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I Can’t Write This Column

Wednesday evening the mayor, whilst scolding Councilman Bean, pointed to his own abstentions and those of Councilman Magovern.  He said when they had conflicts, they came down off the dais and did not only not vote, that they didn’t utter a peep.  (He was just trying to get Bean to shut up.)

Of course  Bean knows how to abstain when he has a conflict, such as when he abstained from the vote granting a paving contract to his employer, who is a paving contractor.

I decided to review all abstentions over the past year or two to see if any were over anything more significant than granting a special events permit, a contract, or a promotion.  The only abstentions I can recall were over routine, rubber-stamp type things that nobody in town would really care about anyway. 

Obviously the accessory dwelling ordinance is anything but routine.  It represents a major change to the town and was, and still remains, a highly contentious issue.  It’s probably the most important ordinance passed under the Doherty administration so far.  Abstaining from that vote can hardly be compared to abstaining from voting to issue a special-events permit to the Fishing Club!  In the absence of any real conflict (Dupont’s babbling about an “abundance of caution” notwithstanding) I would expect and demand that all our elected officials be heard from on this issue.

 Anyway when I went to the meetings agenda and minutes page of the new official Belmar website I found that there is nothing there!

Turns out the town granted an $11,000 no-bid contract to a new company, Your Target Marketing, to re-design and run the town’s website.  Of course they’re not new to Matt Doherty.  They are the same company that runs the Belmar Democrats website.   Hmmm…..  No “abundance of caution” there.

Whatever the reason, all information about past meetings, save the most recent two, is gone.  (So much for open and transparent government.)  This is entirely unacceptable.  Even if it’s just an oversight, and the information will be restored soon, it’s clear that our $11,000 website developer did not use an “abundance of caution” when testing the new product they sold us.

And this is why I can’t write this column.


  1. Chaz wrote:

    I hope that any council member that had a dog at the time abstained from the dog park vote….conflict?

    Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink
  2. Chaz wrote:

    Or perhaps anyone with children should have abstained from the mini golf course vote…where do you draw the line?

    Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink
  3. admin wrote:

    I never understood this obsession with having miniature golf at the marina anyway. If everyone in town wanted to do nothing but play miniature golf all day they wouldn’t have had to force Chef’s to put it in. And they seem to be certain that even 40 years from now the people will want their miniature golf, and will still need the government to force mean old businesses to give the people what they want.

    Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 5:34 am | Permalink

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