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RED BANK: PORTMAN SLATE SWEEPS RACES

Billy Portman, with mic, and the Red Bank’s Ready slate celebrating victory at Triumph Brewing Company. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Incumbent mayor Billy Portman and his slate of council candidates sailed to victory in Red Bank’s history-making election Tuesday.

Portman’s “Red Bank’s Ready” team met little resistance, crushing a lineup led by Riverview Medical Center President Tim Hogan, as well as a council bid by independent candidate Suzanne Viscomi.

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RED BANK: TAX INCREASE HELD TO ONE PERCENT

Parking revenue has been strong since the pandemic and an increase in enforcement hours, officials said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesLocal taxes on the typical Red Bank home will increase by one percent this year, officials said at a walk-thru of the 2023 municipal budget Thursday night.

That’s about $25 for the owner of a home assessed at the new townwide average of $505,244, Chief Financial Officer Thomas Seaman said at the one-hour forum, held in the council chamber at borough hall.

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RED BANK: FACEY-BLACKWOOD Q&A

On the ballot May 9: Red Bank council candidate Nancy Facey-Blackwood. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank voters will have 13 candidates to choose from when they elect six council members May 9.

Here’s what candidate Nancy Facey-Blackwood said in response to a questionnaire sent to all by redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: PORTMAN Q&A

On the ballot May 9: Red Bank mayoral candidate Billy Portman. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank voters will have two candidates to choose from when they elect a new mayor May 9.

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

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RED BANK: ELBOW-TO-ELBOW AT ‘FACEOFF’

An historically large field of candidates for office in Red Bank sat elbow-to-elbow on the stage of the Red Bank Middle School for a “Faceoff Over Red Bank’s Future” Tuesday night.

The crowded race includes 13 candidates for council and two for mayor, all of whom participated (one via phone link).

A combined in-person and online audience of more than 230 heard the candidates lay out their visions and positions on issues at the event, which was organized by redbankgreen and moderated by site founder John T. Ward. The complete video is above. (Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: CANDIDATES JOSTLE FOR POSITION

All council candidates participated in the League of Women Voters’s online event. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Thirteen candidates for Red Bank council sought to make an impression on voters during a fast-paced candidates showdown Monday night.

The occasion was an online event hosted by the hosted by the League of Women Voters of Monmouth County, the first of two planned showdowns ahead of an historic election May 9.

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RED BANK: BALLOT POSITIONS SET

A schematic of the May 9 ballot, provided by the Red Bank clerk. (Click to enlarge.)

See CORRECTION below

By JOHN T. WARD

Incumbent Billy Portman will have the inside lane against challenger Tim Hogan in the two-candidate race for Red Bank mayor.

A drawing by borough Clerk Laura Reinertsen Wednesday also established the ballot positions for all 13 council candidates in the borough’s first-ever nonpartisan election May 9.

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RED BANK: PETITIONS OK’D, BALLOTS UP NEXT

Borough Clerk Laura Reinertsen in her office last April. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

All 15 candidates for Red Bank mayor and council in the May 9 election submitted the minimum number of valid petitions to get on the ballot, Clerk Laura Reinertsen told redbankgreen Tuesday.

Up next: a drawing to determine the order of names on the ballot in the historic nonpartisan election. More →

RED BANK: CANDIDACIES APPEAR SET

Fifteen candidates are expected be on the ballot for the May 9 election. (Photo by Red Bank Together. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Looks like Red Bank voters will have two mayoral candidates and 13 contenders for six council seats to choose from in the historic election scheduled for May 9.

 

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RED BANK: HOGAN ADDRESSES ‘CONFLICTS’

Mayoral candidate Tim Hogan, seen here in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Riverview Medical Center president Tim Hogan says his day job would not present a conflict of interest should he succeed in his bid to become Red Bank’s mayor.

Also in borough politics: watchdog Sue Viscomi has announced another run for council in the May 9 special election.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL DEMS, HOGAN FORM SLATE

From left: John Jackson, Jacqueline Sturdivant, Michael Ballard, Tim Hogan, Linda Hill, Erin Fleming and Sean Murphy. (Photo by Red Bank Together. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Three incumbent council Democrats have teamed up with the president of Riverview Medical Center in a bid to form Red Bank’s new government this summer.

The seven-member “Red Bank Together” slate is the second hoping to capture six council seats and the mayor’s chair in the May 9 special election.

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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH WON’T SEEK NEW TERM

Councilman Ed Zipprich, right, with Councilman Michael Ballard in December. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njFive-term incumbent Red Bank Councilmember Ed Zipprich won’t run for a seat in the new form of government he opposed, according to a news report.

In recent years, Zipprich has been a lightning rod for controversy as the the Democratic party, which dominates borough politics, split into warring tribes under his leadership.

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RED BANK: PORTMAN-TRIGGIANO SLATE NAMED

Billy Portman and Kate Triggiano at an event in Riverside Gardens Park last June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A slate that includes Mayor Billy Portman and Democratic party Chairperson Kate Triggiano will run to initiate Red Bank’s first new form of government in 115 years.

The seven-candidate slate, announced late Sunday, is the first out of the gate in what may be a crowded field in the the May 9 special election.

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RED BANK: FILM RECYCLING STILL ON, FOR NOW

White pails for the program were distributed in 2021. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicYes, Red Bank will collect plastic film for recycling Wednesday, despite the recent end of a one-year pilot program, a borough official told redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: CITIZEN APPOINTMENTS 2023

Anne Torre, above, and Ray Mass, below, were reappointed for four-year terms on the zoning board. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank, like nearly all American municipalities, relies on unpaid citizens to help power its local government.

At meetings often held twice a month, the volunteers weigh land-use applications; research ways to help the environment; help organize recreation programs for kids, and lots more.

At last Wednesday’s annual reorganization meeting, the following individuals were nominated by Mayor Billy Portman and/or confirmed by the council to one-year appointments, if not otherwise specified; click the links to see who else is involved.

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RED BANK: SOME VOTERS HAD OTHER IDEAS

 Five voters wanted former Republican Mayor Mike Arnone, seen here in 2015, back in office. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Billy Portman may have been the only candidate on the ballot to succeed Pasquale Menna as Red Bank mayor in this month’s election, but 94 voters had other ideas, according to data released by the Monmouth County Clerk Tuesday.

Among the non-candidates receiving write-in votes were two former mayors, a rock guitarist and a recent Red Bank Regional High School graduate.

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RED BANK: NEWCOMER TO LEAD MAJOR CHANGE

Mayor-elect Billy Portman, left, with Mayor Pasquale Menna at a campaign celebration at the Dublin House Pub Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s 114-year run under the “borough” form of government is now officially slated to end next summer.

And the person voters picked Tuesday to lead them to that moment is a political newcomer, building contractor and part-time singer who says he is “humbled” to be in the role.

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RED BANK: HISTORIC REFERENDUM ON BALLOT

Red Bank would still be known as the “Borough of Red Bank,” even if the form of government is changed by referendum, Charter Study commissioners say. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

While Red Bank’s 114-year run under a “borough” form of government is widely thought to be nearing an end, that’s still a matter for voters to decide in the November 8 election.

And even though no widespread opposition to the ballot referendum on the change has materialized, there has been some pushback. In addition, voters continue to seek  clarity about the stakes, said Charter Study Commission Chairwoman Nancy Facey-Blackwood.

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RED BANK: WALKING TOURS HIT THE BRICKS

Temporary sidewalk decals include a QR code that offers routes for Red Bank walking tours. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s Environmental Commission began a rollout this week of sidewalk markers downtown aimed at enhancing walkability in the central business district and beyond.

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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: 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: HORGAN BAILS; NEWCOMER RUNS

Councilwoman Kathy Horgan greets Mayor Pasquale Menna at the Mayor’s Ball in 2016. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Yet another Red Bank Democratic official is heading for the exit while decrying “divisiveness” stoked by party leadership.

Councilwoman Kathy Horgan told redbankgreen Tuesday that, “with a heavy heart,” she’s not seeking a sixth three-year term.

Meanwhile, a political newcomer has stepped forward hoping to succeed Pasquale Menna as mayor.

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