Campaign materials for and against the Belmar Bonding referendum. Photo via Thomas Burke’s facebook page
In a stunning rebuke to Mayor Matt Doherty who campaigned hard for its passage, Belmar voters today overwhelmingly rejected borrowing $7 million to rebuild two pavilions on the boardwalk.
Doherty told MMM this afternoon that he expected the turnout would be like that of any general election and that his side spent as much on this Special Election as they have in any general election. Doherty spent $10,411 in his 2010 campaign for mayor, according to his reports at the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission.
Thomas E. Burke was a leader in the movement to force the referendum and in the campaign to defeat the measure. Burke told MMM that his side spent between $500 and $1000 and had a volunteer campaign team of about 20 people.
1,797 voters cast a ballot. 1,041, 58%, voted against the borrowing. There are 4,407 registered voters in Belmar.
Beck: Federal and State Agencies Haven’t Approved Drying Sites
Governor Chris Christie told his Town Hall gathering in Belmar yesterday afternoon that the dredging of Shark River is being held up because the municipalities along the river and Monmouth County can not agree on a destination for the dredge spoils to be dumped.
The issue has gathered increased public attention in recent months due to a massive fish kill in the river last May. 310 tons of dead fish were removed from the shoreline of the estuary that feeds into the Atlantic through the inlet between Belmar and Avon-by-the-Sea and extents 11 miles through Neptune and Wall Townships.
In answering a question from a man who identified himself as Bob from Wall, Christie said that he supports the dredging, fought for money from FEMA to pay for the dredging and would impose a solution on the county and municipalities if he had the authority to do so. He said he had been briefed on the issue three weeks ago.
Maybe the Governor remembered a briefing from a different dredging project when answering Bob’s question.
Both the Monmouth County and Neptune landfills are willing to take the dredge spoils, according to Senator Jennifer Beck. The river hasn’t been dredged, Beck said in a phone interview last night, because over the last two decades various federal and state agencies have rejected every proposed location for the dredged materials to dry before being moved to their final disposal site.
Doherty: We were in the middle in the worst natural disaster in the history of New Jersey. Taking care of people trumps accounting principles
Mayor says he will ask ShopRite to replace lost cards
Belmar Borough Administrtor Colleen Connelly posing with cash donations. Photo provided by Councilman Jim Bean
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office has found that the Borough of Belmar distributed ShopRite gift cards purchased with cash donations in the wake of Super Storm Sandy without following generally accepted accounting principles.
In a letter to Councilman Jim Bean dated July 11, Special Deputy Attorney General/Acting Assistant Prosecutor John Loughrey said, “There is, however, every indication that the cards were not properly inventoried, adequately managed or or appropriately secured at any point after they were taken into custody of the Borough of Belmar.” Loughrey’s letter to Bean can be found here.
Loughrey said there is no evidence that any one person or groups misappropriated the Shoprite gift cards.
The Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation on January 31, 2014 after Bean discovered a $9,050 discrepancy in reports of how the cards were distributed. In answering OPRA (Open Public Record Act) requests from Bean, Belmar Elementary School business administrator Loretta Hill reported that the school received $7,950 in gift cards while Borough Clerk April Claudio said that $17,000 in gift cards were given to the school.
The Belmar Arts Council is primarily a volunteer organization that is housed in a building located at the corner of 7th Avenue and River Road near the railroad tracks in the Borough of Belmar.
It is dedicated to improving the quality of life for our residents, visitors and neighbors by helping the arts to flourish and offering diverse and exciting experiences in both the visual and performing arts for people of all ages in a quaint coffee-house atmosphere.
BELMAR – The borough’s efforts to recover from Hurricane Sandy have been mired in controversy and legal battles. And last week, a Monmouth County Superior Court judge dealt yet another blow to the recovery process. In April 2013, the Borough Council…
Federal auditors are questioning more than $500,000 in Hurricane Sandy debris removal costs in Belmar, saying the town awarded two contracts that did not comply with federal rules and lacked paperwork to support other expenses. The Department of Homeland…
BELMAR – It’s back to the drawing board for the borough’s redevelopment plans. Following up on a campaign promise made by Mayor Matt Doherty, Belmar is scrapping its old redevelopment plan and is convening a committee to draft a new one. “The…
Pallone says legislation is not necessary, regulators can change the rules
Governor Chris Christie listens to a resident’s question in Belmar. March 25, 2014 MMM photo/Art Gallagher. Click for larger view.
Governor Chris Christie told the 650 people in attendance at his Town Hall Meeting in Belmar yesterday that he went to Washington last week to ask HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan to waive the rule that is keeping Sandy victims from rebuilding their homes while they are waiting to find out if they will be approved for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) grants of up to $150,000.
The RREM program will not reimburse homeowners for work done on their homes prior to their acceptance into the program. Over 3000 people are on the RREM waiting list for the second round of HUD funding which is expected to be awarded late this spring. They are in limbo, living in temporary housing, paying rent and mortgages, while their ruined homes are dormant.
Christie said that Donovan told him he could not waive the rule because a specific federal law prohibits grants being used to pay for work performed prior to the federal approval being secured.