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Blaming It All On Bean

Last night during his report to council the mayor launched into a highly inappropriate political tirade against Councilman Bean, who demonstrated a lot of restraint by not responding in kind and risking allowing the meeting to descend into an out and out food fight.  I’m sure Bean will respond to the mayor in the proper venue for this type of stuff, namely in the press.

Since this blog is also a totally appropriate venue, I will respond to the mayor here with my own quick thoughts.  I might expand on some of this when time allows.

Doherty is clearly angry that Bean has filed two different ethics complaints against him in the past year.  I’m going to state right here that Bean is correct to ask the state to review both of the mayor’s actions that resulted in the complaints.

The first one was last year, when the mayor produced some “anonymous” letter that he couldn’t even explain where it came from, saying that the writer feared that Bean shouldn’t have voted on allowing non-seniors to live year-round in newly renovated accessory dwellings since Bean owned an accessory dwelling himself.  But Bean was not conflicted since his unit already had heat and was already allowed to have year-round non-senior tenants.  And despite his claims to the contrary, Doherty knew Bean owned that house as it was discussed in the hearings and in an email exchange between Bean and Doherty.  The mayor raised no objection when Bean voted, but later forced a re-vote based on an anonymous letter that should have been ignored.  When Bean refused to recuse himself from the re-vote, the mayor and his attorney said they were going to strike Bean’s vote from the record.  I can find no law that gives Doherty or lawyer Dupont the authority to do that.  It was a purely political stunt and Bean had the right and the obligation to ask the state to review it’s legality.

Bean’s second complaint is that the mayor may have violated this law:

No local government officer or employee or member of his immediate family shall have an interest in a business organization or engage in any business, transaction, or professional activity, which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his duties in the public interest

The mayor’s wife, who certainly is a member of the mayor’s “immediate family” took a marketing position with a carting and clean-up company a few days AFTER the storm.  Doherty by his own actions admitted that his wife’s new job created a conflict because he insists that he removed himself completely from any decision making regarding clean-up companies.  He also recused himself from voting on the contract.  Even if he didn’t exert the influence that Bean suspects he did, and that the mayor’s wife’s company just happened to be the best choice (it wasn’t) the fact that the mayor admittedly put himself in conflict seems to me to be a violation of the law.  Every other affected town had a mayor that could help pick a clean up contractor.  But our mayor tied his own hands.  This situation is exactly what this law was trying to prevent.  Again, Bean is right to ask the state to look at what happened here.

Doherty is also blaming Bean for the blow-up over police officer Campbell’s lost wedding ring.  I guess he wants everyone to think that Bean is against the police.  This is certainly not true.

It was a private citizen, not Bean, that discovered the expenditure.  It was a private citizen, not Bean, that reported it to the press.  As a matter of fact, the first news story about the ring didn’t even mention Bean.  In a later news story the reporter contacted Bean and asked for his opinion.  Bean expressed his disappointment that the problem was missed by so many people who’s job it is to catch things like that.  He even included himself as having missed it.

Most importantly, Bean never, ever, criticized Officer Campbell for trying to be reimbursed for the ring.  So why are we being given the impression that Bean is against the police?  It’s really not fair.

I really wish that at these meetings we could simply conduct the people’s business and then go home.  Instead we get hours of pageantry, drama, and self-congratulation.




  1. Tom Burke wrote:

    Aside from fully agreeing with the administrator of this blog on all in this presentation, I would like to point out that this is the second time in less than 6 months that the Mayor has used his position as a “Bully Pulpit”. It is totally inappropriate in my opinion. The first time it happened (late December or early January) I emailed the Mayor saying I though he owed Mr. Bean a public apology. He (the Mayor) apparently did not agree with me.

    In the case of the wedding ring….the report here is spot on, and in no way has Councilman Bean said anything negative about the Belmar Police Department or any individual local Policeman. How can our overly ambitious Mayor blame Mr. Bean for the wedding ring saga then prevaricate about his (Bean’s) intentions?

    Jim Bean is a much better man than that, trust me on this, Jim will stand up for what is right, and take blame when he is wrong. Our Mayor needs to accept that Mr. Bean too was elected to his position as councilman, and he too has responsibility to the citizens of Belmar.

    Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink
  2. guest wrote:

    I look forward to the video being posted. I appreciate you posting these videos. Not everyone in town has the ability to make the meetings and this is a great service that you have graciously provided to the community! Regardless of your politics, everyone benefits by seeing the meetings. Thanks.

    Friday, May 17, 2013 at 7:36 am | Permalink

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