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Former High Bridge councilman challenges golf course manager once more

In October 2010 Mr. (Brian) O’Hare, vice president of Billy Casper Golf, appeared at a council meeting presenting insurance documents that listed HBHM, INC (High Bridge Hills Management) as the insured to support his story, and to show support for Mayor Desire’s administration and in opposition to my issues with the operation of the golf course. Oddly, I still had a copy listing HBHM, LLC as the insured from the borough clerk, and cancelled checks written by HBHM, LLC. It was impossible for HBHM, INC to have had any involvement with the borough, as they weren’t placed on the contract until March 25, 2010. Mr. O’Hare also notes, “the company reorganized in 2006.” What he fails to mention is that by State statute, they should have addressed NJAC 13:2-2.14-16 for a change in business form to be compliant with Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) rules in 2006. They didn’t address this issue until May 8, 2008, with what could best be described as a fraudulent liquor license application.

On May 7, 2010 the Department of the Treasury notified them they hadn’t paid taxes for HBHM, INC, and treasury transferred taxes paid by HBHM, LLC to HBHM, INC. However, your company did not man-up and address 2007 that had the same problem. I have OPRA documentation from the Borough Chief Financial Officer (CFO) verifying this fact. I also have an email from Administrator (Doug) Walker who states, “We received a license in 2007, so everything must be OK.” It appears he has a full-blown case of scotoma, when it comes to the golf course.

Mr. O’Hare, have someone look for check #1305 written to Riverside Liquors documenting your illegal liquor purchases, as you too must be suffering from a scotoma.

Mr. O’Hare, explaining Sunday liquor sales, states, “That state laws permit this type of activity (no kidding). When advised a borough resolution prohibited such sales (gee wiz), we complied immediately (good for you).” From 1999 to 2011 they sold liquor on Sunday mornings, and they hold themselves out to be a professional organization “that operates the golf course in a first class manner!” It appears Mayor (Mark) Desire used the High Bridge Business Association as a smokescreen, touting on June 9, 2011 in the Hunterdon County Democrat, “it would be good to serve liquor at brunches on Sunday mornings,” as justification to cover your illegal activity. This administration was unable to state a business case how expanding Sunday serving hours would be beneficial to High Bridge, when asked at a council meeting, or how much the golf course would profit by this change. The taxpayers are now paying the $800 reduction in licensing fees in increased property taxes to appease the other liquor license holders, who were not on equal footing with the golf course for over the 12 years you operated it. You are still under investigation by the ABC, and the borough will not release documents on this matter via an OPRA request, but we can wait.

This borough had to spend $8,000 on a process and procedure report to find you “mixed private liabilities with the public treasury,” something I stated on the record numerous times, and the accounting firm concurred with my very words. You had bank accounts that weren’t recognized by the golf contract highlighted in that same report. Mr. O’Hare now wants us to believe, “their internal accounting controls are thorough and preventative in nature.” You did not keep books of original entry for HBHM, INC as per ABC Statute for starters. You sold the borough $16,000 of unverified inventory back in 2007, and roughly $7,000 was destroyed by rodents. In 2011, you have sold $24,000 of borough property to your own company! Describing this as “a re-organization and in an up-front manner” doesn’t change the fact that roughly $24,000 of borough property has been “taken” without a resolution. A full certified forensic audit is still needed back to April 1, 2007 because of your performance, and this administration’s complete lack of financial oversight (scotoma) that is also documented by that same accounting report.

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