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Notes From Wednesday’s Council Meeting

Our public officials continue the hard work of crafting the particular legalistic fog needed to veil the true aim of their bill to prevent the filming in Belmar of TV shows that they don’t like, specifically “Jersey Shore”. Look for a very intricate law to come out of this since it has to be so specifically targeted. Again we heard that it’s not about content, but if that’s the case, wouldn’t they also have to ban “This Old House”? Not to worry. They all agreed they can change the law, or give special dispensation if their new law interferes with anything that they like.

The council next appropriated $350,000 ($332,500 of it borrowed) to buy fancy new streetlights and $70,000 ($66,500 of it borrowed) to buy fancy new sidewalks. They hope to avoid any political fallout from their spending spree by coercing commercial property owners into paying the lion’s share of these costs. Commercial property owners are greatly underrepresented on the voter rolls, so it’s a legal form of taxation without representation. This is one of Belmar’s favorite tactics employed to spend more than the voters are willing to pay for. Our ticket blitzes against summer visitors is another favorite.

Claire Diecke reminded us to be sure to fill out the census since it’s critical to get our fair share of Federal aid. Sad. When I was growing up it was taught that hard work and creativity was the way to get ahead, not making sure you’re counted in the census so you can get more government assistance. If our founders, who required the census solely in order to allot proportional representation in congress, saw what it had become they would be apoplectic.

There was some discussion of New Jersey Transit when Mike Marino complemented Mayor Pringle on the courteous treatment Mr. Marino enjoyed on a recent train trip. Mayor Pringle is on the board of directors of NJT. (Didn’t they lose $300 million dollars this year?) Anyway, the mayor told us of plans to run some kind of government funded trolley contraption from town to town to “get us out of our cars”. So be warned. The mayor doesn’t like cars. And things the mayor doesn’t like often end up being illegal.

Speaking of Mr. Marino, kudos, Mike, for getting the mayor to state that Belmar’s new block party law will not be used to interfere with Tea Parties. Mr. Marino, a long time resident and former mayoral candidate, has a keen understanding of how politics works in this town.

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