I was surprised to read the July 5 letter “Christie maligned,” about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie being criticized because he went to a beach that was closed to the public during the holiday weekend.
New Jersey has 36 state parks, 13 state forests and other public recreational areas. Island Beach State Park is a gem. Not only does it offer a mile-long beach with lifeguards, concessions, and changing facilities, it is a wildlife area with educational tours offered, too. It is also the longstanding location of the “shore house” used by New Jersey governors for years.
Having lived within a mile of the entrance to Island Beach State Park, on weekend mornings, I would enjoy a cup of coffee on my front deck and see the cars lined up to enter the park. Most weekend mornings, by 9 a.m., the park was full. That is how popular this park and beach were at the time and, apparently, this continues even now.
This issue with the park’s closing is the chutzpah of Christie and his entourage using a closed facility when a common person could not access it. They should have had a Plan B in place for the family’s weekend plans. How about a cookout at the regular Governors Mansion? On top of that, at least once, a helicopter was used to ferry the governor back to Trenton. At what cost to taxpayers?
Yes, many local beaches were accessible to the public. But to hold the fate of employees and pensioners in one’s hands over a holiday weekend is just wrong, especially while lolling on a wildly popular, closed beach with family and friends. Blame the media if you wish, but at least 36 state parks and facilities were closed over a holiday weekend.
Nero fiddled while Rome burned!
Kathy Coyle, Margate