Sand, surf, suds and those big, black-and-white signs you may have stared at while driving home from Island Beach State Park have always been marks of a summer day in Seaside Park. The latter, however, is no longer there.
For years, self-proclaimed “whistleblower” David A. Miller created controversy by publicly railing against what he saw as judicial, political and media corruption in the Shore area. A registered nurse, Miller’s quest to reach the public began after a series of judicial decisions went against him in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Ever since, judges, politicians, law enforcement figures and others have found themselves on the receiving end of his roadside derision outside his home along Route 35 north.
But this season, the signs went away. Miller, who last was in the news in 2014 for an arrest stemming from a slow-speed police chase through Seaside Park, had disappeared from the scene.
He resurfaced recently at a meeting of the Toms River township council, telling elected officials there that he had moved to the Holiday City senior community on the mainland. He asked the council to waive parking fees so he could park his truck, with his signature signs attached, outside the Ocean County courthouse.
“I used to have a venue where I could display my signs on my truck in Seaside Park, but in Holiday City, there’s no such venue anymore,” Miller told the council.
The signs, he said, “illustrate and expose corruption in the courthouse and prosecutor’s office,” but a recent increase in parking fees in downtown Toms River have silenced his cause.
“I’d like you to resolve to make it possible for me to park there all day long,” Miller requested, adding that he would drive his pickup truck to Hooper Avenue in the county seat, then ride a bike home so the truck’s signage could remain on display during the day.
“In general, you cannot waive parking fees for one person, because it’s discriminatory,” said Toms River Township Attorney Ken Fitzsimmons. “Everyone is subject to those fees. We don’t waive those fees, we regulate the imposition of them.”
Miller then asked if he could set up his signs outside of town hall in Toms River.
“It really isn’t appropriate for this body to counsel you on how you exercise your protest against some other agency,” Fitzsimmons said, ending the discussion.