Belmar swears in its first new
mayor in 20 years
By MICHELLE GLADDEN • STAFF WRITER • APP
January 2, 2011
BELMAR — Hundreds packed the Barclay Hotel on
Sunday afternoon to witness the official swearing in
of the borough's first new mayor in 20 years.
Led into the ballroom by the Pipe and Drums of the
Jersey Shore, Democrat incumbents Claire Deicke
and Brian Magovern as well as Republican
Councilman Richard Wright took their places at the
podium with newly elected Mayor Matthew Doherty.
Doherty, a former councilman, defeated Wright in
the November election left open by the retirement of
longtime Mayor Kenneth Pringle. His uncle, retired
priest John Doherty, led the room in prayer
following the pledge of allegiance, and his sister,
Maureen, swore him in.
"For better or worse, local government impacts each
of us more so than any other layer of government,"
Doherty said. "Whether it's how safe or clean our
neighborhoods are or how long it takes for an
emergency response to reach our home, municipal
government determines the very basic quality of all
Doherty, 37, said while the future brings enormous
fiscal challenge, Belmar would continue to
regionalize services where taxpayer money may be
saved and where it is sensible to do.
"Consolidation for the sake of consolidation was not
then and is not now a panacea to stable municipal
tax rate," Doherty said. "We will also not allow the
quality of our municipal services and the general
quality of life in our hometown to become a casualty
of future regionalization efforts."
Instead, Doherty said his administration would work
to cut spending and look for alternative sources of
revenue. He pledged no layoffs, but to reduce
municipal staff through attrition and to hold twice-
monthly mayor's office hours.
"But we will not be bullied into surrendering our
home rule, nor will we engage in the class warfare
that has sought to pit the people of this state
against its teachers and police officers."
Deicke, unanimously chosen to replace Doherty as
council president, said her greatest goal would be
to connect more with borough residents. She added
that she looks forward to the completion of Marina
redevelopment and the Eighth Avenue and Main
Street project as well as streetscape improvements.
Dignitaries present included state Assemblyman
Thomas Giblin, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., Monmouth
County Freeholder Amy Mallet, Lake Como Mayor
Michael Ryan and former state and local officials.
"I've never seen someone work so hard for a
community," Pallone said of Doherty. "I know he'll
continue to do well for Belmar."
Michelle Gladden: 732-643-4095; mgladden@app.