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RED BANK: ALLISON GREGORY Q&A

allison-gregory-102318-500x375-7131561Allison Gregory is running for council on the Republican ticket. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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At stake in Red Bank’s November 6 election: the mayor’s post and two council seats.

At stake in Red Bank’s November 6 election: the mayor’s post and two council seats.

On the ballot are: incumbent Mayor Pasquale Menna, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Pearl Lee; and council candidates Michael Clancy (R), Allison Gregory (R), Kate Triggiano (D), Sue Viscomi (I) and Hazim Yassin (D).

Here are Gregory’s written responses to questions posed to all candidates recently by redbankgreen.
Name: Allison Gregory

Age: 37

Address: 109 Bank St. Red Bank

Where did you grow up? Fanwood, NJ in Union County

Where did you go to high school? Scotch Plains, Fanwood HS, Class of 1999.

Did you graduate from college? If so, which school, with what degree? Yes, from from Kean University in 2003 with a Bachelors in Psychology & minor in Criminal Justice.

Have your served in the military? If so, which branch and when? No

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? Almost 2/1/2 years, I’ve lived in Monmouth County for over 12 years.

Do you own real estate in town? Yes, my home at 109 Bank Street

What do you do for a living? Real Estate Sales Associate for Resources Real Estate. I work out of our Red Bank office at 4A. W. Front St. I have been an agent at Resources for over 11 years.

Please tell us a little bit about your community involvement efforts, if any.

I have been involved in fundraisers for the schools in town. I ran in the Red Bank 5K Classic this past Spring. Last year, my husband & I installed a Little Library on the corner of our property called Todd’s Brook Break. I have helped raise awareness for Breast Cancer through fundraising & participating in Ladies Night Out in Red Bank. I have participated in the Red Bank Wedding Walk in past years. My family & I participate in community events throughout the year such as the Halloween parade, movie night in the park, jazz night in the park & the Holiday Tree Lighting. My husband, Mark & I organized our first Bank Street Block Party that was held in early September. I have been on the Red Bank Republican County Committee for the 9th district since 2016. I look forward to becoming more involved in my community whether elected or not. I am proud to live in Red Bank & want to continue to better our community for all. Community involvement is essential to being a great town.

Party affiliation: Republican

How important is party affiliation to you? What does it mean to you to be a member of your party?

I am proud to be a Republican. Red Bank Republicans have left a strong legacy. I look forward to being a part of the legacy left by many councilmen & woman including but not limited to Mike Arnone, John Curley & Jennifer Beck. Many have made a difference in this town. On that same note, on a local level, I feel it’s important to vote for the person over the party.

Do you have a role model in public life? Who and why?

Norma Todd is my Red Bank role model. My husband & I unknowingly purchased her former home on Bank St. in 2016. Knowing the impact she left in Red Bank & what she did for her community & Lunch Break was part of the inspiration for me to run for office to make a difference in town. Norma did so much to positively influence Red Bank & what makes the town what it is today. Last year, we installed a little library on the corner of our property that offers children’s books as well as the book titled “Watch out for the Elephants”, a book Norma’s daughters wrote on their life. I want to make an impact on our boro when elected.

Why are you running for Red Bank council?

We are facing an affordability crisis. Lowering taxes & making Red Bank an affordable to place to live, work & raise a family is a top priority. I believe in lowering taxes & making Red Bank an affordable place to live. Taxes went up 5% last year & when elected I will make it a prioity to make sure this doesn’t continue to happen. Looking into the Boro’s water/sewer utility. These are just a few reasons. I am running to make a difference in my town. I believe in Red bank; the Residents & the Business’. We are a community & together when elected I can be included on the forefront of change.

What are the most pressing issues facing the town, and how do you plan to address them?

To make Red Bank affordable, cut taxes & stop wasteful spending. The Management Enhancement Report is a pressing issue & each of the suggestions need to evaluated & we need to take action. This in itself will take time & everyone working together for the greater good of Red Bank. I will work closely with residents & business’ along with the boro & Red Bank’s River Center to address issues such as safety on our streets including more cross walks & increased lighting, code enforcement & housing safety are big items in my book that need addressing. Holding people accountable, streamlining bureaucracy, work together to be more efficient for our community & cutting taxes.

What if any specific initiatives can voters expect from you if you are elected?

Make Red Bank more affordable & a better place to live, work & raise a family.
Again, also stemming back to the Management Enhancement report as a guideline which outlines suggestions for the boro. I’d like the voters to check back with me 90 days after being elected to get a status report from me on what I’ve done since taking office. I want to be & will be held accountable for the promises I make. I will work hard for Red Bank & continue to make it a great boro.

What criteria should voters apply to your initiatives to determine if you’ve succeeded?

Referring back to previous answer above, voters that use the criteria & platform that I am running this election on. I encourage & hope that voters check in with me to get a status update. I think a clear line of communication with all of Red Bank is the key to success & taking Red Bank in a new direction.

What do you think of the Government Strategy Group’s  Management Enhancement Report issued in June?

Shocking & Appalling! This 48 page report shows just how many problems the Boro is facing. Why elect those that caused these problems but rather elect candidates that are ready to take action. It shouldn’t have taken this long for the report to come out & the current administration should have known most of this already. Again it comes down to laziness, neglect & letting too much slip through the cracks. Vote for a new direction in Red Bank on Nov. 6th.

Should Red Bank embark on a charter study or take other steps toward a new form of government?

Yes this is a #1 priority as outlined in the Management Enhancement Report. It’s frustrating that this hasn’t been done yet.

Should Red Bank switch to nonpartisan elections?

Yes, the potholes aren’t being filled right now with the current administration. I am ready to work together with everyone on council & do what’s best for Red Bank. Let’s hold those accountable on council for hold back action from happening. I believe in the future that non partisan would be a great move for Red Bank. Too often voters look at your party affiliation & not who you are & what you can do for Red Bank. Local politics are much different than National. Red Bank has many local issues facing us that need to be addressed now & I am ready for the challenge. I ask you Red Bank to look at what we will do for your boro. It’s time for a new direction in Red Bank.

Does the borough need a parking authority? Why or why not?

I reserve judgement on this question until elected.

Does Red Bank need a downtown parking garage?

Red Bank needs more parking hands down. Let’s see what the parking study that’s in the works determines is the best action plan for Red Bank moving forward.

Should the borough-owned White Street parking lot be made available for private development? Why or why not?

Let’s see what the parking study shows. If this lot were to be developed, I would make sure that not one cent of tax payers money is spent.

Is the borough becoming over-developed? Please explain.

Clearly the infrastructure in town is in need of help. There is no master plan for the Boro. Why has the town not have a Master Plan? This was outlined in the Management Enhancement Report over 150 days ago. I believe in smart development especially on vacant land or land that once had boarded up unsafe homes. Development is positive when & only when beneficial to the boro & all involved. I think Red Bank has so many great aspects that could be utilized more.

Do you support the creation of a redevelopment agency? Why or why not?

As quoted in the Red Bank Green, the creation of a redevelopment agency would cost tax payers $44,000. I’m not in favor of spending tax payers money.

Should the borough water utility be privatized? Why or why not?

If the cost of selling the water utility is beneficial to the residents & business’ of Red Bank then yes I am in favor. I know looking into the options of this was recommended in the Management Enhancement Report.

Is Red Bank business-friendly? Please explain your answer.

To my knowledge, Red Bank is not as business friendly as it could be. There is currently a lot or Red tape for a business to hurdle over to open their business. If elected I believe this process could be streamlined better & handled more efficiently. Our goal should be to drive business’ into town not drive them away with the bureaucratic red tape. As mentioned in my recent video, our naton as a whole is competing against on-line shopping-if we don’t adapt, our downtown will be in real trouble.

Is Red Bank resident-friendly? Please explain your answer.

No, Red Bank isn’t Resident friendly. The streets are in need of work. The water service is poor here. Yes, we have a lot of great community events throughout the year but we need more to make the boro safe & affordable. We can always do more & when elected I will be available to residents. As a councilwoman, I will listen, I will help & will act act on whatever is brought to my attention. Lets make Red Bank even greater.

Is the former incinerator site on West Sunset Avenue a good location on which to build a new park?

I believe if the land is deemed safe on all levels then yes it could be a great place for a park. Only if & when deemed safe of course but if not this location then another on the W. side of town is important. Our children need a safe place to play. Currently their playground is in the street.

Is there a better alternative for providing outdoor recreation for residents, particularly those who live on the West Side?

I believe a park would be a great opportunity. I know Bell Haven Commons is a project in the early stages of development on the W. side. Perhaps opening the senior center up when not in use or another building that could be used for indoor play, activities, teaching teenagers a trade like contracting work. I am always in favor of ways to keep our children safe.

Is the borough doing enough to safeguard pedestrians and bicyclists? What additional measures, if any, do you think are needed?

I believe more lighting is needed in town. Red Bank streets are dark in town. The street lights aren’t bright enough & we need more lighting. We need more crosswalks & need to enforce the crosswalks that we have. I often try to cross Shrewsbury Avenue with my children on the way to school & have to wait a while before a car pays attention enough to stop their car to let us cross. Enough, Red Bank needs to enforce this more. We don’t need any more pedestrian accidents on our hands. There are so many busy roads including Shrewsbury ave. that don’t have crossing guards. We need more crossing guards in town.

Does the borough do a good job using information technology in its interactions with taxpayers and others it does business with? What improvements would you like to see, if any?

I believe Red Bank has a great website that is both informational & user friendly to pay your taxes, utility bills, etc.

Is Red Bank doing all it can to keep the municipal portion of the tax rate in check? If not, what more might be done?

No they aren’t doing all they can do. I was at a council meeting recently where not one council person could account to the public what our current debt. I am ready to change this. We need to be held accountable. We are facing an affordability crisis.

If there’s anything you’d like to add, please do so here:

[No answer.]

Find the ballot here, and your polling station below.

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District Location Address Room
1 Hook and Ladder Fire House 7 Mechanic Street
Red Bank, NJ
2 Red Bank Middle School 101 Harding Road
Red Bank, NJ
3 United Methodist Church 247 Broad Street
Red Bank, NJ
Rear Entrance
4 United Methodist Church 247 Broad Street
Red Bank, NJ
Rear Entrance
5 Red Bank Public Library 84 West Front Street
Red Bank, NJ
6 Calvary Baptist Church 23 River Street
Red Bank, NJ
7 Red Bank Middle School 101 Harding Road
Red Bank, NJ
8 Red Bank Senior Center 80 Shrewsbury Avenue
Red Bank, NJ
9 Red Bank Housing Authority 52 Evergreen Terrace
Red Bank, NJ
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