By Neil Schulman
Oceanport — A borough councilman wants to meet with Oceanport school officials to see how our children are being protected, and if armed officers can be placed in schools.
At the Feb. 15 Borough Council meeting, a day after a gunman killed 17 people at a Parkland, Florida school, Councilman Stephen Solan said that the borough should be prepared.
“With the events that took place in Florida, I am going to speak to the Board of Education,” Solan said. He wants to know about school safety and how children are protected in Oceanport.
He also wants to discuss “the possibility of armed officers” in the school.
“Armed protection is offered to CEOs in our country. It’s offered to celebrities,” Solan said. “But the safety of our children, it’s in the hands of a sign.” He wants something more than a notice saying guns aren’t permitted on the property.
In his report, Solan also noted that the Oceanport First Aid Squad is continuing its drive to recruit new members.
“They are always looking for volunteers, even if it’s not on the actual EMS side,” he said. Drivers willing to learn CPR would also be welcome, he said.
Water quality testing
The Oceanport Water Watch Committee is going to begin testing the water off Charles Park, announced Councilwoman Patty Cooper.
“We have 110 swans hanging west of the Gooseneck Point Bridge,” she explained. They want to see if the birds’ waste is affected the bacteria levels in the water.
Last month, seven sites were tested. Eight were planned, but the ice was too thick at one site to get a water sample. Only the Turtle Mill Brook showed elevated bacteria levels.
“The believe it may have something to do with the runoff from the geese,” Cooper said.
Marathon crowd morning only
The New Jersey Marathon, scheduled for April 29, will once again start in Oceanport at the Monmouth Park Racetrack.
Despite some preliminary talks, it will not finish up back at the track, Mayor Jay Coffey said.
For the last several years, the race had started in Oceanport, and headed through Monmouth Beach, then Long Branch, then north to Asbury Park before looping back and finishing in Long Branch at the promenade.
This year, due to construction work along the oceanfront at Pier Village, it looked as though the promenade wouldn’t work as a finish line.
Organizers were discussing alternatives, including having the race begin and finish inOceanport. Coffey was concerned about this, because roads around the track would have needed to be closed throughout the race, and not just in the morning.
But after further discussion, race organizers decided the finish line could be rerouted to The Great Lawn on the Long Branch beachfront.
“Oceanport doesn’t have an all day burden,” Coffey said.