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RED BANK: BURNHAM BEGINS RE-ELECTION BID

burnham party 051516 2

burnham party 051516 1 Having been denied a return spot on the Republican ticket, Red Bank Council President Cindy Burnham, seen at center right, hosted an open party at her Wallace Street home to kick off her re-election campaign as an independent Sunday night.

 “It’s not a fundraiser — it’s a friend-raiser,” Burnham said, quoting one of her daughters, as about two dozen partygoers mingled in chilly weather in her garage and driveway while a live band played. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: YOUNG READER’S A WORLD-BEATER

karina linares huerta 051116Red Bank Middle School seventh-grader Karina Linares Huerta Karina was honoroed by the Red Bank council Wednesday night for finishing first among 1.7 million students around the globe in the Achieve3000, an online literacy-improvement program.

Karina read and completed 170 specified activities, including 35 in one day, the most of any participant worldwide, to take home the top prize. 

Karina attended the council meeting with her mother, Zenaida Huerta, above, and her three younger brothers. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: BURNHAM PLANS NO-TIES PARTY

burnham 1 010114Council President Cindy Burnham, seen here at her 2014 swearing-in with state Senator Jen Beck at left, plans an independent run for a second term. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_PlainYou might call it the “no-party-ties party” when Red Bank Council President Cindy Burnham launches her independent run for re-election next month with a bash that she says is open to all borough residents.

After licking her wounds about being dumped from the 2016 Republican ticket on Sunday, Burnham confirmed Thursday that she’ll mount a solo run, one based on her record as an activist and “the voice of reason” on the governing body.

And she’s kicking it off with a party at her home that will feature a live band — Kül d’Sack — and free food, by Greek Eats.

“If there’s on thing I know how to do, it’s throw a party,” she told redbankgreen.

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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: BURNHAM “STILL MULLING”

burnham colmorgen 010116Council President Cindy Burnham, seen here in January with fire police volunteer Carl Colmorgen, says she’ll announce her plans later this week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_PlainContrary to a published report, Red Bank Council President Cindy Burnham says she still hasn’t made up her mind whether to seek a second term as an independent.

One day after she was left off the 2016 Republican ticket, Burnham told redbankgreen that she’ll announce on Thursday whether she’s running and will fly solo in her quest.

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RED BANK: GOP DUMPS BURNHAM

cindy burnham 021016Council President Cindy Burnham said she’s undecided whether she’ll seek re-election. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_PlainShe may have broken the Democrats’ lock on Red Bank government, but that wasn’t enough for the party she rode in with.

Heading into her first re-election campaign, Councilwoman Cindy Burnham was dropped from the 2016 Republican ticket Sunday.

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RED BANK: SIGN RULES IN LIMBO

rb signs 032416 2Proposed changes to the ordinance that regulates signage were rejected by the council. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

The Red Bank council yanked the plug on a new sign ordinance Wednesday night, leaving the town with a law that even local officials say is hot mess.

Amid widespread criticism, and some squabbling among majority Republicans, the governing body on Wednesday rejected proposed changes to the sign law that Councilwoman Cindy Burnham said had been in the works for three years and cost the town $18,000.

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RED BANK: DEMS TAP HORGAN AND YNGSTROM

horgan burnham 022614 2Incumbents Kathy Horgan and Cindy Burnham, above, and newcomer Erik Yngstrom, below, will vie for two open council seats in November. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

erik yngstromLess than three months into a new Republican era and eight months before the next election, Red Bank’s Democrats have chosen their candidates for council.

Incumbent Kathy Horgan and newcomer Erik Yngstrom, a member of the zoning board, have been nominated to run in the Democratic primary election to be held June 7, party chairman and Councilman Ed Zipprich announced Friday night.

Separately, Republican Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, who broke the Democrats’ seven-year lock on the council with her victory in 2013, told redbankgreen that she will seek re-election.

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RED BANK: SIGN LAW FLICKERS BACK TO LIFE

rb signs 061214 2A proposed ordinance to regulate signage is still too complex, officials say. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

After more than two years of review and tweaking, a proposed change to Red Bank’s signage law is still too complicated, according to… well, nearly everyone who’s looked at it.

“Fourteen pages of regulations with three pages of tables does not help simplify what’s allowed and not allowed,” Jim Scavone, executive director of the downtown promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter, told the borough council two weeks ago.

His comments have since been widely echoed. Planning board member Linda Cohen, who owns Eye Design on Broad Street, expressed concern that prospective business tenants would get one look at the document and decide to set up shop elsewhere.

Still, the planning board unanimously agreed Monday night that the proposed changes did not conflict with the town’s Master Plan, and kicked it back to the council with the message to “keep tweaking,” even if the amendments become law. Read More »

RED BANK: DEMOCRATS CLOSE OUT ERA

mike dupont 121615 2Councilman Mike DuPont at his final council meeting Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A 25-year run of Democratic rule in Red Bank entered its final phase at a low-key borough council meeting Wednesday night.

Councilman Mike DuPont delivered his swan song after three terms, having been defeated by a Republican, Mike Whelan, who wasn’t yet born when the Democrats attained their current majority in 1990.

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RED BANK: RECOUNT GIVES WHELAN WIN

taylor whelan disomma 112015Mike Whelan, flanked by Councilman-elect Mark Taylor and GOP Chairman Sean DiSomma, celebrates at the county Board of Elections office Friday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

[See update on DuPont concession below.]

Election 2015 graphicRepublican political newcomer Mike Whelan claimed victory, again, after a recount of votes in this month’s Red Bank council election Friday.

The new tally, ordered last week by a Superior Court judge at the request of incumbent Democratic Councilman Mike DuPont, showed that Whelan beat DuPont by three votes — one more than his apparent margin of victory going into the recount.

“I’m happy this process has worked out,” Whelan told redbankgreen, minutes after Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon declared him the winner. “Now, it’s time to get to work.”

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RED BANK: DEMS WIN RECOUNT ORDER

Election 2015 graphicBy JOHN T. WARD

Citing the thin vote margin, a Superior Court granted a request for a recount in the Red Bank council election Friday.

The action by Judge Katie Gummer, in Freehold, means that incumbent Democratic Councilman Mike DuPont still has at least one more shot at reversing his apparent two-vote loss in last week’s election.

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RED BANK: GOP CALLS DUPONT ‘SORE LOSER’

duponts 110315Councilman Mike DuPont, with his wife, Doreen, beside him, addresses Democratic supporters on election night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election 2015 graphic

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Republicans blasted incumbent Councilman Mike DuPont as a “sore loser” Thursday for seeking a recount of his apparent two-vote loss in last week’s election.

DuPont is scheduled to appear before a judge in Superior Court in Freehold Friday on his petition for a  recount, which Republicans say would constitute an “unprecedented” fourth counting of votes from the November 3 squeaker.

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RED BANK: GOP CLAIMS WIN IN SQUEAKER

mike whelan 110315 2An apprehensive Mike Whelan watches as election results are posted on election night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See UPDATE, below]

Election 2015 graphic

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Republicans did in fact oust Democrats for control of the borough council last week, GOP  Chairman Sean Di Somma said following a count of provisional ballots in Freehold Monday morning.

But three-term incumbent Councilman Mike DuPont told redbankgreen that the Democrats will file for a recount.

 

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RED BANK: PROVISIONALS YET TO BE COUNTED

rb gop 110315 2Republicans Mark Taylor, left, Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer and Mike Whelan surround party chairman Sean Di Somma in celebration at the Chowda House Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election 2015 graphic

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Republican Chairman Sean Di Somma says he’s confident his party’s long-sought takeover of the borough council will stand up to a recount and the sorting-through of provisional ballots.

The still-uncertified vote tallies from Tueday’s election show the GOP won both open council seats to claim their first majority on the governing body in a generation Tuesday.

But with about two dozen provisional ballots yet to be counted, just four votes separate Republican Mike Whelan and three-term incumbent Democrat Mike DuPont, according the Monmouth County Clerk’s website.

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