Belmar mayor visits Staten Island to make amends
The mayor of Belmar arrived on Staten Island Friday to mend relations with the borough after offending its residents in his newsletter.
Mayor Ken Pringle, accompanied by his wife Kathleen, drove into Manhattan from his Jersey Shore town and then took the ferry before setting out on the ?Staten Island Discovery Tour.? Pringle is expected to visit Snug Harbor Cultural Center and the Staten Island Botanical Garden.
Addressing a group of reporters, Pringle said he was excited about the visit and that it is a wonderful experience.
But some Staten Island residents are not impressed by the mayor?s show of good will, saying that it is too little, too late.
Pringle?s visit comes in the aftermath of the release of his newsletter, in which the mayor offended Italian-Americans by referring to them as ?guidos.? He also cracked jokes about blondes and suggested that Staten Island girls learn bar fighting skills as Brownies.
Frank Sepe, a Staten Island resident, says that from now on, he will not set foot on the Jersey Shore, even after Pringle?s public mea culpa.
Business owners in Belmar say they are already feeling the backlash from Pringle's words. The mayor, however, insists tourism on the Jersey Shore is still booming.
"Our beach numbers are actually up," he says. "I don't know if there have been any residual effects of the whole episode."
Pringle extended an invitation to the SINY, a local business organization that invited him to Staten Island, to pay a visit to Belmar in a few weeks. He has insisted that the newsletter was meant as a joke.
Readthe newsletter that sparked the controversy
Residentsdemand mayor resigns over newsletter flapTongue-in-cheeknewsletter could turn off tourists