RED BANK: SHEHADY SLATES PUBLIC FORUMS

Ziad Shehady at borough event in February, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA week after announcing he was stepping down from a position that had become a “lightning rod” for criticism, Red Bank Borough Administrator Ziad Shehady said he plans to host a pair of public roundtables on a wide range of issues later this month.

Here’s  the full announcement, posted on the borough website Wednesday afternoon:

Red Bank’s Administrator Ziad Shehady, hired in May 2018 following a Borough Management Enhancement Review Report, will host a series of virtual “round table” sessions with residents to discuss important topics that include municipal finances (budget, grants & revenue), redevelopment & affordable housing, roads & infrastructure improvements, and other quality of life concerns.  There will be a question & answer period at the end of each session. To facilitate a more manageable online discussion for participants, each event will be limited to 25 attendees.  The first two sessions will take place on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 10 AM and 5:15 PM.  If capacity has been reached for these sessions, there will be future dates scheduled.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are restrictions on public gatherings that impact the ability of the Borough of Red Bank to host meetings and presentations at the municipal building. Therefore, this presentation will be conducted using the Zoom conference platform. [Registration form here.]

As always, feel free to contact the Administrator at zshehady@redbanknj.org or 732-530-2748 for any questions or assistance needed on municipal matters.

Following the announcement, Shehady told redbankgreen via email that the event format for each session will be “a guided round table discussion following an outline of topics listed in the announcement.  It’s not a formal presentation so there’s flexibility in how the conversation goes.”

No other officials are expected to participate, but may be added. That “depends on demand and interest,” he said.

Shehady announced last week that he would resign as the executive director of the Red Bank Redevelopment Agency, saying the position had become a “lightning rod” for criticism of issues surrounding the town’s Senior Center a and source of distraction from his primary job.

Is he concerned that he’ll become a lightning rod all over again at the roundtables?

“These sessions are intended for residents who have genuine questions and concerns, not looking to advocate for or against any political or legislative issues, but who want to learn about current Red Bank affairs and understand what is planned, along with the who, what, when, where and why of these issues,” he told redbankgreen. “It’s not easy to meet and speak with residents in the community and at events during a pandemic so this is intended to continue having those meaningful conversations that used to occur in person.”

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