Is it legal for Brigantine City Hall to donate taxpayer money, property and other municipal resources to local sports & civic organizations? If you adhere to NJ state law, that answer is no.
On Aug 17, Councilman Delucry highlighted and questioned the annual $5,600 payout to the Brigantine Rams Football Sports organization. Much like he did in 2013, DeLucry questioned this cash donation to the private sports organization run by former city employee, Mike ‘Mad Dog’ Morgan. WATCH VIDEO BELOW >
Article 8 section 3 paragraph 3 reads > no donation of land or appropriation of money shall be made by the state or county or municipal corporation to or for the use of any society, association or corporation.
Illegal payments to private sports teams getting more focus inside Brigantine City Council.
Un-constitutional distribution of taxpayer funds has been going on for years in Brigantine, with full consent of Mayor Guenther, Councilpersons Simpson, Sera, McClay and others. To date, Mr. Delucry has been the only one to seriously question this annual, illegal distribution of Brigantine taxpayer funds and property.
CLICK TO LISTEN >
The vocal minority has already lashed out: ‘you’re hurting the kids’. Yes. We agree that kids are getting hurt. But that pain is being inflicted by those who mis-manage cash & property that is meant to be exclusively used for the kids….not adults with little or no money management skills.
Two years ago, a local group of Brigantine homeowners wanted to help low-income kids join the local hockey league run by Paul Kabala and Chris Howe. They got together and raised $5,000 in order to write a check for hockey equipment and jerseys for those who couldn’t afford the expense. ‘We wanted to fund another group of kids, and have their team join the program.’ All the group asked for was proof that these dollars would be spent appropriately and be properly accounted for. The Brigantine Hockey League did not embrace this idea, and the money was not donated.
The Brigantine Hockey league said ‘no thanks’ as they preferred to stay busy with collecting cash donations, selling t-shirts online, and doing beef n beer fundraisers.
It wan’t just elected officials green-lighting these mis-appropriations for Brigantine sports leagues. Former and present Brigantine City Managers; Stinson, Blumenthal and Barber also signed off on these rogue payments, while never asking for an audit, accounting report or proper non-profit paperwork.
In 2013, Director of Recreation; Jim Mogan, was made aware of the non-compliant status of these orgs operating on grounds under his management. Ex: football fields, hockey courts and the ‘Brigantine Snack Shack‘ vending hut.
Solicitor Fred Scerni: His involvement dates back to a 2013 meeting. Scerni recalls a discussion he had with a group of local organizations. He said the municipality would go for reimbursement, but not simply writing a check. Scerni and the City wanted to examine the underpinnings of what the funds would be used for. Also discussed at that meeting: organizations need to be a properly formed 501-3c non-profit.
Scerni: local Brigantine organizations need to have proper financial documentation.
Delucry wasn’t against supporting the good intent behind the many orgs in Brigantine. Rather, the councilman questioned whether the City is allowed by state law to make such donations. By how NJ law is written, no city can donate money or property to private orgs, like the Brigantine Rams or the Brigantine Hockey League.
READ MORE >