POINT PLEASANT BEACH — What happens when you advertise a job that pays $24 an hour for three weeks and no one applies for it?

Mayor Paul Kanitra took his frustration to his Facebook page when no one applied for the job picking up trash in municipal parking lots on Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.

"First off, it's ludicrous we even need to be paying that much. The problem of the disrespectful tourists coming to Point Pleasant Beach and leaving their garbage everywhere has just exploded. We don't have the luxury of sitting back and just letting it go unmitigated," Kanitra said.

After Kanitra's post was shared, several people formally applied for the litter patrol.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old because of insurance rules, the mayor said.

There is still a full-time public works position that needs to be filled as the borough is in the same hiring struggle as dozens of businesses, including Jenkinson's and the White Sands Hotel, according to Kanitra.

"Red's Lobster Pot has 75-year-old family members trying to fill in gaps and has had t close one day a week so they can give the few people who are working a day off. Jenkinson's barely has enough lifeguards. They've been considering streamlining their menu because they can't get enough employees," Kanitra said.

Kanitra strongly believes the difficulty in filling the positions comes directly from the $300 unemployment supplement as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. Many states experiencing difficulty filling jobs have ended the benefit, something Gov. Phil Murphy will not do citing child care concerns and lingering fear of being in public. His solution is for businesses to raise their prices to pay higher wages.

"This is a real tangible problem. It's absurd to me when you hear talk coming out of the governor's office that it's not a real problem. We're seeing it everyday in Point Pleasant Beach," Kanitra said.

It's also about politics and Murphy's re-election, according to the mayor.

"The governor realizes it's a political football. I'm sure he recognizes that the more people they can give money to for a longer period of time the more votes they're going to get so obviously they need to detract from the problems it's creating. But the facts are irrefutable," Kanitra said.

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