SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Borough Mayor Ed Seely provided residents with his latest coronavirus update on Friday, May 15. The number of positive cases in the borough has risen to 88 since Seely's last letter released to Spotswood residents on May 7. Spotswood has had an additional 11 positive cases in the two-week period as well as an additional fatality. The borough has lost three community members to the COVID-19 virus. Seely discussed the reopening of the state's beaches for Memorial Day weekend as well as the impact of the rising unemployment rate because of the stay-at-home order. The mayor's letter reads as follows:

Residents of Spotswood,

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 this morning, our number sits at 88 positives with the tragic loss of 3 residents. 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.

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Admittedly, though, this is a somewhat confusing message. He has decided to open the beaches and lakes with the same restrictions as applied to the parks. He has stated that wearing a face covering is not mandated, but is, instead, suggested. 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.

While I am happy to see some type of normalcy returning, as I’m sure you are, this is going to be of very little use in stimulating our 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. 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?

My family has been very fortunate as only one member is out of work, but I have 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. 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 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.

Changing gears, I still take 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. 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.

Whatever you do that works for you, take the precautions that make you feel comfortable. As always, Be Safe, Be Smart, and Stay Healthy!

God Bless,

Mayor Ed Seely

At a special meeting of the Borough Council on May 11, the council passed a resolution to extend the property tax deadline in the borough to June 1. Seely had previously said the May 1 deadline would not be extended.

The next virtual Spotswood Borough Council meeting is set for Monday, May 18. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Residents can be a part of the meeting using the Zoom link along with the meeting ID 824 0090 5722 and the password spotswood. Participants can begin joining the meeting at 6:40 p.m.