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Doherty’s Nightmare

In today’s Asbury Park Press:

Should beach fees be set by counties?

Bill advances to transfer authority away from towns

TRENTON — Is it time for the counties to take control of beaches — and beach badges — away from Shore towns?

Democrats in the Legislature say yes. Their argument: If Shore towns gave up control of their beaches, it would clear the way for a regional approach to fortifying against storms. There could be a single beach badge issued by the county, good in any town, and local officials would no longer have to worry about maintaining and policing the tourist hot spots.

Bill A-3891 from Democrats was advanced Monday by the Assembly Environment Committee in a party-line vote. A Senate committee approved the bill in April. Next up are votes by the full Assembly and Senate.

But there’s little love in Shore communities for the proposal, which would allow Monmouth and Ocean counties to assume complete responsibility for the operation and control of beaches, moving that power away from municipalities upon agreement with town officials.

“If something’s not broke, why fix it? Creating a new bureaucracy doesn’t sound helpful,’’ said Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, who’s against the bill.


However, there’s an out.  Phew!


If the measure becomes law, a town could opt out through an ordinance or resolution and stay in control of the beach.

Doherty said that’s a likely scenario for Belmar.  “I don’t believe there would be any support in Belmar for giving up control of our beach area,’’ he said.


That ordinance would pass in record time, even for Belmar.


Here is what Mark Rosenwald, a top commenter for the Press said in his comment:

It’s all about the money generated by the beach fees. The towns get to hire their political allies and their kids for summer positions, they use money generated by beach fees for “other” things related to the beach. There are towns in Monmouth County that have used beach money for police vehicles that “help” patrol the beaches for 3 months, cranes and other heavy equipment that are used on the beach for 3 months, and a host of other municipal uses. The Mayor of Belmar wants to use the beach tag money to not only rebuild his pavilions (the town makes a bundle leasing them out) that were lost to Sandy but to expand them for other non beach related use. Fortunately the courts have temporarily stopped this. The amount of money that is quietly, through creative accounting, that is funneled from the beach into the towns is enormous. If Dougherty wants a future in politics, he better get on board with the Democrat leadership.

(Obviously, this Mark Rosenwald guy is opposed to our recovery.)



  1. joegoofinoff wrote:

    I agree with the mayor on this as of now. We should give up zero sovereignty to the fedgov, state, county, etc. on this or anything else. But let’s not put our allout support in this mayor. Like the guy from the press said, if Mayor Doughterty wants to move ahead in the Dem. party (and he does), he better get on board with this.

    Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink
  2. admin wrote:

    I agree, but when we push the envelope on what is acceptable uses for badge revenues it gives these people ammunition for their arguments to take control away from us.

    Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

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