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RED BANK: REFERENDUM ON CHANGE SET

Chairwoman Nancy Facey-Blackwood at the Charter Study Commission’s final meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank residents will decide whether to give the town’s governmental structure an historic overhaul following action by the Charter Study Commission Tuesday night.

Adopting its final report en route to dissolving itself, the commission made one last tweak to the November referendum, calling for run-off elections in cases where no candidate wins a majority of votes.

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RED BANK: CHARTER REFERENDUM ADVANCES

A view of Wednesday’s Charter Study Commission meeting. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank residents would vote on whether a “council-manager” form of municipal government should be implemented under an agreement by the Charter Study Commission last week.

If approved by voters in a referendum expected in November, the change would would replace the management structure in place since the borough’s creation in 1908.

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RED BANK: NONPARTISAN ELECTIONS ADVANCE

Ben Forest outside Sickles Market last September. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njLamenting the “unpleasantness” of Red Bank politics in recent years, Charter Study Commission member Ben Forest made a tearful plea for nonpartisan elections Wednesday.

The commission’s other four members informally agreed. They also began sorting through alternatives to the borough form of government in use since the town was carved out of then-sprawling Shrewsbury Township in 1908.

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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: 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: 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: 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

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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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RED BANK: HIGHRISE GETS NEW POOL & NAME

The new pool and poolhouse at the former Riverview Towers. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank riverview towers 091319Three years after their swimming pool mysteriously popped out of the ground, residents of a Red Bank riverfront highrise got a closeup look at its $3.5 million replacement Monday night.

The 53-year-old Riverside Towers, at 28 Riverside Avenue, has also been rebranded as the Navesink Riverside Residences and Marina.

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RED BANK: POOL LAWSUIT CLAIMS NEGLIGENCE

red bank riverview towers pool 091319 2Work to replace the Riverview Towers pool was underway last week, as seen from a balcony. The deck of the Atrium at Navesink Harbor is visible at left. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank riverview towers 091319Sixteen months after their swimming pool mysteriously popped out of the ground, residents of the Riverside Towers high-rise in Red Bank are rebuilding their treasured riverfront amenity.

Meantime, they’re also in court against a number of vendors, offering an unusual explanation for the, um, floating pool.

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