RED BANK: SEX, POWER AND GENERATORS

The Red Bank council wants JCP&L to send company representatives to any town with more than five percent of its customers experiencing outages. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Electrical utility JCP&L and sexually oriented businesses were foremost on the agenda at Red Bank’s bimonthly council meeting Tuesday night.

Mayor Pasquale Menna and council members began the meeting by putting forth a resolution that will urge the state Board of Public Utilities to look into JCP&L’s handling of Hurricane Sandy-induced power outages. The resolution also seeks to persuade legislators in Trenton to pass measures that will force the power giant to provide each municipality with direct, in-person company representatives in emergency situations.

“During the storm, we effectively became employees of JCP&L.” Mayor Menna said. “We were the only real connection between the people and the company, and that needs to change.”

“We need to have spokespeople from JCP&L on hand,” he said. “We need officials from the company to be with us to help coordinate our efforts.”

Menna compared the situation to someone “providing mere band-aids when real doctors were needed,” and said he was frustrated by the actual lack of information provided to his staff, as well as JCP&L’s long-standing protocol.

“JCP&L is still using measures first implemented in the ’50s and ’60s, which renders much of their precautions extremely outdated.” Menna commented. “Our resolution asks that JCP&L provide a representative to any municipality with at least five percent of residents without power for more than one day. The current system did not work, and we were forced to do their bidding for them while they sat back in Ohio,” where JCP&L parent First Energy Corp. is based.

Menna said he was hopeful that legislators would respond to the resolution, but worried that it will get lost in the shuffle in light of the upcoming holiday season if steps weren’t taken soon to push it to the forefront.

Also discussed at length was ordinance amendment RB 2012-21, which was designed to more clearly define and designate adult-oriented businesses and keep those businesses contained on the stretch of Newman’s Spring Road between the two sets of train tracks.

That portion of Route 520 is already the designated portion of town where those types of businesses are allowed. But according to Menna, the amendment is required in order to close loopholes that might allow sex shops and gentleman’s clubs – which can technically be considered “retailers” or entertainment venues” – to pop up in other parts of town.

“Those businesses certainly have every right to exist, but we just want to make sure we keep them out of residential neighborhoods and definitely a safe distance from schools, playgrounds, or any other place kids would be,” Menna said. “And I think this ordinance should do that.”

The amendment addresses the definitions of shops that sell sexually titillating material as well as establishments featuring live performances and the baring of of “specified anatomical areas,” including “human male genitals in a discernibly turgid state.”

The council also introduced an amendment that would require property owners who use standby generators to enclose them in “sound-attenuated” weatherproof boxes. Here’s the text: RB 2012-20