Judge: Belmar’s new pay to pay ordinance, “Matt’s Law” is not law

Doherty’s lawyer asks Court for a gag order

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty

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.

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Posted: April 27th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Belmar, Matt Doherty, Monmouth County News, Monmouth Democrats | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Doherty to withdraw from Freeholder race

Mayor Matt Doherty and Governor Chris Christie walk the Belmar boardwalk. Photo Credit: Tim Larson, Governor's Office

Mayor Matt Doherty and Governor Chris Christie walk the Belmar boardwalk. Photo Credit: Tim Larson, Governor’s Office

Belmar, April 1- Mayor Matt Doherty will withdraw as a candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder and resign as mayor of the borough to become Deputy Mayor of Jersey City, according to a confidential memo obtained by MoreMonmouthMusings.

For years, Doherty has declined to run for Freeholder because, like his friend Governor Chris Christie, he prefers to be #1 rather than one of group. He agreed to Monmouth Democrat Chairman Vin Gopal’s plea that he run this year because he needs a quick exit from Belmar where he knows the gimmicks and tricks he has employed as mayor will blow up next year and cause massive tax hikes. Doherty calculated that this would be the year for him to win on a county level because Hillary Clinton, he thinks, do very well with Monmouth County voters and he will benefit from her pant suit tails.

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Posted: April 1st, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Belmar won’t disclose where FEMA money is, Resident sues for records

Where is the $5.4 million that Matt Doherty claimed FEMA gave Belmar for Taylor Pavilion?

christie Doherty belmar

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.

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Posted: March 15th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Belmar, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

The Arnone Report: Spring into Monmouth County

By Freeholder Director Tom Arnone

Freeholder Director Tom Arnone and Deputy Director Serena DiMaso at the Asbury Park St. Pat's Parade

Freeholder Director Tom Arnone and Deputy Director Serena DiMaso at the Asbury Park St. Pat’s Parade

The past two weekends have been filled with fun festivities throughout the county and the list of activities throughout the rest of March includes parades, plays and performances. March is the month to celebrate the end of winter by getting outside and with two holidays happening this month, there are plenty of great events to choose from.

There’s nothing like a parade to usher in the month and the St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Belmar on Sunday, March 6 was the perfect place to do it.  Those of you who were in attendance may have seen me, along with my colleagues, on our 2016 float – it was a great way to participate in the parade – we had the best view! I also had a great time at the Asbury Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 13 walking with Freeholder Serena DiMaso, along with Mayor Moor and members of the Council and look forward to keeping the festive spirit alive in the Highlands by walking in their parade on March 19.  March 20 marks the first day of spring, so take the kids outside (if weather permits) and join the Monmouth County Park System for a nature walk at 10 a.m. at the Manasquan Reservoir to look for signs of the new season.  Log onto www.visitmonmouth.com for a full list of activities throughout the County.

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Posted: March 14th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County News, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Arnone Report: Spring into Monmouth County

Belmar Residents Seek To Repeal Loosened Ethics Laws

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty laughs with approval during Governor Chris Christie's famous "Sit Down and Shut" speech during the Two Year Anniversary Community Event in Belmar, N.J. on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

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:

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Posted: March 3rd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Belmar, Matt Doherty, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Doherty: Belmar’s new pay to pay law has nothing to do with his Freeholder campaign

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, left, is preparing to face off with Freeholder Director Tom Arnone, right, in the November election.

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.

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Posted: February 2nd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Belmar, Matt Doherty, Monmouth County, Monmouth County News, Pay-to-play | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Year in review: February 2015

Fire fighter Pat Breen and Freeholder Lillian Burry inspect the devastation in Ocean Grove. Feb 7, 2015. Photo by Bob Burlew

Fire fighter Pat Breen and Freeholder Lillian Burry inspect the devastation in Ocean Grove. Feb 7, 2015. Photo by Bob Burlew

Fort Monmouth was designated as an Ebola quarantine site.

Mater Dei Prep was slated to close.  The community raised $1 million to save the school.

While in New Hampshire, Governor Chris Christie criticized Governor Maggie Hassan for appearing to be more focused on running for her next job than on governing the state she was elected to lead.

Christine Giordano Hanlon was nominated to replace M.Claire French as Monmouth County Clerk.

Locals remembered Brian Williams’ early exaggerations.

A fire destroyed four businesses and seven apartments in Ocean Grove.

In reaction to 50 Shades of Grey, Tommy DeSeno wrote that sex is the same for everyone, like eating, and that we shouldn’t talk about it so much.

Belmar’s Home By Summer campaign raised $50K in two weeks to assist the last two borough residents who were displaced by Hurricane Sandy get back into their homes.

The year in review: 2015

 

Posted: December 26th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Year in review: February 2015

Belmar’s controversial boardwalk pavilion narrowly approved by voters

assetContentBELMAR — 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 »

Posted: November 4th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2015 Elections, Belmar, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Belmar marks Sandy anniversary with return of last 2 displaced families

assetContentBELMAR – 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 »

Posted: October 27th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Belmar, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Belmar marks Sandy anniversary with return of last 2 displaced families

Shark River Dredging Contract Awarded

11350584_1030419283658703_4977899953030200993_nThe New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Office of Maritime Resources has awarded the bid to complete the long awaited Shark River and Shark River Spur Dredging Project to the low bidder, Mobile Pumping & Dredging Co., of Chester, PA. MPD’s bid of $7,649,817.50 was $1.8 million lower than the next closest bidder.

The State of New Jersey will contribute over $5 million to the project. Monmouth County will contribute $1.1 million and Neptune Township has committed $450,000.  Belmar, Neptune City and Wall Township are expected to share the remaining costs of the project, according to a statement isssued by Senator Jennifer Beck,  Freeholder Tom Arnone and Neptune Township Committeeman Randy Bishop.  Beck said the project will start this year, “if all the stars align,” and will be completed by the end of 2016.

“After over two decades, there has finally been a bid awarded to dredge Shark River. Notably, The National Marine Fisheries only allows dredging work from July 1st to December 31st, so I’m happy to see this monumental step taken forward, which, if all the stars align, will allow dredging to begin this year. None of this could have been possible without the work of Freeholder Tom Arnone and Committeeman Randy Bishop, working together in a bipartisan fashion with every state, county, and local stakeholder to make this project happen. While the State is investing more than $5 million, the project couldn’t have moved forward without the assistance of Monmouth County, which is accepting the material at its landfill and helping to fund the trucking. In addition, a number of surrounding municipalities have preliminary agreed to share in the cost of the project” said Beck.

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Posted: September 26th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »