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State Sides With Bean, Myself On Gift Cards.

Also in yesterday’s Press:

Critic, state contend Belmar shouldn’t be in charity business

Town gives gift cards to taverns, shops to Sandy-affected residents while keeping list secret


Actually any time I find myself agreeing with the state I get worried, but in this case NJ has it right.

From the story:

But the grants are cloaked in secrecy. One person decided who got the cards under the established guidelines, according to the borough. And at the same time, the state looks down on the practice of municipalities acting as philanthropies.

The sole Republican councilman, Jim Bean, frequently at odds with Democratic Mayor Matt Doherty, feels uncomfortable with the borough taking on the role of a charitable organization, he said.

“I don’t think politicians should be running a charitable fund,” said Bean.

Doherty called Bean’s misgivings “political hot air.”

He added: “We took care of our own.”

Legal but discouraged

The state Department of Community Affairs appears to sympathize with Bean, frowning on towns doling out charitable donations.

In a Local Finance Note issued a week after the storm, the Department of Community Affairs’ Division of Local Government Services “strongly encourages” towns to tell donors to give to nonprofit groups “rather than assuming the responsibility for redistributing donations.”

Belmar not only redistributed gifts. It wasted no time in soliciting donations on its website for the borough’s Sandy victims.


“We took care of our own”.  That could be taken two ways, considering that the average recipient seemingly collected over $400!

One Comment

  1. Eugene Creamer wrote:

    I would prefer that Belmar not use taxpayer resources (employees, postage, letterhead, mailing lists, website) to unfairly compete with faith-based and other proven charitable organizations.
    The Borough defeated all donation dependent rivals.

    Monday, February 25, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

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