Thankful Surfer

Jul 19, 2017

To the Editor:

As a lifelong year-round resident of Long Beach Island – 64 years this month – and the past 30 as a resident of Surf City, I am writing this letter to thank Mayor Hodgson and the council members for their recent decision to grant permission to surf outside swimming areas on a trial basis.

We are fortunate to live in country where government can be criticized without repercussion, but I believe it is incumbent upon us to recognize the positive as well. The mayor and council members put in much time and hard work in what must seem to be a thankless job at times – difficult decisions have to be made and you can’t please everyone.

My late father-in-law served as a Ship Bottom councilman for many years. He once told me that as a politician you are guaranteed two things:

1. You are guaranteed to gain some enemies.

2. You are guaranteed to lose some friends.

As the late Mayor Connors and past members of council did before them, Mayor Hodgson and council have given us what is likely the most fiscally responsible town on the planet. When I sulk about the things the town does not allow or provide I must remind myself of that fact. Perhaps one of the reasons I can buy a surfboard or two is that I have some money left after paying my taxes. Food for thought.

Thanks also to Casey Deacon, Frank Troy and others for their efforts in petitioning and their excellent presentation. We would likely not have this opportunity without their effort.

Lastly, as members of the surfing community we all need to police ourselves and remember that this is on a trial basis. Regardless of your position on beach badges, they are part of the deal, so buy them and display them as best you can.

The other caveat regards disrobing. As much as I might like to think otherwise, not many want to see my 64-year-old backside while struggling with a wetsuit behind a beach towel. We can all put the towel on the seat and drive to a more appropriate (and legal) spot to change.

Thanks again to all involved. Let’s make this work.

Richard Tool

Surf City   

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