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Brick Man Fuming Over Point Beach Parking Law

Also: District 4 parking fines not being collected yet

Brick resident Frank Gualtieri isn't happy about getting a Point Beach ticket.

But he never would have come to a Point Beach Council meeting to complain if it didn't require a court appearance.

"It was an honest mistake, I didn't know about the parking plan," he told the mayor and council at Tuesday night's meeting at "I don't have a problem paying it, but I oppose a mandatory court appearance for this. It's a parking ticket!"

"You were talking before about negative publicity." Gualtieri told them. "This is why some of it exists."

Gualtieri, a former Beach resident who now lives in Brick, is one of many residents and visitors who have started noticing that their District 4 parking tickets have the box checked off for a mandatory court appearance. That's "mandatory" even if they, like Gualtieri, would much rather just mail in a check and forget about it.

Plans are in the works so that a District 4 ticket is no longer a "court-mandated summons"

Municipal Attorney Sean Gertner said at the meeting he is working with municipal court staff to turn the "court-mandated summons" into a parking ticket, like all other Point Beach parking tickets, that does not require a court appearance.

"I'm fairly confident this issue will be resolved," he said. "I have a meeting this week to finalize the process. I'll have a final answer by the next council meeting."

No one on the dais objected to that. Mayor Vincent Barrella said in an interview earlier that day that he thinks the District 4 tickets should be treated the same as other local parking tickets, which do not require court appearances.

In a recent interview, Councilmember Kristine Tooker said she believes no one had intended to make the District 4 ticket a "court-mandated summons" and that she supported efforts to eliminate that requirement.

Gertner said later he does not think that resolving the problem will require council to amend

One option being explored is to include the District 4 tickets on the municipal fee schedule, which means the amount of the fine will be set and those ticketed can mail in payment. A court appearance would only be needed for those wishing to plead not guilty and contest the ticket, similar to other local parking tickets.

District 4 parking fines not collected yet

Gertner also said that Municipal Court Judge James Liguori has said he will not have the court collecting any District 4 parking plan fines at least until all pending litigation is resolved.

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Gertner said that's probably why Gualtieri's court date wasn't scheduled until Sept. 28, because the judge doesn't want the town collecting any fines now anyway.

But for Gualtieri, postponing a court date to September just made the court requirement sting even more, since he is a teacher at Freehold High School.

"I would have to take time off from school and last year I had a perfect attendance record," he said. When Gertner told him the requirement will probably be eliminated, he seemed relieved.

Municipal officials agreed that when the issue is resolved, news about the decision will be posted on the municipal website and that notices will likely be sent to those who received tickets.

Hanging tags, damaged tags and impact on tourism

Robert Dixon, who has lived full-time on the Boardwalk for the past 12 years, told council that the hang tags given out to residents get easily damaged and are too long to keep on while you're driving because they could block visibility or be a hazard, so they have to constantly be removed and then put back again. That can lead to drivers forgetting to hang them again, which can lead to tickets, he said.

Barrella said the police officers have to ticket those in violation, whether the violation is due to forgetfulness or other factors.

"I would think that you, as a law enforcement officer, would understand that," Barrella said to Dixon, who is a Roselle police officer in Union County.

Barrella said any residents with damaged hang tags can have them replaced by the Borough Administrator's office.

Each District 4 household receives five parking hang tags, allowing them to park in District 4 from midnight to 6 a.m., when it is otherwise off-limits, and households in other parts of town get one hang tag. Employees of businesses in District 4 are also eligible for the free hang tags.

Dixon said the town did not put enough thought and planning into the District 4 plan, as evidenced by mandates for unnecessary court appearances and hang tags that are easily damaged.

Moreover, he alleged, the news about the parking restrictions is keeping people away from the community's tourism attractions.

"No one's coming here anymore," he said.

The parking plan expires in September and would not be implemented against next year without council adopting a new ordinance to do so.

Earlier in the meeting, Corbally had said during his committee report, "The District 4 parking plan seems to be working, except for those who got tickets." He said municipal officials are working on a way to eliminate the mandated court appearance.

Some say plan is keeping noise and litter out of residential neighborhoods

Regarding the effectiveness of the parking plan, Councilmember Kristine Tooker said, "District 4 is dramatically quieter. I wish some of our businesses would advertise that parking is free in the Silver Lake Lot from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m."

The large parking lot is on the corner of Arnold and Ocean avenues.

Representatives for Jenkinson's and Martell's could not immediately be reached for comment.

Barrella, Tooker, Corbally and Councilmember Bret Gordon had voted in favor of the parking plan, saying it was necessary to have more people parking in lots rather than on residential streets being loud and disruptive.

Councilmembers Stephen Reid, William Mayer and Tim Lurie had voted against the parking plan, saying it would unfairly hurt local businesses and potentially lead to residents, not just boardwalk patrons, getting tickets. In recent, separate interviews, the three said they did not know that the plan required court appearances for those ticketed and they are against that.

Dave Cavagnaro, a Parkway resident, said he has noticed that municipal roads in District 4 are cleaner than they had been before the parking plan went into full effect on June 22 and also cleaner than Ocean County roads.

"This is another sign the parking plan is doing some good," Cavagnaro said.

BytheC42 July 20, 2012 at 11:18 AM
I can only hope and pray that all residents of Point Beach have a hefty property tax increase. YOU moved to Point Beach. YOU knew it was a resort area. YOU had to know that it came with some cons as well as the pros of being in a resort area. So don't bitch when they raise your taxes.
JHill July 20, 2012 at 11:19 AM
Another reason to stay away from Point. Enjoy your tax increases.
DT July 20, 2012 at 12:44 PM
This entire story from the beginning has amused me. First the town tried to extort money from the lucrative bar business on the boardwalk. Then they didnt get their way, so the instituted this parking BS to get even. Before you know it, it will be just like Belmar, where if you speak louder then a whisper at night you will get a ticket. Just like the posters above, residents clearly know that its a busy area in the summer, and if you dont like all the people and noise during that time MOVE! Its a shore town, it comes with the territory!!
DT July 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM
One more thing... A friend of mine back in high school became a "Rent a Cop" for the summer after we graduated. His main job was writing tickets. He was given a substantial reward at the end of the season for writing the most tickets in the department that year. HAHA what a joke. Clearly nothing has changed in the last ten years. That town is still greedy !
Frank James July 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM
We live in Brick and we never go to Point because of the parking tickets . Too bad , we would like to patronize some of the local businesses , but we're sick of predatory government that exists to fine ( rob ) the citizens .
JD July 20, 2012 at 01:05 PM
PPB is no where near what Belmar was 20-30 years ago... Belmar was a party town.. 24/7 in the summer for singles. PPB is a family beach... Jenks does a great job with all the family type activities it offers... things to do for kids and teens almost every night of the summer... fireworks, etc.. I enjoy Big Joe's talent show every sunday at 7pm...
A Resident July 20, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Thousands and thousands of people manage to come to PPB and not get parking tickets. It's really not that hard a thing to do.
DT July 20, 2012 at 01:55 PM
JD... Im not saying PP is or was like Belmar... But the town has been insinuating its out of control, hence the Bars need to close at midnight debacle. My comment was along the lines as Point is starting to institute too many nit picky rules and regulations, my comparison is Belmar, where if you are outside at night they will right you a ticket for anything above a "soft" speaking tone, which is ridiculous. With this new parking permit nonsense, they are in effectively trying to get the same accomplished with no parking after midnight. This is a ploy to try and drive away some patrons after midnight, as well as a classic MONEY GRAB.
Fred July 20, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Classic small New Jersey Shore Town (Or for that matter any NJ Town). Rape the tourists, rape the Businesses and line the Politicians pockets. What a joke Point Pleasant has become.
JD July 20, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Attached below is the PPB budget.. In 2011... they collected $1.9 million in parking fines!!! can't find the cost breakout for the "meter maids" so to say.. In 2011... they collected $1.2 million in fines from Muni Court... It looks like it cost about $300k for muni court... what a profit center for PPB residents. http://www.pointpleasantbeach.org/documents/budget_2012.pdf
JD July 20, 2012 at 03:05 PM
That is probably about a $2.5 million profit from parking fees and muni court.. The amount raise through taxes is $7.0 million.. please note, 2011 was 6.5 million.. If PPB didn't collect the $2.5 million.... taxes would increase by 30%!!!!
Chief Wahoo July 20, 2012 at 06:05 PM
everyone Stay Away from PPB and let the government implode !
Robert Luce July 20, 2012 at 07:29 PM
How about the third type of parking restriction over by the Warfside? Signs and legal "slot machines" to take your money. You have to place the receipt on your dashboard. But if you pull into one of these unmarked spaces. And after the sun goes down strangers and seniors can miss the signs becasue the parking spaces do not have numbers in them to inform you that you are entering a pay for parking slot. Thus, you become eligible for a $48.00 ticket for not placing a receipt on your dash. Add that to the price of a sandwich and drink and you've seen the last of me. Nothing but a legal "parking" trap. And what a joke for making a person appear in court for a parking violation. Now they all plead ignorance. Sounds like the same bunch that passed the Health Care Bill.
summermom3 July 21, 2012 at 12:49 PM
I refuse to go to Point Plst During the summer months.. quite a few years ago I was a sigle mother of three, I had a older Olds. Cutlass supreme... while it was older it was NOT beatup. ( looking more like maybe a 20 somerthing yr olds car) I Finally had $$ to take my kids to the broadwalk, while they where happy to go, I was happy to finally be able to do that with them. I paid my $$ for parking ( infact always add a little extra having young kids) after a fun evening, I got back to my car & saw a ticket. I was a little surpise since I still had time on my meter, & Noticed the Cadillac Escalade DID NOT have time left om their meter & DIDNT have a ticket... I thought they just put it on my car in error. Dragging 3 young children to the Point Police Dept, I went to ask them why I go this & it may have been a error..... They Then informed me I got the ticket bcz my tire was hitting the white parking line. REALLY!!!! *( meanwhile the Caddy that ran out of time DIDNT HAVE A TICKET) I was not Dought profiled.... & REFUSE to give point any of my money... My life has change alot & the last 10 years & couldl spend Crazy money there now.. To PPPD... Stop Profiling You never know how your pissing off to stop spending money in your town... as Julia Roberts once said" Big Mistake...."
summermom3 July 21, 2012 at 12:50 PM
& yes I had to pay the ticket...

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