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Save Tillie Campaign in Asbury Park

“If God gives you nothin’ but lemons then make some lemonade.”

Bruce sang that on “My Best Was Never Good Enough.”

It’s time for Save Tillie to make some lemonade.

Over the next five weeks, a series of events in Asbury Park will, in one way or many, shape the future of the Palace. Here are the details:

1) The City is examining a proposal from a group of investors who reportedly want to buy out Joseph Carabetta’s redevelopment and property rights, including the Palace. The names of the investors have been withheld from the public, which is worrisome. If the City accepts the proposal, Mr. Carabetta presumably exits Asbury Park.

Then the City presumably begins to write a new waterfront plan. This could all happen fast but unfortunately, its all happening behind closed doors; no one is even talking to the citizens of Asbury Park about the value of preserving their historic buildings.

2) On May 8, Asbury Park voters elect a new City Council. Irrespective of what the current Council does before leaving office, the new Council will have a huge impact on waterfront issues. Two of the five current Council members -- Mayor Kenneth Saunders and Councilwoman Sheila Solomon -- are not on the ballot. The Mayor has been a consistent supporter of Palace preservation. Twenty-four candidates are on the ballot. The top five vote getters win, and one becomes Mayor, usually the leading vote getter. Very little is known about the attitude of most of these candidates toward the Palace or toward historic preservation in general.

As you know, Save Tillie is an independent, non-partisan charitable organization which can not be involved on behalf of any candidate or partisan political issue. For instance, we can not endorse a candidate for election, even if one candidate is clearly better than the rest on Palace preservation. We can, however, explain our concerns -- to all candidates and to all citizens of Asbury Park.

Which is exactly what we’re going to do. With so much at stake, Save Tillie needs your help, and a lot of it, over the next few weeks.


Why does Save Tillie need 6,000 stamps? We’ve written a brochure which explains the benefits of Palace preservation to the citizens of Asbury Park. Amazingly, no one is talking to Asbury citizens about how, compared to new construction, restoration will create more jobs, more tax revenues and more local wealth. So we’re going to do it, and do it now, while the voters of Asbury Park are thinking about the future of their city. The brochure is a collaboration of research by Anne Noss, writing by Bill Daverne and Bob Crane, art work by Henry Riccio, design work by Drew Rayman, graphics by Rich Kortz, and proofing and review by Helen Pike, Trina Scordo, Dale Ahearn and a group of Asbury Park citizens. A special thanks goes to our printer, Louis Cocozza of Remlitho in Strafford, CT., without whose help we’d be dead in the water.

With 6,000 stamps, we can send the brochure city-wide to households in Asbury Park. With 6,000 stamps, we can put the preservation issue in front of Asbury citizens BEFORE they vote on the next Council, and BEFORE the next waterfront planning process gets underway. We must, however, move fast. Really fast.

We need the stamps by April 21 (as you’ll see in a moment.) So we’ll make you a deal:To everyone who sends $27.50 for stamps, we’ll send a copy of the newly finished Palace preservation video made for Save Tillie by Mike Sodano.

To everyone who sends $55.00 for stamps, we’ll send a copy of the video plus a Tillie lapel pin and pinback button. To everyone who sends $110 or more for stamps, we’ll send a Tillie fun pack that includes the video, lapel pin, pinback button and one of the few remaining Tillie tee-shirts.

Two days ago, we saw a layout of the brochure cover. It’s going to be great. As soon as we have a full layout, we’ll get it on the web site so you can see it for yourself. If, however, you can help with stamps, please don’t wait. Time is very short. Please send your stamp contribution to Save Tillie Stamps, 12606 Billington Road, Silver Spring, MD 20904. Remember, any donation you make to Save Tillie is tax deductible. Next ....


On Saturday April 21, we’re going to have a Save Tillie get together to put stamps and mailing labels on the brochures. We’re hoping to do it in Asbury Park, and are currently working on the details. With 6,000 brochures to label and stamp, we need lots of help -- from you, your kids, your partner or spouse, anyone who can help. Please email us as soon as possible to let us know if you can come. Our hope is to start mid-morning and push right through until we have 6,000 brochures, ready to mail. Even if you can only come for a few hours, please do so. As soon as we have a location and exact time, we’ll let you know. Next ...


This Friday, April 6, author and Save Tillie member Helen Pike will present "The Baby Boomers' Asbury Park", a fun and nostalgic slide presentation at 7:30 p.m. at the Asbury Park Public Library, First & Grand Avenues. (Take Main St./Highway 71 to First Avenue and turn east. The library is a few blocks down on your right.) Helen's presentation is free, as are exhibits this month at the Asbury Park Public Library and one at Sovereign Bank, 308 Main Street. The library exhibit features Helen’s Asbury Park photos and memorabilia from the 1960s, '70s and '80s. The Bank show features rare photos by Ocean Grove's Philip Eastburn. The exhibits and talk are all part of "April in Asbury", an annual celebration sponsored by the Greater Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce.

And finally, those of you who regularly see the Asbury Park Press and The Coaster -- keep your eyes open for letters to the editor on historic preservation over the next few weeks -- the creative work of Maggie Powell and a group of Save Tillie members.

Thanks for your continued support. If you can help with the stamps, please do so soon. And don’t forget to email us if you can participate April 21 in the stamping and labelling of the brochure. The Save Tillie Board:Carl Beams, Bob Crane, Tom Dobbins, Rick Mariani, Chris

Phillips, Maggie Powell, Debbie Robinson, and Stacie Tobin.


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