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The Debate


  1. 3 is a crowd wrote:

    Tom has a good speaking/singing voice but, fails to make any type of impact. He has served most of the Doherty administration, he has been wrapped up in scandal after scandal with this town, cost the tax payers millions and is vacant anytime there needs to be a vote in terms of the animal houses and bars. He recuses himself because of his relationships as a musician with the bars in town. Seems like his seat is a wasted opportunity for the citizens of Belmar.

    Jodi is as sweet as anyone could be…
    Will she be effective with this council?

    Jerry is clearly knowledgeable, he goes head to head on issues, he is a stickler when it comes to the finances and budget, he is a watchdog to Belmar when it comes to the council and the town lawyer, and he is an upstanding citizen. His Father and Mother were beloved in the senior community and with his neighbors on 5th Avenue for over sixty years.

    Clearly the choice is Jerry!!

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink
  2. AVERAGE JOE wrote:

    #1 Guess the other two are just average or below average. I’ll vote for Jerry. Correct on Tom.

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink
  3. Donna Falk wrote:

    I disagree. Tom demonstrated his knowledge and showed how he works across party lines, not just being contentious. He was the the only one on the “Friendship Force” so he was there to listen to the people; he was the one who actually got the text messaging update for the beaches this summer, he is the one that is most involved with the environment and flooding issues and he is the one who is working on fixing some of the water bill issues and worked on improving the Animal House rules. He is the one that voted “No” to large development that didn’t fit the site.

    He also knows what we can and cannot do. It is easy to say “I would do this or that” but these things are not always feasible or legally or logistically possible (ie., green spaces…there is very limited if any land). I thought Gerry would be contentious but may not make any difference if he can’t work with the rest. Jodi was nice, but basically agreed with everything Tom said.

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    I’ll vote for Jerry too. If theres nothing that time has proven, its that theres always room in Belmar for career Hudson County political hacks. What could go wrong?!

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink
  5. Good deeds... wrote:

    Tom could still be on the “friendship committee” and he can still be bipartisan and help the citizens of Belmar. He can do this without being a councilmen. He can be a volunteer.

    We need someone who will stand to reason with the rest of the council and challenge them on issues. I believe with Jerry’s financial and law background he could be a help to the council, work with them and perhaps keeps the town out of anymore lawsuits. Logical, yes?

    Vote for Jerry!

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink
  6. Mr. Reit wrote:

    First off, I would like to thank all involved in putting this debate together. It’s a great step in bringing the community together to see who will represent our great town. My only suggestion would be to have it in more of a “town hall” type format so the questions come from us and not hand picked.

    My outtake:

    Tom has been around for far too long. He pansies to whatever party is in control of the council because being the narcissist he is only concerned with maintaining a seat. What has he really accomplished throughout his term? The “I did this I did that” were all minimal in comparison to the larger problems the town faces where he has contributed nothing.

    Jodi seems like a very nice lady and her heart seems to be in the right place. The fact remains she has no experience and in my opinion will be yet another “yes” to an ineffective Mayor and Council. We deserve more.

    Jerry however has the experience, the time being retired to be actively involved and to be the “watchdog” for us the citizens of Belmar. He will not afraid to question other members of the council and Mayor. He will create a level of transparency this town hasn’t seen in years if ever.

    I voted in the last town election for those candidates that won. It was a mistake and I will not vote the same ticket again. They are a disappointment. The way in which they present and issue/problem is never communicated back with follow through or result. The council meeting are a sham … they have public sessions where the community voice their concerns and opinions and they go in one ear and out the other…. basically the Mayor and Council already know how they will vote prior to the meeting. Has one ordinance or resolution been voted to the negative based on public opinion ? Answer is NO !

    The only time the council has yielded to public opinion was when Jerry has challenged them. Why we need Jerry is that he can be a team player yet at the same time be an umpire ! That’s what a councils composition should be comprised of…. not yes persons.

    Vote for Jerry! You will be proud you did !

    Thank You

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    Was Tom the council person who decided they couldn’t vote on liquor licenses when the SALT controversy was going on because he plays in a band after previously not having a conflict?

    If so, that seems like a problem if he has to recuse himself from anything related to bars in a town like this.

    If so, regardless of the reason given that seems shady that it only started with SALT and it didn’t prevent him from being named in the lawsuit because of it.

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink
  8. Eugene R Creamer wrote:

    waiting … the 29 day ELEC contribution reports were due October 5th.

    “best wishes for success and a bright future to all candidates”

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    I think Tom Brennan has been great for Belmar. A win for Tom is a plus for our community.

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink
  10. Mr. Reit wrote:

    Enlighten me and the community… what exactly has he done that has had any significance to better Belmar ? Have you factored in the scandals? Not fighting for massive tax increases? Water bills ? Excessive spending? He was a contributor to the prior administrations corruption and mismanagement! Is being a friendship participant for the beach and a harbor advocate a qualifier to sit on the council?
    Please inform me of contributions I have not seen so I can make an educated vote.
    Thank you!

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink
  11. Undecided wrote:

    #10 – Was kinda thinking the same thing.

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    10-Councilman Tom Brennan has:
    1. Focused on environmental conditions when no one else has ever done so.
    2. Constantly investigates new sources of revenue for the town.
    3. Has voted against re-development projects that could be considered wrong for the town.
    4. Has been instrumental in lowering municipal debt.
    5. Worked with state agencies to stop flooding around town.
    6. Always investigating ways of saving the town money.
    7. Stressed the importance of a storm management plan.
    8.Been Involved in the expansion of playgrounds and parks.
    9. Continued to support the creation of programs for residents of all ages.
    10. In any emergency, Councilman Brennan is a hands-on presence. During Hurricane Sandy, he was a constant presence at homes devastated by the hurricane-helping residents restore their properties.
    11. always been willing to listen, and act on the concerns of residents.
    12. Served as a liaison between the school and general community.

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    10, Don’t besmirch Tom Brennan’s reputation with the word “scandal.”
    He’s as honest as the day is long. What a terrible injustice you are perpetuating.

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink
  14. Anonymous wrote:

    If Tom Brennan is so concerned about our parks and playgrounds may I suggest he close our parks immediately, as Howell has done. Our parks are being inundated by Lakewood residents who refuse to follow the rules, hence this pandemic goes on, and on and on. I and many others are making sacrifices in an attempt to keep this sickness at bay yet others could care less about people from other cultures.

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink
  15. Anonymous wrote:

    Your sarcasm is offensive, #10.

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink
  16. Guest wrote:

    Brennan has been part of the past 2 inept councils and it is time for change.

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink
  17. Anonymous wrote:

    6. What puts you in a position to judge Tom Brennan’s contributions to the town as minimal? What qualifies you as a judge of Tom’s accomplishments? Are you aware of all that he’s contributed?

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink
  18. anonymous wrote:

    Perhaps, but we know that he is complicit in the debt accrued in the past administration and complicit in the hiring of Huisman – time to go!

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink
  19. Anonymous wrote:

    16-That’s only a matter of opinion. Can’t you read? (# 12) Tom Brennan has contributed much to our town.

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink
  20. Anonymous wrote:

    14 Your comments reeks of not accepting of other cultures. Very much out of line and totally not objective.

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink
  21. OLD MAN wrote:

    Tom will be gone soon. No worries

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink
  22. Resident wrote:

    Brennan will not be re-elected. He did and said nothing about the boat slip giveaway. Yes Campbell is gone but because of an unrelated issue. If that never happened Campbell would still be here. BA Kirschenbaum should be fired for his involvement. You can use my boat in an emergency! Please! He said and did nothing about the hiring of acting Chief Huisman. He stood by while the owners of SALT fought to open and are now suing. Just like he stood by with the firing of the lifeguards who filed a 3 million dollar lawsuit. I can go on and on.
    I will also say that whoever is running in next years election will lose as well for not addressing Boatgate and the Huisman hiring. This issue will not go away and will haunt all of you political do nothings.

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink
  23. Mr. Reit wrote:

    # 18
    Right on target !

    Can you be more specific ? With what you’ve posted suggests as I have indicated that he rides the coattails of whatever party is is power. Where was he when we incurred the tax increase? I’ve owned a home in town for 27 years … he never knocked on my door ever …even during Sandy. Where was he during the last administrations debacle? Where was he during the 30 million dollar debt incurred?
    He votes two ways yes and abstain when he wants to avoid controversy.

    His record! His history! His qualifications ! What if anything he has done is superficial nonsense. He does’t fight for the citizens for the citizens of Belmar, rather always votes with the majority. I go to or zoom every council meeting and have lived in town for over 27 years… I’ve been around ya know and I’ve seen and what I’ve seen is a continuation of lip service as he pretends to be the “nice guy”. And perhaps he is a nice guy… with me its not personal, it’s about the right candidate that is willing to fight for the people, to govern by the people.

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink
  24. Anonymous wrote:

    Tom Brennan-best for Belmar!

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink
  25. Side Eye wrote:

    #12 – Thanks for your input, Tom.

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink
  26. Anonymous wrote:

    25-Not Tom. But someone who knows of his accomplishments. Tom would never tout anything about himself. He’s not that type of person. That’s why I’m doing it. Have you ever spoken with him, # 23? It’s never “I did this “ or “I did that.”. Before commenting, get to know the person, # 23! Sincerely, signed by # 12

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink
  27. AVERAGE JOE wrote:

    #26 Wake up>>>> he has a way below average chance of getting re elected. Same goes for the rest of the council/mayor when their time comes.

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink
  28. Mr. Reit wrote:

    Were you awake during the debate ? It was full of I did this …i did that… do you go to council meetings? He always says it ! He always makes it about him … and yes I have met and spoke with him on many occasions … was never impressed. Oh BTW I not the only one apparently that feels this way…. did you see the poll Dave posted ?

    Well said !

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink
  29. Anonymous wrote:

    28-Never got the impression that you are telling. Tom has never come off as egotistical in my presence.

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink
  30. Mark wrote:

    A plea to Belmar residents for the future of Belmar…..

    My wife and I moved to Belmar permanently in January 2011, and have attended Belmar Council meetings on a regular basis. If all of you attended the Council meetings you would all be voting for Jerry Buccafusco for Council. Jerry has consistently examined financial and legal issues that arise frequently and questioned the Belmar Council on its reasoning. While I appreciate the time and effort that Tom Brennan has put forth, it is time for a change, and Republican Jodi unfortunately will not make a difference. Jerry will let the citizens of Belmar know what is going on and be a voice for the betterment of Belmar. It should not matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican, we need to vote for someone who can make a difference, and that person is Jerry.

    FYI, I am a registered Democrat but always vote for the person I feel will do the best job regardless of party affiliation (I voted for Walsifer for Mayor, and McCracken for Council, and previously voted for Doherty and Brennan)….please do the same and just vote for Jerry….this is our chance to help make a difference. But your vote is needed, or this will not happen…just vote for Jerry… please.

    And if you wonder how one Independent like Jerry can possibly make a difference, this is how: Jerry will inform Belmar residents with communications about what is actually happening in our town….we have the communications resources readily available, including readers of Common Sense For Belmar, Facebook groups such as Belmar Locals, Belmar Locals Only, and Belmar/Lake Como/West Belmar Residents. Because of this, almost all residents will know what is going on in Belmar, what is good, and what could be improved. Then, we can vote accordingly in the future to continue to improve Belmar, because what we all need is the facts!

    Republicans and Democrats…please put aside party and vote for the person who will make a difference…just vote for Jerry Buccafusco.

    Thank you all and stay safe.

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink
  31. Anonymous wrote:

    I’m going to vote for Tom Brennan. He’s been great for the community.

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink
  32. Oops wrote:

    Tom really lost the last election but won on a “recount”.

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink
  33. AVERAGE JOE wrote:

    #31 You have said that an above average number of times!!! Once is enough.

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink
  34. OLD MAN wrote:

    #31 Numerous lawsuits? Did he vote yes for that stupid bridge?

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink
  35. Concerned Resident wrote:

    This forum is very informative and I urge everyone to view it before voting. These candidates are all very nice people,and as another person said, would be good neighbors. However when you hear their responses it becomes clear that Jerry would be the best voice for our community. He has taken part in every meeting during the past year or so and has asked very intelligent questions and made informed comments. It’s a different approach than any other person takes with the administration. He is respectful yet makes his point known and tries his best to make a difference. He really looks out for the best interest of the town. Tom Brennan has been in office for a while now and has had a chance to make an impact. Jodi seems like a nice person but has not been involved and does not appear to have an in-depth knowledge of the issues. Jerry can hit the ground running and provide Belmar the transparency we need in our local government. Join me and give Jerry a chance!

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink
  36. AVERAGE JOE wrote:

    #35 Above average summary. However I feel anonymous will write her/his BS again.

    Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

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