Sea Bright is ready for the beach onslaught

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr

Sea Bright – On Tuesday night, May 19, the borough held its virtual council meeting. The biggest topic of the night was the huge crowds expected to arrive this weekend for the Memorial Day holiday. Governor Murphy has opened the beaches as long as strict rules and requirements are followed.

Councilman Charles H. Rooney, said that Sea Bright is much different than other oceanfront communities. “We have big beautiful beaches and limited parking,” he said. The borough has their own public beach in the heart of the community as well as several private clubs that charge thousands of dollars to be a member. “I would like to see a path marked off in the center of the beach that would allow the police vehicles to travel without weaving in and out of people.” The borough attorney was authorized to contact Police Chief Brett M. Friedman to ask him to develop a plan to accommodate the vehicles on the beach.

The governor also wants municipalities to restrict the number of beach goers as well as parking. Sea Bright, which has 600 parking spaces for the public beach access, will reduce the parking by 15-20 percent. “We are going to get swamped this weekend as New York City has not opened their beaches and Sandy Hook will be reducing their numbers,” said Mayor Brian P. Kelly.

Sea Bright will not have a heavy handed police presence on the beach. Their focus will be in educating those who don’t social distance instead of enforcement. Rooney, along with Councilman Kevin Birdsall, stated that borough has never been in better shape and credited Shawn Thomas, deputy director of public works, for all his hard and tireless effort.

“We all have our own lives and family, and worry about them, but Brian Kelly has been doing an amazing job during this pandemic,” said Rooney.

“It’s easy when everyone works together,” said Kelly. He also thanked all council members, directors and managers for pulling together and keeping focused on the borough needs.

The agenda from the May 19 council meeting can be viewed at:

http://www.seabrightnj.org/sbnj/Administration/Minutes%20and%20Agendas/2020/Agendas/05-19-2020%20Regular%20Meeting%20-%20Revised.pdf?1589983237