MEET YOUR FIRE CHIEFS

fire_04 Six Little Silver Volunteer Fire Department officers were sworn in to their posts Monday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

[Editor’s Note: This story is updated to include the line officers for Shrewsbury Fire Department.]

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

With the turn of the calendar to 2011, so comes a change of command ’round the Green.

Although many of the same volunteers will be responding to emergency calls, from a slip on an icy sidewalk to an actual blaze, the leaders at area fire departments are different from last year.

To get you up to speed, here’s a quick rundown of your new fire chiefs, all of whose terms expire December 31.

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ROUTINE END TO THE YEAR IN CRIME

rbpd6 doorThe crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of December 17 to December 31, 2010. The information appears here unedited.

Theft occurring on 12-17-10 at Drummond Ave. Victim reported that unknown person(s) removed cash from console of parked vehicle. Ptl. Gary Watson.

Shoplifting occurring on 12-22-10 at East Newman Springs Rd. Owner reported that unknown male subject shoplifted a bottle of liquor and left without paying for same. Ptl. Nicholas Maletto.

Theft occurring on Maple Ave. on 12-23-10. Victim reported that unknown person(s) removed his cell phone from locker. Sgt. Robert Gannon.

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SURF TACO SURFING INTO RED BANK

rivers-edge-cafeRiver’s Edge Cafe is moving out, and Surf Taco is moving in to 35 Broad Street. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Rcsm2_010508Jack Anderson has a saying: “Nothing is a done deal until five minutes after the ink dries.”

The ink dried at 35 Broad Street, at around 4p Monday, so the deal is done. Surf Taco is coming to Red Bank.

“They are officially the tenants,” Anderson, the building’s landlord and owner of Jack’s Music Shoppe, told redbankgreen.

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AILING LITTLE SILVER EXEC WON’T RETURN

helen-gormleyDeputy Clerk Helen Gormley, along with other staff in Little Silver, will pick up the duties of administrator Michael Biehl. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

As far as the payroll is concerned, Michael Biehl is still Little Silver’s borough administrator and clerk. But Biehl, who is recovering from what Mayor Suzanne Castleman called a “very serious surgery,” won’t be returning to borough hall.

“He will actually still be the administrator, but he has finished his active employment with the borough,” said borough Attorney John Bennett.

After 22 years, Biehl has stepped down from his everyday duties and is on terminal leave until December 31, meaning co-workers will have to fill his many duties by committee in 2011.

And that’s the way the council wants it.

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ON DECK, MAYBE: NEW DOWNTOWN GARAGE

menna-010111Mayor Pasquale Menna says Red Bank has an “extraordinary” parking shortage that is crimping downtown businesses. (Click to enlarge)

After idling for several years, the possibility that Red Bank may get a second downtown parking garage is back in gear.

Though he never mentioned the word “garage” or “deck,” Mayor Pasquale Menna said Saturday that he would appoint a committee to explore ways to address what he called a perennial problem: “surface parking.”

“Everybody talks about parking, and they all say the mayor doesn’t talk about it enough, so let me stick my neck out,” he told an audience that packed the council chambers for the annual borough government reorganization . “Beginning this year, the council will be discussing initiatives that will carve out initiatives for parking on borough-owned properties in the business district.”

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RED BANK COUNCIL CANS PRINGLE FIRM

Pringle_and_hall_2_72307Former borough attorney Ken Pringle, left, and partner Tom Hall at a Red Bank council meeting in July, 2007. Below, new attorney Dan O’Hern at Saturday’s reorganization meeting. (Click to enlarge)

ohern-010111Red Bank has a new lawyer with a familiar name.

Out is the law firm headed by Belmar Mayor Ken Pringle. In is Daniel O’Hern Jr., a Little Silver councilman and son of late Red Bank mayor and state Supreme Court Justice Daniel O’Hern.

Council members cited economic reasons for the change.

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FIORE IN AS NEW MIDDLETOWN MAYOR

Newly-elected Mayor Anthony Fiore delivers his first address at Middletown’s reorganization meeting Sunday.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Middletown’s mayoral hot seat now belongs to Anthony Fiore, who suggests that he’s ready to be unpopular.

Fiore, a Republican now in the third year of his first elected term to the township committee, succeeds two-time mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, who was sworn in as a committeeman at Sunday’s annual reorganization meeting.

In a steamy, overflowing meeting room, and bookended on the dais by his predecessor, Scharfenberger, and newcomer Kevin Settembrino, Fiore admitted that 2011 isn’t going to be easy.

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FAMILIAR FACES AT RED BANK SWEARING-IN

nicosia-lee-lewisFormer Red Bank Mayor (1963-’66) and retired Superior Court Judge Ben Nicosia swears in Sharon Lee, center, to her third three-year term as borough councilwoman as council colleague Juanita Lewis looks on.

Also taking office Saturday were Councilwoman Kathleen Horgan, starting her second term, and Mayor Pasquale Menna, embarking on his second four-year term.

The governing body enters its third year comprised solely of Democrats. (Click to enlarge)

FAIR HAVEN: WILHELM IN, HOWELL HANGS IN

fh-reorgThe Fair Haven council held its reorganization meeting Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Among the participants when the Fair Haven council held its annual reorganization meeting Saturday afternoon were two people who didn’t really plan on being there a couple months ago.m-howell

On the dais was Rowland Wilhelm, who somewhat unexpectedly found himself on the election ballot in November following the death of Councilman John Lehnert.

And borough Administrator Mary Howell, right, was at her usual seat in front of the dais, taking notes and answering questions from the audience, even though she gave notice in September that her last day on the job was to be December 31.

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SCHARFENBERGER: CARS HAMPERED PLOWING

alexander-drAlexander Drive in Middletown before the snowplows arrived. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The snow removal efforts after last week’s snow-pounding could have been better, but given the conditions, were the best the town could do, says Middletown Committeman Gerry Scharfenberger.

Scharfenberger, who until Sunday’s reorganization meeting was the township’s mayor, delivered a communique over the weekend explaining problems associated with the cleanup.

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GOING IN FOR THE SHOT

Dozens of celebrants ran into the Atlantic surf  for the annual polar bear plunge at the Mad Hatter in Sea Bright on New Year’s Day.

Among them: redbankgreen‘s Trish Russoniello, who grabbed her point-and-shoot and went in up to her neck. Here are some of her pix.

(To enlarge the photo display, start it, then click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner. To get back to redbankgreen, hit your escape key.)