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Long time readers know that I’m not a big fan of the mandates that the state heaps on municipalities and I wrote quite a lot about the problem when I started this blog five years ago.   I have not changed my mind about that but there is actually one requirement I would like to see Trenton place on municipal governments and that is to videotape their council meetings and put them up on their websites the following day.  I challenge anyone to watch the videotape below – particularly the first twenty minutes of it –  and tell me that the borough clerk’s minutes would be a sufficient record of what transpired and what can be learned.

The present administration likes to talk about transparency but they won’t even videotape their own council meetings.  Instead it’s left to me to do it but I probably won’t be doing it much longer.  Bean has stated that one of his first orders of business would be to have the town tape and publish it’s own meetings and if Doherty wins I don’t think I’m going to bother to continue to tape the meetings or do any of this as a matter of fact.

Anyway, this is what we learned in the first twenty minutes of last night’s meeting.  We learned that Doherty’s decision to repeal 2014-01 was not a change of heart, and it was not a concession to the will of the people.  It was a legal maneuver and an attempt to trick the petitioners into throwing away the fruits of their hard work and to circumvent the will of the 418 petition signers.  (Full disclosure: while I am not a member of the committee of petitioners, I did help collect petitions.)

The town had no choice but to tell the judge at yesterday’s court hearing that it was going to repeal the “Responsible Bidder” ordinance.  If it hadn’t, it would have lost its third “frivolous” lawsuit in a row.  (Or is it fourth?)  The way the ordinance was passed was so blatantly illegal, with the “journeyman’s wages” clause added between the first reading and the second reading, that the judge could leave no choice.  They never even got to the second part of the lawsuit, which complains about the mayor’s conflict of interest in crafting and voting on the ordinance.  When the repeal is completed the lawsuit goes away because there will be no more ordinance.

But here’s the thing: If Doherty is re-elected there is nothing stopping him from reintroducing the exact same ordinance in January.  He can keep the ordinance unchanged between the first and second readings, satisfying the first part of Pringle’s lawsuit, and he can recuse himself from voting on it which would satisfy the second part of the lawsuit in legal terms if not in spirit.  Of course the rest of the council will do exactly what they are told.

This is where the petitions come in.

At Thursday’s meeting Bean called for a workshop session to discuss accepting the petitions.  He asked what if, despite the repeal of the ordinance, on Friday the judge said that the petitions stay.  He asked that the petition be accepted into law by the Council in case the judge ruled that the town must still comply with it.  That was not even considered by lawyer DuPont to be a serious possibility.  DuPont told Bean several times that the repeal of the ordinance made the petitions moot and that the petition should just be withdrawn.  This is what Doherty and crew wanted us to believe but it’s absolutely not the case.  The truth, and thankfully Bean knew it, is that if the town accepts the petitions it is legally barred for three years from introducing any ordinance with similar language to the language objected to in the petition.  Either DuPont knew this and was lying or he didn’t know it and was incompetent.  There was also an attempt to confuse Bean with the difference between an “initiative” petition and a “referendum” petition, both allowed under the Falkner Act.  If the petitioners had collected “referendum” petitions, that would have been to repeal the entire ordinance and the repeal would have satisfied the petition.  But the “initiative” petitions that were collected only object to certain language in the ordinance and the repeal of the ordinance does not legally satisfy the petition.  Bean knew the difference and shot down that ploy immediately.

The attempt to fool the petitioners failed and the town legally has only two options now.  Accept the petitions by October 31 and give up on the apprenticeship/journeyman thing for three years, which Bean tried to get them to do Thursday night but will now require a special meeting, or there will be referendum.  And if there is the special election that Jim Bean tried to avoid, whose fault would the cost of it be?

One more thing.  Look how hard they are fighting to keep these pro-union requirements in our bidding regulations.  Considering the Doherty family’s close business relationship with the unions, and the thousands of dollars in contributions that the Belmar Democratic Committee has accepted from the unions, does anybody out there seriously believe this is all about having “quality workers” on public construction projects?


  1. VITO CORLEONE wrote:

    Hello people >>>>>>>>>>>>>>Told you I smelled a big RAT……………..

    Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    Should be interesting to see how the mayor spins this.

    Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink
  3. DR. ZAIUS wrote:

    Spin as much as possible………Never tell the truth……Truth hurts ….

    Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink
  4. admin wrote:

    Haven’t heard from you for a while Dr. Were you visiting your planet?

    Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink
  5. Guest wrote:

    A vote for Matt is a vote for Djais, to be open 12 months of the year.Remember there is a reason Djs employees are hand delivering votes to Freehold for Matt.

    Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 1:39 pm | Permalink
  6. Bill Straus wrote:

    Let me remind everyone that reads this blog that no matter what happens the POWER resides with the people. You can complain all you want but you need to exercise your power when injustice reveals itself. If you want to really enlighten yourselves look up the story about Mrs. Peale. We can control this mayor and council, but most important when Jim gets elected we need to stand behind him so he knows that battles he wages are not in vain.

    Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink
  7. Fed up wrote:

    Union guys all over town today giving out flyers supporting the mayor.

    Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 6:27 pm | Permalink
  8. Tulip wrote:

    I would think that the Unions that have so many men out of work and running out of unemployment benefits would have more to worry about than a mile square town. We must be sitting on oil or gold mines. This whole situation is disgusting and the locals that are part of it should be ashamed. They can back him now but it may not work to get them what they want.

    Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Permalink
  9. DR. ZAIUS wrote:

    No Admin I was not back on my planet. I am in hiding away in my crawl space. However if Matt wins I will be leaving this earth.

    Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink
  10. ANONYMOUS wrote:

    Mr Dupont submits his bills for payment to the Boro, not to the Mayor. Since the Boro is his client he owes a duty of loyalty to the Boro,not the mayor, and it is unethical for a lawyer [even a political appointee] to knowingly misrepresent his clients legal position. On the otherhand ,if he does not know the law why are we paying him? So far his legal advice on this and other matters has been at best suspect and he should be called on it.

    Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 11:37 am | Permalink
  11. VITO CORLEONE wrote:

    Called on it? Replace him

    Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink
  12. ANONYMOUS wrote:

    OK ,replace him, that will be right after enough votes are cast to unseat Doherty and put in Bean. Nevertheless, he either knows the law and has breached his duty to his client[us]by misrepresenting to his client his clients legal position or does not know the law. In the former case , it is unethical and even political appointees can be brought to the county ethics committee for breach of their legal duty to a client.

    Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Permalink
  13. Guest wrote:

    I am told that FINRA requires an explanation by every securities firm as to why a broker has been terminated, for the protection of current or future clients. Is there an explanation as to why Matt Doherty has changed firms so many times? Was it voluntary or involuntary in each case?

    Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

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