News Alert
PHOTOS: Large Brush Fire Raging In Berkeley,…

Martell's Owner Says He Uninvited Mayor Too

Scott Bassinder says mayor should apologize to his father


Scott Bassinder, owner of Martell's, says a letter uninviting the mayor from a fundraiser on Saturday night was from both him and his father.

"Yes, it was from me, I think Vinny owes my father an apology," Scott Bassinder said on Wednesday, referring to Point Beach Mayor Vincent Barrella calling David Bassinder, Scott's father, "a small man."

The letter, which had been emailed as an attachment, was cc'd to David Bassinder, former Martell's owner, but did not include Scott Bassinder's name.

"But it said Martell's, it was from me," Scott Bassinder said on Wednesday.

Barrella said on Tuesday night that he didn't know if Scott Bassinder was aware of, or in agreement with, the letter since his personal name was not on it. So Patch called Scott Bassinder on Wednesday to ask him.

Scott Bassinder said he was moved to tell Barrella not to attend the annual Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner at Martell's on Saturday night because he feels Barrella owes his father an apology.

"He called my father a small man" and said he had "chutzpah," Bassinder said, referring to how his father was described by Barrella. "I think Vinny owes my father an apology. He's been beating us up for years. And then he calls him a small man. It really hit a nerve."

Scott Bassinder said he and his father are "very close. So when the mayor said that, I felt is was disrespectful to my family."

The mayor had made his remarks about David Bassinder after he asked the town to use a parking lot on New Jersey Avenue near the oceanfront after Sandy struck.

"My father signed the letter asking for that because I was out of the country," Scott Bassinder said on Wednesday.

Martell's needed to move equipment onto the beach to be brought over to its pier which had been badly damaged by Sandy and is currently being re-constructed. Ultimately, Martell's found another access point onto the beach and did not use the town lot.

Barrella said that he would have voted yes, even though he was galled that David Bassinder had the "chutzpah" to ask.

"Chutzpah is defined as killing your mother and father and then pleading for sympathy because you're an orphan," Barrella said. "My feeling is I can't believe he's asking. This is chutzpah. I believe that if I had a vote I would look at the situation as this is a very small man making a request of this council and this council should be bigger than the small man. I would have voted yes, but I don't have a vote."

Scott Bassinder said on Wednesday that he supports the chamber's intent to honor local first responders, volunteers and municipal workers.

"I don't want to take anything away from them, but I'm kind of trapped because of the comments," he said.

When Barrella was told of Scott Bassinder's request for an apology on Wednesday, he said he didn't feel he needed to apologize, but that perhaps he should have used the word "petty" instead of "small man."

"I regret the language, but not the sentiment," Barrella said.

He said David Bassinder uninviting Councilmember Kristine Tooker from a Republican women's event at Martell's Water's Edge, Bayville, last June was "as petty as it could be," that he believes the still-pending litigation on the parking plan is "frivolous" and a waste of taxpayers' money and that he was amazed David Bassinder asked to use a town-owned lot while Martell's was suing the town on multiple fronts. At the time, David Bassinder owned the Martell's restaurant in Bayville, but has since sold it.

The letter uninviting Tooker said she was not wanted at Martell's because she was trying to put them out of business, a clear reference to Martell's opposition to the then-proposals for earlier bar closings and the parking plan.

A Resident February 07, 2013 at 03:56 PM
They just appeared now....
Spooner February 07, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Vince: your so full of it. . .if the parking plan was a " frivolous" lawsuit, your attorney could have moved for summary judgement...and you as a lawyer very well knows what that Court action is...but that was not the case. . .was it!
John Q. Public February 07, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Both Barrella and Martells are acting badly, but there is a big difference. Martells is a privately owned business; Barrella is a public servant. Martells has a perfect right to deny entrance to whomever they like. If you don’t like it, don’t spend money in Martells. But understand, Martells has a perfect right to not admit people they don’t want, as long as they don’t discriminate based on race, creed, etc. Barrella, on the other hand, is a public servant. He has an obligation to do what is best for the people of PPB. Barrella keeps shunning that obligation to vent his personal feelings (in this most recent example about being dissed) to the detriment of the people he is supposed to serve. If you don’t like what Barrella is doing, then be sure to vote in November for candidates Barrella does not support. That is what the voters of PPB did in November of 2011; this is what the voters should do again and again until all remnants of all things Barrella are purged from PPB.
Laura February 07, 2013 at 04:31 PM
When can a public establishment ban someone they just don't like? I'm sure glad they like Blacks, Mexicans, New Yorkers, etc. Just saying
None of Our Business February 07, 2013 at 04:45 PM
This article makes reference to Councilwoman Tooker being uninvited to an event at Martell's last June. That was a Republican County event. The event last June took place at Martell's Waters Edge in Bayville, not the Martells property here in PPB. The Mayor keeps referencing this situation as a means to justify his treatment of Mr. Bassinder regarding matters that affect the PPB business, when it appears that the Tooker situation was something outside of PPB, something that involved a County Republican event (Mayor Barrella is not a Republican elected official) and something that did not involve the Mayor directly. Just another example of Barrella-dependent party politics.
John Q. Public February 07, 2013 at 04:52 PM
As long as the public establishment is not discriminating based on gender, race, creed, etc. then they can exclude anyone they like, including a politican who they feel has been unfair.
A taxpayer February 07, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Ok, so the son likes being called the "owner" of Martell's. That is not important. What is important is that the father is the powerhouse behind the business and the lawsuit against the town. And he has the money and the intelligence to beat Barella in a lawsuit, or at least keep this tied up in court for a very long time. Unfortunately it is our tax dollars that have to defend Barella and the parking plan. We cannot afford this. This "petty" game between these two grown men needs to be stopped. If there is not some agreement between Barella and the Bassinders and the lawsuit is not dropped, the Bassinders could bankrupt our municipality. Fix this Mr. Mayor, or step down for the good of our town, so someone else can.
a lawyer February 07, 2013 at 05:14 PM
@ Laura A privately owned but open to the public business has the right to refuse anyone entry into their establishment. Perhaps you should concentrate on your own town's problems and stop defending the lib mayor in the Beach. By the way, Barrella deserves this treatment and it's a long time coming. The people over there that support him have destroyed a once reputable town.
A Resident February 07, 2013 at 05:25 PM
Martells is a PRIVATELY owned establishment that allows the public to frequent it. They are under 0 obligation to let anyone and everyone in. They own it, not the public. They, as the owners, can let in whoever they want. And they can NOT allow in whomever they want.
A Resident February 07, 2013 at 05:26 PM
On this one incident....Martells's is bringing the embarrassment. They created the "not invited" incident.
debra Fleming February 07, 2013 at 05:26 PM
I have never met Mayor Barrella, but I am appealing to him to PLEASE be kind to the struggling businesses in his town. This is a time when we must show solidarity ! I am owner of Cedar Creek Campground in Bayville and know that many of my guests are visitors to all of the surrounding towns who have been hit hard by storm Sandy. It is very important, especially now, for all of these storm ravaged communities to keep a positive spin to our joint recovery. You see, if we lose our tourists (and their many dollars) to other locations it may take years, if ever to regain their business. Often business and resident are at odds with regard to ‘ how each should behave ’, however, this is not the time to show our divisions. The future for all of us is hanging by a thread here, let us stand together and show the world “we will be ready”, for it is imperative that we continue to send a message of success and welcome to all the folks that love and enjoy, who we are, The New Jersey Shore.
HiHoSilver February 07, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Perhaps this question should be asked "if Barrella steps down as mayor, would the law suit go away?" And if the answer is yes, does Barrella care enough about our town to step down for the good of the people?
A Resident February 07, 2013 at 06:35 PM
You're not referring to Martells as a "struggling business" are you? They'd make a lot more if they charged realistic prices and lowered their "entry" fee.
Blondie February 07, 2013 at 06:48 PM
It's not about Scott liking to be called the "owner"...he is the owner. And speaking of petty, I was told by one of the councilman's wives that she and her husband refuse to patronize Martell's and the boardwalk regardless of the occasion or event. I hope certain members of the council that have it out for Martell's keep up the awesome camaraderie for PPB.
outofthebeach4now February 07, 2013 at 06:49 PM
@ a Resident, would you invite someone to your place of business if they have tried to put restrictions on same and a called you a small person????
Laura February 07, 2013 at 06:55 PM
a lawyer, The Beach hasn't been a reputable town in a very long time, way before, NAT SLADKIN was head of the Chamber of Commerce and PRESIDENT of the Republican club in the Beach. BTW, isn't the Chamber sponsoring the event? So Martell's is telling the Chamber who they will or will not allow in to a fundraiser? You wonder why people think the Beach is nuts? I already solved part of the Boro's problem. Susan Rogers is not on the Dais. Is she? Just curious, does anyone in the Beach have the intestinal fortitude to use their own names when spewing their vitriolic diatribes?
Randle McMurphy February 07, 2013 at 07:53 PM
Very well said Ms Fleming but unfortunatly the residents of PPB have to deal with Mayor Barrella and his tactless tactics. Like Mr Bassinder said, the Mayor has been beating them up in the press and dias for a long time now. Well I guess enough is enough and Martells/Bassinders said its time to take the gloves off, game on. The Mayor thrives on controversy, he causes it on a daily basis, then when it turns against him ,he and his cronies play the victim to do damage control. The people of PPB are finally getting it, Barrella is the worst advertisment for this town, time and time again he uses his position as Mayor to bully and disrespect people . Thank you Scott , Dave and the staff of Martells for helping hundreds of Sandy victims ,thanks for feeding the National Guard who were protecting our area and thank you for fighting the fight against the Mayor, theres many who back you 100%
HiHoSilver February 07, 2013 at 08:27 PM
Process of elimination...not hard to figure out. And its not the first time we've heard of their opinions about the boardwalk. Thanks for representing and serving our town "Councilman I'm not from Point Pleasant Beach but I want to change it into how I think it should be".
Blondie February 07, 2013 at 08:31 PM
Wow sounds like we know the same person!
Blondie February 07, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Well said. They have done an amazing job helping those truly affected by the hurricane.
Michele Pellechio February 07, 2013 at 08:42 PM
You all need to grow up!! Everyone has been devesatated by this event, not just Martells, not just the Mayor. American was not founded on who apologies and who does not, itis supposed to be a forgiving society. Get over it and GROW UP. Act like businessmen, not high school students.......
Nick Carraway February 07, 2013 at 08:50 PM
@ Laura....I'm confused by your comments about posting under your own name. You're posting under the name "Laura." Okay. That's a pretty common name. So, who are you? Laura Ingalls?
Carl Wilton February 07, 2013 at 11:37 PM
After Sandy's devastation, Jenkinson's sensibly dropped their lawsuit against all their neighbors in Point Pleasant Beach (let's be real here, folks - that's what a lawsuit against the municipal government really is, because it's the taxpayers who will pay the tab for legal fees). Martell's did not. Why not? If the real reason is a personal vendetta against the Mayor that leads them to try to pressure voters to make a change at the polls, then the lawsuit tactic seems a singularly ineffective way to achieve that goal. Once the citizens wake up to the fact that THEY'RE going to be footing the bill for legal services regardless of who wins, who will they be more likely to resent - the Mayor, or the well-heeled business owners who are doggedly continuing their lawsuit, after the boardwalk is in splinters and large numbers of those very same taxpayers have no idea whether their damaged homes can be saved? After Sandy, everything has changed. Some of us, it seems, are waking up to that reality a little more slowly than others. I'm grateful for all the things our largest local businesses have done over the years to support local charities, most recently aiding hurricane-relief efforts, but I just don't understand how the charitable right hand doesn't seem to know what the lawsuit-wielding left hand is doing. There seems to be a contradiction there that I just can't wrap my mind around.
Randle McMurphy February 08, 2013 at 12:34 AM
With all due respect Pastor I dont think you know what your talking about when you talk of Jenkinsons dropping their lawsuit. There plenty of reasons Jenkinsons dropped the lawsuit and most of all it was financially . They needed the Boardwalk up and running and stay open till 2 ( remember Tooker,Corbally ,Gordon voted No to repair a towns section because they wanted $$$ from businesses) . But dont forget the reason for the suit, Jenks filed it because they felt what the town did was illegal and that was their only recourse to stop the town from strong arming them for money was to take them to Court , what else could they do. There was no sense talking it out with The Mayor,Tooker,Corbally and Gordon. Remember the threat of a 12 O clock closing, you know the one Tooker says nobody wanted but they still voted for it to pressure the Boardwalk for $$$$$$$. And by the way ,where is this DEAL, the Mayor deal which is $50.000 a year for 20 years. Great deal we could of had $160.000 a year from Jenks and Martells but the Mayor ,Tooker ,Corbally,Gordon said no. If they accepted that the suit probably would have been dropped 6 month earlier. And who has the vendetta, I believe its the Mayor and company..
Jo Jo February 08, 2013 at 02:01 AM
That's insulting to every high school student. High School Students don't even act like the adults of this town.
Blondie February 08, 2013 at 02:05 AM
Pastor I'm really surprised. Hasn't Martell's helped you with your Christmas dinners? I see that you mention you're grateful, but sometimes being grateful comes with a little silence especially when it's the hand that helps you. Maybe the council volunteered for your event...because they certainly weren't around for either of mine. Martell's has every right to fight the town on something so absurd. And again they're not suing individual taxpayers, they're suing the town government. Would you be ok with the town telling you that in 2013 you couldn't hold your 11pm mass on Christmas Eve? I highly doubt it.
D4 Resident February 08, 2013 at 02:16 AM
Dear Pastor Wilton. You do yourself a disservice when you take a political stance in favor of one side or the other. You have lost my respect. I know my donations to causes you are associated with will now be directed elsewhere. More importantly you have no idea what you are talking about. Barrella has been attacking these businesses for his own selfish political purposes for years, to the detriment of PPB. They defend themselves the only way they can, and you want to blame them? I am shocked he fooled you so easily. And no, the storm did not change any of the above. PS----your disrespect for the legal system is despicable.
Carl Wilton February 08, 2013 at 04:25 AM
I'm trying hard not to take sides, other than being on the side of Point Beach's recovery, including that of Martell's and every other storm-damaged business. I wish the Mayor would have done everything he could to expedite beach access for Martell's construction equipment. I wish Martell's would have decided that now is not the time to continue a lawsuit against a town located near ground zero of a hundred-year storm. I wish everyone concerned - not just one side, EVERYONE - would have treated an event honoring first responders as a neutral zone, and not allowed it to become the latest in a long series of battlefields, with the result that the event itself was ruined and had to be cancelled. When a conflict rises to the red-hot intensity of this one, there's a tendency to assume every new voice is necessarily on one side or the other. I'm not interested in seeing either side prevail in this disagreement. I just want this conflict to be over, for the greater good of all - and I believe a growing percentage of my fellow citizens feel the same way. The Mayor may pay for it at the polls, and Martell's in lost business - and the whole town, in decreased tourism. It can't be anything other than a lose-lose all around. I fervently wish both sides, or either one, would simply say, "Now is not the time. There is no point in perpetuating this, after what we've all gone through (and what we may yet go through this weekend, if we see even more flooding)." Enough already. Please.
D4 Resident February 08, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Pastor, I have no doubt of your good intentions, but, most respectfully, you have, perhaps unknowingly, taken sides. You seem to be advocating for Martell’s to drop their lawsuit challenging the parking plan. Do you understand that if they do so they are stuck forever with what they believe is an illegal ordinance that hurts their business? Yes, that is true. I am not a lawyer, but in my line of work I have to deal with lawyers all day long. The law doesn’t let people sue, drop the suit, and then start again. So if Martell’s drops the suit the ordinance is here forever. You have, apparently, missed the fact that all the Town had to do to end the lawsuit was to recognize that Sandy has so changed our wonderful hometown that the controversial parking plan should be tabled for this year. If there is no ordinance implementing a parking plan, there can be no lawsuit. If the tourists are again a problem (and many believe the added police presence would be enough to ensure they are not, to say nothing of the unknown impact of Sandy on tourism) the parking plan could be implemented next year. By asking Martell’s to drop a lawsuit they can’t restart, instead of asking the Governing Body to drop a parking plan they can restart, you have taken sides. The people ignoring the storm to serve their own personal agendas are not the owners of Martells. They are Barrella Tooker Gordon and Corbally. Perhaps you see that now?
Carl Wilton February 08, 2013 at 03:55 PM
I think this slugfest has passed the point where the damage to both sides and to the larger community, in terms of public relations, has exceeded the benefit either side would gain from achieving a victory. It's hard for those who are personally invested in supporting either side to see it that way, though. <Sigh>


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something