By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank’s local-government groupies and gadflies will have another municipal meeting to add to their calendars starting next month.
Beginning August 29, the mayor and council plan to hold regular so-called “workshop” meetings, at which they discuss ongoing and upcoming borough business without taking official action.
The addition of the separate workshop sessions was approved by the council at its semimonthly regular meeting last Wednesday at the urging of new Business Administrator Ziad Shehady.
Shehady, a former mayor and councilman in Springfield Township, where separate workshop meetings are used, said they’re common across New Jersey, and notes that Rumson’s governing body schedules two a month.
“Department heads will be available to provide reports and answer any questions” for elected officials, said Shehady. “It’s a very helpful meeting. It ensures that things are moving along and everybody’s on the same page.”
By “same page,” he said, he meant “as far as what’s going to go on the [regular] agenda, what the action plan is with regard to certain legislation, how to draft legislation, what effect you want to legislation to have.”
Councilman Mark Taylor said he hoped that workshop meetings would help obviate situations such as what he called the “fiasco” surrounding a proposed, and now aborted, puppy mill bill. He and Councilman Mike Whelan had objected to the bill’s introduction in January, claiming that it hadn’t been fully researched.
Here’s the workshop schedule for the remainder of 2018, adjusted for holidays and other conflicts: