Search Results for: "Charter Study Commission" government

RED BANK: GOVERNMENT REVIEW LAUNCHED

Sworn in by Mayor Pasquale Menna, right, were commission members, standing from left: Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Kate Okeson, Mark Taylor, Mike DuPont and Ben Forest. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA study that could result in an historic overhaul of Red Bank governance, and imperil three decades of Democratic party dominance, got underway Tuesday night.

On the agenda of the newly empaneled Red Bank Charter Study Commission were nuts-and-bolts matters: requesting a budget, finding a lawyer and setting a meeting schedule.

On the unofficial agenda: learning to use the microphones.

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RED BANK: ADMIN SEARCH TO BE REVIVED

Chief and interim Business Administrator Darren McConnell with Senior Center Director Jackie Reynolds last October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See Correction below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicRed Bank’s council will try again to find a full-time borough administrator, following an abandoned effort of year ago.

The search will be revived even as the governing body, sharply divided on numerous other issues, appears to agree that police Chief Darren McConnell is doing a faultless job in double duty as interim administrator.

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RED BANK: TURNOUT LIGHT FOR FORUM

A screengrab of Wednesday’s meeting, held via Zoom. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

An online public forum held Wednesday night by Red Bank’s  Charter Study Commission was brief, as only two residents chimed in.

But more have weighed in by email, according several commission members. And one consistent theme is that residents don’t want an appointed mayor, they said.

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RED BANK: TESLA TRYOUT UPDATED

The borough-owned Tesla gets recharged at a station intended for public use. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s borough government is not yet ready to pull the plug on a donated Tesla sedan, even though keeping the vehicle charged up has been a challenge, interim Business Administrator Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: MENNA WON’T SEEK RE-ELECTION

Mayor Pasquale Menna, left, with Councilman Michael Ballard on February 11. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

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After 16 years in office, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna won’t seek  a fifth term, redbankgreen has learned.

Menna’s decision, and the absence of other contenders, clears a path for Councilman Michael Ballard to secure the Democratic party nomination without resistance by the incumbent in the June primary election.

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RED BANK: ‘FED UP’ SLATE AIMS FOR OVERHAUL

Among the slate’s members are, clockwise from top left: Wilson Beebe, Suellen Sims, Kate Triggiano, Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Ben Forest, Kathy Horgan, Boris Kofman and Frank Corrado. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Eighteen “fed up” Democratic party loyalists plan to take on what they call Red Bank’s “exclusionary party machine” in the June primary elections, they said in an announcement early Thursday.

Their goals, they said, are to “bring transparency and end divisiveness” within the organization – and unseat Ed Zipprich as chairman.

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RED BANK: SIX WEIGH IN ON CHARTER REVIEW

By JOHN T. WARD

A half-dozen residents weighed in Tuesday night on Red Bank’s form of government and how people get elected to it.

Among the commenters at a Zoom session of the Charter Study Commission were several who like the idea that council members can make things happen at the department level.

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RED BANK: TAYLOR GRILLS ZIPPRICH, BALLARD

Mark Taylor, center, grilled two sitting councilmen, including Michael Ballard, bottom right. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Aggressive questioning of two current council members by a former councilman marked a special session of the Red Bank Charter Study Commission Thursday night.

Appearing as the final witnesses for phase one of the commission’s review, both Ed Zipprich and Michael Ballard defended the borough form of government in place since 1908, and recent changes to shift power away from the town’s unelected administrator.

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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH, BALLARD ON AGENDA

Councilmen Michael Ballard, left, and Ed Zipprich at borough hall last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.) 

By JOHN T. WARD

On deck to testify at a special session of the Red Bank Charter Study Commission Thursday is Democratic party chairman and Councilman Ed Zipprich.

Also slated to sit for an interview is Councilman Michael Ballard, a Zipprich ally on the fiercely divided but all-Democratic governing body.

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RED BANK: DEMS DUMP MENNA FOR BALLARD

Michael Ballard and Ed Zipprich in 2015; Mayor Pasquale Menna is visible in the background. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Dumping a party stalwart after more than three decades in office, Red Bank’s Democratic regulars nominated Councilman Michael Ballard as their candidate for mayor Wednesday.

The move exposed new depths of a bitter split with 16-year incumbent Mayor Pasquale Menna, who told redbankgreen that party committee members had shown “their true colors” with their decision.

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RED BANK: DEMS AIR PARTY’S DIRTY LAUNDRY

Mayor Pasquale Menna, top left, and Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, center bottom, participated in commission interviews via Zoom Wednesday. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Mayor Pasquale Menna on Wednesday joined a growing parade of current and former Red Bank officials who have identified “interference” by council members as one of the borough government’s foremost problems.

In stunning testimony before the Charter Study Commission, Menna also was one of three Democrats who laid blame for local government “dysfunction” squarely on their own party.

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RED BANK: BALLARD BLASTS SELF-DEALING ALLEGATION, ANNOUNCES MAYORAL RUN

Councilman Michael Ballard at Councilwoman Angela Mirandi’s oath ceremony Friday. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Councilman Michael Ballard Tuesday blasted as “fictitious” an allegation that he slipped a raise for his wife, a part-time borough employee, past the rest of the governing body in 2019.

In the same press release, Ballard announced his intention to run for mayor, setting up a back-room clash with fellow Democrat and four-term incumbent Pasquale Menna.

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RED BANK: ADMINISTRATOR IN SPOTLIGHTS

Interim Business Administrator Darren McConnell, second row right, at the answered questions from Charter Study Commission members Wednesday night. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe executive authority given Red Bank’s appointed administrator may shift back to elected officials next week.

But will voters shift it back in November?

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RED BANK: SHEHADY ON COMMISSION AGENDA

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

See CORRECTION below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njEight months after he ended a stormy stint as Red Bank’s top unelected official, Ziad Shehady is scheduled to offer his perspective on how well the town’s government works Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: YNGSTROM QUITS, CITING TOXICITY

Erik Yngstrom celebrates his first election to council in 2016. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njCiting political “divisiveness” and “toxic rhetoric” about his recent marriage, Erik Yngstrom resigned from the Red Bank council Wednesday morning.

His departure from the all-Democratic governing body sets the table for a possible power shift back to party regulars headed by Councilman Ed Zipprich, an outcome Yngstrom said would only make things worse.

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RED BANK: MASKS ‘STRONGLY’ URGED

Public meetings at borough hall will go remote again, and visitors and employees will be required to wear masks. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank issued a declaration Friday evening “strongly urging” mask-wearing in stores and restaurants to minimize transmission of the resurgent COVID-19 virus.

Mask-wearing in publicly owned buildings will be mandated.

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RED BANK: STURDIVANT TEES UP REDEV, ADMIN

Councilwoman Jacqueline Sturdivant, framed in green, at Wednesday’s meeting. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njNewly elected Red Bank Councilwoman Jacqueline Sturdivant this week followed through on a campaign pledge by proposing the borough Redevelopment Agency be disbanded.

She also proposed resetting the power of the borough business administrator, a role she called “authoritarian.”

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RED BANK: MASK MANDATE EXPECTED

Mayor Pasquale Menna, right, and Congressman Frank Pallone were masked-up at the Red Bank reorganization January 1. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna is expected to issue an executive order mandating indoor mask-wearing to slow the spread of the resurgent COVID-19 virus.

The order, which could come as soon as Thursday, was motivated by “the pain that is being felt in our community,” Menna said at the monthly council workshop Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: CEO NEEDED, ADVISER SAYS

Joe Hartnett, right, with Ken DeRoberts at a Red Bank council meeting in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic

Whatever new form of government it might adopt, Red Bank needs a strong chief executive officer, a consultant who co-authored a critical review of borough operations said last week.

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RED BANK: COMMISSION PREPARES TO DIG IN

Attorney Michael Collins, left, on the dais with Chairwoman Nancy Facey Blackwood. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

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After two preparatory sessions, the Red Bank Charter Study Commission expects to begin digging into its task on January 13.

In the interim, the five-member citizen’s body has a “homework” assignment.

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