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Mayor “Compromises” With Tom Burke! (?)

And later with himself!

Passes bundled ordinance unchanged!

Cedes nothing but pretends to have compromised.


The mayor’s first “compromise” last night was enacted by resolution before the public hearing on the bond even began.  He announced that at Tom Burke’s suggestion he will organize a “committee” (appointed by himself) to look at cutting costs on the Taylor pavilion.  But they can’t make any major changes.  Maybe change a window or something.

Of course Tom Burke represents nobody in this dispute and had nothing to do with collecting the two petitions.  To say that agreeing to something Mr. Burke suggested is some sort of compromise with his opponents is completely ludicrous.  It’s not fooling anyone that has even the slightest idea of what is going on.  But, of course, there are hundreds of Belmar residents who don’t have the slightest idea of what is going on.

BTW, the mayor truly does love Tom and must have praised him a dozen times over course of the evening.  (I’m so glad I got myself on the ballot for this fall.)

The other “compromise” was concocted at the end of the public hearing.  After hearing all sorts of very legitimate and well presented objections to the bundling of the Lake Como and Taylor projects, objections that he had no good answers for, the mayor seized on one comment that petitioner Bill Strauss made that he didn’t trust that the mayor would keep to the numbers given for the cost of building Taylor.  (Of course many of us don’t trust the numbers for the cost, even thought it’s already very high.  More importantly, we don’t trust the numbers for how the mayor plans to fund it.)  Anyway, the Council decided they needed to talk privately and went into their first-ever executive session.

This was completely bogus.  The Open Public Meetings Act is very specific about what circumstances merit an executive session and wanting to have a football huddle is not one of them.  They need to be called to account on this.

After they came back out the mayor announced that if they couldn’t build Taylor for the $4.1 million they wouldn’t build it.  That was their compromise.

Of course it can be built for $4.1 million.  You could probably build two of them with that much money.  Besides, once they start building, whatever it costs it’s going to cost.  They are not going to stop building if there is a change order.  And there are ways to hide the true cost of the project anyway.  We might never know what it really ended up costing.  At least not without doing a lot of work that few of us have time to do.

Unaddressed in the “compromise” was funding.  If FEMA doesn’t provide all the funding the mayor asserts we are getting, or if the beach utility lawsuit is successful in forcing the mayor to use the “Buy a Board” money to buy boards, there could be a shortfall.

Anyway I have to go to work.  This is my best recollection of how it went down.  I can’t go into more detail because I just don’t have the time right now.

The tape is loading to Youtube really slowly and probably won’t be up until tonight.  After I have a chance to watch it, which might not be until this weekend, I may have more to add or some clarifications to make.  In the meanwhile, any of you who were at the meeting please give us your observations about last night’s events in the comments section.


  1. Bill Straus wrote:

    Nobody even the media picked up on the fact that as I was pointing out the bold faced lie in the mayor’s letter, the ridiculous compromise I agreed to was to show how the mayor tries to use slight of hand to get what he wants. He asked me if I would agree to 4.1 million which was what the bond listed. After agreeing to the request not a single press asked me why would I agree to something that was not changing the cost. A great opportunity slipped by. The mayor tried to hoodwink me with the numbers and it was outright proof of how he works and nobody caught it. If he tries to use this agreement with me against the petition we have proof of his tactics. So would you trust a man who tried to sell me a bogus bridge and once I bought it nobody caught on. I believe my effort was wasted. Sad

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 8:11 am | Permalink
  2. admin wrote:

    It doesn’t matter Bill. They were going to do what they were going to do. Public hearings in this town are a joke.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 8:27 am | Permalink
  3. Cathi wrote:

    I have a question. If the “alternate” means of financing Taylor had been found, where has it been all this time? Did it first appear as a bundled ordinance? Why not offered sooner and celebrate the fact that after going back and looking over the numbers it would be millions of dollars LESS than previously anticipated? Why wait until a $6 Million Grant was being offered to present it to the residents of Belmar? Where has it been since the vote last year, which Mrs. Nicolay believes only happened because of the cost?

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink
  4. Katrina wrote:

    Bill I’m sorry to say your efforts were exactly what Matt needed to manipulate the situation away from the under the radar under the dark of night bundled ordinance. If they were so confident of their proposal why weren’t we all informed of the ordinance before they presented.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 8:57 am | Permalink
  5. guest wrote:

    Real compromise will have to take place after petitions are presented or else I fear another election is on the horizon.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink
  6. Tom Dilberger wrote:

    I love the word compromise. But a better word is trick, as I said last night. The first trick was the bundling of the two proposals, the second trick was the last minute compromise/trick. I’m confident by next meeting there’ll be a third trick unveiled for our amusement.
    #1, Don’t let yourself be drawn into long winded verbiage with them. Nothing is gained and if you make a mistake they pounce, as they did with you last night. Make your point and sit down. your point was great, you don’t trust him – end of story.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink
  7. Guest wrote:

    I am so aggravated by Tom Burke that my entire family is going to vote Dave Schneck. It is so disturbing Burke is ruining this town. He is worse than the mayor, as he is sneaky, self-serving, understands nothing and cannot clearly speak in public about anything. Burke is blind to being used by the mayor as a pawn. Apparently just hearing his name and receiving false praise for accomplishing nothing is what Burke wants. Well I want someone who can effect change for taxpayers. Remember all the talk about Jim Bean and his alleged negatively, which I personally never bought into, well at least Jim spoke in public and was decisive about his opinions and plans. Having never been involved in politics I strongly urge residents to vote for Dave Schneck. If this town has any hope of tax relief it is with Dave as councilman. He will ask the penetrating questions, do the research and we will be provided with accurate, truthful answers.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 9:41 am | Permalink
  8. admin wrote:

    Oh, man. You’re really going to make me work. I just wanted to sit up there and look pretty.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 9:49 am | Permalink
  9. Just Passing Through wrote:

    #1 Bill There is no more media like the old days just agenda promoters.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 9:57 am | Permalink
  10. Venerable Bede wrote:

    There will always be issues. What the mayor and ENTIRE council demonstrated last evening must be the focus. Emphasis on public officials. They will experience the results of their actions.
    We can all agree that this is certainly not the way local governance should work. My issue is with value and waste.
    I trust the initial FEMA project worksheet for new construction, flood plain for Taylor. What FEMA promised around 1.8 million is plenty. add the insurance and you have two million for a building that will most probably ( like all the others ) be destroyed. Pringle invested in removable boardwalk sections in the 1990’s they lasted only a few years.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 9:57 am | Permalink
  11. Is It Legal? wrote:

    The mayor stated several times that he bundled before. He used the dedicated boardwalk/ seawall bond as an example.
    True they used the remaining $11,000,000. on a great variety of things like palm trees but that is not really legal. If you recall they put everything from a patrolman’s wedding band to regular marina fuel deliveries into a Hurricane Sandy refunding bond. That wasn’t legal either. Taylor, palm trees, wedding rings, “they are just doing their jobs.”

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 10:09 am | Permalink
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    Do not, for one second, believe Matt Doherty will compromise on anything. Not gonna happen.
    The Doherty spin is in full effect but there is still no viable reason given as to why these projects are bundled together.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 10:50 am | Permalink
  13. wrote:

    I would not recommend arguing with the devil, as he will always back you into a corner and trick you, and his little demons will just demean you one way or another. I nearly threw up last night after bearing witness to the attitude of those upon the dais. Can someone say “smug”? Any appearance of conciliation is just an act, in my opinion.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 11:18 am | Permalink
  14. Concerned Citizen wrote:

    Hopefully the Judge will decide against these council members. They must like to be made fools of.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink
  15. elemental wrote:

    #1 – I recognized that you were being hoodwinked by the mayor. I love that word “hoodwinked” – so appropriate and picturesque. I caught the supercilious looks on two of the council members’ faces. You are a brave man. And may the phrase “being hoisted by his own petard” apply to the mayor with this latest trick. (Go Mr. Dilberger!)

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 11:44 am | Permalink
  16. forrest gump wrote:

    Dave, please defeat Jennifer for the council seat. And I think you are pretty and have nice hair. Not to mention upstanding character and a strong voice.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 11:49 am | Permalink
  17. forrest gump wrote:

    May I feed the swans now? Has the recent ordinance forbidding feeding wild animals been removed?

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink
  18. Bird Lover wrote:

    #17 Forest NO Bread. please see below.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 3:59 pm | Permalink
  19. forrest gump wrote:

    Great article, Bird Lover, but I had better obey the law and the signs by the lake in Belmar. I hope Swan Lady reads the article. She might have a special dispensation to feed the swans.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink
  20. forrest gump wrote:

    I may be dumb but I am not stupid and my memory is pretty good. Brian must have forgotten about this.

    ORDINANCE 2013-13

    Public Hearing: None

    Mayor Doherty made a motion to close the public hearing for Ordinance 2013-13, which was
    seconded by Council member Deicke and approved unanimously.

    Mayor Doherty made a motion to offer Ordinance 2013-13 for adoption, which was seconded by Council member Magovern and approved by the following vote:

    AYES: Deicke, Magovern, Nicolay, Bean and Doherty

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 5:13 pm | Permalink
  21. Fed Up wrote:

    This is the 5th funding plan the mayor has offered for the pavilions. Separate the Lake Como outflow pipe and Streetscape grants. Vote NO to the bundled ordinance. The Taylor pavilion is still controversial not because IT’S FREE, it’s because it’s the 5th funding plan the mayor has announced and no one believes him.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink
  22. Not Political wrote:

    #7. Thank you for exercising your free speech. It was very effective on candidate Burke, who heard you loud and clear. As a voter, but not political, I do not agree with one thing in your rant about Burke. By no means do I believe he is ” ruining the town.” He would have to have more political power than a seat on the planning board in order to have that effect. Quite the opposite, Burke’s footprint on our town after so many years is almost not measurable. When your whole approach is to agree to get along, you become one of the many
    working to fit in. His entire campaign in a nut shell so far is ” I am not disagreeable like the other Republicans.” All I know is that he finally has taken a stand on the bundled ordinance and I am of a different viewpoint.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink
  23. OLD MAN wrote:

    Just woke up from a long nap. Why do we even need pavillions?

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink
  24. admin wrote:

    Good to hear from you, old man.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 7:57 pm | Permalink
  25. wrote:

    I will rephrase something I wrote in comment #13 – I nearly threw up last night after viewing those upon the dais, whose attitudes bore witness to their true characters – nasty and foul. That is more correct and accurate.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 7:40 pm | Permalink
  26. Guest wrote:

    #22 point taken

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Permalink
  27. Judy wrote:

    The whole council held the Lake Como project over our heads. The meeting was horrible how only the Mayor and Jennifer did all the talking. Brian fell asleep the last hour on and off. Watch Dave’s tape. Pilot lady said nothing at all. Of course none listen at all. They always do what they want. Dave I’m so glad to see you are running.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 8:07 pm | Permalink
  28. BEN REAL wrote:

    #27 I agree. I believe Matt called the executive session to make sure none of the council members were swayed by the public’s outcry.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 8:45 pm | Permalink
  29. BEN REAL wrote:

    #22 I agree. Tom Burke is not ruining the town, he would have to actually do something other than sit there and be the “mayor’s” pet project on bipartisanship. I believe he is the one who complained about people parking in front of his house because down town is too busy. Now he sits on the planning board and allows anything to go in town because the “mayor” told him parking is the town’s problem, not the planning board’s.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 8:56 pm | Permalink
  30. sweetiepieface wrote:

    Hostages often suffer from Stockholm syndrome. Bullies can only rule when their wimps just stand around gawking at the show

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 9:12 pm | Permalink
  31. Anonymous wrote:

    What a council we have, the hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil, hand picked dummies by the Mayor, Brilliant!

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 9:54 pm | Permalink
  32. Southie wrote:

    Bundled Ordinance 2015-22
    APPROPRIATING $11,650,000

    A question was asked at last night’s meeting about the below aggregate amount of money and its purpose. The mayor said he did not know and it was something only bond counsel could answer; the administrator did not know either. Well it is clear if you read the statute, engineering, architect, legal fees… and interest. These numbers were PROVIDED to bond counsel to incorporate into the ordinance BY the mayor and/or administer and/or CFO. He knew exactly what the $1,372,500 represents. It’s is the $1,035,000 fee from the Maser engineering, additional engineering fees for Lake Como and possibly for the Main Street improvements, with the remaining small amount being the mystery LEGAL FEE FOR THE BOND ATTORNEY and indeterminable amount of interest saved by the bundling of the ordinance. As usual, he never can answer a question with a truthful response. Shame on the mayor and every council member for approving ANY bond ordinance without have an understanding of every cost outlined in it.
    (copied and pasted from the ordinance)
    Section 6. The following additional matters are hereby determined, declared, recited and stated:
    (d) An aggregate amount not exceeding $1,372,500 for items of expense listed in and permitted under N.J.S.A. 40A:2-20 is included in the estimated cost indicated herein for the purposes or improvements.

    (after a quick google)
    N.J.S.A. 40A:2-20. Expenses included in cost
    The cost of an improvement or property may include interest on obligations until the end of the fiscal year in which the obligations are issued or until 6 months after the completion of construction or acquisition, and architect’s fees, accounting, engineering and inspection
    costs, legal expenses, costs of authorizing, selling and issuing obligations, preliminary planning, test and survey expenses, and a reasonable proportion of the compensation and
    expenses of employees of a local unit in connection with the construction or acquisition of such improvement or property.
    L.1960, c. 169, s. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1962.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 10:56 pm | Permalink
  33. sweetiepieface wrote:

    #32. We need you on the council. Auditors are coming

    Friday, June 5, 2015 at 8:23 am | Permalink
  34. wrote:

    The council members should take a course in remedial reading. Send those elitists back to school. The only one, by the way, who shows any insight on some matters by his own cognizance, is Mr. Magovern. The former coach outranks the others. I suspect he even has a conscience. Unfortunately he lacks a strong backbone. I have a good chiropractor who can help with realigning those vertebrae. (Hi, Brian. I dislike all those ignorant crumbs on the dais, except you.)

    Friday, June 5, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink
  35. Concerned Citizen wrote:

    To the council members: You are responsible to act in a fiduciary, responsible manner. You must realize this is NOT your money to decide how to spend it it is PUBLIC money! If you do not want to act in a responsible manner like the other over 300 municipal councils do RESIGN!!!

    Friday, June 5, 2015 at 9:52 am | Permalink
  36. LoveTheShore wrote:

    #32, good job. But then where are the charges for engineering inspection, etc. once the projects are bid going to be charged to? The engineer has to put bid stuff together then review by legal/engineer, then inspections once projects start, etc. That $1m must be charged somewhere else. Just too confusing.

    Friday, June 5, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink
  37. guest wrote:

    How much is it going to cost to insure the new $4.1M Taylor Pavilion? Is that expense going to be born by the taxpayers on an annual basis? How about upkeep and maint. costs? Have those costs been factored in?

    Friday, June 5, 2015 at 1:06 pm | Permalink
  38. OLD MAN wrote:

    Pray for good weather. Especially on the week ends. Sorry I need to take an afternoon nap.

    Friday, June 5, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink
  39. elemental wrote:

    And after the next big hurricane – where will the new pavilions be? – and all that money down the drain again. Forget the nostalgia nonsense. But the town owes the union people jobs. The mayor and council are trapped like rats. Rats get vicious when trapped and if you take away their cheese? They will take yours if they escape.

    Friday, June 5, 2015 at 1:39 pm | Permalink
  40. Anonymous wrote:

    Well Dave , I guess your not getting invited to the Mayors ball tonight. Your probably not interested in the Mayors balls anyway.

    Friday, June 5, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink
  41. Pavilion Please wrote:

    Perhaps the next council meeting should be held at the Dairy Queen. Then they can have a private vote over who gets sprinkles on the cone.

    And how about some alerting the public about the status of the pavilions and being open about issues that impact the residents? Seems odd that this blog is the go to spot to find out what is going on, rather than the town website.

    Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 12:03 am | Permalink
  42. Tulips wrote:

    Can we now assume after all these buildings are erected we now have to build a nice big parking garage to put the guests and residents cars in? They may decide to settle the parking them-
    Selves by just pushing the cars that beat them to the spot they wanted back with their own cars. Yes people it is happening.

    Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 2:32 am | Permalink

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