Point Beach to Drop Early Bar Closing and Jenkinson's to Drop Lawsuits

Council, following mayor's recommendation, votes for agreement that also includes Jenkinson's help in boardwalk repairs

It's a Christmas miracle.

The Point Beach Council, on the recommendation of the mayor, voted unanimously Tuesday night for a compromise with Jenkinson's that calls for rescinding the early bar closing ordinance and revising the parking plan in exchange for Jenkinson's to drop lawsuits against those measures and to pay up to $1 million towards boardwalk repair expenses.

Councilmember Michael Corbally was absent.

Mayor Vincent Barrella announced in the early portion of Tuesday night's meeting that he and Municipal Business Administrator Chris Riehl had met a few times with Jenkinson's representatives, including two meetings last week with Pat, Anthony and Frank Storino, who have owned  Jenkinson's, since 1976, that led to the agreement.

Unlike many such private meetings during the past year, there were no lawyers representing the town or Jenkinson's present at the last two meetings.

Later in the Tuesday night council meeting, shortly after 9:20 p.m., council voted unanimously to accept the terms of the agreement.

Now the council needs to adopt an ordinance rescinding the early bar closing ordinance, said Barrella, adding he expects to have that on an agenda of the first regular council meeting in January.

Anthony Storino, Jenkinson's president, and Ed McGlynn, the company's attorney, were at Tuesday night's council meeting and confirmed the terms of the agreement.

"Thank you" said Anthony Storino, in a rare public statement to the mayor and council, before the council voted. "We're starting the New Year off on the right foot."

Barrella, in turn, thanked Storino.

"Please thank your father, uncle and brother," Barrella said, referring to the other Storinos who are principals of the company. Barrella said he had been particularly happy that Jenkinson's proposed helping to pay for boardwalk repairs.

The agreement pertains only to Jenkinson's and not to which is still litigating against the earlier bar closing (which will now be a moot point) and the parking plan.

"I talked to Dave and Scott Bassinder, but I couldn't get them on board" to drop their lawsuit against the parking plan, said Barrella, who had met with Dave Bassinder, the former owner of Martell's, and Scott, his son and current owner of Martell's. "Maybe they'll be on board."

Councilmember Kristine Tooker said she's happy with the agreement and commended the mayor and Jenkinson's for reaching the compromise.

"Kudos to the mayor and Jenk's," she said. "We've all wanted this, peace in our time," she said laughing.

"I really encourage the Bassinders to get on board," Tooker said.

"There are people who say the mayor doesn't support tourism, but he does, he met with them and he worked this out," Tooker said.

Regarding the boardwalk repairs, Jenkinson's has agreed to reimburse the town up to $1 million, over a 20 year period, for any expenses to repair and replace Sandy-damaged boardwalk that is not reimbursed through state aid or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The parking plan, which was in place only during the summer, prohibited overnight parking on all municipally-owned roads in District 4.

Barrella said he expects council to revise the parking plan and then pass a new measure calling for it to be put back in place for next summer.

He said there may be sections of District 4 that are exempted from the plan and there may be sections of District 3 that are added to the plan, but no specifics were discussed Tuesday night. That will be the subject of future council discussions.

McGlynn said to the mayor and council, "In your minds and in the citizens' minds, the parking plan worked. You gave us your word that you won't be expanding the parking plan."

Barrella also said he will recommend to council that any new, revised parking plan start at 12:30 p.m, instead of midnight, which was the starting time for this past summer's parking plan.

Barrella and McGlynn agreed Tuesday night that the wreckage left in Sandy's wake was an impetus in meeting and reaching an agreement.

When asked outside the meeting why Jenkinson's is willing to drop its lawsuit against the parking plan, McGlynn said, "There was a give and take on both sides. Out of adversity always comes some good. Maybe both sides can start with a clean slate and work together for the betterment of the Beach.

"The negotiations have nothing to do with what was right, wrong, good or bad," McGlynn said. "This storm devastated this community and it's time for all of us to put this behind us and to work towards solving the problems that exist."

When asked if the two sides would likely have reached an agreement had Sandy never happened, McGlynn said, "I don't know. If there had been an agreement, it would have been much different circumstances and reached at a much later time than now."

Anthony Storino said the top priority for Jenkinson's is to bring back the town, as well as the company and its properties.

"We're working with the town to get it 100 percent back," he said. "We have to put in 110 percent effort to help homeowners and the community to get the town back to 100 percent.

"As residents and good neighbors, we want to work with the town to do that," Storino said.

McGlynn said as long as council supports the agreement, Jenkinson's will drop its three lawsuits against the earlier bar closing and the parking plan.

Storino and McGlynn also complimented the town's elected and appointed officials and the Public Works Department in cleaning up the remains of Sandy.

"What a miraculous job by mayor, council and public works in cleaning up and stabilizing the town," McGlynn said.

"They had it done in a month," Storino said, emphatically.

Storino said he expects Jenkinson's to be fully operational by Easter weekend, when it expects to hold its half price ride ticket sales and Easter egg hunt as in past years.

Why is Jenkinson's willing to help pay for boardwalk repairs?

"That started with discussions with the mayor, Vincent Storino (Pat Storino's brother, as well as other Storinos), on Nov. 21," McGlynn said. "That began discussions to try to get rid of the contentiousness which has existed between the mayor, council and Jenkinson's, the largest tax payer in town, to get things heading in a different direction."

Is this a Christmas miracle?

"It's a miracle at 416 New Jersey Avenue instead of Miracle on 34th Street!" McGlynn said, laughing.

Barrella said that any resurrection of the parking plan will still include the municipal lot on Arnold and Ocean avenues, known as the Silver Lake lot, to have free parking from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

In other business, the council's organization meeting will be at 1 p.m. Jan. 5.

That's Incredible December 22, 2012 at 12:34 PM
So let me understand this Jenkinsons is paying Point Pleasant Beach one million dollars to drop assault on their business, and yet the assault continues on Martells who refuses to pay! All this was done at private meetings with no legal representation present ?????? Very smart attorneys, if they don't know they can't be held liable!!!!!! It is a shame how mismanaged that municipality is, from the ground up, no wonder when they are all preoccupied with other things!!!!!! Hopefully in 2013 the nonsense will stop!
Danny December 22, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Agreed....But you know that will never happen. So its best to work together. We definitely would survive as a town without a boardwalk. Plenty of towns survive without a boardwalk. So anyone who thinks otherwise is silly. The town would have to adjust. A small town would not need as much of the employee's that they now have. End of story. Jenkinson's must realize they are losing a lot of money being out of commission and they need to rebuild fast as well as Martell's. To bad Martell's will not get on board with everyone else. A town should be allowed to do what they want with their own street like every other town. The towns should rule the town, not the businesses rule the town.
Danny December 22, 2012 at 04:03 PM
They should all be working together. Both those who run the town and those who run the businesses. All businesses should go by the same rules. It does not matter who moves to a community or not. There is some people that live here, born and raise here that do not think the town is running properly. It comes a time when some businesses get to big for their bridges. The problem is some businesses change what they once were. It comes down to this, a business should know their place. No business should run a town as well as businesses have every right to run their businesses the way they like. But there is rules as should be and if they don't like the rules they are one's who should move. Please, Stop the crap move if you don't like it. Some things should not go on in any town. There is plenty of towns who don't have a boardwalk and survives. You would have to learn to adjust that most don't want to do for their own selfish reasons. The residents lose as well as some of the businesses.
Danny December 22, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Tourism pays mainly for the business who own them which sends lots of money to the state of nj and the reason why our governor is so hell bent on getting the boardwalk businesses up and running. Even before the residents are in their homes. The rest is paid by the residents that live here full time as well as the part timers who actually are the ones we all should be thanking. They are the ones who use very little resources. If all of them decided to knock their damage houses down this town would be in trouble. Where would the town get all their money from? The tourism, I don't think so. This town would have to actually make deductions to this town. They would have no choice but to get rid of police, town workers and teachers that were now no longer needed. Stop keeping all the unnecessary employees. Oh, that's right... they don't want to get rid of their family members and friends.
Donald Fagen January 06, 2013 at 07:55 AM
"Amazing what you can accomplish when you take the lawyers out of the equation." Totally. Nothing makes a settlement more binding/enforceable than represented parties negotiating without their representation. Right?


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