A combination of public opposition and anemic support have forced Red Bank officials to drop a proposal to sell a riverside lot at the north end of Maple Avenue, Councilwoman Kathy Horgan tells redbankgreen.
“There will be no appraisal, and nobody’s getting paid for an appraisal,” Horgan says. “The property won’t be sold. It’s not going to happen.”
She says she conferred with Mayor Pasquale Menna on the matter today, and he agrees the issue is a dead one.
As first reported by redbankgreen, the sale idea was floated in a closed session of council as a possible way to plug a budget hole that threatens to drive up the local portion of property taxes by 20 percent later this year.
Opponents of the sale, led by Fair Haven resident and Red Bank property owner Cindy Burnham, had promised to pack a Q&A on the budget last night. But most of those who attended were municipal department heads who turned out to explain the operations they run and the rationales for their budget requests.
Otherwise, “I counted four people,” says borough CFO Frank Mason.
Burnham showed up, but before the session began, she learned from Horgan that the property wouldn’t be discussed because it’s not going to be sold after all. So she didn’t stick around.
“It was such a great night that I ran home, threw my kayak on my car and went over to Maple Ave. for a quick ride around the Navesink,” Burnham tells redbankgreen via email.
Horgan says the idea, floated by Menna, died because at least four members of the governing body were opposed to a sale: herself, fellow Democrat Sharon Lee, and Republicans John Curley and Grace Cangemi. They cited the need to preserve the last bit of direct river access in the borough as well as opposition to one-time budget fixes.
“The majority rules,” Horgan says. “We’re still a democracy.”