Beach-goers sporting bathing suits on the Asbury Park boardwalk are breaking the law — and tarnishing the classy name of the Jersey Shore city, according to one GOP leader.
Louise Murray, chair of the city’s Republican party and former City Council woman, bristled at the scantily clad clientele on the city’s boardwalk during a council meeting last week, according to the Asbury Park Sun, invoking a decades-old ordinance that enforces dress codes:
“I don’t want to go back to 1940 or 1950 but the bottom line is you have on your books an ordinance — no person clad in bathing attire shall be on the boardwalk or public walks adjacent thereto,” Murray said. “Asbury Park was known for being the classiest boardwalk in the summertime. You never went down there unless you were dressed.”
The ordinance says that “no person clad in bathing attire shall be on the boardwalk or the public walks adjacent thereto,” according to the Star-Ledger.
But Deputy Mayor John LoFreddo told WNYC that the Council would not pursue enforcing the ordinance, and may take it off the books entirely if it interferes with business.
"I don't know if it's been enforced for over 50 years. I mean, things have changed so drastically, you know, as far as people's attitudes go," he said. "What beach community would stop people from walking on the boardwalk in a bathing suit?"
The ordinance was likely passed shortly James Bradley founded the city, which was named after Francis Asbury, the first Methodist Episcopal Church bishop in the U.S.
Richard Schlossbach, co-owner of a boardwalk restaurant, told the Ledger that patrons at Langosta Lounge haven't complained about state of beach-goers dress -- or undress.
"It goes with the environment," he said. "There is a thing down here that we don't want to be like Seaside Heights. But I don't think Asbury will ever be like that."
Annmarie Fertoli contributed reporting