Cleaning up after the elephants

It’s all over except for the trash.

Wildwood, New Jersey, the scene of President Trump’s latest rally/pity party on Tuesday night, woke up to a massive headache on Wednesday as city workers labored to clean up the mess left by thousands of people who had come to town for the event.

Trump supporters started descending on the 1.39-square-mle beachfront town on Sunday, hoping their free tickets would get them inside the Wildwoods Convention Center, which holds some 7,400 people.

Despite the biting January winds, many of the early arrivals camped out, bringing blankets, lawn chairs and other outdoor gear – none of which was allowed inside the convention center during Trump’s speech.

With no way to get back to their stuff after they were vetted by the Secret Service and allowed inside, the Deplorables just left everything there, along with the overflowing outdoor toilets, the inadequate garbage cans, and mounds of fast food wrappers and cups.

NJ.com reported that Fox Park, where the waiting line ended and where those who couldn’t get in could watch  Trump  on a Jumbotron, was spotless by Wednesday morning. City workers, who  were emptying garbage cans and picking up trash during the day on Tuesday, put in 12-hour shifts.

The convention center parking lot, which the city does not own or manage, was cleaned up by the afternoon.

Some of the retrieved chairs and blankets were being donated to homeless shelters, according to the North Wildwood Recreation and Tourism Department (https://www.nj.com/news/j66j-2020/01/e94812bb778746/beach-chairs-blankets-and-trash-massive-mess-left-after-trumps-wildwood-rally.html).

The mess isn’t entirely the fault of the people who went there for the rally, which was supposedly in support of the re-election bid of local Congressman Jeff Van Drew.

The Trump-Pence campaign apparently didn’t bother to calculate how many garbage cans or toilets would be needed for a crowd that they claimed could approach 100,000.

The organizers waited until 25 hours before the start of the rally to inform ticketholders via email that signs, noisemakers and banners would not be allowed inside. As a result, those were left behind well.

The Trump people ought to be old hands at this by now. They ought to know the logistics of how many garbage cans and porta-potties are needed. They also should announce well beforehand that signs are not allowed.

 

Instead, they showed nothing but disregard for the environment – of an oceanfront resort, no less – and for the taxpayers who have to foot the bill.

The cost of the cleanup wasn’t announced yesterday, but Mayor Pete Byron had received some pushback after saying in a newspaper interview that he would be billing the local Republican Party for reimbursement.

As his punishment, Byron told the Philadelphia Inquirer, he was not invited to the rally.

At least he caught one break. As for the reimbursement, good luck with that, Mayor.

 

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