It's the Jersey Shore, no doubt, but Wildwood's mayor doesn't want the stereotypes that come along with it. And saggy pants, he said, do nothing but perpetuate the negative stereotypes that come with a summer "down the shore."
That's why the mayor of Wildwood, N.J., is leading the charge on a saggy pants ban on the beach town's boardwalk. "Their whole rear ends are sticking out," Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. said. "These kids have no respect for anyone including themselves."
There was no one event that led to the proposed ban, he said, rather a long line of complaints from people who were tired of seeing people's underwear hanging out of their pants. "People kept asking what I was going to do about it," he said.
Locals are "extremely offended" by the saggy pants. "We welcome everyone here, we don't discriminate against anyone," he said. "But what about my rights not to have to see your rear end?"
The vote on the ban, which the mayor said he is "99.9 percent sure" will succeed, takes place June 12. It will take 20 days to become law.
On the 21st day, he said, police will begin "politely asking" people to hike up their pants.
"It's not a hit squad," he said. "There's no Gestapo running up and down the boardwalk looking for offenders."
If they don't comply, Troiano said, they will be asked to leave the boardwalk. If they become belligerent they will get a ticket.
The mayor's not at all worried about driving away people committed to this particular fashion from Wildwood. "I thought about it for about a second," he said. "But you know what? Go somewhere else. We don't need the aggravation. For every saggy pants we lose we'll get about 10 families."
Wildwood isn't the first town to try and put an end to saggy pants. In April, Louisiana's Terrebonne Parish banned saggy pants that hang below the waist. Earlier this month, a councilman in Beaumont, Texas asked his fellow council members to consider a ban, citing it as a top complaint in his area.