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Scheduling Gymnastics An Abuse Of Power

Of the 20 Borough Council meetings scheduled – by resolution – for the first 10 months of this year, only 9 took place on the date they were supposed to.  Only 13 took place at all.

(The meeting on May 1 doesn’t count.  They wanted to pass the $7 million bond that night, but a delay in the Local Finance Board hearing on the waiver of the down payment held them up.  So there was one resolution to carry that meeting’s agenda over to the regular May 6 meeting.  There was no public session.  The whole thing took one minute.)

What happened in 2014 is that the meeting schedule unanimously passed by resolution at the end of last year meant nothing.  Right out of the gate the first three meetings were either postponed or cancelled.  It was actually February 18th until a meeting was held on a date on that schedule.  The council went on to meet their obligation to adhere to the schedule less than half the time.

What actually drove the meeting dates this year was the bond and the contract.  All the scheduling gymnastics were done in order to get the $7 million bond passed and the Epic contract signed as quickly as could legally be done.  No one can even deny it.  Is this not an abuse of power?

It’s really bad that the meetings that took place were arranged to expedite an agenda, but what all those cancellations?  I think you would all agree that the Council works for us, right?  We’re the bosses and they’re our servants, right?  I can’t cancel a single meeting with my boss, let alone over a third of them.

If any individual member of the council, including the mayor, had missed 7 meetings out of 20 he or she would face a re-call.  But why is it that they can do it as a group and its no problem?

The regular holding of meetings is for the public’s benefit.  That is when the Council is supposed to make themselves available, and accountable, to the public.  How can they cancel 7 of these meetings?  Even if there were nothing on the agenda, they should still do their reports to Council and hold a public session.  And because we crammed the business of 20 meetings into 13, many of the meetings ended up being too long and members of the public often had to wait until very late in the evening before being given the opportunity to speak.  I’ve seen many give up and go home and I’ve complained publicly about this intolerable situation.

Yesterday I learned that the Borough Council meeting scheduled for October 21, the last meeting before the election, has been cancelled.  I am going to respectfully request that it be reinstated as per the resolution that scheduled it.


  1. Eugene Creamer wrote:

    Forget public meetings …. Residents need to make campaign contributions for the privilege of talking to the Mayor …. Money talks …. and everything is for sale….
    Need a variance for a swimming pool, or an arcade across the street from the school?
    No Problem!
    The regime can fix-it with a special interest ordinance change (at taxpayer expense) and avoid a land use board hearing.

    Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink
  2. Teddy Ehmann wrote:

    I think Jim Bean should do a town hall meeting on that day. He could promote it as a regular event in HIS administration. Invite EVERY voter in Belmar to hear what they have to say.

    Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 8:42 am | Permalink

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