Martell's Owner Says He Uninvited Mayor Too

Scott Bassinder says mayor should apologize to his father


Scott Bassinder, owner of Martell's, says a letter uninviting the mayor from a fundraiser on Saturday night was from both him and his father.

"Yes, it was from me, I think Vinny owes my father an apology," Scott Bassinder said on Wednesday, referring to Point Beach Mayor Vincent Barrella calling David Bassinder, Scott's father, "a small man."

The letter, which had been emailed as an attachment, was cc'd to David Bassinder, former Martell's owner, but did not include Scott Bassinder's name.

"But it said Martell's, it was from me," Scott Bassinder said on Wednesday.

Barrella said on Tuesday night that he didn't know if Scott Bassinder was aware of, or in agreement with, the letter since his personal name was not on it. So Patch called Scott Bassinder on Wednesday to ask him.

Scott Bassinder said he was moved to tell Barrella not to attend the annual Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner at Martell's on Saturday night because he feels Barrella owes his father an apology.

"He called my father a small man" and said he had "chutzpah," Bassinder said, referring to how his father was described by Barrella. "I think Vinny owes my father an apology. He's been beating us up for years. And then he calls him a small man. It really hit a nerve."

Scott Bassinder said he and his father are "very close. So when the mayor said that, I felt is was disrespectful to my family."

The mayor had made his remarks about David Bassinder after he asked the town to use a parking lot on New Jersey Avenue near the oceanfront after Sandy struck.

"My father signed the letter asking for that because I was out of the country," Scott Bassinder said on Wednesday.

Martell's needed to move equipment onto the beach to be brought over to its pier which had been badly damaged by Sandy and is currently being re-constructed. Ultimately, Martell's found another access point onto the beach and did not use the town lot.

Barrella said that he would have voted yes, even though he was galled that David Bassinder had the "chutzpah" to ask.

"Chutzpah is defined as killing your mother and father and then pleading for sympathy because you're an orphan," Barrella said. "My feeling is I can't believe he's asking. This is chutzpah. I believe that if I had a vote I would look at the situation as this is a very small man making a request of this council and this council should be bigger than the small man. I would have voted yes, but I don't have a vote."

Scott Bassinder said on Wednesday that he supports the chamber's intent to honor local first responders, volunteers and municipal workers.

"I don't want to take anything away from them, but I'm kind of trapped because of the comments," he said.

When Barrella was told of Scott Bassinder's request for an apology on Wednesday, he said he didn't feel he needed to apologize, but that perhaps he should have used the word "petty" instead of "small man."

"I regret the language, but not the sentiment," Barrella said.

He said David Bassinder uninviting Councilmember Kristine Tooker from a Republican women's event at Martell's Water's Edge, Bayville, last June was "as petty as it could be," that he believes the still-pending litigation on the parking plan is "frivolous" and a waste of taxpayers' money and that he was amazed David Bassinder asked to use a town-owned lot while Martell's was suing the town on multiple fronts. At the time, David Bassinder owned the Martell's restaurant in Bayville, but has since sold it.

The letter uninviting Tooker said she was not wanted at Martell's because she was trying to put them out of business, a clear reference to Martell's opposition to the then-proposals for earlier bar closings and the parking plan.

Blondie February 08, 2013 at 02:05 AM
Pastor I'm really surprised. Hasn't Martell's helped you with your Christmas dinners? I see that you mention you're grateful, but sometimes being grateful comes with a little silence especially when it's the hand that helps you. Maybe the council volunteered for your event...because they certainly weren't around for either of mine. Martell's has every right to fight the town on something so absurd. And again they're not suing individual taxpayers, they're suing the town government. Would you be ok with the town telling you that in 2013 you couldn't hold your 11pm mass on Christmas Eve? I highly doubt it.
D4 Resident February 08, 2013 at 02:16 AM
Dear Pastor Wilton. You do yourself a disservice when you take a political stance in favor of one side or the other. You have lost my respect. I know my donations to causes you are associated with will now be directed elsewhere. More importantly you have no idea what you are talking about. Barrella has been attacking these businesses for his own selfish political purposes for years, to the detriment of PPB. They defend themselves the only way they can, and you want to blame them? I am shocked he fooled you so easily. And no, the storm did not change any of the above. PS----your disrespect for the legal system is despicable.
Carl Wilton February 08, 2013 at 04:25 AM
I'm trying hard not to take sides, other than being on the side of Point Beach's recovery, including that of Martell's and every other storm-damaged business. I wish the Mayor would have done everything he could to expedite beach access for Martell's construction equipment. I wish Martell's would have decided that now is not the time to continue a lawsuit against a town located near ground zero of a hundred-year storm. I wish everyone concerned - not just one side, EVERYONE - would have treated an event honoring first responders as a neutral zone, and not allowed it to become the latest in a long series of battlefields, with the result that the event itself was ruined and had to be cancelled. When a conflict rises to the red-hot intensity of this one, there's a tendency to assume every new voice is necessarily on one side or the other. I'm not interested in seeing either side prevail in this disagreement. I just want this conflict to be over, for the greater good of all - and I believe a growing percentage of my fellow citizens feel the same way. The Mayor may pay for it at the polls, and Martell's in lost business - and the whole town, in decreased tourism. It can't be anything other than a lose-lose all around. I fervently wish both sides, or either one, would simply say, "Now is not the time. There is no point in perpetuating this, after what we've all gone through (and what we may yet go through this weekend, if we see even more flooding)." Enough already. Please.
D4 Resident February 08, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Pastor, I have no doubt of your good intentions, but, most respectfully, you have, perhaps unknowingly, taken sides. You seem to be advocating for Martell’s to drop their lawsuit challenging the parking plan. Do you understand that if they do so they are stuck forever with what they believe is an illegal ordinance that hurts their business? Yes, that is true. I am not a lawyer, but in my line of work I have to deal with lawyers all day long. The law doesn’t let people sue, drop the suit, and then start again. So if Martell’s drops the suit the ordinance is here forever. You have, apparently, missed the fact that all the Town had to do to end the lawsuit was to recognize that Sandy has so changed our wonderful hometown that the controversial parking plan should be tabled for this year. If there is no ordinance implementing a parking plan, there can be no lawsuit. If the tourists are again a problem (and many believe the added police presence would be enough to ensure they are not, to say nothing of the unknown impact of Sandy on tourism) the parking plan could be implemented next year. By asking Martell’s to drop a lawsuit they can’t restart, instead of asking the Governing Body to drop a parking plan they can restart, you have taken sides. The people ignoring the storm to serve their own personal agendas are not the owners of Martells. They are Barrella Tooker Gordon and Corbally. Perhaps you see that now?
Carl Wilton February 08, 2013 at 03:55 PM
I think this slugfest has passed the point where the damage to both sides and to the larger community, in terms of public relations, has exceeded the benefit either side would gain from achieving a victory. It's hard for those who are personally invested in supporting either side to see it that way, though. <Sigh>


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »