Democrat Juanita Lewis has been on the council since 2009. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
In Tuesday’s election for Red Bank council, incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, both Democrats, face Republicans Sean Di Somma and Linda Schwabenbauer. Here are Lewis’s answers to questions sent to all four candidates byredbankgreen.
Name: Juanita Lewis
Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Red Bank.
How long have you been a resident of Red Bank? All of my life, except when I went to college, graduate school and when I worked overseas for one year.
On Nov. 4, Red Bank voters will have four ballot choices for two seats on the borough council, now composed of four Democrats and two Republicans.
Both open seats, by happenstance, are held by Republicans: Grace Cangemi, who is running for re-election, and James Giannell, who is not running; he’s serving out the tail end of the term from which freeholder candidate John Curley resigned in July.
This week, redbankgreen is posting interviews with each of the candidates. Instead of transcripts, we’ve got the complete audio. The interviews are between 22 and 33 minutes in length. [See the editor’s note at bottom of story.]
The interviews are not meant to be literal head-to-head comparisons. Rather, they cover some common issues including taxes, a community center and healthcare coverage for the mayor and council while exploring each candidate’s own experiences a bit in order to shed some light on who they are and how they think.
We’re running them in reverse alphabetical order; Democrat Ed Zipprich’s interview ran Monday; Republican John Tyler Jr. was featured yesterday, and we’ll wrap up with Cangemi on Thursday.
Ed Zipprich and Juanita Lewis make their New Year’s Day debuts as elected officials.
Running mates Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich, who drubbed their Republican opponents in the November election, were sworn in as council members at yesterday’s annual reorganization of Red Bank’s governing body.
After nine years in the majority, Democrats now hold all six seats, just as they did for the decade prior to the election of Jennifer Beck in 1999. She’s now the state Senator for the 12th district.
Councilman Art Murphy, who was unable to attend the meeting because of a family commitment, was re-elected council president.
Juanita Lewis embraces her campaign manager, Christine McKenna, after her win in Tuesday’s Red Bank Council election.
Red Bank voters skied straight down the Democratic column in Tuesday’s elections, hoping to elevate the first-ever African-American to the presidency and making the borough council into a solid, single-party affair for the first time in a decade.
Knocked aside in the process were incumbent Councilwoman Grace Cangemi, seeking her first full council term, and her running mate, John Tyler Jr.
Slated to join the council on January 1 are Ed Zipprich and Juanita Lewis, who styled themselves as “progressive Democrats” in the mold of Howard Dean.
But unlike squeakers of recent years, this race wasn’t even close. Zipprich racked up 2,343 votes and Lewis, 2,322 in an unofficial tally. Cangemi netted 1,813 and Tyler, 1,625.
Incumbent Republican Grace Cangemi, left, and running mate John Tyler Jr., right square off against Ed Zipprich and Juanita Lewis, center, at next week’s candidates’ forum. (Click to enlarge)
Big night for the politically tuned-in next Wednesday particularly those with a hankering for baked sweets.
Most prominently, there’s the third and final presidential debate between senators John McCain and Barack Obama on television at 9p.
That’ll be preceded, locally, by the 12th annual candidates’ night in Red Bank, where four candidates for two council seats will square off starting at 7p.
But while some voters may be wondering how they can squeeze both into their schedules, just as tempting to many, no doubt, will be the “National Presidential Community Dessert Fellowship & Debate Watch Night” at the Pilgrim Baptist Church.
That’s a cramped way of saying the church will be showing the presidential debate on a large-screen television, but first will throw down with desserts brought in by attendees. That event is open to the public, non-partisan, and begins at 7:30p.
The facility would operate in three buildings now used for warehousing at 15 East Leonard Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank moved closer to scoring a wholesale cannabis growing facility Monday night.
Before granting approval, however, planning board members had to overcome misgivings about an all-cash operation – and an electrified security fence meant to give intruders a “kick in the chest” without killing them.
Saxum relocated the proposed pedestrian plaza shown in this rendering from the Riverside Avenue side of the project to the Bodman Place side. (Rendering by MVMK Architecture. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
One of the largest development projects in Red Bank history won planning board approval Monday night.
The OK for 210 apartments at Riverside Avenue and Bodman Place requires developer Saxum Real Estate to seek state approval for a traffic light there. But the project can go ahead even if the request fails.
Red Bank is negotiating a deal under which the developer would satisfy a “significant” portion of the town’s affordable housing obligation, a lawyer told the board. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
The site of a vacant office building in Red Bank is a key element in meeting the borough’s affordable housing obligations, a lawyer told the planning board Monday night.
Write-in candidate Dominic Kalorin won a seat on the Red Bank school board in Tuesday’s election, according to unofficial vote counts posted on the Monmouth County Clerk Wednesday. (Photo by Sue Viscomi. Click to enlarge.)
This year’s council candidates include Democrats Ed Zipprich, left, and Michael Ballard, center, and Republican Linda Schwabenbauer, right. Missing is Schwabenbauer running mate Dana McArthur. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
The primary races for two Red Bank council seats will be uncontested in June, with the Democrats and Republicans having firmed up their two-person tickets Monday.
In a recent announcement, Red Bank-based nonprofit Lunch Break named Rick Brandt (pictured) to the nonprofit’s Board of Trustees. At 27 years of age, the lifelong resident of Little Silver is both the newest and the youngest member of the board, and will be involved with several of their committees.
Other new members joining the Lunch Break Board are Trudy Parton (Little Silver), Stuart Sendell (Rumson) and Juanita Lewis (Red Bank).
The West Front Street site where a 35-unit apartment building was rejected by the zoning board last year could end up with new zoning, a planning attorney said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Two Red Bank properties cleared a key hurdle toward possible redevelopment Wednesday night.
One is the borough-owned White Street parking lot, where merchants and town officials envision a parking garage.
The other is a privately owned site that several commenters, including two board members, said shouldn’t even have been part of the discussion.
Sharon Lee, flanked by Mayor Pasquale Menna and former Councilwoman Juanita Lewis, gets ready to swear the oath of office while Councilman Mike DuPont takes a photo. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
For the first time in Red Bank’s 107-year history, women now outnumber men on the borough council.
Former Councilwoman Sharon Lee returned to the dais Wednesday night, following unanimous approval by the governing body to complete the three-plus months remaining in the term of former Council President Art Murphy, who resigned last month.
John Gatta wields giant scissors as he dedicates the new park named for his late brother, Ralph ‘Johnny Jazz’ Gatta Jr. (seen below), as Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer applauds. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
For 47 years, while cutting meat and selling boxes of rice and cereal, Red Bank butcher Ralph ‘Johnny Jazz’ Gatta Jr. preached the gospel of an American musical art form he deeply loved, and wanted his customers to hear as he heard it.
On Monday night, borough residents showed they had heard, and had been touched by both his love of jazz and his generosity as a grocer.
At a brief ceremony tinged with fondness, humor and a bit of live jazz, the site at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard was named in honor of the late jazz-enthralled butcher.
The first-ever Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball brought together three ex-mayors, the current one and some 250 of their friends at the Oyster Point Hotel Friday night. Among those in attendance: former Councilwoman Sharon Lee and restaurateur Victor Kuo, above, and Pastor John Lock, with Mayor Pasquale Menna, at right.
Councilman Mike DuPont snaps a photo as Linda Schwabenbauer, joined by her father, Abe Schwabenbauer, awaits her swearing-in as a council member. Pasquale Menna, below, began his third four-year term as mayor. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
In keeping with recent tradition, however, partisanship was set aside as the annual reorganization of the borough government was marked by pledges of togetherness.
Invoking the way in which college hockey players came to shed their school identities to form the United States Olympic team in 1980, Schwabenbauer said that every member of the six-member council “has a party affiliation or cause, but each of us plays for Red Bank.”