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Got a second letter from the mayor about Taylor Pavilion yesterday.  Apparently this one went out to everybody, not just to certain neighborhoods like the last one and like other recent communiques from town hall.  I reckon that between these two letters, the postage has cost the taxpayers over $1000 and maybe over $2000.

These letters are not informational, they are political.  They are advocating for certain policies.  They are designed not to inform the public, but to persuade it.  I don’t remember noticing it myself, but somebody told me that when Pringle was mayor he used to pay for these sorts of things himself.  I pay for this blog myself.  (Maybe the current mayor plans to ask FEMA to pay the postage.)

Anyway, here we go.  Again, my corrections will be in blue italics.


Dear Friend,

I hope you and your family are well.

I wanted to follow up on my recent letter regarding the two new proposed pavilions on the beachfront.  As I mentioned in my last letter, no property tax dollars from Belmar residents will be used to finance the pavilions.  Rather, the financing will be a combination of insurance, federal funding and beach badge revenue.  The insurance is less than a million dollars.  Federal funding, if we get any at all, is not likely to be significant.  This is going to be, for the most part, paid for by badge revenues.  If the state allows it.  And if those revenues are sufficient.  Now I would like to lay out a few useful facts for you to have as we continue forward together.

  • Like the boardwalk, no property tax dollars will be used in financing the pavilions.  From the bond ordinance: The full faith and credit of the Borough are hereby pledged to the punctual payment of the principal of and the interest on the obligations authorized by this bond ordinance.  The obligations shall be direct, unlimited obligations of the Borough, and the Borough shall be obligated to levy ad valorem taxes upon all the taxable real property within the Borough for the payment of the obligations and the interest thereon without limitation of rate or amount.”  Take that language out of the ordinance then.  Find a different co-signer.
  • We are on course to receive over $20,000,000 in federal grants & insurance for our recovery.  Being “on course” is not the same as having the the money.  Shouldn’t we wait to see how much money we actually get?  The beach will still be there in a few months when we have better information.
  • We will be aggressive about getting federal funding for the pavilions.  If he is successful, some future TV show or news article about wasteful federal pork-barrel spending will star Belmar’s  V-zone oceanfront banquet hall.  It will be quite embarrassing  (at least to some of us.)
  • Increasing daily badges $1 and season badges $10 will cover the cost of financing the pavilions.  How many of those badge buyers, particularly of daily badges, will use the banquet hall?
  • There will be no increase to Senior badges.  The mayor’s not stupid.
  • We have held more public meetings about the pavilions than any other subject since 2007.  The mayor should have announced his intentions before starting to have meetings about it.  If the folks had known that he had such big changes planned for us, they would have attended the meetings.  This sin of omission was intended to limit public discussion of the topic.  Note that no letters went out about the mayor’s big plans when he first decided on them.
  • The Taylor Pavilion has historically been a two story building.  Yes,120 years ago there was a two-story (privately-funded) pavilion there for a couple of decades.  But Matt would have hated the America and Belmar of 120 years ago.  There was no big government.  There was no FEMA!  They allowed smoking on the beach!  Believe me, the only thing Matt likes about the 1890s is that they had a two-story pavilion at Fifth Ave in Belmar.
  • There will not be a restaurant on the second floor of the new Taylor Pavilion.
  • There will be no liquor license at the new Taylor Pavilion.
  • There will not be a mini-golf course included with the new pavilions.
  • There will not be any showers included with the new pavilions.
  • There go those Republicans again, spreading rumors about restaurants, liquor licenses, miniature golf, and bath houses.

On the back side of this letter is a list of all of the organizations that used the Taylor Pavilion over the past few years before it was destroyed by Sandy.  All will be welcome back to the new Taylor Pavilion.

Please view the designs at and let me know what you think at  Belmar truly is a great place to live, and I am honored to be your mayor.


Matthew J. Doherty



And on the back side:

Taylor Pavilion:  The Center of Belmar

The “Center of Belmar” should be in the center of Belmar, not sitting out on the ocean.  At least then we could use it as an evacuation shelter.

The following events & organizations used the old Taylor Pavilion throughout the year.  Rebuilding the Taylor Pavilion will provide even more space for these organizations to call home.  Apparently they had enough space in the old Taylor Pavilion, even if the scheduling of events might have been a little tight.  And where in our charter does it say that the borough is obligated to provide spacious, ocean-view housing for private organizations, no matter how noble their purpose?

Belmar Elementary School

Belmar Youth Club

St. Rose High School

Belmar Women’s Club

The Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh of the Jersey Shore

The Ladacin Network Special Education Programs

Circle of Friends HYDAS

Frank Rummler Band-Monday night concerts

Luckenbill Band-Thursday night concerts

Belmar ADA Committee

Belmar Cares

Belmar Mayors Wellness Campaign

Belmar Health Fair

Belmar Summer Arts & Crafts Program

Belmar Historical Society

Belmar Autism Beach Bash

Belmar Senior Parties & Luncheons

Manasquan Lacrosse

Manasquan High School Jazz Band

Elks Polar Bear Plunge

Shark River Anglers

4-H Club

Belmar Seafood Festival

Belmar Military Appreciation Day

Jersey Shore Running Club

Belmar 5 Mile Run

Belmar Chase 5 K

Belmar Triathlon

Celtic Chase

The Girl Scouts

The Boy Scouts

Basically, the mayor is telling us that if you oppose any part of his plans it can only mean that you hate girl scouts.


Running-mate Tom Burke replies to the mayor:

Let me start by saying that I am in favor of rebuilding the Taylor Pavilion at the Belmar beachfront. I am, however, upset with the manner in which the payment of this facility is being presented to Belmar Residents by our Mayor and the Majority of the Belmar Council.
The above title was taken directly from a second tax payer funded letter from Mayor Doherty dated 8-20-2013. This letter to me clearly provides the proof that the Mayor’s proposed method’s for paying for the re-building of this facility is in direct conflict with the laws governing the use of the beach utility funds. There are bullet points on the front of this letter presented as “useful facts”. Many of these points are in fact not directly related to the funding at all
The primary funding for the Taylor pavilion will be from the sale of beach badges as indicated in the increases outlined in bullet points 4 and 5. The Mayor stated very clearly at the last council meeting that the annual debt payment for the new pavilion will be from fees directly related to an increase in these beach badge sales and the capital improvements line item of the beach utility budget.
This has been previously determined to be illegal if the primary purpose of the pavilion is not for use directly related to the beach. Belmar was in fact previously cited for similar misuse of beach revenues.
The reverse side of the letter lists 32 or so events and organizations which use, and will continue to use the new pavilion. The vast majority of these events and organizational uses are not beach activities at all. Rather they are community based activities that are being held as if the facility would be a community center. As stated in the letter, “The Center of Belmar”
Calling this “The Center of Belmar” demonstrates clearly that fact. It is a community center, not a beach facility. The proposed uses of the second level that the Mayor and his committee so strongly endorse also clearly indicate that the second too is for non beach related activities. Do you really think that beach goers will be allowed to the second level for a view?
The uses presented are such that beach revenues, by law, cannot be used to pay for the building.
That is how I view the Mayor’s proposal as it relates to existing rules and regulations handed down by the State of New Jersey.
I want Mayor Doherty to show you and I exactly the statutes that allow for the ongoing funding (debt payment) for this facility.
As such, I am also sending this posting as an attachment to an email to the Mayor. I could be wrong in my interpretations of the law, but if the proposed repayment methods are legal, then the Mayor should be able to provide the statutes allowing this. I would expect a direct reply to my email answering the questions presented, and for clarification to the residents of Belmar at the next council meeting.
Again, I want a new Taylor Pavilion, but by Law the Beach Utility cannot pay the debt incurred by this rebuilding. If that is in fact the case, it would have to come from the “regular” budget and therefore paid for by the taxpayers of Belmar. My feeling is that the Mayor knows full well that this is the case, and he wants to have this facility rebuilt before he says “opps…I was wrong about the funding” At that point you and I will be paying for this blunder and the next Mayoral election may have already taken place.
Points to ponder I think…….what do you say about this?

One Comment

  1. Teddy Ehmann wrote:

    “More public meetings about the proposed pavilions”. None of the six meetings, prior to the final plans being presented
    were advertised on our events calendar or in the newspapers. The final presented wasn’t even attended by the majority of those on the committe, forcing another meeting. None were advertised
    By NJ Law, this bond for 7.1 million must be posted at the borough hall and in the newspapers. I have seen no such compliance.

    Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

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