What AP City Council Needs to Do - #1  in a Series: Affordable Housing

Has anyone looked at the West Side of Asbury Park lately?

I know public works has a special initiative going on to clear up the garbage/litter problem and the police have established extra patrols - these are good efforts. But if the trash is there at the curb - pick it up for heaven's sake. Don't hold down neighborhoods who are trying for the sake of recycling minutia. The collectors can sort it out. Just get it off the streets!! Asbury has a crisis. We'll pay tens of thousand of tax dollars on ad campaigns and banners and grant writers. But we won't assign a truck or two of public works employees to do some O.T. on the west side??? Can't anyone see the impracticality of this? And don't ask for volunteers. It may provide great photo ops for politicians, but PW workers do this for a living - they know what they're doing and they do it better.
And where is the new housing initiative? Restore is coming up on its 4th anniversary.  Hazel Samuels, Dir. of Housing and Community Development, was among the guests on my first show. She was there to tell us about STARS, an inspirational acronym for a program to build affordable housing to replace the slums and failed developments of the past that still blight the west side of town.  Since then, Hazel has returned with updates and we hosted the new president of the program, Rev. Carl Hunter - a long time ago.
   However, it's anniversary time again and this is what you see:  vacant lots that could afford 2-3level townhouses, a few on each lot, and provide HOME OWNERSHIP for residents who have stuck it out in this town through drug infestation and other hard times, and boarded up bungalows that too could be renovated or leveled for affordable HOME OWNERSHIP. I'm sure the programs exist to help home buyers with down payments and first time mortgages. We had people on the show who conduct workshops on how to clean up your credit and qualify for a mortgage. But the last step is always missing.
I want to see this city building affordable housing with its low income credits. I want to see real jobs creation programs - with training for real jobs - not a carpentry lesson in case one of the crews hired by Kushner or Paramount Home runs short of a carpenter - or more likely laborers - mid-way through.  We need long term jobs - light industry - for the youth of Asbury Park. We need to build a skilled labor force- not a pool of exploited labor.
Tell Kate Mellina to drop those Palace bricks, the real valuable, the Carousel is gone. Get to work on what we need. There's plenty of people interested in saving Tillie and the Historical Society will go on without her. This goes for the whole city council. It's their third anniversary - and high time we saw some real results in this city. We don't need another hand out from the State - We need an effective council in city hall.