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Former Councilwoman Seeks To Enforce Bathing Suit Law In Asbury Park

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By Robin Rieger

ASBURY PARK, N. J. (CBS) – Every summer in Asbury Park, thousands of people break a local law.

A father of two and some teenagers are all wearing their bathing suits on the boardwalk, and that’s in violation of a 1958 ordinance that reads “No person clad in bathing attire shall be on the boardwalk or the public walks adjacent thereto.”

Laura Simurda remembers that time period here.

“You always had to have something on, absolutely. You had to have, like, a terry cloth thing, or what they call coveralls today,” Simurda says.

“It was a totally different time,” agrees councilman Kevin Sanders. He says that at the last meeting, a former councilwoman asked officials to start enforcing the old bathing attire ordinance.

“If it was a concern then, why wasn’t it addressed when she was on council?” Sanders wonders.

Town officials say this ordinance doesn’t even have a specific fine, which means that the general fine applies. And that’s up to $2000, plus 90 days in jail or community service.

“I’d be in shock; I’d fight it. Times are different now,” says Maryann Desalvo, a visitor to the boardwalk.

“I’d be surprised; I wouldn’t know what to say. I’d probably be speechless,” Marissa Jacobia says about what she would do if she was ticketed for wearing her bathing suit on the boardwalk.

“That’s ridiculous, the police have better things to do–especially in Asbury Park,” agrees Bob Hansen of Bradley Beach.

Sanders does not believe anyone’s been ticketed in the past, and says police won’t be enforcing the bathing attire law now.

“It’s not an issue. To waste man hours policing people walking up and down the boardwalk is asinine,” Sanders says.

We couldn’t reach the former councilwoman to see why she wanted enforcement now.