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In My Dreams: Things I Would Like To Do

I love sleeping late on Sunday mornings.  That’s when I have my best dreamzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………

Hey, I won the election and then in 2016 two more people who agree with me on everything won their elections!  Yay!

Let’s get to work!

1)  Require public approval of any new debt.

People who live in New Jersey may think this is a radical idea, but as I pointed out in an earlier post 42 states require their municipalities to get voter approval before issuing general obligation bonds.  I hate the practice of governments putting their constituents into debt.  They certainly shouldn’t do it when the people don’t even want it.

The issuance of bonds should be timed to try to have the votes in November.  In cases where it  can’t be done, there should be special elections.  But to me “bond” is a four letter word and I would try hard to avoid creating any new ones.

2)  Not allow another square foot of Belmar to fall under redevelopment law.

I adamantly oppose any expansion of redevelopment.  The mayor in Belmar is powerful enough.  We don’t need to give him the power to override public bidding rules, planning board requirements, or any other safeguards that are there to protect the people.  That, and the tax breaks…such as “payments in lieu of taxes”….are open invitations to influence peddling.

Belmar is not Camden.  We don’t need to grant our mayors these extraordinary powers.  As a matter of fact, I would like to repeal redevelopment for all parcels currently under its jurisdiction that don’t already have redevelopment agreements in place.

3)  End the Tourism Commission.

First of all it’s very unfair to impose a tourism fee on businesses that have nothing to do with tourism, such as auto mechanics and dry cleaners.  I’m also sure that many businesses that do benefit from summer visitors don’t think they’re getting their money’s worth from the commission and would rather not pay the fee.  To me it doesn’t matter if the Tourism Commission is effective or not.  They shouldn’t be doing it.  Do we want Belmar to look like the Seafood Festival every weekend?  How can Tourism make sure that just the right amount of people come to Belmar?

The people who live here do not want mobs of people filling up our beaches, clogging our roads, creating traffic hazards and taking all our parking spots.  All this talk about it helping to lower taxes is nonsense.  Beach fees can’t be used to lower taxes, as our mayor seems to have to learn over and over again.  And commercial ratables have been declining.  The new buildings you see were built under redevelopment and aren’t bringing in the revenue they should be.

Being pro-business is not being an economic conservative.  True conservatives are not pro-business or anti-business.  They are pro-freedom.  It’s not the government’s job to use taxation and other powers to help businesses get customers.  Stay out of their way as much as possible and let them find their own customers.

4)  Make membership in the Belmar Business Partnership/Special Improvement District voluntary.

  Many of the arguments I’ve made against redevelopment and Tourism also apply to the BBP/SID.  On top of that it hasn’t even worked.  Commercial property values are down.  I have not heard one new business owner credit the SID as the reason they came to Belmar.  Many of it’s members, maybe even a majority, want out.  We, as Americans, have to right to freedom of association and if people are to join the BBP/SID it should be of their own volition.

5)  Keep the marina’s books separate from the municipality’s.

Without separate books and profit or loss statements it’s impossible to assess the true financial condition of the marina.  How can we make sure it’s being run efficiently if don’t have this information?  Also, by having a multi-million dollar operation mixed in with the municipal budget, the condition of the town’s own budget is distorted and harder to assess.

I also would not re-name it after Jack Manutti or anyone else.  Everyone knows it as the Belmar Marina.  If Doherty wants to honor Manutti he should do something more modest and not name the biggest thing in town after him.  The marina is not Doherty’s to name.  It is Belmar’s and should remain the Belmar Marina.

6)  Stop appointing study committees.

They are only there to provide validation for what the mayor wants to do anyway.  A perfect example is the beachfront circus that the boardwalk pavilion committee came up with.  Another one is the redevelopment committee recommending that the district be expanded to encompass the entire downtown.

7)  Allow much more public participation in Council meetings.

Allow public comments and questions during workshop sessions, including questions to guest presenters.  Have a public comments and questions session near the start of the meeting for folks who would like to go to home early.  At the later public session allow people second trips to the mike after everyone who wants to speak has had their chance.  Allow public comments and questions at first readings and introductions of new ordinances instead of only at the second readings when it’s going to be passed in 5 minutes.

8)  Repeal all local campaign laws.

They are useless because there is no way the borough can enforce them in an unbiased manner.  Whoever is in power is certainly not going to charge themselves with any violations.  Only opposition candidates are subject to them.  Also the requirement that all donations be made public, even very small ones, makes people afraid to help any challengers.  These laws stifle free speech and only serve to help keep incumbents in power.

9)  Switch to non-partisan elections.

Candidates should run on who they are, not what they are.  Also, local politics shouldn’t be influenced by outside political parties, especially when those political parties are themselves influenced by labor unions and other special interests.

10)  Don’t allow elected officials to make the public alert phone calls, especially when they’re up up for re-election.

These calls, depending on the subject, should be made only by the borough administrator, borough clerk or someone from the police department.  They’ve been turned into campaign spots.

11)  Get rid of all that surplus military junk.

They’re nothing more than expensive eyesores and……………

“Dave.  Dave.  Get up.  Come on.  It’s a nice day.  Let’s eat breakfast and get ready to go to the beach.”

Huh?  Damn.


  1. Teddy Ehmann wrote:

    Thank you candidate Schneck for putting forth your eleven points. What they reflect is common sense reforms based on
    both hindsight as well as foresight. Making sense of Belmar and supporting , and calling attention to the most important need for self-governance. You will certainly get criticism from the other two candidates. It is important to note both of them believe that they should be elected to do what is best for us/best for Belmar. Both have exposed negative views toward large numbers of voters and their views. Neither offer ( so far ) tangible ideas and specifics. One wants to move Belmar forward ? The other wants reason and good manner? You have been the only voice for the residents who ask: ” how will we recover from the recovery?”

    Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 9:46 am | Permalink
  2. Just Passing Through wrote:

    Is there not a chamber of commerce??? Tourism Commission benefits the state tax revenue not the residents of Belmar.

    Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink
  3. Belmar Voter wrote:

    The Belmar Chamber dissolved in 2013.
    The Tourism Development Commission if you research it’s origins in the law was to have a ten year plan. Tourism essentially does not by design directly benefit residents. You are correct in your statement regarding increasing state sales tax revenues. The goal of the NJ law really was to help towns bring in tourists from out of state. There is a great deal of emphasis on tourist lodging, ie folks stay overnight and longer than 6 hours. Belmar has been an established Jersey Shore tourist destination for over 100 years. Generationally people return without
    a need to attract them. At issue is what kind of new tourism do you want to attract to Belmar, how many and why?

    Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Great ideas!

    And build bike lanes in Belmar

    And make Ocean Ave traffic free on the weekends.

    Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink
  5. admin wrote:

    #4 Actually Jim Bean suggested that before we built the new boardwalk that we widen Ocean Ave and incorporate a bike lane. The idea was ignored in the rush to have the new boardwalk done by Memorial Day.

    Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink
  6. Bill Straus wrote:

    Nice job Dave.. This is a platform of specific ideas and that is how we should decide who to vote for. Let’s see if Burke and Nicolay have one of their own, then the voters will have specifics to debate over. Taking our power of governance back from the liars is essential to keeping our Republic.

    Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    How about a “Belmar Bucks” program to create money to be used only in town? Would be fun.

    Also, how about some sort of “buy one, give one” program by the town to buy school supplies and donate some to families in need in town?

    Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    Oops, here’s a link about places that use town money

    Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 12:54 pm | Permalink
  9. Tulip wrote:

    When was the name of the marina changed from Sterner to Belmar? Who did it and why if anyone knows?

    Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink
  10. admin wrote:

    All Sterner gets now is a plaque

    Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 1:53 pm | Permalink
  11. To Much wrote:

    When I dream, I dream of a Belmar where one can live peaceably and raise a family. When I dream of Belmar, I dream of a community where folks can retire
    in peace and safety. The past several years there has been a minority working to re-brand, market, redevelop, re-populate and alter a sound, reasonable and decent town that shares it’s resources in the summer months to a wide variety of people and annoyances.

    Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Permalink
  12. admin wrote:

    I have another one that I forgot to mention: Publish the budget and payment of bills lists right side up on the borough’s website.

    Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 5:01 pm | Permalink
  13. Belmar Voter wrote:

    And include all that totals on the cover sheet of the bills paid list in the ledger: the payroll not included now for 1/12 years. Aug. 4 has no total for seafood festival YET bills paid to that account within the report. Whats Up with DAT?

    Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 5:22 pm | Permalink
  14. Taxpayer wrote:

    You have my vote!

    Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 6:24 pm | Permalink
  15. anibody wrote:


    Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 7:58 pm | Permalink
  16. C P A wrote:

    Well not only separate books for marina but for each bond. Separate means each has separate checking account and general ledger. Does the beach utility fund have separate checking and general ledger?

    Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 8:15 pm | Permalink
  17. Katrina wrote:

    Thanks Dave. Wether one agrees with some or all of your points is immaterial. The fact that they are clear and precise give the voters a chance to analyze and consider them. PS It was a fantastic beach day wasn’t it?

    Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

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