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RED BANK: BYLAWS TO GET COUNCIL REVIEW

Councilmembers Michael Ballard, center, John Jackson, left, and Ed Zipprich at the January 4 reorganization session. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA controversial set of bylaws that were rushed into adoption will get a review by Red Bank’s council later this month, members of its majority bloc said last week.

At the council’s first session following adoption of the bylaws, Council President Michael Ballard acknowledged that the governing body had already done a “horrible job” sticking to its own rules.

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RED BANK: SPECIAL-ELECTION PLANS MULLED

One issue to be resolved: whether to hold a weekend of early voting at borough hall. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Following the will of voters as expressed in November, Red Bank officials have begun organizing a special election in May.

That’s when voters will return to the polls, this time to choose a mayor and six council members to be seated under an all-new form of government July 1. More →

RED BANK: DPU HEAD OUSTED

Cliff Keen on Broad Street last June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAt its first working session of 2023, the Red Bank council fired public utilities director Cliff Keen Wednesday night.

Unmentioned at the meeting: he was replaced on an interim basis, at a cost of $16,500 per month, by Gary Watson Sr., whom Keen succeeded in 2016.

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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH BLOC SETS NEW BYLAWS

Councilmen John Jackson, Michael Ballard and Ed Zipprich at Wednesday’s reorganization session. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s council majority adopted a new set of bylaws Wednesday night that would give it broad power to block resolutions from even making it to the dais.

In the process, allies of Councilman Ed Zipprich rejected a request by new Mayor Billy Portman that the measure – which no one from the public or media saw in advance – be tabled.

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RED BANK: PORTMAN TAKES MAYOR’S SEAT

Mayor Billy Portman opens the reorganization meeting as Attorney Dan Antonelli looks on, above; new fire chiefs were sworn in, below.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank entered into a period of transition Wednesday night, as a new mayor took the helm of a government that’s slated to vanish in seven months.

Billy Portman, a political neophyte who helped dismantle the local Democratic machine last year, was sworn into the town’s highest elected position pledging he’ll “keep the ship running smoothly” in the interim.

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RED BANK: SIDES STAKED OUT ON RENTAL LAW

The owner of the house at 70-72 Wallace Street defended short-term rentals. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank officials postponed a brewing battle over short-term home rentals such as Airbnbs last week.

Still, a number of residents made impassioned arguments pro and con at the borough council’s final meeting of 2022 Wednesday night, previewing what’s likely to come in 2023.

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RED BANK: ADMINISTRATOR HIRING PAUSED

Interim Business Administrator Darren McConnell at a meeting in June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s council has hit the brakes in its search for a new borough administrator, redbankgreen has learned.

The unexplained pause comes two months after majority Democrats dispatched borough Attorney Dan Antonelli to negotiate a deal with the leading candidate for the town’s top unelected job.

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RED BANK: ‘AIRBNB’ LAW TABLED

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA proposed Red Bank ordinance that would limit Airbnbs and other short-term rentals was tabled before it could be formally introduced Wednesday night.

The send-back followed an hour of public debate over impacts on owner-occupant operators and on the broader rental market. More →

RED BANK: PENNEY CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION

Jonathan Maciel Penney addressing the council Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA Republican candidate for Red Bank council called for an investigation Wednesday into the abrupt firing of the borough attorney in July.

 

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RED BANK: PARK DESIGNATION ADVANCES

A satellite view of the Senior Center, where the patio provides a view of the Swimming River. (Satellite image from Google Maps. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council initiated a process to create a new “passive park” behind the Senior Center Wednesday night.

Still unanswered, however, is the question of how big the park might be, and how it would be accessed.

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RED BANK: SIDES CLASH OVER COUNCIL SEAT

Angela Mirandi at her February 11 swearing-in ceremony, with Mayor Pasquale Menna, center, and Councilman Ed Zipprich at right. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank’s establishment Democrats have “admitted” in a court filing that last month’s appointment of Angela Mirandi to the borough council was tainted, challengers contended Tuesday.

Two party dissidents said in their own court filing that the purported admission bolsters their argument that Mirandi should be swiftly removed from the governing body.

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RED BANK: PARTY DEFENDS APPOINTMENT

Councilwoman Angela Mirandi at her February 11 swearing-in ceremony. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank’s establishment Democrats contend that their own failure to meet a deadline means the appointment of Angela Mirandi to the council should stand.

The unexpected argument was made in a letter filed in Superior Court Monday in a response to a lawsuit filed last week by Councilwoman Kathy Horgan and Charter Study Commission member Kate Okeson.

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