Borough backs off plan to replace chief lifeguard


MANASQUAN — A move to advertise for a new chief lifeguard was dropped Monday night after the borough council heard objections from supporters of Harry Neill, who has held the position for 15 years.

Mr. Neill began working as a lifeguard in Manasquan 38 years ago. His wife, Erica Infante Neill, who spoke at the meeting, said she was pleased by the reversal but troubled by the borough’s handling of the matter.

Mayor Edward Donovan and Municipal Adminstrator Thomas Flarity said a resolution to advertise for the position had been motivated by a desire to see what other candidates might be available. The mayor said Mr. Neill would have been free to reapply.

With the resolution withdrawn, however, Councilman Joseph Bossone, liaison with the beach department, said that the borough intends to keep Mr. Neill in the position of chief lifeguard.

“I’m happy that it’s resolved,” Mr. Neill said on Tuesday. “I look forward to continuing to serve the borough.”

During public comment, Ms. Neill told the council that her husband’s “passion, commitment and service to lifeguarding and to Manasquan Beach — specifically, for the past 38 years — deserves your recognition and your appreciation, not your careless dismissal.”

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