Controversial Maple Cove activist Cindy Burnham is headed to Red Bank municipal court after being issued a summons for allegedly destroying town property at the kayak and canoe launch for which she led a preservation effort.
According to police Captain Darren McConnell, Burnham was issued a summons Tuesday after borough public works employees and contractors with the paving company installing a new parking lot at Maple Cove reported that netting laid down to protect new-growth grass seeding was torn up Monday.
McConnell said Patrolman Michael Zadlock found about 40 square yards of topsoil stability netting had been “ripped up and destroyed,” and left at the site.
The contractor, Blackrock, told police the netting would cost $450 to replace.
Burnham was called into the police station on Tuesday, where she was issued a disorderly persons summons for criminal mischief.
In a phone interview Wednesday afternoon, Burham told redbankgreen that she did pull up a stretch of the netting at the site after an elderly woman, while moving a kayak down to the water’s edge with a hand dolly, had the device become entangled in it.
“I cut it out,” said said of the dolly. “I said, ‘this is bad.’ I rolled it up and put it to the side, is what I did. I saw it as a liability. I saw it as a danger.
“I just didn’t think it was a big deal,” she said.
Burnham says she has not decided whether to contest the summons.
The ticket has a court date of Thursday, June 23. According to municipal court Clerk Fran Pastoriza, there is no set fine, but those found guilty of criminal mischief in Red Bank typically are fined $250 to $500 plus court fees, and may be required to make restitution.