Dyer Resigns from Point Beach Council
Now GOP committee will submit three names to council
Point Beach Councilman Jeff Dyer announced at Tuesday night's council meeting that he will resign from council effective Friday.
Dyer said his business is consuming his time and attention six days a week and he does not have enough time to do his council job properly.
Dyer said, "I won't stay in a position if I can't do the work. During the past three to four months, I haven't been able to put the necessary time into council."
After the meeting, Dyer said eight Point Beach members of the Ocean County Republican Committee will submit names of three candidates for the position and council will choose one. He said the committee may have a deadline to submit names in the next 16 days.
When asked if he knew if local Republican Club President Stephen Reid would want the job, Dyer said he had no idea.
"I'm not involved in that," he said.
Reid was narrowly beat by Mayor Vincent Barrella in the election. Republican Andy Cortes lost a council bid, but Republican William Mayer, currently the town's bond counsel, won.
When Dyer was asked after the meeting about how the timing of the announcement appears to validate recent rumors that Dyer would resign after the election, he said, "What rumors? I haven't heard any rumors. I'm working six days a week and my family comes first, incuding providing for my family. My wife is in favor of my decision."
The announcement was not purposely timed for the first meeting after the election, he said.
"The timing was only because of the process of discussing it with my family and I was hoping certain things would clear up in the business, but that didn't happen," he said.
Dyer has said his company, Shore Mobile Marketing, which sells marketing systems using mobile devices, has had Jenkinson's as a client for a number of months. That has prompted him to recuse himself from votes regarding Jenkinson's, although he has often still opined on those matters.
There have been rumors during the past few months that the owners of Jenkinson's wanted Dyer to be replaced with a pro-Jenkinson's council member, so they would once again have another friendly vote on council, rather than Dyer who always has to recuse himself.
Dyer said on Tuesday night there is absolutely no truth to those rumors and that no representative of Jenkinson's or any of their supporters asked him to leave.
"No one asked me to resign," he said.
Barrella noted that shortly before the announcement, Dyer, along with Councilmen Sean Hennessy and Tim Lurie, had voted against covering the cost of the summer's emergency appropriations for police overtime through bond anticipation notes.
At the July 19 meeting, at the urging of Police Chief Kevin O'Hara, who said his department was grappling with the highest volume of summertime crime in the past 17 years, council voted for $95,000 for police overtime. In September, council voted for another $60,000 for police expenditures, for a total of $155,000.
The proposal that was killed Tuesday night would have bonded to cover the cost of those two expenditures, and that bonding would have put the spending "outside the cap," meaning not among the expenditures subject to the state-mandated 2 percent tax levy cap.
Wiliam Mayer, the town's bond counsel, urged the council to pass the measure because that would put the expenditures outside the cap.
Point Beach officials, like those in many municipalities in the state, have found it difficult to budget for necessary expenditures, but still comply with the 2 percent cap.
But only council members Kristine Tooker and Michael Corbally voted yes. Mayor Vincent Barrella only votes if there is a tie.
But he made his opinion clear.
"That's 14 furlough days," he said, meaning that the town will have to impose 14 unpaid days on municipal employees to compensate for the expenditure of $155,000 not being bonded.
After Dyer's resignation, Barrella said, "For someone to vote on something that will cost employees 14 days and the public their safety at 9:10 p.m. and then say that he's leaving at 9:25, is unconscionable."
Barrella told the audience to note that Hennessy and Dyer, both Republicans, ignored Mayer's advice, despite that he has been bond counsel for years.
And Mayer was the GOP's one successful council candidate, Barrella noted after the meeting.
"It's one thing if they don't listen to me," Barrella said after the meeting, "but not listening to Bill! He's their candidate!"
After the meeting, Bret Gordon, who won the other open council seat running with Barrella as an Independent, said to Hennessy and Dyer, "Shame on you guys! Shame on you for what you did to employees!"
"Be more professional," Hennessy told him.
Hennessy later said he believes Gordon should behave more appropriately "now that he's Councilman-elect Gordon."
Hennessy said after the meeting that he voted no because he did not want the police expenditures to drive up taxes.
Hennessy said he never would have voted for the emergency appropriation this past summer if he knew it would be moved outside the cap. He asked the governing body at that same summer meeting if that money would be inside the cap. The council members said yes, he said.
Now, after the election, the same council memebers want to move the money outside the cap, he said.
"It's just another ploy to move money outside the cap and raise taxes," he said.
Dyer also said he had asked if the expenditures would be inside the cap and was told yes.
"I'm not for raising taxes," he said. "Yes, I do believe we needed police overtime, but I don't think we should pay for it outside the cap."
He said Barrella's statement that it will cost employees 14 days is "rhetoric. When you haven't even looked at the next budget, and you don't know how much surplus there is, and you say 14 furlough days, that's just rhetoric."
Hennessy said Reid and Jay Reynolds, Republican municipal chair, will arrange for committee members to meet to submit names of possible replacements.