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OPRAmachine Story Inspires Two Requests

Both from Mark Levis, both made two days after CS for B report.

 

April wants the request made through the town’s own portal. Be careful, April. Don’t mess with OPRAmachine. Belmar has enough lawsuits against it.

 

Good for you, Mark. Will publish them when they are fulfilled.

44 Comments

  1. Jim Bean wrote:

    Mark, here is your response if they give you any more trouble. Everyone may use this.

    I decline the use of your OPRA form. The courts have held that not using
    the proper form is not a sufficient reason for refusing an OPRA request.
    Tina Renna v. County of Union, held that we “conclude that the form should
    be used, but no request for information should be rejected if such form is
    not used.” See https://casetext.com/case/renna-v-cty-of-union

    Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink
  2. OLD MAN wrote:

    See I told you vote the man Bean!!!

    Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 6:12 pm | Permalink
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Cool. Can someone please refresh my memory as to why/how Mark Levis fell out of the political scene here in Belmar. Sounds like someone I’d like to vote for whether Dem./Rep./ or Ind. Maybe a candidate for a write-in vote by all followers of this site.

    Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Permalink
  4. Aileen wrote:

    #3 you could have voted for him last time around. I wish everybody did. I guess the Republicans just voted down the line. A shame.

    Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 8:50 pm | Permalink
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    #3 – Mr. Levis (D) filled the Council vacancy when Mr. Doherty was offered a Murphy appointment(favor) in AC.

    Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 9:26 pm | Permalink
  6. I’m New Here wrote:

    Jim Bean, with a Levis write-in. I’m down with that.

    Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 9:45 pm | Permalink
  7. Curious wrote:

    Why do you all think Levis is a hero just because he opra ed work repair orders and daily flow rates from sewerage authority? I dont get it.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 4:57 am | Permalink
  8. Tom Dilberger wrote:

    #17 – Sir/Madam, I don’t look at Mr. Levis as a “hero” but he did conduct himself better that the gang of four, Matt, Jenn, Brian and Tom.
    ———————————–
    Went to a D-Day lecture last night at Taylor Pavilion and laid eyes on Matt and Brian. Seems like Brian is involved with the Belmar historical society – oh well.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink
  9. Guest wrote:

    Levis was part of the Doherty circus which we have moved on from. Bean and some better write-in for me.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink
  10. Tom Fahy wrote:

    #9- He’s not part of the Doherty circus. He’s a good man that was collateral damage from the inevitable demise of the Doherty McGovern Nicolay Brennan circus. He happens to be a registered Democrat so was painted with the same brush as those maniacs.
    This town needs to focus on the character of the person running and not the letter at the end of their name. All the political decisions are hyper local. None of the hot button issues (gun rights, reproductive rights, immigration, foreign policy) that separate the major parties are debated or legislated in the borough hall.
    When voting locally, pay more attention to the person and their plan for Belmar and try to ignore your built-in political biases. Voting for the sake of blind party loyalty is a bad decision. It’s one I’ll never make again.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink
  11. Makes Sense wrote:

    All local politicians should be Independent with no party affiliation.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    Thank you Tom ! Perfect

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink
  13. Belle wrote:

    #10 Totally agree with you.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink
  14. Anonymous wrote:

    Tom, you are absolutely right. There are Sheepeople in many labeled groups and there are leaders. It’s the dogs that herd the sheep.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink
  15. I'm New Here wrote:

    If I recall, Levis joined the council only after Doherty shuffled off to AC. From what I saw in council meetings, he seemed to have solid, independent thoughts and concerns.

    #10 is correct that we should look more at the person rather than the political letter attached to their name. I voted for Levis in the last election, as I also voted for Walsifer and Wann. McCraken is so far unimpressive, and Carvelli (IMO) came out of nowhere and is a rumored Doherty supporter. McBride and Russo have not done themselves any favors with appearances at recent council meetings. Unless those 4 can change my mind, I’m sticking with Jim/Mark on November 5th.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    To Mark Levis, would you actively seek the seat via write-in ? I think you and Bean on council would be great for Belmar.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink
  17. Levis Bean Team?? wrote:

    I think Bean would rather work with Sam Adams

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink
  18. Anonymous wrote:

    And I believe Levis attempted to distance himself from the other Doherty supported Dems. #7- No, not a hero, but perhaps a former politician that still cares and keeps an eye on the shenanigans that go on here in Belmar, unlike other former, and some current, politicians. Mr. Levis, please consider running

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink
  19. Guest wrote:

    One mile town:I agree, All local politicians should be Independent with no party affiliation.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink
  20. Ken Pringle wrote:

    I agree wholeheartedly with #10. I think very highly of Jim Bean, and believe Mark Levis would also be a good candidate. But it’s virtually impossible for independent and write-in candidates to win because of how partisan ballots are structured.

    My fear is that votes for them in Nov will simply improve the chances of McBride and Russo. If you want independent candidates to have a realistic chance to win, everyone needs to run as an independent.

    I will write a post next week explaining the steps required to change Belmar’s form of government to a non-partisan form (and explain why the partisan form was recommended by the Charter Study Commission in 1990).

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink
  21. Linda Sharkus wrote:

    Thanks for your comments, Ken. I think both Jim Bean and Mark Levis would be great council men. I feel it would have been better for them to run on a party ticket. That said, I look forward to your post regarding whether the report from the Charter Study Commission from 1990 still rings true.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink
  22. Memory problem wrote:

    My memory may be wrong, but wasn’t the change to Belmar’s current form of government made while you were in office, Mr. Pringle? And just because something is recommended doesn’t mean it’s required. Plenty of fruits and vegetables are recommended but many can cause allergies. Did you happen to gain anything out of the change in government during your term?
    Regardless, I don’t want to be stuck in this current state of divide much longer so please share so we can get our elected officials to truly put the town first.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 10:22 pm | Permalink
  23. Guest wrote:

    Once again, the re-crowned King has spoken.

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink
  24. Resident wrote:

    Amen #22. King Kenny changed our form of govt from 3 members to 5. Making it a strong mayor council giving King Kenny all the power. This form of govt needs to be changed.
    All of this after he launched a recall petition against mayor Hernandez because he didn’t like the midnight bar closing. He liked the 2am better. The only thing I like about King Kenny is his hatred for Doherty. Otherwise hes just out for himself like hes always been.

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink
  25. Ken Pringle wrote:

    The change to Belmar’s current form of government was made by referendum in July of 1990. I was, indeed, in office at that time, having been elected along with D’Arcy McGill in a recall election on June 19, 1990. But the referendum date had already been set before the recall election. The measure passed overwhelmingly.

    That referendum was the result of a nine-month long study by a Charter Study Commission, which I chaired. The members of the 5-person Commission also included Barbara Iglay, D’Arcy McGill, Patricia Provenzano and Michael Supko, Sr., who were elected in November of 1989 to serve on the Commission. During the course of the study, we interviewed all of Belmar’s public officials and department heads in public, and in smaller groups visited a number of towns all over the state to interview representatives of other municipalities with various forms of government.

    My recollection is that we were unanimous in recommending a change from the Commission form of government to the Small Municipality Plan form of government, but split 4-1, with Mike Supko writing a minority report in which he recommended the new form be non-partisan.

    I forget now whether Mike recommended concurrent terms (everyone elected every 4 years), or our current system of “staggered” terms. I will OPRA the Borough for a copy of the Charter Study Commission report. The debate was not about partisanship vs. non-partisanship. Democrats and Republicans got along much better in those days, particularly on the local level. (D’Arcy was a registered republican, and changed his party affiliation to run with me that fall). At that time, non-partisan elections had to be held in May. But if we moved to staggered terms — which the majority felt was one of the most important reforms that should be made — it would have meant an election every May (shortly after the April School Board election which had to be held in April), as well as general elections for non-Belmar offices each November. In addition to the extra cost of May elections (Belmar was in even worse financial shape in 1989 than it is today), we were concerned that election fatigue would limit voter involvement. Ironically, we also thought that running as Democrats and Republicans would be less polarizing than the labeling of factions within the community that followed the midnight closing referendums of 1986.

    Because the July 1990 referendum vote was to change to a Faulkner Act form of government from the Commission form of government, the terms of the Commissioners were cut short and new elections were held that November to fill all of the Mayor and Council seats.

    As I will explain in my post next week, non-partisan elections can now be held in November (as are Board of Ed elections). A change of Belmar’s Small Municipality Plan charter from partisan to non-partisan would not shorten any of the offices of the currently elected officials.

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink
  26. Ken Pringle wrote:

    #24 I hate to let facts get in the way of a good screed, but we launched the recall petition only after Mayor Hernandez tried to get around the Slocum Court’s decision ordering Belmar to cut its beach fees and comply with the Public Trust Doctrine, by scheduling a bid to lease out Belmar’s beaches from 8th Avenue to 20th to a private operator (Belmar’s beaches from 7th Avenue north would be free). By pre-agreement with petitioners, we did not file that petition when on the night of the bid (with bidders from as far away as Florida in the audience), she withdrew that plan.

    A few days later, which was in May, Mayor Hernandez announced that Belmar would not open the beach unless she was ordered to do so by Judge Milberg, who had decided the Slocum case. At that point, even the Belmar Chamber of Commerce, which had been devoutly apolitical, called for her to either resign or recalled. We then circulated an entirely new recall petition.

    P.S. Don’t confuse strong mayors with a strong-mayor form of government. A strong-mayor is not part of the council, and has the authority to veto decisions of the Council. The Small Municipality Plan is a hybrid form in which the mayor serves as the CEO but has an equal vote with other council members. While far from perfect, it is still the best form of government for a town our size.

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink
  27. Aileen wrote:

    I like the non partisan form over the Commission form simply because it doesn’t upset the terms of our currently elected officials. If they’re upset about the change, their supporters may be as well, and the change may not happen. As for each form of gov’t, do candidates run as Independents or as Democrats and Republicans? Is that simply up to the candidate how to present him/herself? I think the most important thing is that all candidates run as Independents.

    I’m happy to be on any committee and/or get signatures on a petition to change our form of government.

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink
  28. admin wrote:

    Highlands did it a few years ago.

    https://www.facebook.com/HighlandsUnited

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink
  29. admin wrote:

    And btw, they got it passed despite the change being opposed by the mayor and every member of the council.

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink
  30. Katrina Clapsis wrote:

    My concern with any change of our form of government is about residents being allowed to petition and force referendum votes. That right is very important.
    Is the Faulkner form available to other forms of government?

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink
  31. Anonymous wrote:

    Ken,
    If the residents are overwhelmingly in favor of a non-partisan form of government is it too late to get the referendum vote on the ballot in November ?

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink
  32. Ken Pringle wrote:

    #27 Aileen- per N.J.S.A. 4:45-10, candidates for non-partisan office can request that a designation (up to six words) be printed alongside his/her name). It may NOT reference political party affiliation. A group of candidates can request that their names be bracketed together along with a joint designation.

    #30 Katrina – I will research whether returning to the Commission form of government is an option. It does have all of the referendum, initiative and recall options available under the Faulkner Act. (But for the reasons we outlined in the Charter Study Commission report and with due respect to Avon, which still uses it, it is otherwise a lousy form of government). We do not have the option to change to a form of government that does not have referendum and initiative.

    #31 – That is one of the issues I’ll be researching. As I recall from the last time I looked at this, the Faulkner Act only enables voters to petition to change their charter to non-partisan with a municipal election in May. (This is what Highlands did in 2013). A separate ordinance has to be adopted pursuant to the Uniform Nonpartisan Elections Law to have the non-partisan election law held in November. What I need to research is whether simultaneous petitions can be filed to do that, or if it has to be accomplished in a two-step process.

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink
  33. Guest wrote:

    How wonderful it would be if ALL Belmar homeowners were able to vote in all LOCAL elections. We certainly pay our fair share of taxes.

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink
  34. eugene creamer wrote:

    I’m glad Mark Levis is investigating Belmar sewer systems.

    He will probably find that Belmar sends more gallons to the wastewater treatment plant than the # gallons of potable water it sells

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink
  35. The Commish wrote:

    Everyone who has their sump pump hooked up to the sewer system is stealing from those that do not via higher sewer charges

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink
  36. Summer Timer wrote:

    #33… Why should us homeowners be allowed to vote…. We are just BENNY’S that know very little… Just leave it to the residents because they are doing a wonderful job…. LOL!!!!

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink
  37. Anonymous wrote:

    #22, 23 and 24. Looks like you rustled the Kings feathers hence his long winded mumbo jumbo rhetoric! Hes the greatest, just ask him!

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink
  38. vickie renner wrote:

    #33,#36 you are able to Vote in Belmar if you make this your primary residence.It would be wonderful to have more people who want this to be a more family oriented community. Too many people have this as there secondary home and vote elsewhere . Sooo, that town must mean more to them than this one. We would love to have you be a part of this community and have your voice heard year round.

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink
  39. Summer Timer wrote:

    #38…. The issue is NJ is not changing as other states have to address this issue…. Read the link… http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/non-resident-and-non-citizen-voting.aspx

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink
  40. vickie renner wrote:

    Summer Timer I guess we could consider this option and find out what it takes to make it law. I notice it says Homeowner or Business owner can vote. I wonder if there are other stipulations. I ask this because over the years in elections we have encountered many voters who really don’t live here and have altered our outcome from bar patrons claiming to rent here. We would have to be very careful if this changed,but in the interim I wonder what stops you from registering here with all the important issues you care about?

    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink
  41. anon wrote:

    #40 Vickie, aquick look at the link provided by#39 would indicate this is a state,not alocal issue, and i suspect getting it thru Trenton would be a monumental task. Since those who own real property are paying taxes thereon it is truly taxation without representation. I am sure a lot of those who are in that status would like to have a voice but with the immediate past and current M&C it might not do any good. One borrowed us into hock and the next can’t find any cuts to make in our spending.

    Friday, June 14, 2019 at 12:12 am | Permalink
  42. Matt, is that you? wrote:

    #37 you’re not a fan of valuable and detailed information? And the phrase is ‘ruffled’ feathers not rustled. But since you think that important information is just ‘mumbo jumbo’, it stands to reason that you wouldn’t have a grasp on expressing yourself properly.
    So you keep that head in the sand and hold on to some beef you have with Mr Pringle a thousand years ago.
    The fact is that Ken had this town on the right track after years of degradation and King Doherty tried to undermine all that progress to serve his own selfish needs.

    Friday, June 14, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink
  43. Guest wrote:

    #38… We would love to be primary (full-time) residents but, unfortunately, our career locations make that impossible at this time. However, it is part of my future retirement dream! After spending all of my childhood summers in Belmar, I knew it was the place I would want my future family to enjoy. Now we spend most of the summer season & the spring/fall weekends there. It is very disheartening to read through some comments on this blog. I do wish we could add our opinions (votes) in local elections.

    Friday, June 14, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink
  44. Anonymous wrote:

    All above: Join all the absentee landlords who own Belmar housing to the list of potential voters who, based on land ownership espoused above, should be allowed to vote by virtue of their vast holdings and maybe vote multiple times for each house. And all the seasonal bar patrons who allegedly live in Belmar should be allowed to vote here with others who don’t have too prove citizenship either.

    Friday, June 14, 2019 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

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