Spotswood mayor notes confusion between opening parks, enforcing stay-at-home order

SPOTSWOOD–Mayor Edward Seely updated residents about positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the borough, and his stance on Gov. Phil Murphy’s lifting of social distancing restrictions, in a recent message.

​”I hope that everyone is doing as well as can be expected at this time. As the state’s numbers continue to go down, ours are, unfortunately, going in the other direction. As of [May 15], our number sits at 88 positives with the tragic loss of three residents,” Seely said in a prepared statement. “It is my belief that these numbers are rising, for the most part, due to increased availability of testing; however, things must be improving since the governor has begun lifting some of the restrictions.”

Seely said in the statement that Murphy has decided to open the beaches and lakes with the same restrictions as applied to the parks.

“[Murphy] has stated that wearing a face covering is not mandated, but is, instead, suggested,” Seely said. “So, ‘I can go to the parks, I can go to the beach and sunbathe, maintain my 6-foot perimeter with or without a face covering, but still stay home and go out only when necessary?’ Seems a bit contradictory.”

​Seely said while he is happy to see some type of normalcy returning, as he is sure residents are, this is going to be of very little use in stimulating the country’s economy.

“We really need to put people back to work. If you can go to Walmart or the supermarkets a dozen times a day, then there is no good reason not to put people back to work so long as they practice safe measures,” Seely said. “Especially since unemployment is such a nightmare and steps taken to delay tax payments, mortgage payments, etc., are just that: delays. These payments will eventually have to be made, and where will the money come from then?”

Seely said in the statement that his family has been very fortunate, as only one member is out of work, but he has no idea how others are surviving.

“I have business owners calling me, begging me to allow them to open, and I wish I could. Unfortunately, it’s not in my power to do so,” Seely said in the statement. “Having been a small business owner at one time, I truly understand how dire the situation is to them. If something doesn’t happen soon, they may lose their businesses.

“Right now we are all patronizing the establishments that have been allowed to stay open, but I do urge you to remember our local businesses and support them when they’re finally able to unlock their doors,” he said in the statement.

Changing gears, Seely said he still takes road trips on the weekends.

“Last weekend, I found a park I had never been to before. It’s a historic village in Monmouth County called Walnford Village. A beautiful park, and not at all crowded, so it was an excellent day,” Seely said in the statement. “I’ve gotten phone calls from a few people telling me that they’ve been doing the same thing and find it very relaxing. One of the things that we have noticed during these trips is that there are far more people out and about than you might expect.”

​Seely said in the statement whatever someone does that works for them, take the precautions that make them feel comfortable. As always, be safe, be smart and stay healthy.