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KABOOM TO GET A REVIEW

kaboomA mural depicting Red Bank’s annual fireworks show on the side of Investors Savings Bank on White Street. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank’s annual fireworks show is going to get a “quick review” from a new task force formed Monday night.

At the request of the KaBoomfest fireworks committee, borough officials passed a resolution to form a task force to look at “every” aspect of the wildly popular July 4 pyro display, a move they say is needed to keep up with the times.

But at least one appointee, former Mayor Mike Arnone, hadn’t been told he was on it.

Nothing in particular prompted the committee’s formation, Mayor Pasquale Menna said.

“The model has been around for 20 years. The world has changed in 20 years,” he said. “It’s got to do with an event that has started off very small and has gotten very large. I think we need some people taking a look at it.”

What will these people — the committee is largely comprised of borough officials and sitting Kaboom! committee members — be looking at?

Everything, Menna said. That means fundraising, execution of the show, transportation and dealing with the usual problems that arise the night of the event, he said.

“It takes a fresh look at the model we’ve been following the last 20 years,” borough Administrator Stanley Sickels said.

Fresh it is. Arnone, a Republican who served as mayor from 1982 to 1990, didn’t even know he’d been named to the committee.

“I don’t know anything about it,” he told redbankgreen last night when reached at home.

He, along with at least a dozen others, have their work cut out for them. Menna said he’d like to see action from the committee within 30 days of its first meeting.

“It’s a quick turnaround,” he said.

The fireworks display — one of the largest on the East Coast — expanded to a three-day event this year. It also found itself saddled with an estimated $60,000 in unexpected costs when the borough stopped picking up the tab for police overtime and street cleanup.

KaBoom officials have not responded to repeated requests over the past two months seeking comment on how much of the event’s estimated $250,000 cost was covered by donations this year.

The event has been marred in the past two years by outbreaks of violence resulting in arrests.

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