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Breaking Ground Or Breaking The Rules?

Appearing on the mayor’s Facebook today:

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 7.36.12 PM

Very strange.

You may recall last November, the morning of the 9th actually, I wrote about Belmar not having proper construction permits from DEP for the latest version of the restaurant Chef’s wants to build at the marina.  A few days after writing the story I made the following OPRA request:

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In the attachment was this November 9 email from Borough Engineer Nick DeCotis to the state DEP:

11-09-15 2.22PM DeCotis

And the DEP response:

11-09-15 2.37PM Kropilak

Apparently, they didn’t even know at that point that the old building had already been demolished and only learned of the demolition a few days later.  I obtained this email from somebody else’s OPRA request made subsequently to mine:

11-12-15 12.00PM Kropilak

I wanted to see the revised plans that were to be submitted to DEP so I could share them with you and so I fired off a new OPRA request.  Below is the email chain between myself and Borough Clerk April Claudio:

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So.  What to make of the fact that they are breaking ground Monday?  I can only think of two possibilities; a) they never submitted revised plans and are just going ahead with building despite being warned not to, or b) my OPRA request for the revised plans was ignored.


  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Dave: there are piles and then there are pile drivers. Some think someone is waltzing around OPRA requests.

    Call Bob Cooper for updates.

    Friday, January 29, 2016 at 10:43 pm | Permalink
  2. Eugene Creamer wrote:

    the project may require test pile(s).

    Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 12:00 am | Permalink
  3. P. Denialbility wrote:

    The more I OPRA, the more I learn about the Connolly administration in Superior Court or the gutters of Belmar, I am struck by her use of others in protection of herself an as she states, “her mayor”. Who doesn’t know what has been the game for sometime. Pity the, “her” professionals. Hit list has included: Bill Young, Robyn Kirk, Michael Dupont… I am 85% sure I can pick who is next, Can you?

    Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 6:04 pm | Permalink
  4. ms.perspicacity wrote:

    Someone with at least 90% integrity who maintains records but knows to whom she must report.

    Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Permalink
  5. Count Me In wrote:

    I’ll take Monday off if I have a chance to finally meet the Lombardi Brothers who own Chef’s International. Groundbreaking should prove to be not only exciting but informative.

    Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 2:02 pm | Permalink
  6. ms.nobody wrote:

    This comment could be applied to several articles on this blog, but I will state my thoughts here. When residents voted for the mayor and the individual council members, did that voting public know that the mayor and council members get the benefit of their own lawyer whose fees are paid for by residents’ taxes? Nice perk. The advice given by the mayor to one person who wanted clarification about an ordinance was that she should ask her own lawyer. Is there a precedent for that idea, excluding the history of the borough’s being sued several times, possibly because the borough had bad legal advice, or, the mayor chose to do his own thing, disregarding counsel? Did Matt make up his own “law” about this limited access to the borough attorney matter? And why would mayor and council need their own lawyer unless they were interested in finding that “wiggle room” referred to by Mr. Magovern in the past? The whole administration is a farce, exemplified by the blatant, inappropriate and disrespectful laughing of a certain councilwoman upon the dais. A whole bunch of braying donkeys they are.

    Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 4:08 pm | Permalink
  7. Lovely Lisa wrote:

    Why worry about regulations when it is urgent to bring more beer drinkers into Belmar?

    Parking will be a nightmare at the marina.

    Monday, February 1, 2016 at 1:57 am | Permalink
  8. Shaking My Head wrote:

    I used to enjoy going to the marina on weekends when the beach was too crowded to either sit and read a good book or just relax and watch the activity going on – folks fishing, jet skiers etc… guess no more…

    Monday, February 1, 2016 at 12:54 pm | Permalink
  9. Belmar Independent wrote:

    #8. Might I suggest you make a phone call to DEP Green Acres. You will feel better and it will give that head of yours a much needed rest.

    Monday, February 1, 2016 at 1:44 pm | Permalink
  10. The Mayor's Math wrote:

    Today on twitter Mad Matt is proclaiming that the New private/public partnership with Chef’s International @ Belmar Marina will result in $24 million to Belmar taxpayers.
    Really? I just happen to have the lease here.
    Lets start with the signed lease. $125,000 per year main restaurant and extensive dinning drinking deck contiguous to expanded Tiki bar. Tiki Bar $95,000. per year. that is $220,000. a year income to Belmar in leased Green Acres Parkland. Now times that by 24 years ( lease) I get 5.28 million. Now we did ( I hope get $300,000. redevelopers fee at signing BUT that still leaves 18.42 million dollar difference.???
    What did the mayor give away for 5.28 million over 24 years. Well besides an entire K-Street Park used by day boaters ( now used for dewatering dredge) he gave away DPW garage storage space and the right to access by we the people for 24 years.

    Monday, February 1, 2016 at 4:42 pm | Permalink
  11. admin wrote:

    Maybe he’s counting the options to renew, which brings it to like 40 years. Of course most of us will be dead, buried and long forgotten by then.

    Monday, February 1, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink
  12. Bill Straus wrote:

    I’m not great at math but the big windfall the mayor is proclaiming on his twitter today is bogus. Using the actual lease, it amounts to a little over $10,000. a month income with a 2% over each year for inflation. Not enough to pay Mike Campbells Salaries and benefits. Just enough to pay Colleen salaray with no benefits.

    Monday, February 1, 2016 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

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