Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Holding Government Accountable - Following the Paper Trail of Code Violations in Asbury Park

The question of objectivity in the way that city code violations are determined in Asbury Park has been debated for some time now. Most recently, Asbury Park's new Mayor, Ed Johnson, was asked, "Is code enforcement being applied consistently throughout the city?" The questioner, The Coaster newspaper, wrote that the mayor "admits the answer is murky." (January 7, 2010)

Meanwhile this city's historian, Werner Baumgartner, remains behind bars in the county jail.
Some of Baumgartner's friends have expressed a desire to help him while he serves 28 days by order of the municipal court due to unpaid building code violations on his private residence.
For now the best way to help, and perhaps clarify the picture for Mayor Johnson, is to note the addresses of properties that you have seen in person or in photos that have obvious code violations and ask the code department to show you the violations written on those properties. You might also ask how much of the fine was actually paid rather than excused during or prior to court. If everyone follows up on just one property, this could be cleared up rather quickly. Also, the buildings don't have to be still standing to have a paper trail with the code department.
Please let us know how you make out.

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