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Some Questions About Robbin And Karl

The mayor may have good reasons to replace Robbin Kirk as borough administator and Karl Kemm as borough attorney, but reading the Mulshine piece about it in Thursday’s Coast Star I wasn’t able to find any.  Frankly, it sounded long on spin, and short on any actual information.

At the outset of the story Doherty is quoted as saying:

“As the mayor, I’m responsible for the management and operations of the borough government,” Mayor Doherty said. “I didn’t make any changes when I came in because I wanted to see how it operated and functioned.”

Question: Hadn’t you been a councilman for four years before becoming mayor?  Weren’t you council president?  You never had a chance in four years to see how the borough operated and functioned?

Later we learn:

“We have a lot of infrastructure work going on,” Mayor Doherty said. “We need to have someone who’s dedicated 100 percent and not have the dual responsibility of managing the borough’s finances at the same time.”

But we are only paying Robbin $30,000 a year for her administrative duties.  Obviously for any capable person, that is part-time pay.  No one who is any good is going to do that job full-time for $30,000.

Then we get to the subject of Ms. Kirk’s  $81,000 CFO salary:

In addition to acting as Belmar’s CFO, Ms. Kirk works in the same capacity for Spring Lake and Farmingdale. The borough of Spring Lake pays Belmar $25,000 per year for this as part of a shared service agreement, while Farmingdale pays Ms. Kirk directly and Belmar is not involved in that business relationship.

So my question is if Robbin is working as CFO in the “same capacity” for both Spring Lake and Belmar, why is it costing Belmar $56,000 and Spring Lake $25,000?  Why is Belmar subsidizing Spring Lake in this regard?

Finally we reach the subject of Karl Kemm, about whom is written:

Mayor Doherty said he is seeking a new borough attorney “to see what other attorneys are available and to see if they could make improvements in the operations of the government,” Mayor Doherty said. He also expressed a desire for “a new set of eyes looking at our existing ordinances,” especially in order to make Belmar “as business friendly as possible.”

Man, I thought I had a tough boss!  Who gets fired just so their boss can see what else is available?  Wow!  And what does the borough attorney have to do with the “operations of the government”?  As far as making Belmar business-friendly, it wasn’t Karl that spent umpteen hours deliberating over exactly what outdoor dining umbrellas should look like.  It wasn’t Karl that imposed the S.I.D. with it’s taxes, rules, and meetings on our local businesses.  It isn’t Karl that tries to dictate the size and designs of their signs, the hours of their operation, or whether or not they can serve pizza!  All the attorney does is advise whether the actions of the government are legal and translate the laws written by the mayor and council into proper legalese.

Like I said, the mayor may be perfectly justified in making these changes, and if so, then I applaud him for it.  But I think he needs to do a better job explaining all this.  Right now I feel I don’t really know any more about it than I did when it was first announced on November 9th.


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