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Robbin Kirk’s New Office

Last Thursday there was a story in the Coast Star pertaining to the reimbursed wedding ring which was subsequently re-reimbursed immediately after the information became public.  Here is the relevant part of the story:

 A wedding ring, the purchase of damaged cars from residents and paint to make concrete barricades look pretty were among the emergency expenses Belmar officials approved in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Ted Ehmann, of Oakwood Road, made an Open Public Records Act [OPRA] request for the invoices related to the two bond ordinances the governing body passed on first reading for emergency expenses related to Hurricane Sandy earlier this year. The two bonds totaled $3.5 million— $1.86 million in one bond for non-capital improvements and $1.64 million in the other bond for capital improvements.

According to the invoices, on Nov. 21, the Borough of Belmar reimbursed a police officer $1,600 for his wedding band. That money was reimbursed to the borough — two weeks after Mr. Ehmann filed his OPRA request for the invoices on March 4.

According to Colleen Connolly, borough administrator, she was not involved in that decision.

She said in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the police officer was rescuing people from their homes and lost his wedding band in the process. He approached Robbin Kirk, chief financial officer for the borough, who approved the cost to be reimbursed to the officer, Ms. Connolly said.

A few months later, on March 20 — just more than two weeks after the OPRA request was filed — it came to Ms. Connolly and Mayor Matt Doherty’s attention that the wedding band cost was reimbursed, she said. They believed it was not a reimbursable expense, so that same day the police officer gave the money back to the borough, Ms. Connolly said.

Ms. Connolly said “it really was when we got the OPRA request we realized it was there.”

Mayor Doherty said, “it was a mistake.”

Ms. Connolly said she and the mayor did not know about the transaction for several months because “you need to remember the number of transactions that transpired were in the thousands.”

She continued, “99 percent of the time I trust her gut explicitly,” but this was not one of the times.

Notice anything interesting about this?  Like the name of the person who actually authorized this unallowable expenditure?  Here is the PO for the purchase of a new wedding ring:


B.Y. ……Bill Young, the Belmar administrator at that time, is the first signature on this document.  He is the one who authorized this.  And the Council approved it.  So why is Ms. Kirk taking all the blame for this?  Maybe it has something to do with the reconfigured office area at borough hall.  Here is a look at Kirk’s new office:

BTW, why is the PO made originally for Mike Campbell the public works director and not Mike Campbell the police officer?





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