WOOD-RIDGE, NJ - Guidelines.   

That is what the members of the Wood-Ridge Recreation Commission were looking for when they called into the monthly meeting of the Recreation Commission on Wednesday evening.  

Wood-Ridge Mayor Paul Sarlo who attended the meeting, addressed the Commission and offered his insights.  

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“There is confusion out there on what you can and can’t do,” Sarlo stated. “Forget sports for the moment, what you can do in your office, or in your own backyard or going to church.  I always err on the side of common sense, be practical, use good judgment." 

“I have been chairing a task force on the reopening of the state,” the Mayor continued. "It is mostly focused on the economic side, but we have had hearings on summer camp, day camps and child care, and after those hearings, and after very practical discussions with people who lead around the state, days later, the Governor of the State opened up those items, which concerns me a little bit from the fact that I don’t really believe, whether it is Governor Murphy or Governor Cuomo or any of these Governors, the reopenings are not really based, in my opinion, on science, data or metrics.  A lot of it is gut reactions based on what is happening in society, of course they are looking on the metrics on hospitalizations, on positive testing and deaths that are occurring daily. All those metrics are trending in the right direction, which is a good thing, but in the last few days, things have opened up quite frequently.

“So how we do go forward?" Sarlo continued. “I think we go forward by using common sense.  Be practical about what is happening.  The Governor has announced June 22nd as the opening of youth sports.   There is really no significant guidance.  I am not sure if we are ever going to get really strong guidance on it. I was instrumental in writing the language in the Executive Order dealing with high school sports and moving a lot of that back to the NJSIAA, where I serve as a board member.”

Sarlo commented that for youth sports, guidelines from the National Little League Baseball and Babe Ruth Baseball organizations were so strident and so restrictive, and threw up so many barriers that “to me it says that are not really interested in moving forward.”

However, Sarlo believes that the town’s recreation department could step in, for this year, and replace “Little League” and “Babe Ruth” with local teams, playing in games within town, and maybe limited travel.  

“I think we can move forward responsibly on the baseball and softball side,” Sarlo stated.  “I would like to see us proceed, and do it responsibly, I think we could do it safely.”

(Part II of this story will continue tomorrow.) 



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