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Mayor v. Ex Mayor v. Next Mayor


Belmar residents should be very proud of how our town has recovered from the devastating impact of superstorm Sandy. We came together as a community and are stronger for it. We must continue with our recovery. Belmar needs its residents to once again come together and vote “Yes” on Tuesday, Aug. 19, to approve a $7 million bond for the construction of two pavilions.

As I said from the very beginning of our recovery, a referendum to rebuild the boardwalk and pavilions lost to Sandy would politicize our recovery process. That has come to full view with the oped in the Thursday Press by the leader of the anti-pavilion group, Joy DeSanctis (“Pricetag too high for Belmar pavilions”). She, along with a very small, yet very vocal, minority in town, opposed rebuilding the boardwalk. Now they oppose rebuilding two of the five pavilions that were destroyed and, in the process, are attempting to radically change the character of our town.

During a campaign leading up to an election, voters are accustomed to a candidate saying great things about themselves, and terrible things about their opponent. But in this campaign leading up to the referendum, DeSanctis and her group replace fact with fiction.

Here are some critical facts Belmar voters need to know before heading to the polls on Tuesday.

First, just like rebuilding the boardwalk, Belmar selected the lowest bidder for rebuilding the pavilions. For anyone to insinuate that it can be completed at a lower cost is wholly inaccurate. The lowest bidder is the same company (Epic) that rebuilt our beautiful boardwalk. It has a proven track record in Belmar of completing a great project on time and on budget.

Second, Belmar’s debt is not $52 million as they claim. They are using a number from the end of last year. Since then, we have received millions of dollars from FEMA. In fact, the municipal debt taxpayers are solely responsible for is only $9.8 million. Our current bond rating by Moody’s is a strong Aa3, which is better than the state of New Jersey.

Third, property taxes have not risen over the last four years (my tenure as mayor), and that is after 16 years of compounding tax increases. We are finally on a strong financial footing as a municipal government and don’t require constant tax increases. Rebuilding the boardwalk didn’t cause any increase in taxes. Rebuilding the pavilions will not cause any increase in taxes, either.

Fourth, and lastly, Belmar has historically had a boardwalk and pavilions. It is part of the character of the town. Generations of Belmar residents have enjoyed the pavilions for memorable events and much-needed public safety. We have an obligation to replace them at the lowest cost possible.

To conclude, we need to come together again as a community, move forward in a positive way and rebuild what Sandy took from us. Residents who would have voted “Yes” to rebuild the Belmar boardwalk should come out and vote “Yes” to rebuild the Belmar pavilions on Tuesday.

Matthew J. Doherty is mayor of Belmar.







Next Mayor:

Bean1 1




  1. VITO CORLEONE wrote:

    It seems like this Bean guy is going to be open and transparent when elected. I and the five familes hope he gets elected. Good luck Bean..forgetabout it…you are in…

    Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 6:30 am | Permalink
  2. Joy DeSanctis wrote:

    Remember in January 2013 when we all went to the “Boardwalk” meeting at Borough Hall and the mayor sold us the necessity of replacing it as quickly as possible. He stated we would also construct a SEAWALL to further protect us from flooding. Think hard, remember he sold us on 25 foot sheets of iron driven into the ground that would successfully keep us safer from flooding. The mayor said there had to be a 20 million dollar bond to accomplish this and we all agreed including myself, at the time.

    Well just as quickly things changed significantly. Epic was awarded the contract to construct both the Boardwalk AND Seawall. The contract was $5,793,250 for the Boardwalk, $766,190, for additional composite decking and $4,526,000 for the SEAWALL. But rather quickly, in February to be exact, Epic submitted change orders on the construction of the Boardwalk way over the legal limit of the allowable percentage for increases on a municipal contract (there are regulations on change orders.) And just like that, the mayor took away the SEAWALL, added that amount ($4,526,000) to the boardwalk contract amount, which increased the total contract for boardwalk. We ended up paying over $9.2 million dollars for the Boardwalk, which FEMA recently paid only $8.6 million reimbursement.

    But most importantly we LOST the opportunity to have the seawall constructed forever, as the steel walls cannot be constructed now after the Boardwalk is built. Not only have we lost that flood protection. We have no idea what the mayor has done with the remaining amount of the original 20 million dollar bond.
    2 minutes ago • Like

    Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink
  3. Venerable Bede wrote:

    I know. My Boardwalk Bond XL spreadsheet has everything from palm trees to safety equipment. ALL bills for design of all the pavilions, Maser and Architects are being paid for by Bond-2012-15 Boardwalk. The current spending not covered by FEMA. as of 8/14 bills paid is over $1.1 million.
    I update after every Council meeting.

    Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Don’t forget the two useless goats the town owns who’re daily living the life of Riley at our expense.

    Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink
  5. Belmar First wrote:

    So where Janet Grosshandler has joined in the name calling. So cute too, she calls us “NObodies” is that because of our superior intellects- all brains , no body? Well I say let the Yeppies call us names.

    Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    What goats? What palm trees? What the heck. I’ll bet those abortions in Silver lake cost a bundle.

    Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink
  7. VITO CORLEONE wrote:

    When it isn’t your money you don’t care.(Most people).This local Gvt. has wasted more money then all the families combined.

    Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

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