Reid Appointed to Point Beach Council
Rizzo was one of three voting for Stephen Reid
Stephen Reid, who narrowly lost Republican mayoral bids in the last two years, was picked 3 to 2 by Point Beach Borough Council to replace Jeff Dyer at the council meeting at Borough Hall on Tuesday night.
Reid will serve the last year of Dyer's three-year term. Dyer said at the Nov. 22 meeting that due to his business, he did not have enough time to devote to council.
Before the vote for Reid, Councilman Michael Corbally had made a motion for the council to appoint Andy Cortes, who had narrowly lost his Republican bid for one of two, three-year open council seats.
Councilwoman Kristine Tooker seconded the motion, which was voted down by Councilmen Frank Rizzo, Sean Hennessy and Tim Lurie.
Hennessy then made a motion for Reid. That was supported by Rizzo and Lurie, with Corbally and Tooker voting no.
Tooker said she felt Cortes would be a better choice than Reid.
"I have concerns about him (Reid) not being able to be objective," Tooker said, adding he may have an issue similar to Dyer's.
Dyer had historically voted in line with Jenkinson's preferences, before starting to recuse himself earlier this year from votes regarding Jenkinson's since his business took on the boardwalk corporation as a client earlier this year.
Reid acknowledged in an interview last week that in his own job he had a "grass roots lobbying" contract, lasting about three months, with Jenkinson's in 2009.
An online copy of a Feb. 16, 2010 Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) report shows that Jenkinson's made a payment of $6,500 to Capital Public Affairs in Princeton in 2009, where Reid is a senior vice president.
Reid also acknowledged that Ed McGlynn, Jenkinson's attorney, has contributed $1,000 to Republican campaigns during the past two years.
However, Reid also said that he is going to make decisions based on what's right for the residents and that for anyone to suggest that he will not be objective in decisions involving Jenkinson's is insulting.
"It's a slap in the face to even be asked that question," Reid said last week. "I'm the one who said if Jenkinson's doesn't pay their fair share, we should put restrictions on their liquor license when it comes up for renewal in June. Do you think Jenkinson's liked that? Do you really think I'm going to vote the way Jenkinson's wants because of $500? Come on!"
At the Tuesday night meeting, Tooker said, "I'm also concerned about anti-mayor sentiment. We've had so much nonsense in the last couple of years, it's ridiculous. I've really had it and it's got to stop."
Tooker made similar remarks in a Patch story last week, prompting Reid to say last week, "I do not hate the mayor. I called the mayor up and told him I don't hate him. And if I do get on council, I don't want to fight with the mayor."
The council was considering Reid and Cortes because they were two of the local Republicans nominated by five of the eight Point Beach members of the Ocean County Republican Committee at a recent meeting. The third was former mayor Thomas Vogel.
The other three committee members were absent at that committee meeting, according to Jay Reynolds, Republican municipal chair.
Hennessy said on Tuesday night that he supports Reid because of his love for the town and that he nearly won the campaign for mayor last month.Hennessy said Reid and his family, who have longstanding family roots in town, recently moved back.
"They just moved back here from being outside Point Pleasant Beach for a while and that's because it's the town they love," Hennessy said. "He's a family man, he's a good man.
"Andy is also a great man, a great candidate," Hennessy said. "But when you decide between the two, Stephen put his name up last year and this year and he only lost by 30 votes."
After Reid was appointed, he and his family came to the front of the room and Municipal Clerk Maryann Ellsworth swore him in.
As Reid shook hands with all the council members and made his way to his council seat, Barrella joked, "Gee, I wonder if this dais can hold all seven of us up here. It's been a while."
"We'll be fine," Reid said, smiling, as he sat in the chair and pushed it towards the dais.
Later, Reid said, "Thanks to everyone on the committee and on the council who voted for me. I know we'll be able to work together and do great things for this town."
Barrella said congratulations to Reid, adding, "I know we've been meaning to go out and talk. Let's have that cup of coffee."
Before voting against Cortes, Rizzo said, "I know Mr. Cortes. I honor him. I respect him. He's one of the most honest people I've known in a long time but we need someone who can stand here and argue and debate with the ones who are running this town now.
"Like the councilwoman stated, she is looking for changes and changes should be made. My vote is no for Cortes," Rizzo said.
Corbally said, "Arguing is what we don't need."
"Exactly right, sir," Rizzo responded.
Corbally then answered, "Well, you just said that's what we need. My vote is for Andy."
In response to Tooker's comments last week questioning whether Reid can put residents' interests ahead of boardwalk business' interest, Hennessy left a comment after the Patch story that Barrella and Tooker took campaign contributions from "the same people."
Tooker, in response, said in an interview that she and Barrella have never taken any campaign contributions from boardwalk businesses.
"That money was from Senator Ciesla, not David Bassinder," Tooker said. "I would like Sean Hennessy to show me the ELEC report where it says that either of us took money from the boardwalk."
In the November election, the only Republican candidate to be successful was William Mayer, who won one of the two, three-year council seats.
Mayer has been the town's bond counsel but will not be reappointed to that position since he won the council seat.
The other successful candidates in November were Barrella, who ran for re-election as an Independent, and newcomer Bret Gordon who ran on the Independent slate with Barrella. Phyllis Thomson, who also ran with them, was not successful.
In other business, the last council meeting of the year will be at 4 p.m. Dec. 20. There will be no evening meeting on Dec. 20 and no meeting, as originally scheduled, on Dec. 27.
The reorganization meeting will be at 1 p.m. Jan. 1.