

    Either the Council is meeting about closed session issues in secret or they are not involved in them at all
    My guess is the latter. They’re just let Matt and the borough attorney[s] handle the legal affairs without any input from themselves.

    Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink
  4. Guest wrote:

    So the legal way around this is for the Mayor or Business Adninistrator to go around discussing the legal issues with each council person individually. While that might seem OK, how does this method stimulate or invoke discussion of issues amoung the Mayor and the Council? There possibly is no discussion of important issues under this methodology, and therein lies the problem.

    Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 6:19 pm | Permalink
  5. ALLTRUMPEDUP wrote:

    #1- It’ll cost Barry $50k to demolish the building and pave a parking lot at 12th and RR. In return he gets a lot valued at $300k. I though the town may be required to auction off public properties but I’m sure Matt knows of some other loophole. Matt needs a new boat.

    Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink
  6. A Voter 2 wrote:

    They all lack integrity and ethics that why they do what they want.

    Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 10:29 pm | Permalink
  7. A Voter 2 wrote:

    Violated civil rights.

    Calls people who criticize him terrorists

    Rules as a dictator.

    Holds secret meetings.

    Fidel Castro?

    No Matt Doherty

    Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 10:40 pm | Permalink
  8. Feisty wrote:

    Blowing off executive sessions…great strategy for disaster. Leadership is lacking

    Sunday, November 27, 2016 at 11:27 pm | Permalink
  9. Tulip wrote:

    If I were a council member I would
    not talk to anyone alone I would have a person or a recorder with me. That is
    how bad this whole pile of garbage is going to be.
    We have here a prime example of strong mayor weak council form of Gov’t
    Or your tax dollar at work.

    Monday, November 28, 2016 at 3:41 am | Permalink
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    People need to realize that Matt Doherty works for the taxpayers. Get to a council meeting and yell at him.

    Monday, November 28, 2016 at 10:00 pm | Permalink
  11. legion wrote:

    The left side of the meeting room contains an abundance of supporters of the administration. How about filling up the right side with anti-administration supporters, including members of the infamous “element”? Use your five minutes of public session time to give ’em hell.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink
  12. dizzy wrote:

    Former Councilwoman Claire, don’t get any cute ideas about filling up the room with seniors. Matt is a loser, remember? Home By Summer and Buy a Board were questionable endeavors, as well. The hurricane was four years ago, played out for all the publicity it was worth.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Permalink
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    POI: NOT all seniors in Belmar are political pawns of the PARTY.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

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