Thursday, March 16, 2006

Lakewood Urination cont.

Mayor Meir is a "Urination Witness!" TTN: Although it may be difficult for residents to believe, local officials had never adopted an ordinance to outlaw public urination in more than 125 years of Lakewood's existence. That all changed at the Township Committee's March 9 meeting, when the governing body adopted just such an ordinance. Now, anyone who is convicted of urinating in public will face the prospect of paying a fine for their actions. Township Attorney Steven Secare said the fine assessed to a person who is convicted of violating the ordinance could range up to $1,250 and up to 30 days in jail. "One would think that a town would not have to present an ordinance of this fashion. One would think this is a matter of common dignity," Committeeman Charles Cunliffe said of the new law. According to the committee, the problem exists throughout the municipality and is not limited to any one group of people. Frustrated after some people spoke in opposition to the ordinance because of concern about individuals who may have a bladder problem and whether the ordinance was indeed aimed at a specific group of people, Cunliffe said, "we had people [urinate] on people's properties, doorways and driveways. If it was on yours, you'd feel differently." In short, regardless of circumstance, the committee members asserted that there is no legitimate reason to relieve one's self in plain view. Mayor Meir Lichtenstein recounted a recent trip downtown. "Just two or three days ago I saw someone urinate right in front of a store. This [ordinance] wasn't on the books, so now it is," he said. Committeeman Robert Singer said the municipal building opens at 9 a.m. and has rest room facilities. He suggested that perhaps other buildings downtown, such as houses of worship, could open their bathrooms to the public as well.
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