BELMAR - When Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty rolled out his re-election campaign in February, he did so still basking in the glow of what many residents of the 6,000-person Monmouth County seaside borough saw as a star performance in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Belmar's boardwalk was rebuilt before Memorial Day last year, supported by an aggressive rebuilding effort directed by Doherty. The reconstruction campaign was fueled in part by a borough-sponsored website that allowed residents and visitors to securely purchase the actual boards that comprise Belmar's new boardwalk.
The boardwalk was rebuilt with the considerable help of Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who met with Democrat Doherty soon after the storm. Doherty continues to tout an approach to local government that has helped Belmar to not raise taxes in the years since Doherty took office in January 2011. But a recent setback related to Sandy recovery has put a pothole in Doherty's heretofore apparently smooth road to re-election.
On Aug. 19, Belmar voters rejected a plan to borrow $7 million to rebuild two beach pavilions that were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. The special vote, which defeated the pavilion proposal by a 1,041 to 756 vote margin, or 57 to 43 percent, was a win for the plan's opponents, who argued that the project could be completed for less by using Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and insurance moneys. Supporters, however, claimed that the project was worth the expense since the pavilions must be built stronger to hold up to potential future hurricanes.
In an interview with PolitickerNJ, Doherty, who is now considering options provided by Belmar residents regarding the future of the pavilions, took umbrage at the way the "no" side presented their argument. Ken Pringle, a former Belmar mayor and fellow Democrat, played a leading role in the pavilion opposition, sending out a letter shooting down Doherty's plan just before the referendum vote. The letter, the production and distribution of which was paid for by Pringle and his wife, left Doherty particularly miffed.Read More >
Today, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-9) released the following statement regarding the increased Russian military aggression in Ukraine:
“Today, the President made clear what the world knows: that Russia is supporting, arming, and fighting alongside the separatists,” said Pascrell. “While multilateral sanctions are an important part of stopping Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine, we must also ensure the Ukrainian people are able to defend their families and homeland. The United States stands with the Ukrainian people, and I am proud to have helped introduce bipartisan legislation that would authorize the President to provide military assistance to Ukraine and reaffirms our commitment to helping Ukrainians. Even though they are not in NATO, Ukraine is a friend of the United States, and it is unacceptable that we not provide them the means to defend themselves and preserve their territorial integrity.”Read More >
SEA BRIGHT - Queried by NJTV reporter David Cruz in the lead up to his trip to Mexico next month, Gov. Chris Christie, not a hair out of place on the shore as he sandwiched a quick New Jersey appearance between RGA stops on the national trail, said speaking Spanish isn't a pre-requisite for the presidency.
"No," he told Cruz bluntly, and claps and whoops filled the seaside air. "English is our language."
"English," a woman shouted in affirmation.
Christie said he took Spanish in school and "I was really bad at it."Read More >
SEA BRIGHT - Gov. Chris Christie derided as irresponsible an open space measure on the November ballot secured earlier this month by the legislature.
As envisioned by Assemblyman John McKeon (D-27), the referendum will ask voters to designate a permanent source of funding to New Jersey's valuable open space, historic sites, parks, and clean water preservation.
"I'll be voting no," said the governor. "It's irresponsible to earmark this way. I'm voting no. When they can't get something by me, they go around" with a referendum question."
Christie also criticized those renewing calls for more gun control.
"There's not a legislative remedy to every [tragedy]," he said, denouncing "politicians who want to get their names in the paper" when they propose stricter gun laws in the wake of deadly shootings.Read More >
CAMDEN - The protests in Ferguson, MO, may have dissipated as national outrage over the killing of an unarmed black teen slowly fades to a whisper, but that hasn't stopped justice-seeking activist in New Jersey from continuing to embrace the cause: justice for Michael Brown.
"I stop by today to tell you that there is hope in hopeless times," said Pastor Rosalyn Parker, of Taste of Heavens Ministries, and one of several residents, faith and labor leaders, and civil rights activists who gathered here today to call on state and federal authorities to bring justice to the situation in Ferguson. "These things are happening year after year after year. We have to ask ourselves -- what must be done?"Read More >
SEA BRIGHT - Back in New Jersey after an RGA swing through Arkansas yesterday, Gov. Chris Christie slapped at Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.
"The mayor should run the city and not run the schools," said Christie, who cited the city's budget deficit. "The mayor has plenty on his plate to worry about."
Baraka earlier this week reiterated his belief that Newark should regain control of the school system and eject Schools Superintendent Cami Anderson, whom Christie just reappointed to a three-year term.Read More >
State Sen. Bob Singer (R-30) confirmed the discovery of a body by Israeli authorities in the forest where Lakewood student Aaron Sofer went missing last Friday.
Authorities have not officially determined that the body is Mr. Sofer.
But speaking for the community of Lakewood Singer said if it is, "It's tragic."
The veteran senator and former mayor of Lakewood said that from he understands, "He apparently slipped" while hiking in the mountains outside Jerusalem.
There is no evidence of the involvement of a terrorist organization, the senator said.Read More >
SEA BRIGHT - Gov. Chris Christie said today he is leaning against renewing red light cameras in New Jersey, but hasn't yet made a final decision on the subject.Read More >
Chris Christie's Jekyll & Hyde complex We all know the story: An amiable, even-keeled doctor, in an effort to separate the good from his darker impulses, concocts and consumes a secret potion that, momentarily, induces a metamorphosis of physical and mental being and turns him into a monstrous and...
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By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students. The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >
"He was a focal point for the disturbance." - former New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne (the Essex County Prosecutor in July 1967), of former Newark Mayor Hugh Addonizio- PolitickerNJ
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