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Township Officials Ramping Code Enforcement Efforts

Extra staff added to deal with violations, mayor says


No more Mr. Nice Guy.

Township officials are stepping up efforts to deal with property maintenance violations by issuing more summonses and adding more staff to the code enforcement office.

Council President James J. Byrnes said he recently toured a section near Mill Creek Road with a resident, who pointed out numerous code violations on some properties.

"There's a lot of vacant homes, a lot of violations in there," he said. "It needs to be cleaned up. The officer will be out there next week. Maybe we need to rethink bulk pickup. There's mattresses lying around."

Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. said the township recently hired two part-time retired police officers to add to the code enforcement staff.

"They are busy," he said at the Aug. 14 Township Council meeting. "If a resident sees any violations, we'll make sure we get the code enforcement officer out there."

Amato - a former two-term Township Councilman - was sworn in on Jan. 1.

Since then, the township has a new municipal court judge and a new environmental prosecutor. James Gluck and Dina Vicari hold those positions, respectively.

Any violators are first given a seven-day warning to clean things up. If that doesn't happen, summonses will be issued and violators will have to appear in municipal court, Amato said.

The township eventually takes care of properties whose owners fail to make changes. That includes mowing lawns and removing items at curbside, he said.

But that will come with a price, Amato said.

"We are taking a hard line," the mayor said. "We are not just charging $30 anymore. Thirty dollars is turning into $200, $300, $400. We are moving in the right direction."

Part of the problem is the increased number of foreclosures and vacant homes throughout the township. Banks that own the properties will be charged for the cleanup costs, Amato said.

Do you think fees should be raised for code violations? Take our poll below!

Berzerkeley August 17, 2012 at 03:02 PM
How about the falling down yellow vacant house on Cedar Run Rd. in Sandpiper Mr. Mayor? Number 98. The one right at the curve on the right that has the toxic lead paint chips blowing into the lagoon? Maybe we should call the EPA as well. The owner from North Jersey shows up occasionally to putter around then leaves for another 4 months or so. The only thing that will help this neighborhood disgrace is a bulldozer. Send the Code Enforcement Nazis to our street...please. Same goes for the other guy down the road that had so much to say at variance proceedings against his own neighbors who were trying to clean up a long time Sanford and Son on the block. The same concerned citizen who just happens to have an unregistered ugly old junk sailboat sitting alongside his house for years. Oh gee did I just drop a dime on these people? Tsk tsk.
gogo August 17, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Not in the cops contract to enforce code not my job man
kc August 17, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Thank heavens eyesores are getting addressed.. I do wish there were more bulk pickup days, however BT usually picks up stuff after geeting a phone call for assistance..as far as BTPD..they are still understaffed and very busy running to firstaid calls, writing speeding tickets and catching the bad guys... less cops? Seriously? Considering they get requested for turning off water spickets at residences that don't know how too and overturned garbage cans..maybe we should rethink some of the 911 calls that aren't 911 that keep coming in for them to take care of. As far as some of the overgrown grasses... maybe one should ask if that homeowner needs a hand... one never knows ..they may be caring for a sick loved 1 and just doesn't have the time to do more... my yard is far from perfect..specially with twin 2 year olds running around.. but another set of hands is always appreciated..I agree that warnings should be issued..but instead blaming everyone in town..maybe we should be doing our part to assist our fellow residents
Nicole August 17, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Beachwood needs a lot of help too....a lot of abandoned homes just rotting away. It's disgusting. When we moved into Beachwood it was a nice, quaint little town.....it's sad to see where it is now and where it's headed.
Doris Cauda August 17, 2012 at 11:34 PM
We just voted for change from the incompetant Varano to Carmen Amato who, at least, is TRYING to do something including lowering our taxes. By the way, the topic is CODE ENFORCEMENT and cleaning up neighborhoods. You must be another angry Liberal Democrat who has to bring politics into everything. Of course, the Dems are never guilty of nepotism, HA!
foggyworld August 18, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Another not very well thought out plan. How about really hiking the fees on foreclosed and abandoned homes. To start up a mechanism for neighbor to be mean to neighbor is potentionally dangerous. Many people living here are without jobs and even those who have them, have less and less disposable income to take care of things. Adding big fines isn't a very constructive approach. And we certainly don't need to hire any more expensive civil servants who as policemen are already getting very large pensions at early ages. It doesn't take a gun to photograph a problem and then write and possibly mail a summons. And why not give those part time jobs to younger folks who are finding it next to impossible to get the work needed to put together a resume. People are angry enough right now and to think the town is going to benefit from creating a snitch system is ignorant. We also might have to think about helping our neighbors rather than sinking them further and further into the ground. But sure, go after those banks and mortgage companies who in good part created the disaster that is going on. You are legally allowed to treat them differently than town residents and you should. But lay off residential taxpayers who just can't financially afford to be perfect and who also are suffering depression of the deepest sort.
LABM August 18, 2012 at 03:00 AM
I hope the owner of that disgusting strip mall (that the bowling alley used to be in) is getting a hefty fine. That place is an eye sore. I am embarrassed when I have visitors and they have to pass that place to get to my home. It looks like we live in an abandoned community. Maybe rather than worrying about the lawns of people that are in the midst of losing their homes and have enough problems, maybe we should look at the large eye sores first. Like the properties of building owners that can afford to have the equipment necessary to keep their property in shape.
Keeping whats mine August 18, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Its really simple, just dont pile crap for everyone to see and cut your grass. You dont have to be rich to have some pride, just some self respect. Maybe hire the cops at min wage to go cut some grass. They have sucked the public teet enough already.
John M August 18, 2012 at 01:24 PM
John, great thoughts however nobody will rent the dumpster and things will just get worse. Hit these offenders in the pocket and use that money to offset the cost. Everyone wants the town to look better and it starts with an individual effort. take some pride people ... You're ruining my property value!!!
John M August 18, 2012 at 01:26 PM
John M August 18, 2012 at 01:27 PM
You're right, way off topic
John M August 18, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Just drop it in front of town hall
John M August 18, 2012 at 01:29 PM
I agree with your first sentence.
LABM August 18, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Yup, I'll just pass along the message to the person on Mill Creek that is terminally ill (that's spouse has passed on and is not old enough to live in a retirement village) to get their ass up and cut the lawn. I know this person has a hard enough time finding someone to get them to the doctor and they struggle to make it through everyday but that's no excuse. Issue that $400 fine!
John M August 19, 2012 at 12:34 PM
LABM - if you know so much about the person on Mill Creek why do YOU do the right thing and go help them out! That's what neighbors do
Dawn Parks August 20, 2012 at 01:16 AM
It gets better! She is also the conflict attorney for Berkeley Township School District for the Law suit between Central and Seaside Park. Gets even better! The school board attorney John Sahradnik for Berkeley is the conflict attorney for Seaside Park. Just answer me. Do we see a conflict of interest??? Does anyone see a big problem with this??
Marena Agnoli August 20, 2012 at 02:05 AM
I believe people, all people, who are able bodied should work. It is good for them! It is good for society, good for the country. Giving handouts only enslave those you give handouts to. They become totally dependent on the government, have no goals, no incentive, just sit around til the next check comes. Section 8 and Welfare are choking the taxpayers who get up in the morning and go to work, so others can sit all day and watch soap operas. Even if some of these welfare recipients took in ironing, babysat for children, walked dogs, or cut grass, they would feel better about themselves, and maybe make things easier for the taxpayers who are paying for all the handouts.
ro August 20, 2012 at 03:06 AM
road shoulders such as stanton ave needs to be done hasnt been done since last year people cant even see when you turn the corner, so if you are walking or kids are riding bikes near the corner they almost get hit cause people dont see them coming up the road. with school starting this is dangerous ,, also Increase garbage pic up back to twice a week since we only have bulk every 3 months. or give bulk pic up once a month.
John Dob August 20, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Do you realize that You have just contradicted everything in your recent comment...You are one Ignorant "Government Money Sucker Human Whatever".
Marena Agnoli August 20, 2012 at 02:26 PM
For some reason you did NOT comprehend my 1st statement which has the same beliefs as my 2nd statement. I dont believe in Section 8 or Welfare. I believe all able bodied people should work. I work, always did, always will. Section 8 and Welfare are not good for society, the country, or even those who collect it. It makes them totally nonproductive, and totally dependent on the government, and it is a complete drag on we taxpayers who work. My 1st statement said that, and my 2nd statement said that. I dont know why you could not understand that my statements are one and the same sentiment AGAINST freeloaders. I have never taken any handout and I never will. Re read my statements, they say the same thing.
LABM August 21, 2012 at 05:15 PM
John M - obviously you were upset by my post. I already do more than health wise I should for everyone that needs it. My point is that there are extenuating circumstances and it's not always about people not having pride. And just FYI, I'm not her neighbor and happy to say I just moved out of Bayville because of narrow minded people like you. My family has been in Ocean County since the 1600s and the other part were here already before the white man stole their land. now for some reason Benny's moved here and think they can dictate how people should live and judge everyone around them. It's sickening. If people weren't so shallow they'd realize that there are usually reasons why things aren't done. It's not just laziness. I'm not saying that there aren't lazy people that deserve fines but maybe there should be some consideration for people that can't take care of their lawn. I have no interest in anything else you say JOHN M. as I'm not interested in arguing with ingnorance. This seems to have been brought up because people don't want to look at these yards, well I don't want to see the confederate flag in someone's picture window when I ride down Maryland, I'd prefer to see an uncut lawn over that flag any day!
Keeping whats mine August 21, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Eat a bowl of that Johnny!
John M August 22, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Seriously, because I suggested you might want to help someone out, this was your response? name calling and psyco babble? Kind of glad you moved out of B'ville ... Now you really don't have much to say on the matter since you no longer live here.
LABM August 22, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Aww Johny, did I strike a nerve? Unfortunately, I still own a house in "B'ville" and simple suggestions aren't made with capitals and exclamations. I'm sure what I said makes sense to the natives of the area. I didn't ask for your two cents on my original comment.
john August 22, 2012 at 04:33 PM
more and more garbage piling up along grand central.......same ole pattern over a month before bulk day........ last time i called code enforcement, they needed each address.......i said all you have to do is drive up grand central and you ll see at least 5 house s with garbage outside..office said they only dispatch to complaints made. that was a while ago. hopefully that policy and or attitude from code enforcement office changes.
joe blow December 08, 2012 at 09:05 PM
I am a single person, mind my own business, been a township resident since 1978, and I just received another "certified letter" from the town. So someone is definitely making a complaint right? My property is now where near other properties closeby with stuff...junk cars, pallets in their yards, trucks, yards loaded with kids' stuff...you kinow what I am talking about. I admit I I am not the neatest person and I could care less if someone is running a "pallet business" in their yard...as long as it doesn't bother me and keep me up at night. Please, lay off!
joe blow December 08, 2012 at 09:17 PM
I also wanted to add...there's a handful of people who have known who I am for the past 35 years as a resident. Someone new moves in and all of a sudden there is a problem with street lights, safety, lawn maintenance, etc. Most of the people around me work for the town, are BT cops, State Troopers, etc...and 1/2 of my taxes go to the education system for 35 years and I don't have any kids! So, really F$#@ OFF!
joe blow December 08, 2012 at 09:34 PM
oh yeah...by the way...being a single person I hardly have any household trash, recycles, if my can is 1/4 filled that's alot where as I see people with 3 robo cans every week overflowing with trash. That's fine...I don't care...really I don't...Since when can't I have a bike in the yard, riding mower, rakes and stuff? That's my equivalent of other's having a swingset, kids' toys, pools, barbeque grill, a boat...Yeah great...make people pay fines so the ones in charge can justify their 6 figure, double dip positions...keep their status quo. Really...blow me...
AnonymouslyHarassed March 23, 2013 at 06:27 AM
You wanna know what's truely ridiculous,the fact that you can get a violation with a fine on complete hearsay of a Jerk off neighbor,basically you can call up make a complaint(LIE) & it counts against whomever! So people shouldn't be so ready & willing to be giving out fines when god knows how many are purely out of spite! Way to think shit through,keep up the bad work!
John M March 23, 2013 at 10:41 AM
You sound like an upstanding citizen. I couldn't imagine someone falsely accusing you. I'm willing to bet fines aren't handed out based on a phone call, but I could be wrong.


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