By Friday, the Mayor thinks his staff can have the boardwalk and beach open for exercise. Out-of-state quarantine remains in place, as does the ban on short-term vacation and hotel rentals, as those are imposed by the Governor, but pressure to lift those bans is apparently mounting. For the moment, the Governor’s ban lasts until June 1, though he could extend or shorten.
The benches may also soon be back, probably not by Friday, but when they do come back, they may be marked as for the elderly and handicapped only. The Mayor wants to think through where he’ll get staff to wipe them down more frequently. Social distancing measures will continue. That was a decision by the Mayor, and he’s been urged to rescind that decision.
There was significant and impressive public participation. I say “impressive” because the comments all seemed constructive and concise, pretty rare in my experience for a public meeting. Maybe doing meetings like this electronically rather than in person helps in that regard.
Among the fascinating suggestions were delaying the requirement to feed parking meters, and closing streets to permit wider public walkways, street vending, and restaurant service. Another was the idea of suggesting family members all wear a common item of clothing (e.g. the same hat or tee shirt) so that everyone will know they’re in a family unit, hence complying with social distancing.
The next Board meeting will be Friday, when they’re expected to vote on parking and street issues, perhaps also allowing pets on the boardwalk until later in the season, and the implications of all of this.