Long Branch: Mayor Adam Schneider and a crowd of about 100 onlookers and borough officials attended the official ribbon-cutting and opening ceremony of the final span of the city's boardwalk Friday morning under bright sunshine and some summer-like weather. The span at Melrose along Ocean Avenue had been closed most of the winter while the final work was done on the city's waterfront public space and capped off a long road to recovery since Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the area back in 2012.
Schneider made it official with a quick snip of the red ribbon that capped off a bright moment in Long Branch's road to redevelopment. "I have had a lot of practice", he said. He thanked all that attended with a final comment of "Enjoy the walk".
For Mayor Schneider it was a moment to relax and enjoy the moment, his hometown city he has enjoyed since childhood. Since his defeat in the most recent election he reflected on his 28 years of service that ends July 1. He said he's felt a sense relief that the responsibilities of the job brought with them. He now has time for personal things that at times had to wait when city business was pressing. As much as he loves the city, this break gave him a feeling of relief he never even thought of while being mayor.
In attendance for the ceremony was outgoing Councilwoman Joy Bastelli, whose term expires July 1. Reflecting on the recent election loss "I will continue to do all I can for the city, I love it". Also in the crowd was former Councilman David Brown.
As the ribbon cutting concluded, the beaches returned to a normal summer day at the Jersey Shore. Beach goers filled the white sandy beaches and another chapter in the city's history came to an end.