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RED BANK: FACEY-BLACKWOOD Q&A

On the ballot November 2: charter study commission candidate Nancy Facey-Blackwood. (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 Nancy Facey-Blackwood had to say in response to a questionnaire sent to all contenders by redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: SOME VOTERS HAD OTHER IDEAS

 Five voters wanted former Republican Mayor Mike Arnone, seen here in 2015, back in office. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Billy Portman may have been the only candidate on the ballot to succeed Pasquale Menna as Red Bank mayor in this month’s election, but 94 voters had other ideas, according to data released by the Monmouth County Clerk Tuesday.

Among the non-candidates receiving write-in votes were two former mayors, a rock guitarist and a recent Red Bank Regional High School graduate.

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RED BANK: NEWCOMER TO LEAD MAJOR CHANGE

Mayor-elect Billy Portman, left, with Mayor Pasquale Menna at a campaign celebration at the Dublin House Pub Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s 114-year run under the “borough” form of government is now officially slated to end next summer.

And the person voters picked Tuesday to lead them to that moment is a political newcomer, building contractor and part-time singer who says he is “humbled” to be in the role.

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RED BANK: HISTORIC REFERENDUM ON BALLOT

Red Bank would still be known as the “Borough of Red Bank,” even if the form of government is changed by referendum, Charter Study commissioners say. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

While Red Bank’s 114-year run under a “borough” form of government is widely thought to be nearing an end, that’s still a matter for voters to decide in the November 8 election.

And even though no widespread opposition to the ballot referendum on the change has materialized, there has been some pushback. In addition, voters continue to seek  clarity about the stakes, said Charter Study Commission Chairwoman Nancy Facey-Blackwood.

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RED BANK: WALKING TOURS HIT THE BRICKS

Temporary sidewalk decals include a QR code that offers routes for Red Bank walking tours. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s Environmental Commission began a rollout this week of sidewalk markers downtown aimed at enhancing walkability in the central business district and beyond.

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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: CHARTER REFERENDUM ADVANCES

A view of Wednesday’s Charter Study Commission meeting. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank residents would vote on whether a “council-manager” form of municipal government should be implemented under an agreement by the Charter Study Commission last week.

If approved by voters in a referendum expected in November, the change would would replace the management structure in place since the borough’s creation in 1908.

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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: TURNOUT LIGHT FOR FORUM

A screengrab of Wednesday’s meeting, held via Zoom. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

An online public forum held Wednesday night by Red Bank’s  Charter Study Commission was brief, as only two residents chimed in.

But more have weighed in by email, according several commission members. And one consistent theme is that residents don’t want an appointed mayor, they said.

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RED BANK: TESLA TRYOUT UPDATED

The borough-owned Tesla gets recharged at a station intended for public use. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s borough government is not yet ready to pull the plug on a donated Tesla sedan, even though keeping the vehicle charged up has been a challenge, interim Business Administrator Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: HORGAN BAILS; NEWCOMER RUNS

Councilwoman Kathy Horgan greets Mayor Pasquale Menna at the Mayor’s Ball in 2016. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Yet another Red Bank Democratic official is heading for the exit while decrying “divisiveness” stoked by party leadership.

Councilwoman Kathy Horgan told redbankgreen Tuesday that, “with a heavy heart,” she’s not seeking a sixth three-year term.

Meanwhile, a political newcomer has stepped forward hoping to succeed Pasquale Menna as mayor.

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RED BANK: ‘FED UP’ SLATE AIMS FOR OVERHAUL

Among the slate’s members are, clockwise from top left: Wilson Beebe, Suellen Sims, Kate Triggiano, Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Ben Forest, Kathy Horgan, Boris Kofman and Frank Corrado. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Eighteen “fed up” Democratic party loyalists plan to take on what they call Red Bank’s “exclusionary party machine” in the June primary elections, they said in an announcement early Thursday.

Their goals, they said, are to “bring transparency and end divisiveness” within the organization – and unseat Ed Zipprich as chairman.

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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: 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: ADMINISTRATOR IN SPOTLIGHTS

Interim Business Administrator Darren McConnell, second row right, at the answered questions from Charter Study Commission members Wednesday night. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe executive authority given Red Bank’s appointed administrator may shift back to elected officials next week.

But will voters shift it back in November?

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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

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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

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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: BOROUGH MAY GET USED TESLA

Nancy and Phil Blackwood with the car they’ve offered to the town. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A fire-engine red Tesla sedan may become part of the Red Bank municipal fleet this week, pending the acceptance of a proposed donation by a borough couple.

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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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