20 Ocean County Mayors Call For State Reopening

In Lakehurst, signs hang in the window of a salon, closed down since March due to the pandemic. (Photo by Jason Allentoff)

  OCEAN COUNTY – Twenty Ocean County mayors sent a joint letter to Gov. Phil Murphy calling for the state to be opened back up to save the economy.

  Everyone has been educated on how to slow the spread of COVID-19, and business owners should be allowed to open up with safety features in place, the mayors said.

  The stay-at-home orders have worked to slow the virus, the letter said. However, the state needs to relax restrictions on commerce.

  “Our citizens have learned to adjust and adhere to social distancing guidelines along with the businesses who have been fortunate enough to be allowed to open,” the letter stated. “Those businesses have adjusted their standard practices so that commerce can continue in a safe manner. It is time to allow all others to follow suit.”

  The letter was initiated by Berkeley Mayor Carmen Amato, who said the text was written by himself, Stafford Mayor Gregory Myhre and Point Pleasant Business Administrator Frank Pannucci.

  Recently, the governor has eased some restrictions, including setting dates for when more restrictions will be cancelled. He also canceled the stay at home orders, but thousands of businesses remain closed.

Some businesses along Route 9 are closed for now but will be reopening soon. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

  The summer season is already upon us, and already valuable weeks have gone by, the mayors said.

  “It is in everyone’s best interest to allow those that want to work and spend to be free to do so,” they said. “We realize your restrictions are being lessened in phases, but that is not quick enough. They need to be done now and businesses need to return to normal operating procedures with the ability to handle normal inventory and customer demands to the best of their ability.”

  During the last few months, the mayors said they have seen people working together, making sacrifices, and helping each other to get through the pandemic. The officials had faith in the residents and business owners that this will continue when everything opens up again.

  Not everyone is going to feel safe shopping once restrictions are lifted, but they should be given that option, they said.

  The joint letter was a way of showing a unified, bipartisan front. It was signed by the mayors of Bay Head, Beach Haven, Beachwood, Berkeley, Brick, Lacey, Lakehurst, Lavallette, Little Egg Harbor, Long Beach Township, Manchester, Mantoloking, Ocean Gate, Point Pleasant, Point Pleasant Beach, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, Stafford, Toms River and Tuckerton.