Search Results for: "michael ballard"

RED BANK COUNCIL Q&A: MICHAEL BALLARD

michael ballard 090915 1Michael Ballard, Democrat. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election 2015 graphic

The balance of political power is at play in the November 3 election in Red Bank, which features four candidates for two three-year seats on the borough council. All four have indicated they’ll participate in the West Side Community Group’s annual candidates’ forum at the River Street Commons at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 1. For more information about the event, take it here.

To help voters compare the contenders in terms of personal background and positions on key issues, redbankgreen emailed them identical sets of questions late last week. Here’s what Michael Ballard had to say in response.

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RED BANK: ‘BROADWALK’ TO GO 24/7

A view down Broad Street last Friday afternoon. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s ‘Broadwalk’ experiment with in-street dining on Broad Street is going 24/7 for at least the next two months.

The change, from a four-day-a-week schedule, goes into effect Thursday, following a  surprise proposal at Wednesday night’s council meeting.

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RED BANK: GOP PAIR QUIT COUNCIL RACE

jonathan maciel penney 102419Jonathan Maciel Penney speaking at the West Side Community Group forum last October. (Photo by Ben Forest. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Both Republican candidates for Red Bank borough council seats in November’s election have formally dropped out of the race.

As a result, incumbent Democrats Michael Ballard and Ed Zipprich appear to have a clear glide path to re-election. Read More »

RED BANK: CHANGES EYED AT BASIE FIELDS

Under the proposal, most of Henry Street would be eliminated and a new playground built alongside Mohawk Pond. (CME Associates graphic. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A street that effectively serves as shortcut past the main entrance to Count Basie Fields would be closed to traffic under a concept plan discussed by the Red Bank council Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: DEMS CLASH OVER BUDGET, PROBE

A screengrab of the council’s session Wednesday night. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicRifts among Democrats were on almost nonstop display during a three-hour meeting of the Red Bank council Wednesday night.

While Councilman Ed Zipprich pressed for a probe into an email leak he said had smeared his reputation, at least two of his colleagues were more concerned about his intervention in the bidding for a new trash hauling contract.

But first, the all-Democratic body split over proposed budget cuts pushed by Councilman Michael Ballard that others saw as unwise.

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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH ASKS FOR LEAK PROBE

Councilman Ed Zipprich, left, at a press conference held by Governor Phil Murphy at Riverview Medical Center in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich said he has asked for an investigation into a leak of emails in which Business Administrator Ziad Shehady suggested Zipprich was out to “sabotage” the bidding for a new trash hauling contract.

Separately, friction between Shehady and Councilman Michael Ballard flared up again at the council’s workshop meeting Wednesday.

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RED BANK: ‘SABOTAGE’ OF TRASH BID ALLEGED

red bank trash delisaDeLisa Demolition won the borough’s trash contract, now up for rebid, in 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Business Administrator Ziad Shehady has asked elected officials to discuss, in private, what he calls an effort by a council member to “sabotage” the process of awarding a new trash-hauling contract, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: BUDGET Q&A SLATED AFTER ALL

red bank, nj, ed zipprich, michael ballard, ziad shehadyCouncilman Michael Ballard, center, with Councilman Ed Zipprich, left, and Business Administrator Ziad Shehady in December, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Almost two months later than promised, Red Bank residents will get a detailed explanation next week of a borough budget that would increase property taxes by 2.8 percent.

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RED BANK: TAX INCREASE AT 2.8 PERCENT

A screengrab from Wednesday’s virtual meeting, with Councilman Michael Ballard at top center and Business Administrator Ziad Shehady at center right. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic

Red Bank property owners would pay 2.8 percent more in municipal taxes this year, under a budget advanced by the borough council Wednesday night.

The still-evolving $22.4 million spending plan was the centerpiece of a nearly three-hour online council meeting that left viewers with a lot to unpack.

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RED BANK: TAX INCREASE ON AGENDA

michael ballard 051320Councilman Michael Ballard during an online meeting in May. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesDelayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank’s proposed budget for 2020 would boost the amount to be raised from local property owners by 5.4 percent.

But heading into the final stretch, it’s not clear that the chairman of the finance committee will support the spending plan if it goes to a vote Wednesday night.

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ON THE GREEN: ONE POLLING PLACE PER TOWN

red bank, nj, voting boothTowns on the Greater Red Bank Green and beyond won’t see much in the way of traditional voting Tuesday.

With the Democratic and Republican primaries occurring during a pandemic, voters have been encouraged by election officials to cast ballots by mail.

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RED BANK: COPS SAY SESTITO INTERFERED

Red Bank police dashcam video from the June 3 incident on East Bergen Place. (Red Bank Police Department video. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank’s police chief has asked the Monmouth County prosecutor to review an incident involving Councilman Michael Ballard earlier this month.

The incident, which Ballard reported as it occurred outside his home during a council meeting on Zoom, led to his wife, Rose Sestito, briefly in handcuffs for allegedly interfering with a police investigation, though no charges were filed.

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RED BANK: BALLARD DUBS COPS ‘AGGRESSIVE’

michael ballardRed Bank Councilman Michael Ballard speaking at Pilgrim Baptist Church Thursday night. (Screenshot from Facebook Live. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Councilman Michael Ballard on Thursday teed up borough cops for what he called “overagressive” treatment of his wife during an incident 24 hours earlier.

Speaking at Pilgrim Baptist Church for an online forum on systemic racism, Ballard, an African-American, also appeared to suggest he’d been treated unfairly by unnamed officials at borough hall in his role as finance chairman.

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RED BANK: BALLARD REPORTS WIFE’S ‘ARREST’

red bank council zoom 060320 Red Bank Councilman Michael Ballard, highlighted at upper right during Wednesday’s council meeting via Zoom. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

To the growing list of embarrassing videoconferencing moments in the COVID-19 era – energetic children running through home offices, cats on keyboards, spilled coffee – a Red Bank councilman added another: a report of spousal arrest in progress.

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RED BANK: TWO FALL FESTIVALS? MAYBE…

red bank oysterfest 2019 The annual Guinness Oyster Fest in September could be followed just three weeks later by the International Beer, Wine & Food Fest, usually held in April. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWith a calendar decimated by the COVID-19 crisis, Red Bank appears to be in for an unusually quiet summer.

But as summer edges into autumn, two of the town’s largest annual food festivals could occur within three weeks of one another, redbankgreen has learned.

Here’s a lookahead at the pandemic’s impacts on the summer calendar.

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RED BANK: JOBS DEBATE SPLITS COUNCIL

red bank recycling center 051420 Robert Greene, left, and John Caine at the Red Bank recycling center Thursday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicA plan to eliminate two part-time jobs at the recycling center sharply divided Red Bank’s all-Democratic council Wednesday night.

Things got personal. During the governing body’s semimonthly meeting, conducted via Zoom, Councilman Ed Zipprich accused Business Administrator Ziad Shehady of retaliation for an earlier action by the union that represents the affected employees.

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RED BANK: WHITE STREET ON COUNCIL AGENDA

red bank council 040720 1Officials and council members recite the pledge of allegiance during the borough government’s first-ever digital-only meeting April 7. (YouTube screen grab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

At its second official meeting of the COVID-19 era Wednesday night, the Red Bank council plans to consider awarding a contract to rebuild much of White Street and the adjoining municipal parking lot.

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RED BANK: YASSIN GETS POLS TO PONY UP

Councilman Hazim Yassin in February, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Councilman Hazim Yassin tells redbankgreen he has assembled a bipartisan coalition of elected officials from across New Jersey to donate funds from their campaign warchests to the fight against the coronavirus.

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RED BANK: BRAKES TAPPED ON METERING PLAN

RiverCenter asked that enforcement of any changes to the parking ordinance be postponed until completion of planned streetscape work on White Street and the adjoining lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Facing pushback, Red Bank officials on Wednesday slowed a proposal to extend paid parking to 10 p.m.

The plan, first reported by redbankgreen, drew numerous critical comments on Facebook, which several council members alluded to at Wednesday night’s council workshop session.

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RED BANK: BALLARD & ZIPPRICH TO RUN AGAIN

Ed Zipprich, left, won a fourth term, and Michael Ballard, right, won his first in the 2017 election. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two incumbent Democrats will defend their seats on the Red Bank council in the November election, the party announced Monday.

In an unsurprising move, the municipal and county Democratic committees unanimously endorsed Councilman Ed Zipprich‘s pursuit of a fifth three-year term, and Michael Ballard‘s quest for a second.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL WRAP

red bank menna office 022620Marjorie Cavalier spoke with Mayor Menna in his office as other constituents waited to do the same before the regular council session. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s semimonthly council meeting Wednesday was a quiet affair, no major surprises or deviations from the agenda.

Here’s an overview.

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RED BANK: SHELL GETS SHOP OK ON THIRD TRY

red bank shell stationThe car wash at left is to be replaced by a convenience store. (April, 2019 photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a favorable zoning change last year, Red Bank’s lone Shell station won approval to add a convenience store Monday night.

A neighbor called the proposal “lipstick on a pig.” The planning board’s chairman called it “a better pig.”

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RED BANK: MENNA OFFERS PROTOCOL FIX

tammy murphy pasquale menna 010120New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy with Mayor Pasquale Menna prior to the start of Wednesday’s reorganization meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna proposed a workaround Wednesday to a year-old protocol covering comments and questions at council meetings: he says he’ll show up an hour early to field them.

At the borough government’s annual New Year’s Day reorganization meeting, attendees also heard Menna heap thanks on Governor Phil Murphy, whose wife, Tammy Murphy, attended the ceremonial session.

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RED BANK: COMMENTING POLICY UNDER FIRE

red bank, nj, ziad shehadyBusiness Administrator Ziad Shehady has allowed little deviation from the council’s commenting protocol since his arrival in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council moved to eliminate a citizenship requirement for business licensing and approved a debt refinancing Wednesday night.

And once again, the protocol for comments at council meetings was put to the test. Here’s a recap of  what went down at the semimonthly session.

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RED BANK: BOARD AIRS SAXUM PLAN HURDLES

red bank saxum plan 090419 4A rendering depicts the proposed plaza at Riverside Avenue and Bodman Place that board members raised safety concerns about. (Rendering by Arterial Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Red Bank planning board members aired numerous misgivings about one of the largest development plans in borough history Monday night.

High on the list that developer Saxum Real Estate is expected to address: traffic and pedestrian safety issues. Read More »