BELMAR, NJ — Two seasoned beach attendants have proven they’ve got what it takes to do their jobs — a keen eye to spot fake beach badges.
Dennis Witkowski and Ellen Ramey emerged as the winners in the borough’s new Bogus Beach Badge program, launched this season among some 50 beach attendants as a fun way to ensure that annual tags are being properly checked at beach entrances.
Each was able to identify an individual wearing a beach badge on which the word “Belmar” was replaced with “Bogus” as they were letting individuals on the beach — a task that could easily become routine when thousands of beachgoers flock to the oceanfront on any busy summer day.
During a lighter moment that opened the Belmar Council’s August 1 meeting, Witkowski and Ramey were presented with Certificates of Excellence by Mayor Matthew Doherty “in an effort to keep our employees always on their toes.”
While Mayor Doherty recognized both Witkowski and Ramey for their astute badge-checking work, he also shared an email from a 40-year beachgoer from Manalapan who commended Ramey for her pleasant manner in recently welcoming him to the Belmar beach. “If you could clone her, you should.”
Known for his friendly, outgoing manner, Witkowski quickly responded, jokingly, “That’s because she gives out candy” — a comment that drew smiles, laughs and a round of applause for both award recipients from those in attendance.
Witkowski has been checking tags at the Ninth Avenue beach since August 2012; Ramey has served as a beach attendant at the Eighth Avenue beach’s entry point since July 2014.
The Bogus Beach Badge initiative was spearheaded by Business Administrator Colleen Connolly, sparking the friendly competition among the borough’s beach attendants.