Government

Matt Doherty Closes Chapter as Belmar Mayor, Lauded for Leadership after Superstorm Sandy

49f1e03a7f72bbc943c9_belmardohertylastmeeting.jpg
Matthew Doherty makes his final comments as Belmar mayor during the borough council’s April 10 meeting. Credits: Cathy Goetz
2ef5900c1c1caee01088_belmardohertylastmeeting3.JPG
Bill Murray of Belmar told Matthew Doherty that he'll have to retire this campaign T-shirt during Doherty's last council meeting on April 10. Credits: Paul Spennrath
f1e7fd7e3c0dce3711fe_dohertyslide.jpg
During Matthew Doherty’s last meeting as Belmar mayor, a slide presentation included this photo of him after Superstorm Sandy with then-Gov. Chris Christie and then-Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. Credits: Borough of Belmar
a1ae005ff1d1e4760f4a_dohertyslide5.jpg
During Matthew Doherty’s last meeting as Belmar mayor, a slide presentation included this photo of him and Brian Magovern, who will be sworn in as mayor on April 14 to complete Doherty’s term. Credits: Borough of Belmar
77ce168e10be0db05046_dohertyslide3.jpg
During Matthew Doherty’s last meeting as Belmar mayor, a slide presentation included this photo of him swearing in Police Chief Andrew Huisman. Credits: Borough of Belmar
0f0fe0446010c349b607_dohertyslide2.jpg
During Matthew Doherty’s last meeting as Belmar mayor, a slide presentation included this photo of him and his daughter, Claire. Credits: Borough of Belmar
5b17a6052333d011c2e3_dohertyslide4.jpg
During Matthew Doherty’s last meeting as Belmar mayor, a slide presentation included this photo of him at Christmas time with the borough’s public works crew. Credits: Borough of Belmar
34da769aa479a91eb72c_dohertyslide6.jpg
During Matthew Doherty’s last meeting as Belmar mayor, a slide presentation included this photo of him at a borough event. Credits: Borough of Belmar
49f1e03a7f72bbc943c9_belmardohertylastmeeting.jpg

BELMAR, NJ — Matthew Doherty took his final bow last night as Belmar mayor, extending his gratitude and appreciation to the community that he has led for the past seven years.

More than 300 people filled the council chambers for Doherty’s send-off on April 10, which was marked by a look back on his mayoralty — the most significant being the days, months and years after Superstorm Sandy devastated Belmar and so many other Jersey Shore towns in October 2012.

“It was the mayor’s leadership during Sandy that really made a difference for the entire community,” said Councilman Thomas Brennan. “It’s an outstanding example of what leadership is supposed to look like and the way you communicated with people and making sure people were going to be taken care of and everything was going to be OK.”

Sign Up for E-News

For the next hour, Brennan’s comments were echoed by dozens of others who came to the microphone to congratulate Doherty on his new role as executive director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, as well as thank him for his service to Belmar.

Borough employees past and present were represented, including members of the public works and police departments who approached the podium in groups and individually to acknowledge the mayor’s support, particularly during Superstorm Sandy.

“The most proud I’ve been in my life is after Sandy, the way you, Bill Young (former borough administrator) and Colleen Connolly (current borough administrator) led us through what I considered dark times,” said Public Works Director Michael Campbell. “I don’t believe it would have happened without your leadership.”

Belmar’s recovery in the aftermath of Sandy was a common theme in remarks by residents and others, including Margo Walsh of the Jersey Shore Partnership, who characterized Doherty as “always a fighter for your town and a great spokesperson after Sandy (with) an all hands on deck persona.”

“You have been a rock for the Jersey Shore, ensuring our beaches survived, homes were restored and tourism flourished,” she said.

One of the most poignant moments came when members of the Circle of Friends-Helping Young Adults with Downs Syndrome thanked Doherty for letting the group have the opportunity to make Belmar their home.

“Our young adults have had a wonderful experience because you have given them the opportunity to participate in our town,” said Carol Cupoli, the group’s co-founder. “You’ve allowed our adults to become advocates for themselves … We thank you for all the smiles you have put on their faces.”

After a brief slide presentation of snapshots from Superstorm Sandy to happier times during Doherty’s tenure as mayor, his 13-year-old daughter, Hannah, expressed how proud she was of her father. “I’m really proud of you — first for being a wonderful mayor and soon to be a great person in Atlantic City,” she said, fighting back tears. “I love you like crazy and Belmar will always love you like crazy.”

When it came time for Doherty to address the audience, he offered plaudits to Belmar employees and departments, and thanked those in attendance, particularly his family, asking rhetorically, “How blessed am I?”

He also took some liberty in adapting an Irish adage. “If you’re enough lucky to live in Belmar, you’re lucky enough,” he said, adding, “From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful and thankful for the opportunity of being mayor. I am 44 years old now, sort of in the middle of my career, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the most rewarding and memorable time will be being your mayor here in Belmar.”

TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is the official electronic newspaper of both municipalities. As a locally owned news organization, TAPinto through its advertisers is able to publish online, objective news 24/7 at no charge. Sign up for its free daily e-News, and follow it on Facebook and Twitter.

Download the free TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Belmar/Lake Como

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_d07fd96ef4679390243c_bacancestors2

Fri, July 20, 1:00 PM

Belmar

Belmar Arts Center: Ancestors

Carousel_image_bff845c3d31d1950bedd_belmarpyanoeconcert

Fri, July 20, 6:30 PM

Pyanoe Plaza, Belmar

Friday Night Concert Series with Paul Marino Band

Carousel_image_c934ec0ac0155d300f8b_moviesonbeach

Sat, July 21, 8:00 PM

Eighth Avenue Beach, Belmar

Belmar Movies on the Beach: "Cars 3"

Carousel_image_a2c4ddef7ed6c72e648e_17crowd1

Thu, August 2, 4:00 PM

Milt Campbell Fields, Plainfield

Music in the Park @ Milt Campbell Field - Free ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

New Jerseyans Need Tax Relief — Not More Spending and Higher Taxes

July 19, 2018

While New Jersey narrowly avoided a second straight government shutdown, the budget agreement that was achieved at the last minute will have a serious impact on area taxpayers that will be felt for years to come.

As a member of the Assembly Budget Committee, I participated in a number of meetings and listened to hours of testimony on Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed budget that sought to ...

Turtle Back Zoo Extends Hours, Holds 'Zoo-vie' Nights for Summer

July 14, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Essex County Turtle Back Zoo will have Family Nights with extended evening hours to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the months of July and August, with the last admission to the zoo at 8 p.m.

In addition, on Wednesday evenings during July and August, Zoo-vies, featuring animal-related movies, will be shown on the top floor of the Turtle Back Zoo ...

Belmar and Lake Como

July 6, 2018

Belmar Police Department reported the following 76 arrests occurred in Belmar and Lake Como from May 1, 2018 to May 30, 2018.

BELMAR

Mark Lawrence, 54, was charged with shoplifting after his arrest in Belmar Plaza on May 1 by Police Officer Brian Poppert.

Christopher Palermo, 49, of Springfield was charged with disorderly conduct and interference with business after his arrest in Belmar ...

JCP&L Announces Program to Enhance Reliability for Electric Customers

July 17, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ — Jersey Central Power & Light has filed a four-year infrastructure plan with the N.J. Board of Public Utilities aimed at enhancing the reliability and resiliency of its distribution system against severe weather, and reducing the frequency and duration of power outages.

JCP&L Reliability Plus includes about $400 million in targeted investments above ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...