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“The Most Outrageous Abuse Of Governmental Power That I Have Ever Seen…”

Wonderfully researched and written story by Caitlyn Bahrenburg in today’s Coast Star.  Republished here for you with the permission of the Coast Star.cs


BELMAR — It took 14 months for the borough to reach its decision on a liquor license transfer application by Timothy and Matthew Harmon, a process the state says should take 60 days.

The transfer — from the Harmons’ 507 Main restaurant to their new bar, Salt — was rejected in a 2-1 borough council vote last week, in apparent contradiction of a redevelopment agreement previously approved by the borough, a site plan approved by the Belmar planning board and a police vetting that dragged on for more than a year without presentation of a report to the applicants as required by state law.

The process, which the Harmons’ attorney calls an “outrageous abuse of governmental power,” has prompted them to begin an appeal to the state’s Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control [ABC] and serve several borough officials and private individuals with notice of a pending multi million dollar damage suit.

The Harmons, and their attorney Roger McLaughlin, said they were subjected to month after month of intense and often repetitive scrutiny, circuitous and often redundant requests for information and procedural delays they now believe were part of a deliberate attempt to derail their plans for Salt.

Their casual bar and restaurant, 507 Main, formerly located at 507 Main Street in Belmar, shut its doors in 2015 in anticipation of the opening of Salt.

Salt now stands at 710 River Road, across the street from the old restaurant, days away from being completed, according to the brothers.

The site abuts the water and runs parallel to Klein’s Fish Market. When standing with your back to the water, the Municipal Building and Police Station are in clear view.

An airy, outdoor establishment, Salt features a tented outdoor cafe and three tiki style bars, four gas fire pits, spaces for food trucks on site and outdoor entertainment including live music, all contained within the property.

The property is owned by developer Greg Kapalko, of Loko Co. LLC., who entered into a redevelopment agreement with the borough in 2014. The agreement called for an outdoor bar and tiki style bar on the site.

The Harmons maintain that the borough is violating the 2014 agreement by refusing to allow them to transfer their liquor license to Salt.

“I think that what has happened is clearly the most outrageous abuse of governmental power that I have ever seen in a local municipality,” said Roger McLaughlin, the Harmons’ attorney.


According to Mr. McLaughlin, Mayor Doherty, Borough Administrator Colleen Connolly, Belmar Police Chief Andrew Huisman, Councilwoman Jennifer Nicolay, Councilwoman Janis Keown-Blackburn and Councilman Thomas Brennan were served as borough officials and as individuals on Friday, June 10 with notice of “litigation about to be commenced,” and a requirement that they preserve all electronic and written communications relevant to the case.

Ollie Klein of Klein’s Fishmarket was also served on Friday, June 10. Former police chief Thomas Palmisano was served on Monday, June 13 and Chefs International was served on Tuesday, June 14.

According to Mr. McLaughlin, his clients are seeking damages including legal fees and punitive damages. Though Mr. McLaughlin declined to disclose an exact amount, he stated that it is in the “millions.”

Mr. McLaughlin stated that the Harmons’ contractual and civil rights had been violated, as well as the rights of the developer Greg Kapalko of Loko Co., LLC.

“I think that there are any number of borough officials who are responsible to the Harmons and responsible to Mr. Kapalko, not only as borough officials but personally. They have personal liability because they have gone beyond their scope as public officials. They have violated their oaths and they’ve taken action to intentionally harm the Harmons and intentionally harm Mr. Kapalko and his partners at Loko [Co. LLC],” Mr. McLaughlin said.

While Mr. McLaughin stated that punitive damages cannot be recovered from a municipality, he intends to collect damages from the aforementioned individuals beyond their capacity as borough officials.

Mayor Doherty declined to comment as did Ms. Keown-Blackburn, Mr. Brennan, Ms. Connolly, Borough Attorney George McGill and Borough Attorney William Northgrave and Mr. Klein.

Ms. Nicolay and Chief Huisman did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Robert Cooper, the president and CEO of Chefs International, also declined to comment.

Mr. Palmisano could not be reached for comment by press time.


On June 8, the council voted to reject a liquor license transfer from the Harmon’s DCJ Belmar, Inc. to their Dockside Dining LLC.

Mayor Doherty was absent from the meeting and Mr. Brennan recused himself from the vote, stating that as a musician who plays at bars with liquor licenses approved by the borough, he did not wish to vote on any of the renewals or transfers that evening out of “an abundance of caution.”

Mr. Brennan has voted on every other liquor license application in the past two years, including businesses that he has played at as a musician, according to Mr. McLaughlin and recorded agendas and meeting minutes.

Asked about this Tuesday, Mr. Brennan said that while he had voted on liquor licenses in the past, it had made him uncomfortable to do so. He also said that if he had voted on the Harmons’ license, he would have voted no.

Prior to the vote, Mr. Klein addressed the council in apparent opposition to the Harmon’s transfer, citing concerns that included potential noise issues and a worry that his employees would be drinking at Salt during their smoke breaks.

On Monday, however, Mr. Klein contacted The Coast Star to say he had not intended to oppose the Harmon’s transfer application.

“The liquor license should have been transferred to them,” Mr. Klein said.

At the June 8 meeting, Mr. McLaughlin refuted each of Mr. Klein’s concerns — all of which had previously been addressed to the satisfaction of the borough’s planning board.

With Mr. Brennan recusing himself, Ms. Nicolay, Ms. Keown-Blackburn and council President Brian Magovern cast the only votes on the liquor license transfer.

Ms. Keown-Blackburn voted against the transfer, stating that she was “not sure that an outdoor bar in this section of town is in the best interest of our residents,” as did Ms. Nicolay, who voiced concerns about noise, security, parking, occupancy and safety.

However, Mr. Magovern voted yes on the transfer, defending the Harmons’ character and commitment to the community against what he described as “personal” issues that some borough officials appeared to have with their application.

“I was on the planning board, we did go over this over and over and over again. [The Harmons] did meet everything that we asked them to do,” Mr. Magovern said, referring to the Oct. 19 planning board meeting in which the board approved amended site plans for the bar.

“I’ve known the Harmon brothers for over 25 years. When I was recreation director, there was no single better sponsor to the recreation department than the Harmons, not even close,” Mr. Magovern said. “Sometimes I think it’s personal.”

The resolution rejected by the council June 8 would have granted the liquor license transfer with no conditions.

Following the meeting, however, Mr. McLaughlin said he received an amended version of the resolution, which had added 28 conditions to the transfer.

The earlier version of the resolution had been posted on the borough’s website but was later removed. As of press time, neither version of the resolution appeared there.

According to Ms. Connolly, the version containing the conditions was distributed to the council members at the meeting and was therefore the version voted on.


On Tuesday, June 14, Mr. McLaughlin filed an appeal to the state division of ABC on the grounds that his clients were not provided with notice and an opportunity to be heard prior to the rejection of transfer, as required by state law; that the vote conflicts with the redevelopment agreement which provides for an outdoor bar in this space; and that the planning board approved the site plan on two separate occasions, among others.

The notice and petition of appeal also pointed out that Ms. Nicolay and Ms. Keown-Blackburn’s concerns involving the outdoor bar had not been raised with other licensed establishments containing outdoor bars, such as D’Jais and 10th Avenue Burrito Company.

The notice also states that 9th Avenue Pier, owned by Chefs International, has never been cause for concern for the borough, though it contains an outdoor bar. It goes on to state that the 9th Avenue Pier property is owned by the borough and that the borough is paid by Chefs International for the leasing of the facility, making it “inappropriate for the Borough of Belmar to review or act upon” the Harmon’s application,” and called for the borough to be disqualified from the consideration of any alcoholic beverage matters.

According to the notice and petition for appeal, Mr. McLaughlin seeks reversal of the council’s decision to deny the Harmons’ liquor license transfer, for the transfer to be approved on “an expedited basis,” and for the Borough of Belmar and the police department to be removed from any enforcement responsibilities with respect to the Dockside Dining, LLC. license “because of the obvious prejudice of the Borough against the licensee/transferee.”


The borough entered into a redevelopment agreement with Mr. Kapalko’s company Loko Co. LLC., in January 2014. The redevelopment agreement — signed by Mayor Doherty, Borough Clerk April Claudio and Loko Co. LLC. — authorized the construction of an outdoor tiki bar in the location currently rented by the Harmons’, according to the redevelopment agreement.

The redevelopment agreement authorized a three year agreement from 2014-2017 permitting the site to be used for an outdoor cafe.

According to Mr. Kapalko, the borough has defaulted or has “not cooperated” on the redevelopment agreement.

“Right now we are going over our options,” Mr. Kapalko said. “We had hoped that we would be able to resolve this with the borough amicably but in light of the decision at the recent council meeting I believe they have not left us with any choice but to be represented by [legal] council and try to get some positive recourse.”


The Harmons applied for a liquor license transfer on April 28, 2015, initiating a routine investigation by the police department that is standard in this type of request. Under the Alcoholic Beverage Control [ABC] Law, this type of an investigation must be completed with 60 days of filing.

What should have taken 60 days took 14 months to complete, however. The investigation was led by Mr. Huisman, then a captain in the Belmar Police Department. He has since been promoted to chief, replacing Mr. Palmisano. According to Mr. McLaughlin, Capt. Huisman had never previously performed a liquor license investigation. Mr. McLaughlin also said such investigations are usually performed by a detective.

At the 60-day mark, Mr. McLaughlin said, Capt. Huisman explained that he hadn’t had time to even begin the investigation.

After beginning the investigation, Capt. Huisman requested documents including years of bank statements and checks, Mr. McLaughlin said, adding that such requests are not typically part of liquor license investigations. However, the Harmons cooperated and provided the documents within a few weeks, he said.

On July 2, 2015, the Harmons received a stop work order for Salt from the borough, on the grounds that the site plans did not match those approved by the planning board. According to Mr. McLaughlin, a stop work order is not normally issued under such circumstances. Normally, he said, a municipality would issue violations while allowing work to continue.

When the Harmons appeared before the planning board on Oct. 19 seeking approval of the revised site plans, Capt. Huisman appeared and voiced several concerns including noise, security, lighting, fencing, occupancy and hours.

The Harmons and Mr. McLaughlin addressed each of the police captain’s concerns as well as questions raised by the planning board.

The board also questioned why the Harmons hadn’t come before them with the changes earlier. They explained that they did not believe the changes were significant enough to warrant such action and the revised site plan was ultimately approved with no dissenting votes.

In December, Capt. Huisman chose to interview three individuals who has issued loans in the form of promisory notes to the Harmons for the restaurant, Mr. McLaughlin said, clarifying that none of the individuals were share holders or had interest in ownership or the license.

According to Mr. McLaughlin, who has over 35 years of experience in municipal law, this course of action in a liquor license investigation is also atypical.

In January 2016, Capt. Huisman passed the investigation onto Lt. Kenneth Cox. The Harmons then received a letter from Mr. Northgrave stating that the police wanted to re-interview the three individuals based on the belief that one of them had ownership interest in the company.

Wanting to cooperate, the Harmons’ complied. Mr. McLaughlin compiled affidavits from each individual stating that they had no interest in the license nor business and the interview process began again. The second round of interviews were completed in April 2016.

By spring, construction had resumed at the site.

The Harmons were then told that the liquor license transfer would be heard at the May 2 council meeting. However, Lt. Cox informed the Harmons that they had “missed the agenda,” according to Mr. McLaughlin, and would appear on the May 16 agenda. The May 16 meeting was then canceled.

Around this time, Lt. Cox requested that the Harmons provide him with a list of self imposed restrictions, which they declined to do. After a meeting with Lt. Cox, Tim Harmon submitted the discussed concerns to Lt. Cox who then discussed them with then-Chief Palmisano. After two weeks, the Harmons once again met with Lt. Cox. Though the Harmons still did not agree with the conditions, they agreed to move forward.

Mr. Northgrave sent a list of conditions to Mr. McLaughlin 10 days before the June 8 vote.

“They were not restrictions that we agreed with but were what [Mr.] Northgrave was proposing,” Mr. McLaughlin said.

“And we thought it would get us the license transfer,” Tim Harmon added.

As the application process dragged through multiple delays and postponements, the Harmons reached out to Council President Magovern for an explanation. But according to Tim Harmon, Mr. Magovern told them he’d been instructed not to communicate with them, though he did not say who had given him that instruction.

“Who’s going to tell a councilman not to talk to a citizen?” Mr. McLaughlin asked Tuesday.

Requests by the Harmons for on-site meetings with members of the zoning, construction and planning boards, as well as construction officials and the police department were all denied by the respective officials without explanation, Tim Harmon said, even though the redevelopment agreement requires the borough to facilitate construction and permitting for the project.

Though the police investigation for the license request was completed in June 2016, Mr. McLaughlin said he has yet to receive a copy of the report, despite three separate requests to Mr. Northgrave. He said the Harmons are entitled to a copy of the report by law.

Mr. Northgrave, could not be reached for comment on the requests.

“There is no question in our minds that they [Belmar police] were told to delay and not produce a report,” Mr. McLaughlin said.

The Coast Star has also made three requests to Chief Huisman and his secretary, Kimberly Van Pelt for a copy of the report.


The Harmons’ have held two liquor licenses in Belmar in the past, one for the Boathouse in 1998 and the other for 507 Main in 2002. They said neither application was met with anything approaching the long drawn out process leading up to rejection of the transfer for Salt.

The brothers, who say they have avoided any political involvement in Belmar, said they could not understand what has motivated borough officials in their treatment of this transfer application.

“To the best of our knowledge, we’ve done nothing to piss these people off,” Tim Harmon said. stating that they have had no policial involvement in town.


According to Tim Harmon, the best comparison to Salt is the 9th Avenue Pier, owned by Chefs International. Both establishments have outdoor bars, are located near the water, serve food and include outdoor entertainment. There are three key differences between these properties: 9th Avenue Pier is located on public land while Salt is on private land; 9th Ave Pier has a concessionaires permit while Salt sought a liquor license; and finally, Salt’s license was rejected, while 9th Avenue Pier’s was approved.

“If there’s no problem with 9th Avenue, why is there a problem here?” Mr. McLaughlin asked.

Mr. McLaughlin and the Harmons also compared Salt to D’Jais, 10th Avenue Burrito Company and Anchor Tavern, located two blocks from Salt and owned by Chefs International. Each of these restaurants feature outdoor dining and/or bars and all of which have approved liquor licenses.

When asked why the aforementioned establishments were permissible but Salt was problematic, Ms.  Keown-Blackburn replied, “the location.”

“It’s just too close to the residents,” she said. Ms. Keown-Blackburn was unable, however, to state the distances of the approved establishments from residents’ homes.

According to Mr. McLaughlin, La Dolce Vita and 10th Avenue Burrito filed for liquor licenses, were investigated and approved within 90 days.

Anchor Tavern was filed, investigated and approved within 60 days, Mr. McLaughlin said.


  1. Belmar Dude wrote:

    LMAO you can’t make this stuff up.
    What a moron.

    “It’s just too close to the residents,” she said. Ms. Keown-Blackburn was unable, however, to state the distances of the approved establishments from residents’ homes.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink
  2. linlee wrote:

    A brilliant piece of investigative reporting by Caitlyn Bahrenburg. Congratulations. The fact that the plaintiffs lawsuit includes seeking punitive damages/compensation based on the fact that Doherty, three Council members, Colleen and police officials all exceeded the scope of their official capacities in this apparent conspiracy and violation of civil rights finally feels like a hopeful milestone.
    Individual and financial accountability may be the wake-up call for Matty’s yes-men .. and women.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink
  3. OMG!!!!!!! wrote:

    Seriously?!? Enough of the bullshit in this town. Meetings are constantly canceled or rescheduled and this one actually happened but the Mayor wasn’t there? And I am always a fan of Mr. Brennan but his decision to use an excuse now?

    I feel so bad for these people – it’s not like everyone has resources available to support their families and they are trying to get more people working, like 10th Ave argued in their fight to get the seasonal license date changed again this year. Thanks to Gov. Christie on that one.

    “To the best of our knowledge, we’ve done nothing to piss these people off,” Tim Harmon said. stating that they have had no policial involvement in town.

    Sorry Mr. Harmon but that’s EXACTLY why. You more than likely haven’t done anything to make them want to kiss your ass either.

    We need a complete change of government structure in our town. The location being too close to residents? How do the people on the island feel about 9th Ave Pier? If this is a threat to losing business because of an existing license coming back into play, then there should be regulations on how many pizza places or chinese restaurants or raw bars there are in town. Side note – why anyone would go to a place called 10th Ave Burrito for raw shellfish is beyond me, you don’t see people ordering burritos at Klein’s.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink
  4. joe goofinoff wrote:

    In the past, I used the word “dizzy” to describe the two female members of the council. I’ll change that to [dumb as a box of rocks] – not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 10:47 am | Permalink
  5. The Real Truth wrote:

    Lawless Matt had the police do everything to delay and stall the transfer. Lawless Matt was told by Chef’s International (9th Ave Pier) that if Salt goes up, they will not pay for the new marina building. Lawless Matt gave in and the “abuse of government” began, again. Everyone involved (police too) should be indicted for official misconduct, be fired and removed from office,

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink
  6. no mercy wrote:

    Hit them in their personal pockets – that might wake up the puppet council members. Doherty? – him too, plus jail, in time.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink
  7. matt Does Not Care! wrote:

    Again, this does not have the slightest affect on matt. He does not care as long as he gets his way. He does not care about the cost to tax payers for all these legal actions either. When the legal bills come due and the loan payments hit, he will still boast about not raising taxes!

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink
  8. Light of Day wrote:

    I can only say that twice now, that Lawless Matt and Connolly, with full knowledge in advance by the council members used Huisman and Cox to have criminal charges filed against me. Since there was no evidence both times and at great expense, the prosecutor dropped all charges. So I know the Harmon’s are not the first or the last. My case is different, I helped organize petitions and said things that pissed them off. I am sure there are more residents and businesses who are victims of their abuse of power. I have talked to the former employees who were all targeted as well. Got a security camera, not for criminals but for the police.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink
  9. “June is Busting Out All Over”. Speaking of political retribution and abuse of power. June 12th was the second anniversary of another very public misuse of official power. Who will forget the Port-A-Potty place in front of Let the Citizens Decide organizer’s house. That stunk! This really stinks.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink
  10. Hoffa wrote:

    What are the odds Dirty Darts asked Ollie to complain ? I can’t wait to hear the answer from Ollie under oath ? It’s a shame Dirty Darts has to get good people involved in his trickery. Not to late for those involved to speak up , if you think Dirty Darts has your back look no further than our former town attorney. He couldnt sell him down the river quick engogh

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink
  11. Sewage Prob Kleins! wrote:

    Public Service Reminder: the owner of Kleins reported at recent town meeting his restaurant has a serious sewage back up problem.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Permalink
  12. Belmar Dude wrote:

    “But according to Tim Harmon, Mr. Magovern told them he’d been instructed not to communicate with them, though he did not say who had given him that instruction”.

    “Who’s going to tell a councilman not to talk to a citizen?” Mr. McLaughlin asked Tuesday.

    Of course that would be Dirty Doherty. The same person that forbids Claire from posting on here. Pathetic. Can’t wait to see the emails and text that the Lawyer receives. This should play out well and maybe end up with some criminal charges for these wanna be leaders.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    Bathroom breaks or smoking breaks? My employees might break the law and use their own break time as they so choose? Selective enforcement of rules and regulations, what say you? Contact NJ Dept of Wage and Hour. Just because you don’t pay taxes on your tips doesn’t mean you deserve mistreatment.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink
  14. #12. Nice try BUT Dirty Doherty must be protected. The one who calls the shots has always been Colleen, ” hatchet lady”. It is by design and agreement. Colleen, like Huisman care little about perjury. Trust me, I know from experience.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink
  15. Anonymous wrote:

    Here’s the question-
    Was Ollie Klein contacted by any member of the governing body or town rep and told to go to the council meeting to voice opposition to the transfer ? If so, someone may have a problem.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink
  16. PJ wrote:

    As always, thank you for doing such a great job reporting on the issues.
    In addition to the comments posted above, all of which I agree with, I have an issue with O. Klien re-introducing his list of concerns, which have already been addressed by the appropriate agencies, in an attempt to sway the dais in rejecting the transfer. He was fully aware that these concerns have all been addressed and the Harmons have agreed to the recommendations. I feel it was pretty low on his part, knowing fully that the 2 woman on the Dais have little to no understanding of the law, the process of a Liquor License transfer nor their job descriptions. I personally will not patronize his establishment and truly believe that he in addition to the entire Dais was and continues to be out of line.

    I also believe I heard Colleen state, that the redevelopment contract allowed this temporary bar structure to be utilized for 3 years after which time the residential/commercial project would begin. She stated, “The contract expires this year” (I would love to see the Harmons receive an additional 3 years!!). If anyone should have spoken up in an attempt to set the record straight, it should have been her. Very very easy to draw a conclusion…………..!

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink
  17. Board Walk Pavilions wrote:

    Meanwhile, there is virtually no work being done…..

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 2:55 pm | Permalink
  18. Aileen Fahy wrote:

    Since the council people opposed Salt’s license because of concern about noise, I assume they’ll oppose next year’s liquor license transfer for D’Jais. Belmar residents negatively affected by noise coming from D’Jais, or from patrons who attended D’Jais, should count on their council people next year to not renew. Now’s a good time to get the letter writing campaign going. Of course many people love D’Jais, and that’s fine. But this vote should set a precedent. And anyone affected by the noise (or puke, urination, defecation, unwanted sleeping guests on porches or even living rooms, yelling, screaming, fighting, cursing, and sex in the street) should feel free to count on them to stand with you and speak on your behalf.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink
  19. joe goofinoff wrote:

    Got a security camera, not for criminals but for the police.
    #8 – you have to understand for the most part, the “police” come from the lowest echelon of society. They’re people who aren’t up to working in the private sector and know it and resent decent people because they understand they’re at the bottom rung of the ladder.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink
  20. Light of Day wrote:

    19. Joe, I really don’t agree with you. We have policemen in our family. The injustices that I experienced, the disregard for the law at my expense were not by any and all Belmar patrolmen /women and detectives, only the two who have been bought and paid for and continue to exact harm on innocent members of our community.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 3:52 pm | Permalink
  21. #18 . Aileen If I were you I would not count on it. Better you concentrate on getting listings far from the madness, or pray prospective buyers don’t read the papers or this blog. ( or website) I will be selling and was all set on Ft. Meyers Fl TILL, I found out that their per capita violent crime rate was higher than Newark and Trenton, NJ. Buyers beware.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 3:57 pm | Permalink
  22. Just the facts wrote:

    Meanwhile the new building for chefs is being built up pretty quick at marina. Guess before Matt leaves and new administration realize they have no permits

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 5:08 pm | Permalink
  23. Hoffa wrote:

    Is the town going to have to pay for the named plantifs attorneys fees ? They are named individually ? It will be nice to see Matt get Bitch slapped by someone other Kenny. Too many people involved in this mess for it not to fall apart on ol Dirty Darts

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 5:25 pm | Permalink
  24. joe goofinoff wrote:

    #20 – Just take a gander at that guy who works at 12th and Main, 7:30 AM, Mon-Fri. school days. That’s like poking decent people in the eye with a sharp stick. I certainly hope they don’t allow him to have actual bullets in his gun. Then again, I hope the gun is a toy. They can’t have someone like that on the payroll as a policeman. If I were the chief, I’d tell him to come to work in civilian clothes and only change into uniform when he gets inside the precinct. And then keep him in the precinct house until the end of his shift. Then change back into civilian clothes and go home, and under no circumstances, ever tell anyone he works for Belmar. That’s just not right.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Permalink
  25. HMM? wrote:

    Counciwoman Keown-Blackburn voted No out of concern for the nearby residents? How about those that live around D’Jais, LaDolce Vita? Don’t those residents matter? That’s right Chef’s isn’t too worried about them.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 5:50 pm | Permalink
  26. nodee nyall wrote:

    We need Claire to tell us that everything is still fine and under control. In an alternate reality.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 6:01 pm | Permalink
  27. Bill Straus wrote:

    #19 Joe please excuse me for saying so but you are such an Ass. Sorry Dave I apologize and if you have to not post this I understand

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink
  28. Anonymous wrote:

    “Here’s the question-
    Was Ollie Klein contacted by any member of the governing body or town rep and told to go to the council meeting to voice opposition to the transfer ? If so, someone may have a problem.”

    Someone absolutely contacted Ollie. And soon as Ollie received notification from the lawyer he was being sued he contacted the coast star and changed his story. At least Ollie is worried about his improper behavior.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 6:18 pm | Permalink
  29. joe goofinoff wrote:

    #27 – Thank you sir…

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 7:43 pm | Permalink
  30. ALLTRUMPEDUP wrote:

    Yes. #27- Thank you. I’m happy others have noticed.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Permalink
  31. callmecynical wrote:

    “In December, Capt. Huisman chose to interview three individuals who has issued loans in the form of promisory notes to the Harmons for the restaurant, Mr. McLaughlin said, clarifying that none of the individuals were share holders or had interest in ownership or the license.”

    This is interesting: maybe to find out if these parties could be squeezed for “pay to play” donations?

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 9:33 pm | Permalink
  32. callmecynical wrote:

    “According to Ms. Connolly, the version containing the conditions was distributed to the council members at the meeting and was therefore the version voted on.”

    This is a joke, as anyone who observes closely the council members, they do not really “read” anything, and if they glance at written words, it is only superficially, without real understanding, in my opinion. Why read and understand? They are instructed how to vote anyway.

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 9:40 pm | Permalink
  33. Perry Como wrote:

    Well it looks like the letter writing campaign to the Coast Star, et al, has started trying to inculcate the virtuosity of anyone running on the Dirty Hil Doherty train.

    Do you think that strategy is working in Belmar? It takes a village to run those characters outta town you know.

    What happened to that SUSKO case? Will they say “what difference does it make” after the fact?

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 9:50 pm | Permalink
  34. Map it Out wrote:

    I don’t get the whole distance to residential dwellings thing. Salt might be the furthest away from any residential dwelling including apartments than any other bar in town. If this is the case Dirty Darts just shot himself in the foot, and they should have the same restrictions if not less as 9th Ave nothing different when it comes to serving and outdoor entertainment.

    Friday, June 17, 2016 at 9:08 am | Permalink
  35. Cost to Citizens? wrote:

    How much have these law suits cost the citizens that the town has lost? matt should be held accoutable for that.

    Friday, June 17, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink
  36. Love the Beach wrote:

    Noticed that the Clerk wasn’t named responsible in the article even though that is the position responsible for liquor licensing review for the governing body approval. Probably her hands were tied. The Administrator has no business overseeing the application process and is just micromanaging the governing body’s agenda. Plus the resolution being on the website, then taken off the website and revised is deplorable. Reminds me of the referendum ballot summary resolution lawsuit. They could lose their homes if found personally at fault. Well, I won’t be donating any money to them. They can set up a go fund me page.

    Friday, June 17, 2016 at 10:42 am | Permalink
  37. Just the facts wrote:

    They should all step down; Mayor, Council, Administrator, Chief of PD, building officials. All part of this conspiracy

    Friday, June 17, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink
  38. callmecynical wrote:

    ““I’ve known the Harmon brothers for over 25 years. When I was recreation director, there was no single better sponsor to the recreation department than the Harmons, not even close,” Mr. Magovern said. “Sometimes I think it’s personal.””

    Well, well, well, Magovern must have voted “yes” because the Harmons have already “given” to his program, as I read this. Tell us, please, how this is personal – Doherty,, could not squeeze them further? Keep talking, Brian, clarify matters for us. Pretty soon you will be muzzled more strongly and told to stay home from meetings.

    Friday, June 17, 2016 at 2:49 pm | Permalink
  39. Planet Belmar wrote:

    #38. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT GET USSED TO IT. This will be on record as the only, non-sanctioned, non-prepared unmuzzling of Brian’s Political career. Trust me, I wish it were not so.

    Friday, June 17, 2016 at 6:14 pm | Permalink
  40. callmecynical wrote:

    #39 You are right, we cannot have the potential future mayor (if Matt wins as freeholder) saying things that complicate his new job, or, more accurately, both of their future jobs. Mayor “BooBoo” Brian – that scares me.

    Friday, June 17, 2016 at 7:01 pm | Permalink
  41. Tulip wrote:

    #19 FYI “The lowest echelon” that you are denegrating deserves defense. My son retired from the Atlantic City
    Police department. He applied for the job with a degree in Political Science major and Police minor. He was hired moved up through the ranks and retired because the pension system in the city was about to be attacked by the politicians. He retired with a Masters
    And is currently working for the state as an Investagator which was part of his job as a Police Officer. If you consider his history and most of the men on most departments “The Lowest
    Eschelon” shame on you because you can’t be any more ignorant than you are. I rest my case.

    Friday, June 17, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Permalink
  42. joe goofinoff wrote:

    #41 – Madam, we’re talking Belmar here. I don’t know when Belmar Elementary school finishes up here in Belmar, but if it’s still in session Monday, go at 7:30AM, 12th and Main and look at that poor soul, and then tell me if I’m wrong. It’s extremely cruel to the citizens of Belmar to be subjected to seeing him.
    I apologize for not making myself clear.

    Friday, June 17, 2016 at 8:56 pm | Permalink
  43. DJAIS DRUNKARD wrote:

    drinkin IN TOWN is good for DA peeps – lets not playa hate discriminate but tolerate increase the TOLERANCE for ALCOHOL tyeeyhah

    Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink
  44. Mm wrote:

    The point everyone is missing is this is all about D’Jais. Frank doesn’t want to lose business to this competition, and he owns the council through every campaign he has paid for, and the votes he delivers to Freehold!

    Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink
  45. ALLTRUMPEDUP wrote:

    $42- It must be tough being perfect. Apparently you are the only person on earth that God gave the divine powers to be able to judge a person by the way they look. Go buy a mirror.

    Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink
  46. joe goofinoff wrote:

    #45 – Sir, make the time to drive by that corner and put you eye on that poor guy. It’s not his fault he’s on the force. It’s the fault of other higher up in the chain of command who are responsible. They should have told him to find out what he was good for and do that. But they didn’t. They went ahead and hired the guy and then made matters worse by flagrantly putting him in a place where the public could view him. And, yes, part of my job has always been to size people up quickly.

    Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink
  47. Little town wrote:

    #46, You sir are disgusting human being. I hope karma comes and kicks you hard.

    Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Permalink
  48. joe goofinoff wrote:

    #47 – Too late, karma’s kicking me in the butt has already happened many times before. However, in that I’m still here, it could very well happen again.
    As far as my being a “disgusting human being,” That’s what my wife just said to me a few minutes ago.

    Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

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