Deal looks to restrict parking near beach — again

assetContentDEAL — The borough plans to introduce an ordinance at its public meeting on Wednesday evening that will require residential permit parking on nearly a dozen streets with beach access points. Stephen R. Carasia, the borough’s clerk and administrator, cautioned on Tuesday that the ordinance is yet to be introduced and is still in the process… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 29th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Beach Access, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Deal looks to restrict parking near beach — again

Dueling Mayors in Belmar

Dueling Belmar Mayors

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty and Former Mayor Ken Pringle

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty said, “Ken Pringle is like a jaded ex-girlfriend who won’t go away.”

Ken Pringle, who was mayor of the oceanfront borough for 20 years before Doherty took over in 2011, isn’t sure how many times he’s sued Doherty and the borough since he left office. “Four or five, I’m not sure.”

Both Doherty and Pringle, who served together for four years, are Democrats.  Doherty was a councilman during Pringle’s last term as mayor.

At issue is the beachfront and money.

Pringle contends that Doherty and the Council are using the Beach Utility Fund to subsidize borough operations and to keep property taxes artificially low, in violation of the Public Trust Doctrine.  Doherty says that while Pringle was mayor Belmar’s property taxpayers subsidized the beach and that Pringle raised taxes 14 years in a row.   Doherty has not increased Belmar’s taxes since becoming mayor, keeping the borough’s spending flat at 2010 levels.

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Posted: May 11th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Beach Access, Belmar, Birdsall Engineering, Matt Doherty, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Court, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Thanks Gannett, for the kick in the teeth #STTS

Photo credit: www.SignsByTheSea.com

Photo credit: www.SignsByTheSea.com


As if the weather wasn’t a damper enough to the Jersey Shore kickoff that Superstorm Sandy ravished businesses, their employees and  shore area municipalities desperately need, the shore’s biggest newspaper, and its most popular columnist/blogger are working against us too.

The Asbury Park Press Editorial Board (formerly known here as the Neptune Nudniks, a title we retired the day before Sandy hit, but are tempted to bring back after today’s doozy), opines today that Governor Christie should issue an Executive Order doing away with beach badge sales.

What is really insulting, is that the APP blatantly show how ignorant they are about the New Jersey economy, our tax structure and the cost allocation of our various governments.

There is another logical reason for making the beaches free: revitalizing the Shore economy. What better extra inducement to get people to come to the Jersey Shore? Free beaches could mean millions of dollars in additional revenues for towns. More money spent in restaurants and bars, on summer rentals and motel stays, on souvenirs, on gasoline. For some families, beach fees are prohibitive. For a family of four, they can run $40 or more. That kind of expense can make the difference between going to the beach or staying home. Or between going once or twice a summer instead of several times during the season.

Doing away with beach badges would be a logical thing to do if it would bring revenues to shore towns. Duh!  Why didn’t the mayors think of that!?

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Posted: May 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: #STTS, Asbury Park Press, Beach Access, Belmar, Bob Ingle, Chris Christie, Hurricane Sandy, Jersey Shore, Neptune Nudniks, Superstorm Sandy, Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

There’s no such thing as a free beach

Sweeney wants to pay for beach safety and maintenance by getting rid of cops and dpw workers

Photo credit: www.SignsByTheSea.com

MMM has called Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) three times since he jumped on board with the Senator Mike Doherty (R-Warren) in sponsoring legislation that would ban shoreline municipalites from selling beach badges or imposing other user fees to pay for lifeguards, beach cleanup and policing, if those towns accept federal and state money to rebuild from the destruction of Hurricane Sandy.  He hasn’t called back.  Steve Sweeney is a kitten.  Kitten, kitten, kitten!

Given that he won’t talk to us, we’ll have to judge Sweeney’s crusade for free sand in his ass by what others report he says.  The Senate President invited himself to a meeting with the Asbury Park Press Editorial Board earlier this week to make his case for free beaches.

“You don’t charge me to breathe air, why are you charging me to sit on a beach?”

We should be grateful that the top elected Democrat in New Jersey hasn’t figured out how to tax breathing (yet).  But really now, our Senate President thinks breathing air (as opposed to grapefruit juice?) is analogous to sitting on a beach?  That is something we should be concerned about, especially since this guy is considering a run for governor.

Sweeney told the APP that Belmar and the other shore communities that impose beach user fees should cover those costs by consolidating police forces and departments of public works.  He said he would “beat up mayors down the shore” to make it happen “because its not acceptable, you know, to charge beach fees.”

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty took Sweeney’s first beating:

“I asked (Doherty), how many people live year-round in his town,” Sweeney said. “He’s got a one-square mile town, he’s got 5,800 people. Now, could we run a shared police department? I met his public works director today, could we run a shared public works office?”

“You guys know how I feel about shared services,” Sweeney told the APP.  We don’t know if the APP knows how he feels, but MMM thinks Sweeney is thwarting shared services and other methods that municipalities could use to reduce the size and cost of local government.   If Sweeney was serious about property tax reduction and more efficient local government he would have passed Governor Christie’s property tax tool kit.

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Posted: December 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Beach Access, Belmar, Government Waste, Hurricane Sandy, Jersey Shore, Matt Doherty, Mike Doherty, NJ State Legislature, Property Tax Tool Kit, Property Taxes, Reform Agenda, Stephen Sweeney, Superstorm Sandy, Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

State Senators Want To Prohibit Beach Badges

Senator Mike Doherty wants the Jersey Shore rebuilt with high-rise condos

State Senator Michael Doherty (R-Warren) would go a lot further than eliminating beach badges from the Jersey Shore if he had his way.  Doherty says that the pre-Sandy Shore was a failed economic model reminiscent  of the 1950’s Catskill Mountain bungalow communities and that our coast should be rebuilt in the image of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina,  Ocean City, Maryland and Destin, Florida with high-rise condos with pools, free beaches and high end merchants.

Photo Credit: Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Buerau. Click for larger view.

Doherty has proposed legislation that would prohibit coastal communities that accept state or federal funds to rebuild from selling beach badges or otherwise charging the public for access to the shore.  The bill would also require municipalities to provide free restroom facilities from Memorial Day through Labor Day annually.

Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) has signed on as a prime co-sponsor of the bill.  That means it is not likely to be buried in committee never to see that light of day.

“It is likely that state and federal taxpayers will provide hundreds of millions of dollars to repair and replenish New Jersey beaches that were washed away during Hurricane Sandy,” said Doherty. “Considering the massive public resources that will be directed at rebuilding many New Jersey beaches, it only seems fair to ensure that everyone have the opportunity to enjoy free access to the beaches they will support and help rebuild with their tax dollars.”

Sweeney said, “Where taxpayers are paying for beach restoration, they shouldn’t be taxed a second time just to walk on the sand. As New Jerseyans, we are all in the recovery and rebuilding process together. That means we should all be able to enjoy the reopening of our state’s greatest natural resource together, too.”

MMM called Doherty and Sweeney to ask how beach maintenance, life guards and police would be paid for under their plan.  Sweeney hasn’t gotten back to us, but Doherty gave us an earful.

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Posted: December 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Beach Access, Belmar, Economy, Hurricane Sandy, Jersey Shore, Matt Doherty, Mike Doherty, NJ State Legislature, Stephen Sweeney | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Belmar set to bond $20 million for rebuilding boardwalk

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty Photo Credit Mark Bonamo, NJ.com

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty and his colleagues on the Borough Council are acting on their pledge to rebuild the town’s boardwalk by Memorial Day 2013.

NJ.com reports that the governing body introduced a $20 million bond ordinance last week to provide the initial funding of the reconstruction.

Doherty said that Belmar’s property taxpayers will not be on the hook for the cost of the new boardwalk, with FEMA and the borough’s beach utility, which is funded by beach badge fees, paying off the bonds.

“It’s our understanding is that FEMA will pick up 75 percent of the expense, based on the language coming from the White House,” said Doherty, 39. “The remaining amount will come from the beach utility itself. So if you don’t use the beach, you’re not paying for anything. And zero dollars are coming from residential property-tax payers, with no property-tax hike anticipated.”

Beach badge prices are expected to rise from $7 to $8 for daily passes and for $50 to $55 for seasonal passes.

The mayor, a Democrat, had kind words for Governor Christie, but not so kind words for another Doherty, State Senator Michael Doherty.  The senator has proposed legislation that would eliminate a beach town’s ability to sell beach badges if state or federal funds are used to rebuild from Hurricane Sandy.

“I think Gov. Christie has done an outstanding job in his leadership, and one of the things he’s been very effective at is keeping politics out of anything related to the Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts,” Doherty, a Democrat, said. “I wish that Sen. Doherty would follow Gov. Christie’s lead as well. It’s nothing more than trying to score cheap political points after arguably the worst natural disaster that our state has ever experienced.”

The bond ordinance is expected to be passed at the December 3 meeting of Belmar’s council.

Promotion: Click for full view

Posted: November 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Beach Access, Belmar, Chris Christie, Economy, FEMA, Matt Doherty, Mike Doherty, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Governor Christie Doesn’t Want People To Access a Beach

By Joseph Reynolds, Co-Chair, Bayshore Watershed Council

New Jersey’s world famous beaches are a public space that bring people together
as equals. Yet, if Governor Christie gets his way it’s possible that new beach
access rules will dramatically reduce a New Jerseyan’s right to view, use and
enjoy the state’s rivers, bays and coast for fishing, swimming, jogging,
surfing, kayaking, birding, beachcombing, walking the dog, or simply enjoying a
stroll in the surf or along an urban waterfront.

New rules recently announced by NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin will roll back
years of hard-won progress by placing much of the control and authority over
beach access squarely in the hands of local towns. This is a system that has
proved disastrous for decades, as more than forty years of litigation over easy
public beach access has demonstrated.

Easy access to public beaches is not a tradition in New Jersey. It has only come
about after hard fought litigation between coastal advocates and towns or
business. Decades of poor planning by local politicians and planning boards has
lead to quite a few beachfronts now bordered by either a concrete wall or a wall
of private homes, townhouses, and commercial businesses.

There is a long history of many beach towns working against public access by
limiting on-street parking, limiting access from only dawn to dusk, installing
parking meters, prohibiting food and drink, and providing no public bathrooms.
It seems clear that many coastal towns are not accommodating the public’s right
to enjoy their water, but accommodating their desire to control public land use
for their financial benefit.

New beach access rules will only make matters worse and undo decades of progress
in ensuring the public’s right to walk on their beaches — many of which are
currently maintained with state tax dollars. New rules do not protect
year-round, 24-hour access, nor do they preserve current public access points.
New rules do not offer much in the way of public participation and there is no
provision on how NJDEP will enforce the plan or provide oversight to make sure
coastal communities provide ample and fair beach access.

A Rutgers-Eagleton survey paid for by the Surfrider Foundation recently found
more than 82 percent of those surveyed want towns that get beach replenishment
funds to provide better public access. Yet, the proposed NJDEP public access
rules contain no such requirement.

All of these issues provide great concern to New Jersey residents. Instead of
maximizing public access while ensuring the fair treatment of all people, the
new beach access rules proposed by the Christie administration will divide
people into income groups and put town against town to re-fight battles that
have already been won.

While Governor Christie says you should be able to freely enjoy our state’s
beautiful coastline, unfortunately his new beach access rules will make it
increasingly difficult to reach them.

I strongly encourage you to opposes the new public beach access rules and urge
anyone who wants to protect their right to enjoy New Jersey’s coastal waterways
(including Delaware Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, Barnegat Bay, and the
Hudson/Raritan estuary) to make your voice heard. Please contact Governor
Christie and NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin to demand that more public hearings
be held so that the working people who will be most severely impacted by the
proposed rules will actually be able to be part of the public discussion.

For more information check out the American Littoral Society at:

Posted: May 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Bayshore Watershed Access, Beach Access, Chris Christie | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Governor Christie Doesn’t Want People To Access a Beach