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RED BANK: DI SOMMA TO STAY AS GOP CHAIR

disomma 1103152Sean Di Somma on election night 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Sean Di Somma, whose first two years as Red Bank Republican chairman have been marked by both the party’s resurgence and bitter infighting, will stay on in the post, he tells redbankgreen.

Though he said he had told party loyalists on Sunday that he would forego a second term in order to devote more time to his wife and infant daughter, Di Somma said Wednesday that calls by “internet trolls” and “local Democrats” for his resignation convinced him to stay for a second term, which begins in June, and through the November election.

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RED BANK: GOP HOSED ON WATER VOTES

cindy burnham 021016Council President Cindy Burnham, sitting in for the absent mayor for the first time, recused herself from the meter bond vote on advice from borough Attorney Jean Cipriani, right. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

Amid criticism by taxpayers, the new Republican-led Red Bank council approved two bonds totaling $3.7 million to pay for a municipal well and water meters for every property in town Wednesday night.

Both bonds won unanimous approval, though Council President Cindy Burnham, who recused herself over what was described as a potential conflict of interest, said she would have voted no on the meter issue.

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RED BANK: WATER BONDS UP FOR VOTE

rb water 102215Two bonds totaling $3.7 million in debt for a new well and water meters are up for possible adoption vote. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

Two bond ordinances and a plan to buy new water meters for nearly all Red Bank properties dominate the agenda for Wednesday night’s council meeting.

Facing a deadline for action, the council is expected to hold an adotion vote on two bonds totaling $3.7 million to pay for upgrades they say will help the town avoid  restrictions on water usage and new connections to the water system.

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RED BANK: METER PLAN FACES PUSHBACK

rb monmouth 022415 1Merchants along the western stretch of Monmouth Street say paid parking would hurt business. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A proposal to expand paid parking in central Red Bank ran into both expected and unexpected opposition Wednesday.

Expected: The ire of affected store owners.

Unexpected: Democratic Councilman Ed Zipprich joining his frequent sparring partner, Republican Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, in opposing the introduction of a measure to enable the change.

“I’m really infuriated by this pay station business,” David Prown, of Prown’s Home Improvements, told the council. “My experience tells me this is a done deal.”

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RED BANK: SET LOOSE THE DOGS, BUT WHERE?

RB DOG DAYS 073013 22Canines can meet-and-sniff at Dog Days of Summer events, but some dog lovers would like a facility for daily use. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank bends over – if not quite backwards, but with plastic bags in hand – for dogs, with a monthly street-closing festival for man’s best friend in the dog days of summer. But nowhere in town can a dog owner unleash and let Fido run free.

Not legally, at least.

At least three borough council members and the dog-owning mayor think that’s a situation that needs, um, to be fixed.

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RED BANK: SCHWABENBAUER TO FILL GOP SLOT

linda schwabenbauer 082714Linda Schwabenbauer outside borough hall, where she hopes to win a council seat. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Republicans may not have a mayoral candidate, but they appear to have filled the empty slot on the November ballot for two council seats.

Three months after the shortlived candidacy of Brian Hanlon ended over objections by his employer, political newcomer Linda Schwabenbauer is expected to join local party chair Sean Di Somma in his second consecutive run for council.

Nominally, at least.

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RED BANK: MINTON RESIGNS, HANLON BAILS

burnham di somma 110513Sean Di Somma, above at lower right, on election night last November. Below, Jack Minton, center, with candidate Joe Mizzi and then-Councilwoman Grace Cangemi in 2010. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

minton 110210Once again, a Red Bank Republican council candidate is in the market for a running mate.

This time, though, Sean Di Somma will also have the title of local party chairman as he goes about finding a replacement.

Fellow candidate Brian Hanlon has dropped out of this year’s race against Democratic incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, he told redbankgreen Wednesday, because his employer, Oppenheimer, objected.

And party chair Jack Minton is stepping down, in all likelihood to be succeeded by Di Somma when the the party faithful meet for their annual reorganization meeting this weekend.

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RED BANK: Di SOMMA TRIES AGAIN

di somma 2 102413Sean Di Somma has paired up with electoral politics newcomer Brian Hanlon for his second council try. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Republican Sean Di Somma is going to try again.

A political novice who last year found himself accused of being a fugitive over a traffic ticket, Di Somma tells redbankgreen he’s running for council again this year.

He’s pairing up with Brian Hanlon to try to take out Democratic incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich in November’s election.

The Di Somma/Hanlon ticket, though, won’t have a mayoral candidate to oppose Mayor Pasquale Menna, who tells redbankgreen he’s going for a third four-year term.

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RED BANK: BURNHAM BREAKS DEMS’ ‘HOLD’

Election_2013_Plainburnham di somma 110513Cindy Burnham,left, and Sean Di Somma, right, awaiting returns in a downtown office Tuesday night. Below, incumbent Democrat Kathy Horgan, who won another three-year term. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

kathy horgan 110513Activist Cindy Burnham scored an upset victory, emerging as the top vote-getter by a single vote in Tuesday’s election for Red Bank council.

“I’m shocked,” Burnham said at a small gathering of partisans in an office above the Bistro restaurant on Broad Street. “But I’m very happy that we can break the Democrats’ hold” on the governing body, she told redbankgreen.

Incumbent Democrat Kathy Horgan finished second, retaining her seat, while three-termer Sharon Lee lost hers, trailing Horgan by 24 votes, and brash Republican newcomer Sean Di Somma finished fourth.

Mayor Pasquale Menna said that Democrats would ask for a recount because of the close results.

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DALLAS SAYS DI SOMMA IS WARRANT SUBJECT

HOT-TOPIC_01A “capias warrant” for the arrest of Sean Di Somma was issued and is still in effect, a spokesman for the city of Dallas told redbankgreen late Friday afternoon, adding another twist to a bitter back-and-forth between rival Red Bank council candidacies.

City public information officer Jose Luis Torres said Di Somma’s check to pay a fine for running a stop sign in January, 2011 was returned for insufficient funds a year later, and the warrant was issued, he said in an email.

“Mr. DiSomma is currently in capias warrant status,” Torres wrote.

Di Somma called the latest twist in the controversy part of a “bureaucratic nightmare.”

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RED BANK: DEMS GO TO AUDIO ON DI SOMMA

di somma 2 102413Sean Di Somma at the NAACP candidates’ forum Thursday night. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Keeping alive a controversy that ignited Thursday, the head of Monmouth County’s Democratic party released a snippet of audio Friday as purported proof that Red Bank council candidate Sean Di Somma is a wanted man in Texas.

In a statement, party chairman Vin Gopal describes the 25-second recording – made earlier in the day of an automated response from the Dallas Municipal Court – as confirming that an “alias warrant” remains outstanding against the GOP newcomer.

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DI SOMMA: DEMS LIED. ‘THERE IS NO WARRANT’

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank council candidate Sean Di Somma tells redbankgreen that no warrant was ever issued for his arrest for running a stop sign in Dallas almost three years ago, contrary to an assertion by the Monmouth County Democrats.

Di Somma, a Republican, said he confirmed that there was no warrant with the Dallas police Thursday night, hours after Democratic party head Vin Gopal issued an unsigned press release claiming that “an active warrant has been issued for his arrest since 2011 in the State of Texas for a speeding issue.”

“There is no warrant,” Di Somma said Friday morning. “Dallas police verbally confirmed to me that there is no warrant.”

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RED BANK: DEMS FLAG DI SOMMA WARRANT

Election_2013_Plainsean di somma 101713

A long-dormant Red Bank election season erupted in finger-pointing Thursday as Democrats accused Republican newcomer Sean DiSomma of ducking an arrest warrant over a traffic violation in Texas two years ago.

DiSomma, right, called the airing of the matter “dirty politics from dirty politicians.”

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RED BANK: VISCOMI WON’T RUN AS INDY

By WIL FULTON

Suzanne Viscomi, who last week quit-without-quitting the Red Bank council race, confirmed Thursday that she won’t run as either a Republican or an independent.

Viscomi told redbankgreen by phone that she would officially be dropping out of the race as a Republican. That leaves ex-running mate Cindy Burnham alone on the GOP ticket against Democratic incumbents Kathy Horgan and Sharon Lee.

“There were reports I might run as an independent,” Viscomi said, “but I’m not going to run this year. I wanted to serve on the council as a member of the Republican party, but that didn’t work out. I still want to be a watchdog for the community, though.”

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RED BANK: VISCOMI DISPUTES SHE QUIT RACE

Suzanne Viscomi during her 2012 council run. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

[UPDATE: See Cindy Burham comments below]

Red Bank borough council candidate Suzanne Viscomi had not in fact dropped out of the race last week, as reported by the Asbury Park Press, she says in a web posting that tees up her former running mate, Cindy Burnham, for running on a “a personal vendetta and to appease her ego.”

But whether Viscomi is still running, well, you’ll have to wait until Wednesday to find out, she tells redbankgreen.

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