New Jersey Town Cracks Down on Baggy Pants

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Starting Tuesday, wearing baggy pants will cost you in the beach town of Wildwood, N.J.

Complaints about the trendy low-hanging pants had been pouring so officials in Wildwood decided to clean up their city's image. The town council unanimously passed a law that bans saggy pants from being worn on the boardwalk.

"When you have good families who call you up and say, 'I've been coming here 20 years, 30 years, 40 years and I'm not going to any longer because I'm not going to subject my children or my parents or grandparents to seeing some kid walk down the boardwalk with their butt hanging out,' you have to do something," Mayor Ernest Troiano Jr. said. "I'm not one of the Fruit of the Loom underwear inspectors; I'm not one of the grapes. I don't want to see it."

Police will be patrolling the boardwalk to enforce the new ordinance. First time offenders may only receive a verbal warning. But they could be fined anywhere from $25 to $200.

"The ultimate goal is compliance," The New Jersey Star-Ledger quoted Police Chief Steven Long said last month. "We're just trying to make the city a better place to visit."

So far, many beach-goers and business owners support the decision.

"We want to attract families here in Wildwood. We don't want them to see people with their pants hanging low. It's a good thing," Toni Fuscellario, owner of Sam's Pizza, said.

"I just don't think that my kids should see other peoples' underwear. I mean, really," Genevieve O'Brian, from Secaucus, said.

Critics say the government shouldn't control how people dress. But Mayor Troiano said he and other Wildwood residents have "the right to decency."

"My right is not to have to look at your [rear end] if I don't want to," he told the Columbus Dispatch. "I find that offensive. Go somewhere else and do it, and for every one person I lose, I'll gain 10 more who will be glad."

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