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RED BANK COUNCIL Q&A: MARK TAYLOR

mark taylor 033015Mark Taylor, Republican. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election 2015 graphic

The balance of political power is at stake in the November 3 election in Red Bank, which features four candidates for two three-year seats on the borough council. All four have indicated they’ll participate in the West Side Community Group’s annual candidates’ forum at the River Street Commons at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 1. For more information about the event, take it here.

To help voters compare the contenders in terms of personal background and positions on key issues, redbankgreen emailed them identical sets of questions late last week. Here’s what Mark Taylor had to say in response.

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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH, TAYLOR TRADE BARBS

With Mayor Pasquale Menna in the background, Councilman Ed Zipprich attached a borough pin to the jacket worn by Angela Mirandi after her swearing-in as council member in February. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Eight days after former councilman Mark Taylor blasted current Councilman Ed Zipprich as the source of “chaos” in Red Bank government, Zipprich returned fire Wednesday.

In a prepared statement, Zipprich slammed Taylor for “ineptitude” as a council member and for purported failures of leadership at the Red Bank Borough Education Foundation.

Taylor, in turn, doubled down in his attack on Zipprich.

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RED BANK: TAYLOR ENTERS COUNCIL RACE

Mark Taylor has previously served as a councilman and member of the Charter Study Commission. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Former Red Bank councilman Mark Taylor is running for a seat on the governing body again in November, he announced this week.

The Republican’s entry into the race throws up a hurdle in what had appeared to be a clear path for two Democrats.

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RED BANK: TAYLOR GRILLS ZIPPRICH, BALLARD

Mark Taylor, center, grilled two sitting councilmen, including Michael Ballard, bottom right. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Aggressive questioning of two current council members by a former councilman marked a special session of the Red Bank Charter Study Commission Thursday night.

Appearing as the final witnesses for phase one of the commission’s review, both Ed Zipprich and Michael Ballard defended the borough form of government in place since 1908, and recent changes to shift power away from the town’s unelected administrator.

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RED BANK: TAYLOR Q&A

On the ballot November 2: charter study commission candidate Mark Taylor. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank voters will have 11 candidates to choose from when they elect a five-member charter study commission November 2.

Here’s what candidate Mark Taylor had to say in response to a questionnaire sent to all contenders by redbankgreen.

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MIDDLETOWN: LUNCH BREAK MARKS 31 YEARS

NickDawes BrianKirkNick Dawes of the PBS series ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is the guest auctioneer — and Brian Kirk and the Jirks provide the soundtrack — as Red Bank’s Lunch Break celebrates 31 years of service during the annual Gala at Navesink Country Club.

Press release from Lunch Break Inc.

On Monday, October 20, Lunch Break will host its fifth annual Gala at the Navesink Country Club in Middletown. Presented under the theme of “Hope Happens Here,” the evening will celebrate 31 years of dedicated service to the community by the Red Bank-based nonprofit, in addition to honoring several individuals for their steadfast commitment to the Lunch Break mission.

Presentations will be made of the “Norma Todd Service Award” to Paul and Margo Hooker, the “Heart to Hand Award” to Inice Hennessy and Pamela Elam, the “Beacon of Service Award” to Carol Ingaro and Leigh Stoecker of Fringe Marketing, and the “Future Charitable Leaders Award” to Katie and Taylor Gill.

The evening will also include a spirited dinner reception, live and silent auctions, and a 50/50 raffle, with live entertainment provided by Brian Kirk and the Jirks. Special guest will be one of this country’s most experienced charity auctioneers — Nick Dawes, Vice President of Special Collections for Heritage Auctions in New York, and a familiar figure to millions through his expert appraisals on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow since the first season in 1996.

All net proceeds from the Hope Happens Here Gala will directly support Lunch Break’s critical programs.

One doesn’t have to look far to see the impact of the lingering economic downturn on the hungry and working poor among us.  In fact, the New Jersey Poverty Research Institute concludes in a 2013 report that 25 percent of New Jersey residents are living in poverty.  No wonder the demand for Lunch Break’s services has grown dramatically — and, to respond to that increasing demand and better serve the community, in March Lunch Break launched “Step Up To The Plate,” its $5 million capital campaign to enlarge the size and increase the functionality of its facility.

When the two-story addition is completed, the seating capacity in the dining room will be nearly doubled and there will be a new, larger, and more functional kitchen to serve the growing number of clients.  The expansion will also provide space for a clothing “boutique,” a “choice food pantry,” reception and waiting areas, private social service and intake offices, a donation drop-off area, administrative offices, a conference and meeting room, data stations, a maintenance office, and restrooms.

Gwendolyn Love, Executive Director of Lunch Break, said at the March groundbreaking for the updated facilty that, “Thirty-one years ago Lunch Break began serving hot lunches to Red Bank residents. Today our reach has expanded and we serve our most vulnerable neighbors who come from every town in Monmouth County, and from many in Ocean County.

“Last year, we served over 61,000 hot meals. Our food pantry provides, on average, groceries to over 750 families every month.   Our volunteers deliver meals to the homebound six days a week.  In addition, we have a clothing distribution center that includes our Suited for Success Program that provides business attire for job interviewees.  We also have an Adopt-a-Family holiday gift program, a Children’s Cooking Class, and a Gardener’s Market every Tuesday morning, year round, that distributes donated fresh produce.  We offer internet services, employment information, and social, as well as health and wellness resources.”

All this, and more, is provided under the direction of the Board of Trustees along with Mrs. Love, her small staff, and an army of more than 2,000 devoted volunteers, and is supported through the generosity of residents and many organizations and businesses throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.   Hope happens here.  So, please gather your friends and family and join Lunch Break at their Gala to celebrate 31 years of dedicated service.  Our communities need Lunch Break and Lunch Break needs your support.

Tickets for the Hope Happens Here Gala are $160 and may be purchased online here. For additional information,  please call Petra Vanderven at 732-747-8577, (732)747-8577, extension 3106, or e-mail her at pvanderven@lunchbreak.org.

RED BANK: YNGSTROM BLASTED FOR COMMENTS

erik yngstrom 031716Erik Yngstrom at the March zoning board meeting at which he made the motion to reject development plans for 55 West Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_PlainRed Bank Councilman Mark Taylor says Democratic council candidate Erik Yngstrom should resign from the zoning board for calling a controversial effort to bypass a board decision “fishy.”

In a press release issued Friday, Taylor accused Yngstrom of using his board position “as a platform to make several inappropriately political comments in an effort to further his own Council candidacy.”

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RED BANK: BBQ KICKS OFF REFERENDUM PUSH

Democratic mayoral candidate Billy Portman flipped burgers at the event. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The outcome of the public question on the ballot in Red Bank’s November election – whether to change the forms of both government and elections – appears an easy call.

Voters last year overwhelmingly approved the creation of a Charter Study Commission, which in turn unanimously moved the referendum to the ballot in July. And so far, no organized opposition has emerged.

Still, looking over their shoulders, referendum advocates held a Labor Day campaign launch event with the aim of drumming up support at the polls.

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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: 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: YASSIN CHARGED WITH THEFT

red bank, nj, hazim yassinThen-Councilman Hazim Yassin at a Red Bank Education Foundation fundraiser at the Red Bank Elks Club in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicFormer Red Bank Councilman Hazim Yassin has been charged with stealing more than $7,600 from the Red Bank Borough Education Foundation, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said Monday.

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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: ‘NONPARTISAN’ IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Voters may get to decide in November on a new form of government. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

As the Red Bank Charter Study Commission heads into a public hearing on the first phase of its work Tuesday night, this much is clear: partisan elections are in the crosshairs.

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RED BANK: DEMS AIR PARTY’S DIRTY LAUNDRY

Mayor Pasquale Menna, top left, and Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, center bottom, participated in commission interviews via Zoom Wednesday. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Mayor Pasquale Menna on Wednesday joined a growing parade of current and former Red Bank officials who have identified “interference” by council members as one of the borough government’s foremost problems.

In stunning testimony before the Charter Study Commission, Menna also was one of three Democrats who laid blame for local government “dysfunction” squarely on their own party.

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RED BANK: SHEHADY ON COMMISSION AGENDA

Ziad Shehady at borough hall in February, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See CORRECTION below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njEight months after he ended a stormy stint as Red Bank’s top unelected official, Ziad Shehady is scheduled to offer his perspective on how well the town’s government works Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: CEO NEEDED, ADVISER SAYS

Joe Hartnett, right, with Ken DeRoberts at a Red Bank council meeting in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic

Whatever new form of government it might adopt, Red Bank needs a strong chief executive officer, a consultant who co-authored a critical review of borough operations said last week.

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RED BANK: COMMISSION PREPARES TO DIG IN

Attorney Michael Collins, left, on the dais with Chairwoman Nancy Facey Blackwood. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic

After two preparatory sessions, the Red Bank Charter Study Commission expects to begin digging into its task on January 13.

In the interim, the five-member citizen’s body has a “homework” assignment.

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RED BANK: GOVERNMENT REVIEW LAUNCHED

Sworn in by Mayor Pasquale Menna, right, were commission members, standing from left: Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Kate Okeson, Mark Taylor, Mike DuPont and Ben Forest. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA study that could result in an historic overhaul of Red Bank governance, and imperil three decades of Democratic party dominance, got underway Tuesday night.

On the agenda of the newly empaneled Red Bank Charter Study Commission were nuts-and-bolts matters: requesting a budget, finding a lawyer and setting a meeting schedule.

On the unofficial agenda: learning to use the microphones.

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RED BANK: COMMISSION SETS FIRST MEETING

Commission members, from left: Mike DuPont, Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Ben Forest, Kate Okeson and Mark Taylor. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Authorized by borough voters earlier this month, the Red Bank Charter Study Commission has scheduled its first meeting.

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RED BANK: ELECTION RESULTS FINAL

It’s official: Democrats Jacqueline Sturdivant, left, and Kate Triggiano are the winners of this year’s race for seats on the Red Bank council.

The five winners in the race for charter study commission were also unchanged from the preliminary results posted on election night, November 2.

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RED BANK: CHARTER STUDY SET INTO MOTION

Clockwise from top left: Mike DuPont, Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Ben Forest, Mark Taylor and Kate Okeson. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

CLARIFICATION: This article reported results as of 11 p.m. on election day, and the outcome may change as mail-in ballots are counted.

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank voters went with four of five slate candidates in the borough’s historic election for charter study commission Tuesday.

But first, they said “yes,” overwhelmingly, on whether the study should take place.

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RED BANK: CHARTER STUDY CANDIDATE Q&As

Eleven Red Bank residents are running for five seats in this year’s election for charter study commission.

See what they had to say about the issues – and their qualifications to tackle them – in these Q&As with redbankgreen:

Scott Broschart
Mike DuPont
Nancy Facey-Blackwood
Ben Forest
Jesse Garrison
John Gosden
Aimee Humphreys
John Jackson
Kate Okeson
Mark Taylor
Tom Wieczerzak

In addition, check out the voter resource guide below, with information on the public question that would authorize formation of the commission.

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RED BANK: GOSDEN Q&A

On the ballot November 2: charter study commission candidate John Gosden. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank voters will have 11 candidates to choose from when they elect a five-member charter study commission November 2.

Here’s what candidate John Gosden had to say in response to a questionnaire sent to all contenders by redbankgreen.

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