BELMAR, NJ — Belmar Mayor Matthew Doherty will not be joining Gov. Phil Murphy in Trenton as chief administrator of the N.J. Motor Vehicle Commission.

After several weeks of speculation that he would be filling the position, Doherty, a Democrat, announced at the borough council's February 6 meeting that it was true he was offered the position, “but I declined the offer.”

Following the meeting, Doherty said he was proud to support Gov. Murphy in his successful gubernatorial bid and honored to be offered such a key administrative role, “but it isn’t the right fit.”

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Doherty, who is entering the final year of his second term as Belmar mayor, did not comment on whether he would seek a third term. However, he cited one of his major achievements while in office: the fact that property taxes in Belmar have declined for seven consecutive years — making the borough the only municipality in New Jersey where that has occurred. That, he said, is where his interest remains — in the ongoing economic development of Belmar.

Whether he would consider another position in the Murphy administration would depend upon the type of post, taking into account that his preferences are in finance and economics.

The 44-year-old financial analyst, who earned his master's degree in public policy from Georgetown University, was first elected to the Belmar council in 2006. He ran unsuccessfully on the Democratic ticket for Monmouth County freeholder in 2016.

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