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Thank You, Jim

Tonight the Council will make its third attempt to legally enact ordinance 2014-18, the repeal of the “responsible bidder” language added to our municipal code.  Hopefully they’ll get it right this time although our reprieve from this dreadful legislation will be short lived anyway.  Next year they will introduce a new “responsible bidder” law which I’m sure will be remarkably similar to the old “responsible bidder” law.  They will pass it in a way that avoids the legal challenges that doomed their first attempt.  The vote will be 4-0, with the mayor recusing himself.

At the same time they will try to shrug their legal responsibility to hold a referendum on the petitions collected against the original ordinance as the Faulkner Act requires.  I hope the petitioners stand firm.

Tonight also marks the last meeting Jim Bean will attend as a Belmar Councilman.

Sometimes fate places a person of truly unique character in the station and moment of time when that person is exactly who is needed.  I don’t think there is another man or woman in Belmar with the combined traits of curiosity, dedication, vigilance, bravery and absolute  integrity that Jim Bean exhibited during his three years on the dais.  With an administration whose agenda often seemed at odds with that of the regular folks, and with an administration that seemed willing to leverage the opportunities created by our destruction to forward that agenda, Jim Bean was our eyes, our ears and our voice.

This administration brooks no dissent, but when dissent was necessary Bean dissented.  No one else I can think of would have done it and done it so tirelessly and unflinchingly despite the abuse that he took for it.  He stood hard on his principles and I, for one, will be forever grateful to him.

Of course there are some things that fate just can’t overcome and it still pains me that Belmar isn’t going to get the mayor it needs.  But thanks to Jim, the information is out there and the ideas are out there.  It’s now up to the people themselves to pick up the ball and run with it if they’re willing to do it.

I still can’t say for sure if I will be among them.


  1. watchingmyback wrote:

    Hail to Jim and thank you! And let us hope that Mr. Brennan is not just another puppet yes-man.

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink
  2. George wrote:

    We had 3 blind mice im afraid we now have 4 sorry if I offended blind mice.

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 1:06 pm | Permalink
  3. Bob wrote:

    Kudos on the years of service.

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink
  4. VITO CORLEONE wrote:

    Ok so another democrat is going to be different than any of the others? R U CRAZY?

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink
  5. katrina wrote:

    No one likes to hear “No” for an answer. Some would say Jim Bean was the negative guy on the council, when what he was was the only one to ask hard questions, regardless of the assault against him and his character constantly given out by our Mayor. Why he had to OPRA information that should have been given freely to any council person is beyond me. Why he was portrayed as against everything when all he wanted was an accounting of spending and other information, is beyond me. Why when he brought financial discrepancies out into the public forum, he was publicly ridiculed, is beyond me. I believe the courage that it took to stay focused under such conditions is admirable. Thanks you Jim for trying.

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Permalink
  6. Guest wrote:

    Can Jim at least get that ugly stupid looking lemon thing off the boardwalk or do we have to see it every weekend when we go for a walk. #uninsured #seasidelooking #junk

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Permalink
  7. Joy DeSanctis wrote:

    Jim Bean is my friend and one of the most honorable people I know. Were it not for Jim I would still be sitting in my home unaware of the real story going on behind the scenes in Belmar believing the misrepresentations portrayed by the current administration. He was the one who knocked on my door with an illustration of the two-story Taylor pavilion along with the ridiculous and also extravagant golf in the sky building plans about to be approved at a council meeting rescheduled for July 3, 2013 a date typically when many residents are away or otherwise occupied with celebratory events. This is just one of many disclosures Jim has diligently “discovered” during his 3-year tenure as Belmar council member. It was difficult for him to make these discoveries, as he was forced to “OPRA” to obtain information by submitting formal open public records requests for documents that are otherwise easily available to any elected official. He was forced to sit on a council where there were no Executive Sessions meetings during which sensitive topics are discussed most times with an attorney present and decisions considered. These sessions are critical to any official to be able to consider intelligent choices. In Jim’s case, he found out with the rest of the public at council meeting where many times he first heard about current lawsuits, settlements and many other Belmar matters where he was required to vote or speak without any previous knowledge on the matter. This was patently unfair to him yet he continued to persevere and spent endless hours conducting research many times on issues already decided. He continued to work tirelessly to understand if the decisions were in the best interests of Belmar residents and if they were not, he spoke out. If there was a continued stream of unfair criticism of Jim it was being labeled negative. For many residents, it was simply a lack of knowledge of the bigger picture where Jim’s no vote, or commenting in a critical manner, were in defense of the residents’ rights or of an undisclosed matter where the people were not informed but should have been of decisions that would affect them.
    To me it was always clear as council member that Belmar residents were always Jim’s priority, followed by fiscal responsibility, fairness and equal representation of all citizens and Belmar business owners.
    What many might have missed about Jim, was his intelligence, his power to find out the truth and his ability to withstand the years of ridicule and intimidation by those who sought to discredit him. I guess he was a threat; truth sometimes is, but only to those perpetuating the falsehoods. So he withstood the wrath of criticism and dissemination of inaccurate information on his positions. Nonetheless, he was able to accomplish so much!
    Looking back it was Jim, who brought about all the transparency regarding Belmar to Belmar residents. Everything, that everyone knows now; about our 40 million dollar debt, the true situation about FEMA’s reimbursements or lack thereof, the loss of $10,000 in donations, the discovery of potential conflicts of interest in the mayor’s dealings with certain companies, many ethical matters, issues of residents’ deteriorating quality of life. Issues of retribution to those who criticized the administration, the arrogance and abuse of power within the administration and inability for residents to learn the facts. All of these, and many others matters are now known to residents. We can thank Jim Bean for that insight and valuable information. We will continue to learn the facts but without our best ally, Jim Bean.
    Jim lost the mayoral election by 68 votes, those of the residents coming to the polls to vote. I feel Belmar lost so much in losing Jim as mayor. When considering Jim’s honesty, prioritizing residents and lack of personal agenda we would have gained so much with him as mayor. To those who thought that perhaps Jim was not capable of being a strong leader, you are wrong. Strength does not come in charismatic speech nor popular giveaways. It comes with hard work and the ability to stand on your principles and Jim is able to do that better than most people. He never considered what to say to look or sound popular, or appealable, it was his speaking the truth first and foremost that mattered to him. To me, and many others who supported and voted for Jim, we knew and understood he was a man of strength and conviction. He would have lead as mayor on honor and fair-mindedness just as he did as council member.
    I want to thank Jim for his years of service and for giving me the opportunity to become his friend for without knowing him I would have missed being part of helping to change Belmar back to where it was and part of helping Belmar to be a better place to live. I also would have missed the opportunity to know a great man. Thank you.

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink
  8. watchingmyback wrote:

    Guest #6: The lemon on the boardwalk belongs to Brandl, a Doherty “buddy”. Another Brandl restaurant is supposed to occupy one of the spaces on the block with the brewery. I guess lemonade will be on the menu?

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 5:00 pm | Permalink
  9. Marie wrote:

    What a sad day for Belmar. Jim you did a great job better than anyone in the past

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Permalink
  10. Guest wrote:

    I dont care if He is a buddy of the mayor, that lemon golf ball is a blight to our beautiful boardwalk, and I am sure it is not approved use nor insured.Bring that ugly thing to seaside heights, where it belongs with the rest of the boardwalk trash.

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink
  11. maria florio wrote:

    Jim, you stood for the Constitution which Belmar did not. You are tops in my book and thank you as a Marine fighting for our country and fighting for Belmar as a councilman.

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Permalink
  12. Tulip wrote:

    To Joy so well said. To Jim Thank you so very much for all you did. You will be missed.

    Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

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