Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.

RED BANK: NOVEMBER ELECTIONS ADVANCE

red-bank-vote-voting-060722-1-500x375-3064042Municipal elections would revert to a November schedule if approved by the council later this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot-topic_03-220x138-2130637Two months after their victory in the May 9 election, Red Bank’s new mayor and council moved to restore future elections to November Thursday night.

At its first regular meeting, the freshly reorganized government also “spitballed” a suggestion to add a social worker to the police department.

kate-triggiano-070123-3-500x375-1893954Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, seen here at the July 1 inauguration ceremony, suggested hiring a social worker to assist police. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Some highlights from the session:

• Without comment, Mayor Billy Portman and the five council members present introduced the first ordinance of the new council-manager” era of government: 2023-01, which would restore municipal elections to a second-Tuesday-in-November schedule.

Under state law, the recent switch to nonpartisan elections, approved by voter referendum last November, requires that initial elections be held in May, though governing bodies have the latitude to change subsequent the balloting dates. Formal adoption of the change is expected when the council meets next, on July 27.

As a result of a lottery conducted at a special meeting last week, seats held by four councilmembers – Kristina Bonatakis, David Cassidy, Ben Forest and Laura Jannone – would be open in an election to be held November 11, 2025. Councilmembers Kate Triggiano and Nancy Facey-Blackwood drew four-year terms.

Subsequent elections would be conducted every two years, a break from the annual elections of he past.

In other business Thursday night:

• Triggiano suggested the council considering hiring or contracting with a social worker for the police department, using $73,562 Red Bank is in line to receive from the National Opioid Abatement Trust II, a 2020 settlement of legal actons brought by all 50 state attorneys general against the pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt over opioid liabilities.

Triggiano said a social-worker “pilot program” would be “a good use of those funds, in line with why the money was given to the borough.”

Police Chief and interim Administrator Darren McConnell, who is set to retire July 31, called it “a great idea,” and said he would consult with the chief financial officer about it.

Triggiano, a former borough police commissioner, told redbankgreen afterward that she “spitballed” the idea because borough cops “spend a lot of their day placing people with social services agencies, trying to connect them with resources. It is a constant thing that our police are dealing with, so it would be helpful to have a social worker on site.”

She noted that in Middlesex County, the Sayreville police department brought in social workers who can assist in de-escalating crisis situations and steer residents to mental health and social services.

• The council conducted a required Monmouth County Open Space grant hearing on an application to fund improvements at Count Basie Park and Eastside Park.

Among the projects are a redo of a baseball field and dugouts, and a resurfacing of both basketball courts, at Basie Park, McConnell said. If awarded, the grant would provide $200,000 toward costs, with the borough responsible for a matching sum.

Separately, in response to inquiries by Joe Hutton, of Fisher Place, McConnell said construction of new pickleball courts at Eastside Park, under a plan approved last year, would begin shortly.

• The council adopted “streatery” fees for restaurants wishing to offer curbside dining outside the Broadwalk plaza, restoring costs to 2021 rates.

Though the season is half over, at least five restaurants are interested in taking advantage of the option, Red Bank RiverCenter executive director Bob Zuckerman told the council.

• At the urging of Cedar Street resident Suzanne Viscomi, Portman said he would ask all boards and commissions to file written meeting minutes. And Portman endorsed a request by McLaren Street resident Alan Hill that draft council meeting minutes be available to the public prior to their formal adoption so that residents could point out items that require correction.

If you value the news coverage provided by redbankgreen, please become a financial supporter. Click here to set your own level of monthly or annual contribution.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
CRASH ON LEIGHTON
The driver of this car was headed north on Leighton Avenue when they it hit an SUV pulling a work trailer headed in south in the opposing la ...
CAR VS STREET SIGN
The driver of this Mercedes hopped the curb and toppled the street sign at the corner of South Pearl and Drs. James Parker Boulevard Wednesd ...
SKETCHES OF RED BANK BY LOCAL ARTIST MICHAEL WHITE
Sketches of Red Bank scenes have been floating around on social media and we thought they deserved some spotlight. First appearing in our fe ...
POLE DOWN
Utility pole falls on English Plaza shop Forge after being struck by SUV shortly before noon. No injuries reported, though 86-year-old drive ...
YO, ADRIAN!
It’s a tough turn for our hero as Rocky Balboa is relegated to the curb for trash pickup on Locust Avenue. We’ll have to go back ...
“EL PALOMO” IS IN THE HOUSE
Jesus Rios, a mariachi singer who performs under the stage name “El Palomo” (The dove) pauses for a moment before entering a bac ...
CROC SPOTTED IN RIVER
Frighteningly hideous and green, a solitary Croc lurked ominously amid the flotsam and foam in the Navesink River alongside the Red Bank Fir ...
KISS ICON REFLECTS ON BROADWALK
A Swarovski crystal-bedazzled self-portrait painting of Paul Stanley, longtime singer and guitarist for the rock band Kiss peers out from a ...
CHISELIN’ AWAY
Marcelo Garcia Lopez works with hammer and chisel on a new feature for his flower garden on Shrewsbury Avenue: a hollow in a carved log in w ...
STORM CLEANUP CONTINUES
  Saturday’s storm sent a tree toppling on this house on Bank Street, damaging the roof. Workers Wednesday could be seen removing ...
SNAPPING IN THE BREEZE
RED BANK: Blustery winds had the flags in Riverside Gardens Park snapping Monday evening.
POWER LINE DOWN
Red Bank firefighters were on scene at Manor Drive dealing with a live power line Monday afternoon. There was no immediate report of fire. T ...
TAR BEACH SOLSTICE
Aldo Quiroz of Ocean Township came ready with his beach chair and found a shady spot to spend his lunch hour in a parking lot off Broad Stre ...
GOING GREY
Workers painting the stone facade of the PNC Bank at the corner of Broad and Harding Thursday morning. An upgrade? Maybe it’s just pri ...
COFFEE & WILDLIFE
RED BANK: The best wildlife show in town can be taken in from a waterfront bench outside the public library, and it's totally free.
FAWNING OVER HER BABY
A mother deer and her fawn were spotted between a row of garages on Hudson Avenue and some trees alongside the Broad Street parking lots. Re ...
EVENING ESCAPE
RED BANK: Sailors in Monmouth Boat Club's weekly racing series found tranquil conditions on the Navesink River Tuesday evening.
PEAK COLOR ON BROAD
RED BANK: A year after they were installed, downtown mini gardens have added to "transformational" improvements, says business owner.
RED BANK: FAIRIES MOVE IN ON WHITE STREET
Red Bank: Girl scouts turns tiny parking lot plot of dirt into a "magical girls sparkle garden."
TRAINING UNDER FIRE
RED BANK: Volunteer firefighters train to cut into pitched roofs under active fire conditions.