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RED BANK: HOGAN Q&A

tim-hogan-041023-500x375-6998850On the ballot May 9: Red Bank mayoral candidate Tim Hogan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

election-2023_qa-220x189-1779922Red Bank voters will have two candidates to choose from when they elect a new mayor May 9.

Here’s what candidate Tim Hogan said in response to a questionnaire sent to all by redbankgreen.

Name and age: Tim Hogan, 62 years old

Street address: 105 Hudson Avenue, Red Bank, NJ 07701

Where did you grow up? Rochester, NY

Where did you go to high school? Cardinal Mooney High School, Rochester, NY

If you hold college or graduate degrees, where did you earn them and in what areas of study?

Bachelor of Science in Psychology, St. Bonaventure University, Olean, NY; Master of Healthcare Administration, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

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

How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? 22 years

Do you own your home? Yes

What do you do for a living, and who is your employer? President, Riverview Medical Center; Hackensack Meridian Health

What, if anything, about your work makes you particularly suited to serve as an elected official?

40 plus years of business and leadership experience; results oriented leader who has proven ability to facilitate constructive collaboration and consensus; Helped turn Riverview Medical Center into one of the top rated hospitals in New Jersey

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

I have been involved on numerous boards and community activities/workgroups through the hospital over the past 22 years, including work with the Parker Family Health Center, Lunchbreak, RiverCenter, Count Basie Theatre Foundation, Eastern Area Monmouth Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis of Greater Red Bank, Red Bank Knights of Columbus, Red Bank Rotary and the New Jersey Symphony. I am also the past Board Chairman of the Community YMCA and the Monmouth Council Boy Scouts of America and Red Bank’s KaBoom fireworks event.

Your party affiliation, if any: Independent

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

As a registered Independent, I have always been and remain committed to voting for whom I believe will do the best job in an elected position. That is very important to me, and personally assures me that I have done all that I can do to ensure that the strongest people are put into the position of representing people’s interests.

Why are you running for office?

There are many critical issues that are surfacing in Red Bank that need to be addressed that are going to affect our town and its residents for years to come. I have observed the divisiveness and dissonance currently occurring in our local government, and I am deeply concerned that this has greatly inhibited their ability to work together to get things done that are in the best interests of the residents of Red Bank. I felt that I could no longer stand on the sidelines and not try to help in some manner. Red Bank needs responsible stewardship and effective collaboration from our elected leaders and they need to work together to resolve issues with real and measurable results that best serve the needs and interests of our town.

What are the most pressing issues facing the town, and what specific initiatives can voters expect from you if you are elected?

The voters can expect a serious minded professional that will create an environment where local government leaders listen, collaborate and work together, and get real tangible results that move Red Bank successfully forward. My immediate priorities will include hiring a dedicated borough administrator, working to improve traffic and parking issues, consistent code enforcement, address and begin to fix our archaic DPW infrastructure, cleaning up our parks (specifically Marine Park), insisting on fair and honest development and start to review our master plan in terms of identifying priority initiatives.

Do you expect the change to a council-manager form of government starting July 1 to improve the governance of Red Bank over the existing borough form? Please explain.

I believe the appointment of a full-time, highly experienced borough administrator focused solely on the job of running the borough’s operations will be a vast improvement over the current situation where we have an interim manager filling two separate, full-time positions. This has resulted in a lack of effective oversight of our day-to-day operations. A highly skilled and experienced professional, partnered with a mayor and council with the requisite credentials to effectively get things done will greatly benefit the town. I have extensive experience recruiting and retaining the best and brightest candidates to fill management positions, and I believe that once hired, this individual will work seamlessly with me as Mayor to successfully accomplish all that must be done to keep Red Bank moving in the right direction.

Do you believe the council meetings in recent years have been unnecessarily acrimonious? If so, what specifically should residents expect from you to address this situation?

As I previously stated, I believe that council meetings in recent years have been unnecessarily acrimonious and that this has resulted in political gridlock that serves as a real threat to our town remaining vibrant and strong. If I am elected mayor, residents can expect a council environment where there is mutual respect, honesty, civility, collaboration, an understanding of the issues presented by all council members, and a sincere effort to work together as an effective team and get things done that are in the best interests of the residents of Red Bank.

What qualities will you prioritize in selecting a borough administrator?

We should be looking to hire a borough administrator who has the appropriate training, requisite experience and leadership skills needed to manage the business of Red Bank. We will hire the absolute best qualified candidate, regardless of their political affiliation or other professional connections for this position. Their responsibility will be to manage the day-to-day business operations of Red Bank and work with the council and mayor to solve problems, implement approved strategies and initiatives, and get measurable results.

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

Councilwoman Angela Mirandi’s careful stewardship of the finance committee, supported by councilman Ballard’s extensive financial background, has resulted in two consecutive budgets featuring a flat tax rate increase of 1%. This can continue under the right leadership. Should council members without any knowledge of finance or a budgeting process once again lead the finance committee, soaring tax hikes, such as the 2021 Covid-era municipal tax hike of over 5% by the Triggiano former majority could become a sad reality for residents. Experience matters. We need people in these positions who actually know what they are looking at when presented with a financial spreadsheet, not individuals who simply defer their authority by stating “I will vote for whatever the department heads want,” as one current councilwoman who sits on the finance committee but doesn’t attend meetings has repeatedly said.

Can Red Bank afford and manage to simultaneously take on the rehabilitation of the municipal public works yard and borough hall; the contamination cleanup at the former landfill; and the redesign of Marine Park?

This is an area where my proven expertise in prioritizing projects according to need and funding availability will be one of the greatest assets I will bring as Mayor. Red Bank faces many large-scale capital-funding projects that must be addressed:
The landfill on Sunset Avenue is legally mandated to be capped; the DPW trailers need to be replaced; two DPW garages need replacement; our municipal building at 90 Monmouth Street is in need of massive upgrades, a new HVAC system and other improvements; the water treatment facility needs a major overhaul; the sewer lift stations need to be rebuilt/replaced and the Library, Boys and Girls Club, Senior Center and all Borough owned open public spaces require ongoing maintenance.
Large-scale capital projects must be prioritized, and working closely with a highly skilled business administrator, we will combine our skill sets and experience to manage these priorities by pursuing a mix of Federal and state dollars allocated for various municipal and infrastructure projects and establishing productive public/private partnerships to enhance our ability to finance them.

The continued dilapidated condition of Marine park is a tragedy. It’s been almost 11 years since superstorm Sandy wiped out the tennis courts and nothing has been done to address this blight on our beautiful waterfront. I support installing pickleball and/or tennis courts at the site, and greening the remaining area as open space for the public’s enjoyment in accordance with ROSI requirements. I think paving a riverfront asset to create a parking lot is a terrible idea, one that the NJ DEP has already rejected due to the materials proposed in the current plan. This is an opportunity for Red Bank to correct the mistake of ruining our riverfront asset, and instead returning it to its original state as a place for recreation and enjoyment for our residents and visitors.

Who should have the lead role in guiding large-scale capital projects?

This is the responsibility of the mayor and town manager working together with the advisory input of the borough engineer and planner.

Do you support the Kimley-Horn proposal for redesigning Marine Park, including the relocation of the parking lot to the former site of tennis courts?

The green acres property should remain green and the mature trees in place at Marine Park should be protected. I do not support the paving of the tennis courts or any of our riverfront for parking. I understand the total cost of the Kimley-Horn proposal when originally submitted five or so years ago was approximately $10 million, and I am sure that cost has increased due to inflation. I believe Red Bank will be better served by concentrating capital spending on initiatives like upgrading/replacing our DPW building and keeping our focus on maintaining and improving our open and green spaces.

Should the former landfill at the western end of Sunset Avenue be redeveloped as a park?

Residents have already expressed concern about using this toxic space for recreation. I believe we must do whatever we are legally required under direction of the NJDEP to cap that site, and plans are underway to do so. I do not support creating a potentially catastrophic health/safety situation for our neighbors on the west side of town by installing a park over a contaminated site. Once the cap is fully completed, and after a full assessment of the toxicity levels at that location are understood and the methods we will need to employ to safely contain the pollutants made clear, future studies should be undertaken to determine how best to use the land in a manner that will be environmentally safe and beneficial to the town.

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

Red Bank has had a complete streets plan since 2019 and a safe routes to school/transit bike and pedestrian safety plan since 2010, but as always, the biggest issue has been implementation. It’s a fact that this town was built before the advent of cars, so many streets are not wide enough to accommodate bike lanes. This is already a renowned walkable community that has been celebrated in the media for its quaint downtown and pedestrian-friendly streets. Our next steps should be to pull existing plans out of the drawer they’ve been sitting in for the past four years and explore ways Red Bank can further implement its vision.

Should Broadwalk be an annually recurring feature? Should any changes be implemented?

This issue is one that is going to be looked at through many different lenses, depending on who you speak with. I have publicly stated that Broadwalk has many benefits and will be a valid attraction to individuals to come to Red Bank to visit and dine. I’ve also stated that while it serves as a benefit to the establishments within the Broadwalk perimeter, the establishments that do not sit in this perimeter are greatly concerned about the rising costs of roadside dining permits, traffic congestion, a lack of foot traffic and the span of time that Broadwalk will be open. For these reasons, I would recommend that we review Broadwalk on a yearly basis at a minimum and be open to revisions or adjustments if needed.

Do you support the effort to revise the 2021 cannabis zoning ordinance? Why or why not?

I do. The original ordinance passed placed no limitations on the number of cannabis retail stores that could be placed in Red Bank. Moreover, there were no defined distance requirements for where these stores could be placed respective to schools, parks or houses of worship. I can tell you from knocking on a lot of doors that the residents of Red Bank are very anxious and upset, especially parents of school age children. Our residents strongly oppose any kind of cannabis presence in the residential zones or near their schools, parks or houses of worship. The fact of the matter is that Red Bank did pass an ordinance to bring cannabis retail into our town. The genie is out of the bottle. Now Red Bank must try to establish a system with reasonable limitations on the number of cannabis stores that can be established and where they can be located.

Do you support the short-term rental ordinance adopted by the council in February? Why or why not?

I do. Among other things, this is a quality of life issue. I do want to protect our residential neighborhoods from commercial encroachment. As the old saying goes, “it’s always a good idea until it’s happening next to you.” Again, I have knocked on a lot of doors and the overwhelming majority of our residents do NOT want STR, and absolutely do not want STR in the residential zones. The plan that has been incepted has taken into account most, if not all, of the issues that needed to be addressed and STR should move forward as expressed in the passed ordinance.

Should the council rank the recommendations of the new Master Plan for action? If so, which recommendations would you put at the top of the list?

The Master Plan is a planning tool, not a mandatory blueprint for Red Bank’s future. Priorities must be established using our yet to be completed vision and strategic plan as a guide to establish long-range financial planning, funding and implementation goals.

Do you favor a transit village designation for the area around the train station, as recommended in the 2023 Master Plan? Why or why not?

The Train Station area was designated as a Transit Village overlay district at the Borough engineer’s recommendation in the mid-2010s. Twice the Borough has been rejected when applying to the State for Transit Village designation and status. Any conversation about development in Red Bank must include a fair and honest assessment of its impact on our aging infrastructure, and our traffic, parking, affordable and senior housing and core public service issues, and that should include future discussions about the Transit Village. This is a 1.7 square mile town and it may not be able to absorb thousands of new residents packed into a dense, small space. It is unrealistic to assert that most people living in a high-rise apartment building will not have a car. They will most likely have one per resident and the outgrowth of such development will mean even more traffic, noise, garbage, pollution and stress on our infrastructure, as well as remove vast portions of our open sky. Red Bank is a small town. Let’s make sure that we plan very carefully as we move forward and that we work in the best interests of our residents and town.

What if anything should Red Bank’s government do to create opportunities for new, affordable housing?

Our first responsibility is to ensure the affordable housing we have in place is properly maintained and upgraded with regard to safety, income and disability requirements.

Council members Ballard and Sturdivant are working to close the gap in Red Bank’s affordable/senior housing inventory and are actively exploring new opportunities by working closely with the Red Bank Housing Authority. Affordable housing, as well as senior housing, in my view, is a moral issue. The Red Bank Together team strongly believes that successfully addressing these housing needs will help keep Red Bank the diverse, vibrant and welcoming community we all cherish. There are opportunities to work with developers to offset our affordable housing deficit, and I support examining the current affordable housing requirements in new development and adjusting the percentages of affordable housing per project to create greater availability of new construction for low income senior residents.

Are there any reasons for Red Bank residents to be concerned about Tim Hogan serving as mayor in light of his role as president and chief executive officer of Riverview Medical Center? Why or why not?

None whatsoever! Let me be very clear on this issue. I am not running for Mayor of Red Bank to protect, promote or enhance the interests of Riverview Medical Center. I am running for Mayor of Red Bank to protect, promote and enhance the interests of Red Bank and its citizens. I have a track record of proven leadership and I possess the skill sets and have the experience needed to bring people together, create consensus, develop and implement business strategies and get real results. I want to be that positive change agent that helps make Red Bank more vibrant and stronger as we move into the future. Like many of you, I am so tired of the unnecessary acrimony that has overtaken our council, thwarted progress and threatened to set back our town. I want that to stop. Our residents want that to stop. Red Bank needs a strong leader to bring us through this. Please give me that opportunity.

Are there any reasons for Red Bank residents to be concerned about Billy Portman serving as mayor? Why or why not?

Attending recent council meetings and listening to Billy struggle to understand important issues and observing the campaign he is running for re-election have further strengthened my belief that it’s time for Red Bank to re-elect and elect seasoned professionals to our local government. The Red Bank Together team has individuals who have extensive experience creating and overseeing multi-million dollar budgets, managing thousands of employees and consultants, problem solving, collaborating and working to consensus, defining goals and getting real results It is evident that Billy lacks these skills. He is unable to preside effectively over council meetings and has not disclosed many obvious conflicts of interests influencing his Mayoral decisions. He seemingly ignores dissent and negative discourse from the dais and actively advocates for outside interests instead of what is best for Red Bankers. He is unfamiliar with the purpose of municipal government. Since taking his oath of office, he hasn’t been able to articulate his plan for the future of Red Bank, nor has he provided a vision statement or a list of clear goals. What he has clearly exhibited is an inability to effectively lead. I am a seasoned professional with more than 40 years of executive and leadership experience. I have prided myself on building strong teams, promoting teamwork and getting things done. I’ve had an active role in the betterment and growth of our community and I’ve worked extensively with past Mayors, Council members and community leaders to move our town forward. My track record is proven. I hope the voters of Red Bank understand my absolute willingness to serve them as Mayor. I’m running for Mayor to help ensure that the right person is leading this town and it’s not left in the hands of someone who is not qualified. Please give me that opportunity.

Please add anything you’d like here:

*****

ELECTION NOTES

• Find the Red Bank sample ballot here.

• Early, in-person voting will be available at borough hall (90 Monmouth Street) from Friday, May 5, through Sunday, May 7. The hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. No other polling stations will be open for early, in-person voting.

• In-person, election day voting will take place at the polling stations shown below. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Note that in-person, election day voting for residents of the 1st and 8th districts will take place at borough hall (90 Monmouth Street).

red-bank-voting-district-map-2021-500x320-6021294

• Finally, here’s a video on using Monmouth County’s digital voting machines, which employ touchscreen technology familiar to users of smartphones and tablets:

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