But Northend Boardwalk Ready Later
By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
Asbury Park Mayor John Moor broke the news at the recent City Council meeting that the north end boardwalk will not be rebuilt for the beginning of the summer season.
He said, however, that all beaches will be open and accessible with gatekeepers posted.
Moor said if the work had not been stopped in November it would have been ready by July 4.
Work on the project was halted after a contentious meeting Nov. 8 when concerned citizens and members of Save Asbury Waterfront (SAW) confronted developers iStar about environmental effects and the exclusivity of the private beach club planned at the location.
“Anybody who thinks there is going to be a boardwalk this summer is mistaken,” he said.
“Sixth and Seventh Avenue will have gate checkers.”
Moor referred to a meeting set for Jan. 15 where residents can give input into plans for the north end boardwalk saying any decisions will be delayed until all parties come to agreement on how to proceed.
Initially as part of the north end construction, iStar had closed Fisherman’s Parking Lot, which drew the ire of north end residents and environmental groups who believed it negatively impacted Deal Lake.
The lot has since been reopened with the work stoppage.
Several residents of the north end of Asbury Park thanked the council for opening Fisherman’s Parking Lot and reopening beach access at the north end where demolition of the existing boardwalk had been ongoing before work was halted.
During public comments several residents spoke out about the threat to equality and inclusion as a result of boardwalk’s redevelopment.
Polly Kushner, Fifth Avenue, spoke about the racial imbalance in the city and said she believes Black families, who live in one quadrant of the city are beginning to come to the beach, but said beach pass prices are cost prohibitive.
“Asbury Park is an inclusive city; let’s work this out,” she said.
Michael Kushner, Polly’s husband said, “I stand with SAW in opposition to the beach club and what it represents.”
Kushner and his wife recently moved to the city and he said he did not want to have to say they made a mistake.
“We met cool people…at the Baptist Church on the west side. I don’t want Pier Village, I don’t want that, I didn’t move here for that,” he said.
Kerry Butch of the League of Voters thanked council for their efforts in reaching out to all members of community to apply to be on boards and commissions.
“You are encouraging everybody to apply. We want boards and commissions to reflect the community, that’s what democracy is all about,” she said.
Several residents also asked about Green Acres sites and discrepancies in approvals when developers took over the parcels.
City Manger Michael Capabianco said the DEP was using the city’s old lot and block numbers causing discrepancies.
“We are waiting for the DEP to sign off on this documentation,” he said.
Santander resident Ernest Mignoli asked council why he is no longer able to email to city hall.
Mignoli said he has lived in the city since 2007 and moved to the city to fish.
“Why not let me communicate; why make me come here,” he asked.
Capabianco said Mignoli’s emails are forwarded to a private account because staff have said he creates a hostile environment by insulting and making fun of individuals.
The city manager said he took affirmative action to protect the staff adding that many of the emails were not relevant to Asbury Park and had to do with Long Branch and Facebook.
“When they are legitimate we deal with them,” Capabianco said. “I check that account several times a day.”
Also at the meeting council introduced its first resolution of the year regarding background checks for street performers. Public hearing is Jan. 20