Freehold-Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Katie Gummer ruled Wednesday that the new pay to pay ordinance in Belmar, dubbed “Matt’s Law” in honor of Mayor Matt Doherty who the measure would immediately benefit, is not law, has never been law and will not become law unless approved by Belmar voters in a referendum or unless the Court rules otherwise in coming weeks as a suit regarding a protest petition filed under the Falkner Act is further litigated.
For now, Doherty, who is running for Monmouth County Freeholder, and all candidates for office in Belmar are bound by the pay to play ordinances, passed in 2004 and amended in 2005 and 2011 (the current ordinance), that restrict campaign contributions from Belmar vendors, developers, liquor license holders and professionals to $300 and/or require that the office holders to recuse themselves from matters regarding the contributors that come before them.
Where is the $5.4 million that Matt Doherty claimed FEMA gave Belmar for Taylor Pavilion?
Gov Chris Christie and his favorite mayor, Matt Doherty of Belmar, on the boardwalk celebrating Sandy recovery.
The ongoing controversy over the rebuilding of the beach pavilions in Belmar has resulted in yet another law suit filed against the Borough by an activist resident calling for fiscal responsibility and transparency.
Joy DeSanctis filed suit last week against Belmar and Borough Clerk April Claudio in her capacity as Custodian of Records. DeSanctis is not seeking money, other than her legal fees. Rather, she is asking the Court to Order Belmar and Claudio to comply with the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and provide copies of all correspondence between Belmar and FEMA regarding Superstorm Sandy Funds and correspondence regarding the construction of the pavilions between October 29, 2012 and February 5, 2016, the date that DeSanctis filed her OPRA request.
The Committee of Petitioners to repeal Belmar’s recently passed Ethics Ordinance that would allow Borough elected officials seeking higher office to accept campaign contributions from town vendors, developers, professionals and liquor licensees and accept anonymous contributions under $300 submitted 326 signatures to Borough Clerk April Claudio today, according to Committee Member Katrina Clapsis.
Claudio confirmed the receipt of the petition.
Dubbed “Matt’s Law” by locals because the timing of the Ordinance’s introduction and passage coincided with Mayor Matt Doherty’s announcement that he is running for Monmouth County Freeholder, the measure is now subject to repeal by the Borough Council or a referendum within 40-90 days of the signatures being certified by Claudio. 61 more signatures than need to force a repeal or referendum were submitted, according to Clapsis.
Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty laughs with approval during Governor Chris Christie’s speech during the Two Year Anniversary Community Event in Belmar, N.J. on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. (Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen)
Belmar- A committee of Independent and Democrat Belmar voters is gathering signatures to repeal the recently passed Pay-to-Play/Ethics Ordinance that allows Belmar elected officials running for higher office outside of Belmar to accept campaign contributions from Borough vendors, professionals, liquor licensees and developers. New the Ethics Ordinance also allows those who contribute less than $300 to an elected official’s campaign to remain anonymous. The previous Ethics Ordinance required that all campaign contributions be disclosed.
In an announcement released on Common Sense for Belmar, Thomas Fahy, Linda Chelsen, Linda Sharkus, Katrina Clapsis, and former Mayor Kenneth Pringle said:
Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, left, is preparing to face off with Freeholder Director Tom Arnone, right, in the November election. Doherty said the relaxed pay to play law he is set to pass in Belmar has nothing to do with his Freeholder campaign.
The Mayor and Council of Belmar has introduced an ordinance that would remove the current restrictions on the Borough’s liquor license holders, real estate developers, professionals and vendors from contributing to the campaigns of Borough elected officials seeking higher office.
Mayor Matt Doherty told MoreMonmouthMusings that the ordinance has nothing to do with his candidacy for Monmouth County Freeholder.
Doherty announced that he is seeking the Democrat nomination for Freeholder on January 15. The ordinance was introduced on January 19 and is on the agenda for a public hearing and final vote at the Borough Council meeting tonight. Doherty said it will be tabled and another version will be introduced at tonight’s meeting.
BELMAR — Belmar residents should be getting a new pavilion on the boardwalk after voters Tuesday night narrowly approved a bond ordinance to borrow $4.1 million to rebuild what Hurricane Sandy destroyed three years ago. The approval wasn’t without confusion, though. Shortly after borough officials declared victory with a plan they had pushed and modified for… Read the rest of this entry »
BELMAR – In February, borough officials and The Saint Vincent De Paul Society of St. Rose in Belmar announced a fundraising campaign, called “Home by Summer,” aimed at getting the borough’s last two families displaced by Hurricane Sandy back in their own homes by June. Well, June came and went – as did the entire summer… Read the rest of this entry »
BELMAR — After a server at D’Jais Bar & Grill shared an image of her receipt on Facebook, thousands have weighed in on tipping etiquette in the restaurant industry. The Asbury Park Press reports that on Aug. 17, Jess Jones was waiting on a party of eight at the seaside restaurant and nightclub. The diners’ bill… Read the rest of this entry »
BELMAR — Elias, a 100-pound Hammerhead shark that has been swimming around the Jersey Cost over the past week, made its way to Belmar Sunday morning. The shark was recently tagged by OCEARCH, the same non-profit organization that tracks the whereabouts of social media sensation Mary Lee, a 3,000 pound great white shark. The group is… Read the rest of this entry »