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RED BANK: PORTMAN READY FOR MAYOR’S MIC

Billy Portman in a scene from the 1994 short film ‘No Time,’ directed by Darren Aronofsky. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After his mic-drop win in the Red Bank Democratic primary last month, Billy Portman enters the general election campaign as – in all likelihood – the first mayoral candidate in borough history with an IMDB listing and a “filthy” rap record on his résumé.

It turns out the 53-year-old building contractor/cover-band singer has had a long involvement in comedy and films, too.

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RED BANK: PORTMAN MOCKS BALLARD CLAIMS

Billy Portman at home on John Street Sunday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Why did Red Bank mayoral candidate Michael Ballard sign a petition for a candidate who would oppose him if he won last week’s Democratic primary?

To counter “secret deal-making” engineered by opponent Billy Portman, Ballard told redbankgreen Friday night.

In response, Portman mocked the allegation as “business as usual” from a “dying machine.”

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RED BANK: PORTMAN CLAIMS LANDSLIDE WIN

Billy Portman at Red Rock Tap + Grill Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Political neophyte Billy Portman claimed a landslide victory in Red Bank Democrats’ mayoral primary Tuesday night.

At the same time, enough members of an 18-candidate reform slate for the party’s county committee appeared to win races to ensure a change at the top of an organization Portman had criticized for “machine politics.”

 

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RED BANK: PORTMAN SEES INTERIM ROLE

Billy Portman addressing supporters at a fundraiser held at Tino’s Restaurant in late April. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank mayoral contender Billy Portman is “not looking for a lifetime in politics,” he says.

In fact, if all goes according to plan, he’ll be able to hand the reins to his successor just five months after being sworn in, he says.

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RED BANK: BALLARD TOUTS ‘TEAM’ GOALS

Michael Ballard at Sickles Market in Red Bank in May. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Unlike his opponent in the June 7 Red Bank Democratic primary, Michael Ballard says he’s in it for the long haul.

“I am running to be the mayor of Red Bank for the next four years,” Ballard told redbankgreen last month. And with his “team,” he vows to return the governing body “to a pre-2018 council that was not at each others throats.”

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RED BANK: MIRANDI CHALLENGE DROPPED

Councilman Ed Zipprich attaches a borough pin to the jacket of Angela Mirandi after her swearing-in ceremony February 11. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicA legal challenge to Angela Mirandi‘s appointment to the Red Bank council earlier this year has been dropped, redbankgreen has learned.

But while the lawsuit filed by Councilwoman Kathy Horgan and Democratic party secretary Kate Okeson failed to dislodge Mirandi, it shone a harsh light into the workings of the local party under Councilman Ed Zipprich, whose leadership faces an historic challenge next month.

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RED BANK: GOP TRIO TO TRY AGAIN

jonathan maciel penneyRepublican Chairman Jonathan Maciel Penney, seen here in 2019, will run for council in the June primary. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Republican Brian Irwin, who dropped out of a council race two years ago, will seek his party’s endorsement as mayoral candidate in the June primary.

In addition, GOP Chairman Jonathan Maciel Penney will make his fourth attempt in four years for a council seat, joined for the second year in a row by Christine Stout.

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RED BANK: GOP BAILS AND VISCOMI JUMPS IN

Sue Viscomi has mounted a candidacy as an independent, making it a three-way race for two council seats. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank voters will have three candidates to choose from for two council seats in November.

For the second year in a row, none of them will be Republicans.

And for the second time in three years, Sue Viscomi is running as an independent.

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RED BANK: YASSIN FACES BACK-RENT LAWSUIT

Hazim Yassin at his first meeting as a council member in January, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

UPDATE: September 9, 2021: See Yassin’s response to this article below.

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Councilman Hazim Yassin hasn’t paid the rent on his apartment in 18 months and owes more than $29,000, his landlord alleges in a lawsuit.

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RED BANK: WOMEN IN LEAD AS DEMS SPLIT

Kate Triggiano at her January, 2019 swearing-in with husband, David, son, Otto, and former Assemblyman John Wisniewski. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The two women on competing tickets moved closer to claiming wins in the Red Bank Democratic primary election for council Wednesday.

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RED BANK: THREE CLOSE IN DEM’S PRIMARY

By JOHN T. WARD

Incumbent Councilwoman Kate Triggiano led three other candidates after a rare Red Bank Democratic primary challenge Tuesday.

But the race for two openings on the party ticket in November was far from settled, with the second spot an even closer call.

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RED BANK: ONE PRIMARY CONTESTED, ONE NOT

By JOHN T. WARD

Four Red Bank Democrats square off Tuesday in a rare primary election for two spots on the November ballot for borough council.

Meantime, the borough’s Republicans have two “placeholder” candidates on the primary ballot.

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RED BANK: GOP ‘PLACEHOLDERS’ ON BALLOT

jonathan maciel penney 102419Jonathan Maciel Penney speaking as a candidate at the West Side Community Group forum in 2019. (Photo by Ben Forest. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Republicans announced two “placeholder” candidates for borough council in the November election Monday.

Party Chairman Jonathan Maciel Penney said he had filed campaign papers for himself and Christine Stout.

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RED BANK: ZONERS NIX APARTMENT PLAN

55 w front 040215 2The project, dubbed the Element, called for 35 rental units on a site previously approved for 27 condos. (Architect’s rendering. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s zoning board rejected plans for a 35-unit apartment building on a long-vacant downtown lot Thursday night.

The proposed structure — at 55 West Front Street, opposite Riverside Gardens Park — was shot down on a motion by presumptive Democratic council candidate Erik Yngstrom, who said it was too dense.

Mayor Pasquale Menna, who was in the audience, was sharply critical of the decision.

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WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

Twenty-five of the 27 readers who wrote in to identify the four pastel-colored Adirondack chairs shown in last week’s photo got it right.

The mistaken pair might want to take a seat in what several others refer to as the Four Chairs of Wisdom – which according to Jim Fitzmaurice, replaced the Bench of Knowledge – outside Butler’s Deli in Rumson.

It is there during early morning sessions, that “the problems of the world are discussed and resolved,” Jim writes. “Weather permitting.”

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