1) Are police taking extra precautions with the public?
They are being more diligent and have a call in line to take calls over the phone. We are running out of PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) for everybody, fire, first aid. (Call 732.774.1300 and press 0)
2) What is the impact on city meetings?
We are sending out an email telling people how to join Youtube.com and Zoom online or to listen over the phone. It will be audio with the agenda projected on the screen. We are doing it from our homes. People can call in with public comment.
3) Are residents still able to call City Hall with questions about tax and sewer payments?
Yes, there is limited staff at city hall, but they are taking calls at home. Employees phones have been forwarded to their cell or home phones. Taxes can be dropped off in a drop box at city hall. For people having real estate closings there are no inspections so no closings, or transfer of title or certificate of occupancy. We are looking for guidance from Trenton.
4) Will trash and recyclables continue to be picked up at regular times?
Yes everything’s on schedule and branches are being picked up. DPW is working. People think of police and fire as essential employees but DPW are essential employees too, DPW is up and operating.
5) Are residents till able to walk on the boardwalk and in city parks?
Parks are open but playgrounds are closed. We are monitoring the boardwalk but we are hoping people stay at home. People can walk on the boardwalk but if they don’t obey the restrictions set by the governor we’ll have to shut it down. People are driving here to walk the boardwalk. Saturday and Sunday it was packed, there were too many. We don’t want to shut it down but if we are forced to do it, we will do it.
6) Do you have any information about the relaxation of any of the restrictions now in place?
No. If people don’t change, the governor is putting stricter restrictions in place.
7) How long is the suspension of metered parking planned for?
We’ll have to reassess. We don’t know but maybe up to two months. When we get over the hump we’ll get back on line.
8) What is the main message you want to send to the residents of Asbury Park?
Take this seriously, take the governor’s executive order seriously. I’m hearing from professionals at the state and county levels that this is a crisis worse than the Great Depression and World War II five times over. This is not a drill, this is a real attack. People not taking this seriously, that’s my biggest frustration. We have to get in front of it and flatten the curve, like other countries. It’s being taken too lightly, we can’t have essential personnel in danger.