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“See You In Court” *UPDATED

Not only has the mayor cancelled three Borough Council meetings in three months, allowing only the minimal number of public meetings over that period that would be required by state law, he has been absent from some of the meetings that do happen, including the one held last night.  I strongly suspect that it was no accident that twelve liquor license actions were scheduled on an evening the mayor was out.  Had he been there, and he wanted to comply with Belmar’s Pay to Play ordinance, he would have had to recuse himself.  By not being at the meeting he was able to skirt the issue.

One of the agenda items was the long-delayed transfer of the liquor license for 507 Main to Greg Kapalko’s new facility across the street, where the ice house used to be.  Because Councilman Brennan…who belongs to a rock and roll band that plays at bars in Belmar…recused himself for that reason, the decision on approval of the transfer was left to the remaining three Council members Magovern, Blackburn and Nicolay.

I sure wish Mr. Brennan had mentioned when he was running for Council in 2014 that he was going to have a potential conflict when voting on liquor licenses.  It’s an important part of the job.

The hearing on Kapalko’s application begins at the 1:13:00 mark of the tape.  I am convinced that like so much of what happens on the stage dais at the Council meetings, the entire proceeding was scripted in advance and that the mayor never had any intention of allowing the license to be transferred.

Ollie Klein, owner of Klein’s seafood restaurant spoke first.  Mr. Klein donated $500 to Jennifer Nicolay’s reelection campaign last year.  His donation was returned, presumably because Klein’s has a liquor license and accepting the donation would have made Ms. Nicolay ineligible to participate in liquor license discussions and votes.

Mr. Klein read off a list of concerns ranging from fear of overloading the local sewage pumping station to noise, parking, pedestrian safety and inadequate bathroom facilities.  One objection that I thought was kind of bizarre was that he feared his own workers would sneak next door and drink while they were having cigarette breaks.  C’mon.

The other objector was Gene Murray, a member of the Democratic Committee here and, according to the Democrats’ Facebook page, Belmar Citizen of the Year.  He said that he agreed with everything Klein said and that he thought the project would be bad for him and his fellow residents of the Senior building.

Roger McLaughlin, attorney for the Harmon brothers spoke next and went through Mr. Klein’s “concerns” one by one and pointed out that all the issues…except Klein’s apparent inability to discipline his drunk employees…had been already addressed to the satisfaction of the Planning Board on two occasions.

Here are the related minutes of the October 2015 Planning Board hearing:


Bear in mind the place is built and almost ready to open.  Hundreds of thousands have been spent by Mr. Kapalko to turn this:Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 7.18.27 AMInto this:2

The Borough has been dragging it’s heels with these folks as documented last year by the Star:

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 10.06.30 AM

Last night’s approval was supposed to be a formality but despite being told that everything was approved by the Planning Board, and despite being told that the license transfer was in the redevelopment contract the Borough signed with Mr. Kapalko, Janis Blackburn voted no, saying she thought it wasn’t a good idea for Belmar and Jennifer Nicolay voted no because she was worried about noise.  After all the plans, all the hearings and all that money spent, those two can put the kibosh on it just because they don’t think it’s a good idea?  Wha?

Brian Magovern was permitted to play the good cop.  He praised the Harmon brothers rather profusely and then voted yes.  Like I said, the whole episode was completely scripted and Matt was the playwright.

Mr. McLaughlin informed Borough Attorney George McGill that they would be meeting again in court and then left.

I guess another one of my meeting tapes is going to end up being evidence.  What a disgrace.


Barred bar.


Doherty event to be held next week at……Klein’s!

unnamed(Hand delivered to certain Belmar businesses.)


  1. Jim Bean wrote:

    Gene Murray is a hack! He has no problem with the 10th Ave Burrito bar being directly at the sidewalk end of the senior building and has no problem with it going year round either, but has a problem with a bar 2 blocks away?

    Hey Gene, was this the pay back for being citizen of the year? You have to be a fall guy for the mayor?

    You sell yourself so cheap.

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    Very thorough Dave, my compliments to you. Wonder what legal grounds this group is going to come up with to justify denial of the license. Just unbelievable. Plus, it was stated during the public portion by Mr. McGovern that Council met before the meeting, plus the borough attorney elaborated on what was advised to Mr. Brennan to recuse himself. Definitely another violation of the Sunshine Law.

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 11:27 am | Permalink
  3. Guest wrote:

    Harmon went to Trenton and spoke out against the Djais law, A4616 , giving Djais the right to open on Parade day. Looks like the mayor is getting even with them.

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 11:39 am | Permalink
  4. Guest wrote:

    Since when does noise factor into their decisions. If that is the case then close down the pier and every other bar in town. They just granted anchor tavern expanded outdoor seating to make even more noise…what a joke! I feel bad for these guys. They spent a lot of money eliminating an eyesore in town and get jerked around in return.

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink
  5. reality wrote:

    Too many bars in Belmar!

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    #5- If too many bars was an issue to the town it should have been discussed at the planning board meeting. You don’t wait until after hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent and it’s been approved to make that point.

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink
  7. admin wrote:

    The liquor license already existed. It’s not like the ones that were created out of thin air for Chefs.

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink
  8. Just the facts wrote:

    U mean special concessionaire permit Dave . Ha

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 1:37 pm | Permalink
  9. Robert wrote:

    Matt didn’t get enough of Bridgegate – he needs to start Bargate

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink
  10. My guess wrote:

    They will be open by this weekend, unless Belmar wants to owe them millions! Why does Belmar have an attorney even sitting there? Dog and pony show.

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 2:02 pm | Permalink
  11. elemental wrote:

    Don’t the Harmons know they have to pay to play?

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink
  12. ms.nobody wrote:

    Nicolay and noise? How about the music that escapes from Stay Gold? Glad I don’t live above that building. Also summertime at Strollos – not that quiet, especially when they have musicians performing outside.

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink
  13. Planet Belmar wrote:

    So Dave, I believe it is time for you to publish on your blog and related to this excellent piece of journalism, the flyer hand -delivered to Belmar business 2 weeks ago: You know ” Belmar Business Meeting with Mayor Matt Doherty @ Ollie Kleins ( not Kleins but Ollie Kleins ) on Tuesday, June 14th 2016 @ 6.00pm

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink
  14. A Voter 2 wrote:

    Old Man, do have any extra vomit bags i can have, this is sickening!

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink
  15. Teddy Ehmann wrote:

    Dave, thanks for bringing in the Planning Board minutes. When you compare what these supposed officials say with what happened with Chef’s two marina bar operations and parking it’s HUGE. Going back to square one with Chef’s and Doherty, the very same planning board approved not once but twice seating numbers and sizes in excess of the CAFRA permits. The key for all the “small” but necessary players like councilmen and board members is not to tell them “everything”, hence plausible deniability as far as the eye can see. Sue them all. Maybe we will all get lucky. These bums need to be indicted along with big mama Hillary.

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink
  16. OLD MAN wrote:

    I have plenty of man diapers. Haven’t used any in a long time. You see not only have I discovered aspirins but also Pepto Bismol. Have not done a reverse peristalsis in a very long time.

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Permalink
  17. HMM? wrote:

    How high is the fencing in question? Is it higher than this?

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink
  18. A Reporter wrote:

    #1 Jim He is setting up the “revolt of the seniors” who he does not speak for, where is their petition? Probably a set up for another round of mail in ballots. He is being told what to say probably by the Mayor and council.I think they are all getting desperate fill in the gap if Matt becomes freeholder fat chance of that, and the 2 losers facing re-election.

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 5:28 pm | Permalink
  19. Sleazy Mayor wrote:

    I don’t know any of the parties involved in the Harmon Bar but assess this situation as another sleazy Mayor activity..just Like his buddies at the Marina. Did anyone notice they have no intention of repairing the bulkhead/walkway anytime soon because the huge new refrig room would not be as convenient for 9th Ave bar if the public had it’s open space back? Slime Matt allowed that. Chef International is slimy too. And Kleins you are weak and feeble to fear competition. Are your own drinks too watered down so you worry about direct comparison? Belmar has become so very sad and sleazy all on the back of little matt’s ego.

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 6:13 pm | Permalink
  20. Belmar Independent wrote:

    Apparently it is time. I do not propose the following in a cavalier fashion akin to the voting by our council Wednesday evening. There comes a point however, when those who pay the bills are ethically called upon to stop the blatant and unlawful exercise of authority. Belmar has reached that tipping point. Under NJ Law, we petition ( need 25% of all registered voters ) for RECALL OF MAYOR DOHERTY. I could not care a rat’s A-s if we hurt the feelings of the 250 registered voters in love with Matt, no matter what. It is time.
    News at 11.

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink
  21. Bill Straus wrote:

    I can say this about #20. If there is anyone who reads this blog that would consider being on a recall committee contact me directly via my facebook page and we can see if it is viable. I’m in, who can I count on?

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 9:38 pm | Permalink
  22. Anonymous wrote:

    #20, you are spot on.

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 9:39 pm | Permalink
  23. Eugene Creamer wrote:

    I didn’t know Ollie Klein has sewage problems …. thanks for the warning!

    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 10:13 pm | Permalink
  24. Guest wrote:

    Yeah. See if I eat there again if he has sewage backing up in Kleins. Too much info Ollie!

    Friday, June 10, 2016 at 12:46 am | Permalink
  25. Sewage Prob Kleins! wrote:

    Sewage problem at local Kleins restaurant is terrible and good to know about. Is this overflow/back-up sewage from Mayors Office?

    Friday, June 10, 2016 at 8:27 am | Permalink
  26. Anonymous wrote:

    Infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure. That’s all we heard from the POLS for 10 years of false campaign Oblamhim promises. Never let it be said that we need WPA and CCC workers who will build like our grandparents built. Sewerage problems known for years in Belmar complicated by underground springs all over Belmar. Clear Negligence on Belmar’s part for accepting developers monies while knowing there was INADEQUATE sewage capacity and our navigable waters being exposed to sewage overload.

    Friday, June 10, 2016 at 9:04 am | Permalink
  27. Eckjais wrote:

    Don’t forget the sewage overload at the 18th and Ocean nightclub. Heard the Belmar boardwalk (you own those bathrooms) are being used as backup bathrooms at night by nightclub customers.
    WHO GAVE WHO THEM THE KEY to the 19th Avenue bathroom. Do we get a rental fee? Are the attendants making a little on the side? Nice

    Friday, June 10, 2016 at 9:11 am | Permalink
  28. Maria wrote:

    That sign should of read—BELMAR tax payers WELCOME you to the etc

    Friday, June 10, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink
  29. Anonymous wrote:

    Every Belmar resident should go to Klein’s for the $10.00 buffet. Eat him out of everything.

    Friday, June 10, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink
  30. ALLTRUMPEDUP wrote:

    Hysterical. Ollie Klein, owner of Klein’s, admits on videotape that he is aware that his employees are drinking while on duty. Sounds like Ollie may be in violation of OSHA regulations and perhaps ABC laws. Maybe someone should also contact his insurance company. Can’t make this stuff up.

    Friday, June 10, 2016 at 7:25 pm | Permalink
  31. $10 Buffet at Kleins wrote:

    June 14 6pm all welcome since it is a Belmar town meeting

    Friday, June 10, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink
  32. Sole owner wrote:

    I$ the Ollie Klein meeting restricted to business owners who contribute to the campaign war chest of a certain jersey shore mayor known by the nom de plume Mcdirty or is it open to every business in Belmar?

    Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink
  33. Anonymous wrote:

    Are they(Ollies)or ???administer ??? going to BAR the doors because some of the “ELEMENTS” are business owners in Belmar?

    Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink
  34. admin wrote:

    I know at least one business owner who never got an invite

    Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink
  35. Anonymous wrote:

    Did the police department circulate the flyers for Belmar business meeting at Ollie Klein’s? If not who distributed said flyers?

    What constitutes a Belmar business? Landlord? Commercial property owner? Retailer? Candy store? Coffee shop? Tea emporium? Bar/restaurant? Brewery? Food cart vendor? Food truck concession owner?

    Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

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