Asbury Park Mayor John Moor took boardwalk developers Madison Marquette to task for reneging on its promise to provide additional restroom facilities on the boardwalk, including handicapped accessible ones.
“In my humble opinion it is similar to 1975 when President Ford told New York City to drop dead,” Moor said. “They (Madison Marquette) told us to drop dead. They are not providing bathrooms…the taxpayers are eating this loss. This was a contractual obligation.”
Moor said he contacted Madison Marquette to discuss the issue and the developer eventually replied to the city that the bathroom request was not possible due to the current economic situation created by the pandemic.
The mayor noted that the developer has $500,000 in escrow, has to maintain a local net worth of $10 to $30 million and has a net worth of more than $6 billion.
City Manager Donna Vieiro said she reached out to Madison Marquette asking them about the funding for the bathrooms and to fulfill obligations of the Subsequent Redevelopers Agreement, which has been signed by both parties.
Later in the meeting council voted to approve funding for the rental of an ADA Restroom trailer for the 2021 beach season. Vieiro said the bathroom trailer will be operational by summer.
Several participants in the Zoom meeting thanked the council for responding to Madison Marquette.
Kerry Butch, Deal Lake Drive, was one of the residents thanking the council. She also
questioned the mayor about the city’s Covid-19 response as the number of cases is on the rise in the state.
Asbury Park is a destination for people coming from all over the state.
“We are not even close to being out of the woods yet,” Moor said. “We will err on the side of caution on the boardwalk and the beach.”
However, Moor said without Governor Phil Murphy mandating masks in public, the city can only encourage their use.
When other residents said the mayor should mandate masks, Moor said he cannot supersede the governor’s executive order.
City Attorney FrederickC.Raffetto said officials can only encourage mask wearing but cannot require it.
Vieiro said the city gives masks for free to anyone who needs one.