RED BANK: COUNCIL TO MEET FRIDAY EVENING

rb borough hallHeading out for an night of fun Friday? Kick things off with a council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See update below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s mayor and council won’t meet Wednesday night in observance of Yom Kippur.

Instead, they’ll meet Friday. At 6 p.m.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL WRAP-UP

rbcs 061015Seventh-graders from the Red Bank Charter School presented a report on “serving a healthy town,” and Mayor Pasquale Menna, below, returned to the dais after heart surgery. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

pasquale menna 061015Here’s some of what went on at the semimonthly meeting of the Red Bank council Wednesday night:

• Mayor Pasqule Menna presided over his first meeting following a month away following open-heart surgery. He thanked Council President Art Murphy for filling in for him at various events, and for “chauffering me around – ‘Driving Mr. Daisy,’ I suppose,” he said.

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RED BANK: MORE PAID PARKING OK’D

rb monmouth st 031015The plan enables the town to charge for parking on parts of Bridge Avenue and Monmouth Street that have long been subject to two-hour parking limits, which merchants say were not enforced. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Over the objections of business owners and nearby residents, the Red Bank council approved a controversial plan to expand the paid parking zone in the central business district Wednesday night.

The go-ahead came on a rare tiebreaker vote by Mayor Pasquale Menna after a 3-3 deadlock among council members, one of whom, Council President Art Murphy, moved and voted in favor of the plan by phone.

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RED BANK: PAID PARKING PLAN TABLED

rb council 031115Business owner David Prown pleads his case to Councilman Art Murphy Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank council put off a vote on a plan to expand the paid parking zone in the central business district after calls by merchants and residents for enforcement of existing law Wednesday night.

The objections to the expansion plan came despite a move by the council to enable 15-minute parking in the expansion district west of Maple Avenue.

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RED BANK: PARKING PLAN MAY BE TWEAKED

rb monmouth st 031015An ordinance scheduled for a vote Wednesday night would expand paid parking on Monmouth Street and part of Bridge Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Following objections by merchants, a proposed expansion of Red Bank’s paid parking zone may be modified, said Mayor Pasquale Menna.

The plan, scheduled for an adoption vote Wednesday evening, could be altered to include some short-term parking spaces for customers of stores and other businesses west of Maple Avenue, Menna told redbankgreen Tuesday.

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RED BANK: PROPOSED LAW EYES DOG NEGLECT

rb dogs 061714 14The ordinance, championed by Mayor Pasquale Menna, below, addresses tethering of dogs and other issues. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

pasquale menna 052614Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna wants to put more teeth into the borough’s protection of dogs.

The mayor, whose canine companion of 14 years died last month, introduced a proposed ordinance Wednesday night that he said would make it easier to prosecute those who neglect dogs by leaving them tied up for hours, or with heavy tethers, or when the weather is “extraordinarily cold or extraordinarily warm.”

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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 AGENDA: CABS, DOGS & PARKING

rb monmouth 022415 2Parking in front of these businesses and others on Monmouth Street and Bridge Avenue would no longer be free if an ordinance up for introduction Wednesday wins approval. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[This article has been updated since it was originally posted to reflect the contents of proposed ordinances.]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The agenda for Wednesday night’s bimonthly meeting of the Red Bank Council is a busy one, with a handful of proposed changes to borough laws.

Here’s what’s on the draft agenda.

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RED BANK BROAD-TO-RIVER: JUST MORE TALK?

2004 ebner planA 2002 proposal, above, by property owner Robert Ebner to open the view from Broad Street to the Navesink hit a dead end. (Photo below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

broad river 012815 3Is downtown Red Bank finally going to get its long-coveted river view at the north end of Broad Street? Or is recent buzz about a possible plan just more blue-sky talk?

A widely shared dream for generations, the so-called Broad to the River concept envisions opening up a panorama of the Navesink from the main downtown corridor.

At this point, however, the chatter appears to be little more than an attempt to revive an idea that’s hit a brick wall repeatedly over much of the last century.

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RED BANK: PARKING REPORT UNDER WRAPS

rb white lot 2 032814Town officials have yet to disclose the recommendations of a consultant on what to do with the White Street lot. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A document that could lay the conceptual groundwork for a new parking garage in downtown Red Bank remains under wraps.

Delivered last month, the roughly 100-page report, by the civil engineering firm CME Associates, offers recommendations on how the town should leverage an asset: its 2.3-acre White Street municipal lot, according to Mayor Pasquale Menna.

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RED BANK: IT’S SCHWABENBAUER & ZIPPRICH

Election_2014_Plainrb dems 110414Councilmembers Ed Zipprich, center, and Juanita Lewis with former Councilman Ivan Polonsky, right, at Democratic HQ Tuesday night. Linda Schwabenbauer, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

linda schwabenbauer 082714Linda Schwabenbauer only got into the Red Bank council race in August, and didn’t start campaigning until mid-September.

Though she’s lived in town for 10 years, the Republican also had the handicap of being an unknown political entity.

“I’d never heard of her,” said former mayor and local Democratic party sage Ed McKenna, “and I don’t know anyone who had.”

And yet, even as her opponents – and perhaps some supporters – struggled to pronounce her name, Schwabenbauer came away as the leading vote-getter in Tuesday’s election, edging incumbent Ed Zipprich by nine votes and knocking out incumbent Democrat Juanita Lewis, according to the GOP.

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RED BANK: GOP APPEARS TO ADD TO ’13 GAIN

Election_2014_Plainrb gop 110414 1Republican Linda Schwabenbauer, left, with state Senator Jennifer Beck and running mate Sean Di Somma, far right, as returns were tallied Tuesday night. Below, Ed Zipprich, seen at right through a ladder at Democratic headquarters with his husband, J.P. Nicolaides and former Mayor Ed McKenna, at left. (Photo above by John T. Ward, below by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

110414 election1One year after narrowly regaining a toehold on Red Bank government, Republicans will soon have a second representative on the six-member council.

Or so it appeared late Tuesday night.

GOP newcomer Linda Schwabenbauer and Democratic incumbent Ed Zipprich were neck-and-neck in the race for two council seats. And though the two parties differed on vote totals, both candidates appeared to have outpolled Zipprich running mate Juanita Lewis by about two dozen votes.

The clear loser, for the second year in a row, was Republican Sean Di Somma, who conceded defeat early in the evening.

Mayor Pasquale Menna, a Democrat, was elected to a third four-year term. He was unopposed on the ballot.

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LIVE: HOUSE RACES ACROSS THE STATE

Beginning shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday, NJ Spotlight and NJ News Commons will begin posting results for congressional races across the state. For up-to-the minute results, click on a district; you can zoom in and move the map around.

These results are preliminary as precincts report. The colors on the map indicate which party is leading by district: red for Republicans and blue for Democrats. An asterisk (*) indicates an incumbent.
For results for in the race for U.S. Senate and the statewide ballot questions, click here (Map courtesy of NJ Spotlight and NJ News Commons)

RED BANK: ELECTION DAY 2014

RB 2014 ballotRed Bank voters will choose two council members from among four candidates. (Click to enlarge)

Election_2014_PlainWill voters tick down along party lines? Mix & match?

Election season 2014 culminates Tuesday with four candidates on the ballot for two Red Bank council seats, plus an incumbent mayor running unopposed.

redbankgreen will have results as soon as they’re available after polls close at 8 p.m. Meantime, here’s a refresher on the process.

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RED BANK: Q&A WITH SEAN DI SOMMA

Election_2014_QAdi somma 102814Republican council candidate Sean Di Somma. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

In Tuesday’s election for Red Bank council, incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, both Democrats, face Republicans Sean Di Somma and Linda Schwabenbauer. Here are Di Somma’s answers to questions sent to all four candidates by redbankgreen.

Name: Sean Patrick Di Somma

Age: 32

Where did you grow up? Bergen County, NJ

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? Almost 3 years

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RED BANK: Q&A WITH JUANITA LEWIS

Election_2014_QA juanita lewis 101308Democrat Juanita Lewis has been on the council since 2009. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

In Tuesday’s election for Red Bank council, incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, both Democrats, face Republicans Sean Di Somma and Linda Schwabenbauer. Here are Lewis’s answers to questions sent to all four candidates by redbankgreen.

Name: Juanita Lewis

Age: 48

Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Red Bank.

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? All of my life, except when I went to college, graduate school and when I worked overseas for one year.

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RED BANK: Q&A WITH PASQUALE MENNA

Election_2014_QApasquale menna 102814 2Pasquale Menna, a Democrat, was elected mayor in 2006 after 18 years on the borough council. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

In Tuesday’s election, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna is running unopposed for a third four-year-term.Here are his answers to questions sent to all borough candidates by redbankgreen.

Name: Pasquale Menna

Age: 60

Where did you grow up? Italy, Montreal, Canada and Red Bank.

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? Since 1964.

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RED BANK: Q&A WITH LINDA SCHWABENBAUER

Election_2014_QAschwabenbauer 102814Republican council candidate Linda Schwabenbauer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

In Tuesday’s election for Red Bank council, incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, both Democrats, face Republicans Sean Di Somma and Linda Schwabenbauer. Here are Schwabenbauer’s answers to questions sent to all four candidates by redbankgreen.

Name: Linda Schwabenbauer

Age: 49

Where did you grow up? Downingtown, PA

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? Since May of 2005 – just shy of 10 years

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RED BANK: Q&A WITH ED ZIPPRICH

Election_2014_QA zipprich 011111Democrat Ed Zipprich has been on the council since 2009. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

In Tuesday’s election for Red Bank council, incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, both Democrats, face Republicans Sean Di Somma and Linda Schwabenbauer. Here are Zipprich’s answers to questions sent to all four candidates by redbankgreen.

Name: Edward Zipprich

Age: 54

Where did you grow up? In a small town similar to Red Bank in Staten Island, NY

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? 17.5 years

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RED BANK: GOP CALLS FOR TELE-DEBATE

Election_2014_wDebatesrb candidates 102814 3Republicans Linda Schwabenbauer and Sean Di Somma had a full-house audience at River Street Commons to themselves Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The two Red Bank council candidates challenged the Democratic incumbents to a debate Wednesday, one day after a meet-the-candidates event at which the Dems were no-shows.

GOP contender Sean Di Somma called the absence of Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich “sad and shameful,” adding that they’d “pulled a fast one on Red Bank residents” by canceling at the last minute.

Zipprich told redbankgreen earlier on Tuesday that he was attending to a family medical issue, and Lewis told the Westside Community Group that she couldn’t make their Tuesday event because she was “pulled away on business,” said event moderator Amy Goldsmith.

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RED BANK SCORES IN GAS VALVE BATTLE

An NJNG crew packs it in after being ordered by police to stop work on a nearly completed gas regulator valve replacement on Monmouth Street in October, 2012. Below, a Monmouth Street valve that was struck by a falling tree during Hurricane Sandy. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb gas valve 103112Remember the flap over the regulator valves that New Jersey Natural Gas Company moved above-ground along storefronts over the objections of Red Bank officials and merchants two years ago?

They’re unsafe, borough officials said. They’re ugly, too, said business owners and officials at RiverCenter, the downtown promotion agency. Mayor Pasquale Menna called them “monstrous carbuncles” forced upon the town by an “arrogant” utility company.

They’re also illegal, according to a state appellate panel ruing issued Tuesday.

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RED BANK: NO DEBATE AS DEMS ARE NO-SHOWS

Election_2014_wDebatesrb candidates 102814 1The River Street Commons had a full house for the event, hosted by the Westside Community Group. Alecia Wilkerson, below, asked a question from the audience. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb candidates 102814 2The two Republican candidates for Red Bank council in next week’s election had an open field as neither of their opponents showed up for a debate Tuesday night.

Incumbent Democrat Ed Zipprich was out of town on a family medical issue, and fellow incumbent Democrat Juanita Lewis was “called away on business,”  Westside Community Group president and event moderator Amy Goldsmith said the candidates told her.

That gave Republican challengers Sean Di Somma and Linda Schwabenbauer control of the floor at the 18th annual candidates’ night, held as always at the River Street Commons. Di Somma made frequent reference to the absences, and at one point gave away their chairs to audience members who had packed the former school gym.

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RED BANK: DEMS GET PRICKLY OVER BALLOONS

rb gop balloons 101914Legos with legs were among the parade participants who accepted GOP balloons from candidate Linda Schwabenbauer, below. (Photo above by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

schwabenbauer 101914A Menna Administration official and a Republican council candidate clashed at Sunday’s Red Bank Halloween Parade over campaign balloons.

GOP contender Linda Schwabenbauer said she believed she was exercising a First Amendment right and had borough authorization when she gave away about 200 balloons bearing her name and that of running mate Sean Di Somma to children and adults before the start of the parade.

But Parks and Recrecreation department director Memone Crystian told her to stop, threatening to call the police if she continued, she said.

Administration officials dispute the claim that they’d OK’d a balloon distribution, and contend they have the law on their side in asking Schwabenbauer to stop.

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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: MAYOR WELCOMES SPECIAL GUESTS

imageEight disabled students from the Schroth School in Ocean Township arrived in Red Bank Friday morning for a picnic in Riverside Gardens Park and possibly some shopping downtown. But first, they met with Mayor Pasquale Menna at borough hall, where they gave him with a mug and a cap, and he gave each a signed certificate of achievement. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)