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RED BANK: SCHOOL TAX HIKE, JOB CUTS LOOM

Jobs and after-school programs are on the cutting block unless the state comes through with an additional $750,000, said Superintendent Jared Rumage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The average Red Bank homeowner would pay about $117 more in taxes to support borough schools this year if New Jersey legislators don’t come through with more funding, Superintendent Jared Rumage said Tuesday night.

Even with the levy increase, the local primary and middle schools could see cuts in staffing and extracurricular programs such as jazz band and the fledgling cross-country track team, he said.

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RED BANK: HABCORE PLAN FACES HURDLES

HABcore hopes to win approval to build a four-apartment addition to the rear of the two-family home it owns at 119 River Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A nonprofit housing organization’s proposed expansion of a house it owns on Red Bank’s West Side ran into some resistance at the zoning board last week.

While board members agreed that HABcore’s plan to add four apartments to what’s now a two-family house on River Street is “inherently beneficial” as defined by zoning law, at least one board member expressed concern that it would result in “a huge building for this neighborhood.”

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RED BANK: STATE UPHOLDS CHARTER RENEWAL

The charter school’s main building, on Oakland Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank Charter School does not engage in “segregative” enrollment practices, the New Jersey Department of Education ruled last week in upholding the school’s latest five-year operating charter.

In letter dated April 16 to the charter school, Acting Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet rejected assertions of bias by Fair Schools Red Bank and the Latino Coalition of New Jersey, and found instead that the charter school “is seeking, ‘to the maximum extent practicable,’ to enroll a cross-section of Red Bank Borough’s school-age population.”

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RED BANK: ADMINISTRATOR ‘Z,’ ON NEW JOB

Ziad Andrew Shehady in his Springfield office with his dog, Sheeba, in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ziad Andrew Shehady. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Ziad Andrew Shehady, the incoming borough administrator of Red Bank, has a vision: local government done right, so that it’s viewed as “head and shoulders above” the norm, “like Amazon and Microsoft.

“New York is a great city to go to, and Red Bank is a great town to go to, but nobody looks at the municipal government and says, ‘wow, that is a municipality that is really doing government well,'” Shehady said in a telephone interview with redbankgreen Tuesday afternoon.

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RED BANK: BERGEN PLACE MAKEOVER NEARS

The intersection of Broad Street and East Bergen Place was racked with potholes Tuesday morning, shortly before a borough crew arrived to do some patching. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03One of Red Bank’s nastiest pothole clusters got a temporary fix Tuesday.

A more permanent one is in the works, borough officials said.

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RED BANK: NEW ADMINISTRATOR NAMED

Ziad Andrew Shehady reading to young students in Springfield last month. (Photo courtesy of Ziad Andrew Shehady. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council approved the hiring Wednesday night of a new borough administrator, giving the town’s most powerful unelected job to an Army veteran who became the mayor of a Union County town at the age of 25.

And his salary will be triple that of his predecessor.

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RED BANK: BRAINSTORMING ON MARINE PARK

Borough resident Keith May speaking at the second of two sessions held Monday. Below, some of the suggestions recorded during the first session. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Invoking the planning process that resulted in the creation of Riverside Gardens Park two decades ago, Red Bank officials launched an effort Monday to remake nearby Marine Park.

At two public brainstorming sessions held at borough hall, residents and visitors weighed in on such matters as small-vessel access to the Navesink River, parking, river cruises and the future of the park’s clay tennis courts, among other topics.

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RED BANK: FOOD, CLOTHES & MORE IN CHURN

JJ’s Delicasies, at 21 West Front Street, features a swirling logo on the sidewalk out front, thanks to a projector. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

In this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn, one of Red Bank’s hot vegan restaurants is building a separate takeout place, while a 24-hour gym, a barber shop and a cryotherapy spa all have plans to set up shop downtown.

Meantime, two businesses — a restaurant and a women’s clothing shop — have opened in recent days.

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RED BANK: GOP CHAIR TO SEEK COUNCIL SEAT

GOP Chairman Michael Clancy at last October’s Halloween parade. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

With its two incumbents dropping out, the Red Bank Republican party on Thursday chose its chairman and a newcomer to run for borough council this year, redbankgreen has learned.

Party head Michael Clancy will be joined on the ticket by Bank Street resident Allison Gregory on a ticket in which the mayoral slot will be blank, Clancy said Friday.

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RED BANK: GOP INCUMBENTS WON’T RUN

Mike Whelan, left, and Mark Taylor kicking off their campaign in 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s two remaining Republican council members won’t run for re-election this year, they said late Thursday night.

The bombshell news from first-termers Mark Taylor and Mike Whelan would appear to end a chapter of brief resurgence for the local GOP after having been frozen out of power for a generation.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL OKS ‘REVERSE’ APPEALS

Mayor Pasquale Menna shows off the 1925 and 1926 tax bills for a Red Bank property during Wednesday’s council meeting. How much were they? Read on. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The borough of Red Bank, hammered in recent years by tax appeals, is going “aggressive” at the urging of Mayor Pasquale Menna.

At its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, the council approved hiring a law firm to sue commercial property owners whose assessments appear to be low relative to the real estate market.

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RED BANK: PARK SESSIONS RESCHEDULED

Public-input sessions on the future of Marine Park in Red Bank have been rescheduled for Monday, April 9, at 4:30 and 7 p.m. at hall. They were originally slated for March 21 but were canceled because of a snowstorm.

For more information, check out redbankgreen‘s coverage here.

 

FAIR HAVEN: COUNCIL TAKES AIM AT POT, GUNS

Councilman Bob Marchese urged the council to ban recreational pot sales while allowing for medicinal trade. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Mixed in among discussions of yard sales and tree removals at the Fair Haven council’s semimonthly meeting Monday night were two issues of concern statewide and beyond: marijuana and guns.

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RED BANK: VISCOMI ADDS WILD CARD TO RACE

Viscomi serves on the board of ed, where she leads the finance committee, and is on a number of borough committees. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The 2018 race for two Red Bank council seats looks like it will have a wild card.

Sue Viscomi, a board of education member and former Republican stalwart who has expressed increasing antipathy in recent years to the local arm of the party, has started gathering signatures for a run as an independent in the November election, she told redbankgreen on Monday.

Her entry would appear to add to the challenge for the two presumptive Republican candidates, already facing the prospect of an anti-Trump backlash in a majority Democrat town, and could eat into support for the two Democrats in the race, both newcomers to elective politics.

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RUMSON: JUDGE AVOIDS PRISON

A former Rumson municipal court judge who admitted illegally diverting more than $500,000 in court fines will avoid prison, and could have his crime expunged from official records, the Asbury Park Press reported Friday.

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RED BANK: STORM BRINGS TICKET BLITZ II

A car left on South Street during the storm. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

For the second time this year, a  snowstorm that plopped about a foot of snow on Red BankWednesday and early Thursday came with a blizzard of parking tickets.

Police issued 260 parking violations during the storm, tying a one-day record set during a January 4 storm, police Chief Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: AFTER THE STORM

Rapidly rising temperatures began turning more than a foot of snow from an overnight storm into slush and puddles Thursday morning, as seen on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank, above. And on Drs. James Parker Boulevard, the heavy, wet stuff made for good snowman-building.

Click more for other scenes from Red Bank in the aftermath of the spring snowstorm. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: OUTAGES ABOUND AFTER STORM

Downed lines required the closure of the eastern end of Madison Avenue, near Branch Avenue. Below, the JCP&L outage map as of 6:30 a.m. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The fourth snowfall of March, 2018, left more than a foot of heavy snow on ground and thousands of Monmouth County residents without electricity  Thursday morning.

Dozens of homes and businesses on the Greater Red Bank Green had no power as of 6:30 a.m. after the wet snow brought down lines across the region. Schools that had previously announced delayed openings changed plans and called a snow day Thursday.

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RED BANK: PRE-SNOW SNOW DAY

With a northeaster bearing down on the coast, a state of emergency in effect and schools closed, redbankgreen took a quick spin around the Greater Red Bank Green on a pre-snow snow day to find… not much happening Wednesday morning.

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