Search Results for: William Poku

RED BANK: POKU CLAIMS RACIAL PREJUDICE

An undated drone shot shows the collection of vehicles and trash in Poku’s backyard. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The owner of a Red Bank residential property packed with rusting vehicles and other junk told a TV news program on Tuesday that he’s a victim of racial prejudice.

William Poku, whose property was the subject of a report by redbankgreen earlier in the day, also denied that he’s hoarding junk.

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RED BANK: SWEEPING CHANGES COMING

red bank spring street parkingRules would be modified for streets where parking is now prohibited on one side, such as Spring Street, to allow for alternate-side parking, officials said. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA pending alternate-side parking law for Red Bank won’t be enforced until the borough has an online streetsweeper-tracker up and running, an official said Wednesday night.

Still, the plan to mandate one-side-only parking throughout the town twice a week ran into objections.

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RED BANK: BANK STREET SHITHOLE PERSISTS

red bank poku shithole 90 bank streetThe porch and yards surrounding 90 Bank Street are crammed with items and vehicles that the owner calls “assets.” (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njNine months after Red Bank’s most prominent residential shithole was in a media spotlight, the situation just keeps getting worse, neighbors say.

Now, after years of litigation over summonses, the borough is going after the owners in civil court, hoping to win an order allowing the town to remove all the junk at their expense.

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RED BANK: FIRST WORKSHOP’S A MARATHON

Instead of taking their usual places on the dais, the mayor and council members sat around a large conference table for the meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council’s first-ever workshop-only meeting proved to be a marathon of matters large and small Wednesday night.

Among the topics discussed at the three-and-a-half-hour session: ways to “deal with the issue” of vehicles parked indefinitely outside the home of an unspecified Bank Street resident, though it was widely understood who that was.

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RED BANK: JUNK-FILLED YARD IRKS NEIGHBORS

Clutter fills the front porch at 90 Bank Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The house at 90 Bank Street in Red Bank has been vexing neighbors for years.

It’s surrounded on three sides by a massing of cars, trucks and hard-to-discern clutter. The porch, with collapsing rain gutters, appears to groan under the weight of piled boxes. And the mess continues in the street out front, where neighbors say rusting vehicles have sat for years.

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LOCATION AN ISSUE FOR COMMUNITY GARDEN

sharon-lee-031611Councilwoman Sharon Lee details her objections to a request to create a community garden at the Red Bank Public Library. (Click to enlarge)

A push for the creation of a community garden at the Red Bank Public Library ran into some mud Wednesday.

Big question: whether that’s the best place for it.

Smaller question: how much will it cost to install a dedicated water line, and who will pick up the tab in these cash-starved times?

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ON TUESDAY’S BALLOT: SCHOOL BUDGET BLUES

rbboe-041410Red Bank residents at Wednesday night’s presentation on the borough school district budget, led by Superintendent Laura Morana, below. (Click to enlarge)

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Hoping to whip up support for a spending plan crafted in the midst of what Superintendent Laura Morana called “incredibly devastating” cuts in state aid, Red Bank school officials brought their mini roadshow on this year’s proposed budget to voters again last night.

Appearing at the River Street Commons senior citizens’ center — once, the River Street School — Morana sought to demonstrate that her administration built its $19 million spending plan from the ground up, with an eye toward maintaining the quality of education for the two-school district.

The spending plan goes before voters next Tuesday. Bottom line, for the owner of a home assessed at the borough-average $405,000: a 3.75 percent tax increase of $77.78, or $6.49 per month.

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MORE YMCA DISCUSSION? Y NOT?

poku-councilWilliam Poku of Bank Street addresses the council. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

What would a municipal meeting in Red Bank be these days without at least a little talk about the Community YMCA?

Shorter, for one.

The borough council, despite tabling a YMCA-related item on its agenda to a later date, gave attendees a chance to opine on the matter Monday night.

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CEDAR CROSSING PLAN BREEZES TO OK

Cedar crossing plan Planner Paul Szymanski testifies on behalf of the developer about the proposed project at Thursday night’s zoning board meeting.

A 36-unit affordable housing project envisioned alongside a rail yard on Red Bank’s West Side sailed to unanimous approval by the borough zoning board in less than two hours last night.

The board had called a special meeting for the purpose of hearing the proposal because the non-profit developer, Red Bank Bank Affordable Housing Corp., was under the gun to enhance its chances of obtaining construction funding from a program administered by Monmouth County.

Despite deficiencies — such as a 13-space parking shortage and complete absence of recreation space — that have ensnared other applications, board members praised the plan for advancing the goal of home ownership for low-and-moderate income families who are otherwise priced out of town.

“It’s nice that finally somebody’s doing something for the people and not for their pocket,” said board member Chris Ferrigine.

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PRESS: STATE ICES BOROUGH APPROVALS

The state Council on Affordable Housing has temporarily barred Red Bank from granting any new multifamily housing approvals until a dispute over the borough’s fair share of below-market housing can be addressed, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.

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No such projects are currently up for approval by the borough planning or zoning boards. But Borough Attorney Tom Hall tells the Press’ Larry Higgs that he’s “disappointed” that the Fair Share Housing of Cherry Hill won a temporary freeze Wednesday on approvals pending oral arguments by the borough and center attorneys on Nov. 12.

According to the Press, Fair Share Housing Center attorney Adam Green

argued that the borough has approved hundreds of units of luxury housing units, while not setting aside 20 percent of those units as affordable housing under COAH requirements. Those approvals have affected existing affordable housing by increasing property values and forcing low- and moderate-income families out of the borough, he said.

“The town can’t say “We don’t have land to develop (affordable housing on)’ and grant variances to developers of luxury apartments without affordable housing,” Gordon said afterward.

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RESIDENTS DEMAND RELIEF ON TAXES

The Southies got the crowd they wanted—and the startled attention of Red Bank’s governing body—as an overflow throng descended on the Borough Council Monday night to demand a halt to rising property taxes.

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Responding to a recent leafletting campaign launched by South Street homeowners, residents packed the council chambers, catching elected officials off guard both with their numbers and with their calls for an end to tax hikes.

“I obviously didn’t know we were going to have this many people here,” Mayor Ed McKenna said near the outset of the meeting, a remark that was echoed by two council members.

“We’re here to tell you we’re hurting,” rally organizer Marta Rambaud told the council. “We need to change the trend. We’re hurting and we need help. That help has to come from you, or we’ll have to move away.”

By the end of the nearly two-hour session, the audience had been treated to an emotional call by McKenna for respect he said was due him for “over one thousand nights of my life” spent attending public meetings; yet another volatile exchange between McKenna, who is not seeking re-election, and mayoral candidate John Curley; and a Leighton Avenue resident’s Vaudevillian re-enactment of his encounter with a topless prostitute as he retrieved his morning newspaper recently.

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RED BANK: RAMPING UP CODE ENFORCEMENT

The front yard of a vacant house at 98 East Front Street is overgrown with weeds. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank is cracking down on property-based quality-of-life issues, borough officials said last week.

Word of a ramp-up of code enforcement — including foot patrols — for matters like unmowed lawns and rubbish came in response to a complaint that some residents have been threatened with fines for minor infractions.

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