FAIR HAVEN: RESIGNATION FOLLOWED CLASH

Ben Lucarelli at the dedication of Williams, Albert and Robards Park in 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njSince he abruptly resigned as Fair Haven’s mayor two days ago, Ben Lucarelli hasn’t said a word publicly about his decision.

But a recording of Monday night’s council session captures him frustrated over a loss of “decorum” at public meetings and taking flak for his own conduct.

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RED BANK: ADMINISTRATOR SEARCH ON PAUSE

Chief Darren McConnell at National Night Out in August. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicOne of two Red Bank council members who last week called the search for a new borough administrator “stalled” said he learned only this weekend that his colleagues had halted the search weeks earlier.

Meanwhile, two others on the all-Democratic council, as well as Mayor Pasquale Menna, said they’re happy with the job police Chief Darren McConnell is doing as interim administrator, and feel no pressure to replace him.

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FAIR HAVEN: LUCARELLI RESIGNS AS MAYOR

Ben Lucarelli during the council’s annual session held at the Knollwood School in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter nearly a decade in the position, Ben Lucarelli has resigned as Fair Haven’s mayor, effective immediately, borough Administrator Theresa Casagrande announced Tuesday.

No reason was given.

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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: REFLECTIONS ON SEPTEMBER 11

Former Red Bank fire chief Wayne Hartman tolled a bell in memory of 343 New York City fireighters who who died at the World Trade Center. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

On a swath of Riverside Gardens Park lawn emblazoned with a temporary memorial, Red Bank residents and others gathered Saturday morning to remember the 2,996 lives taken on American soil on September 11, 2001.

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RED BANK: TWO CALL EXEC SEARCH “STALLED”

red bank, nj, ed zipprich, michael ballard, ziad shehadyFormer Business Administrator Ziad Shehady, right, with council members Ed Zipprich, left, and Michael Ballard in December, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicWith a second vacancy in a key position looming, Red Bank’s search for a borough administrator has stalled without explanation, say two council members.

And the current, interim holder of the position, police Chief Darren McConnell, tells redbankgreen” that there has been no recent movement” toward a replacement.

Mayor Pasquale Menna, however, disagrees, and says the local government is operating “in stellar fashion” under McConnell.

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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: CHARTER RACE SET

On the ballot in November: whether to review Red Bank’s form of government, and who should do it. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

It’s official: Red Bank voters will have 11 candidates to choose from when they elect a five-member charter study commission in November.

Also on the ballot: a referendum on whether the study itself should be conducted.

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RED BANK: TOP TWO JOBS OPEN AS CFO QUITS

Peter O’Reilly, left, with Mayor Pasquale Menna, right, and since-departed Business Administrator Ziad Shehady in May, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicAfter just two and a half years, Red Bank is back in the market for a borough chief financial officer.

With the departure of Peter O’Reilly, who submitted a letter of resignation Tuesday, the top two jobs at town hall are now vacant.

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RED BANK: CRIME & ARREST REPORTS

The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for August, 2021. This information is unedited; see below for additional information.

CRIMES

Criminal Mischief: In the area of Pearl St a report of Criminal Mischief was taken on 08/07/2021. Victim stated the rear window of a motor vehicle was broken causing an unknown dollar amount of damage. Ptl. Froilan Hernandez.

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RED BANK: SAXUM HEARING POSTPONED

A rendering of Saxum’s planned project at Riverside Avenue and Bodman Place. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njOpponents of a potential tax deal for a massive proposed development in Red Bank may have to cool their heels until October to challenge the first step in the process.

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RED BANK: TREES BOOST TAB FOR ROADWORK

The work to preserve trees on Hudson Avenue included bumping out curbs and extending driveway aprons. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Mid-project changes to preserve trees helped boost the tab for road work in Red Bank by more than $227,000 to this summer, officials said.

And the added expenses came in one penny below the threshold at which the entire $1.14 million project would have had to be re-bid.

RED BANK: WHERE IS THE EMAIL LEAK PROBE?

Councilman Ed Zipprich during a council meeting via Zoom in May. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic

More than eight months after the Red Bank council hired a lawyer to advise it on how to deal with an explosive email leak…

Crickets.

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RED BANK: BALLARD TOUTS NEW FEE LAW

Part of a recent building boom, 170 Monmouth Street is being converted from offices to residences, as seen in June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesRed Bank Councilman Michael Ballard says a newly enacted ordinance will help address the impact of “explosive development” on borough infrastructure and taxes.

But only if it doesn’t get thrown out by a judge, says Mayor Pasquale Menna.

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RED BANK: DUPONT FILES FOR CHARTER SEAT

mckenna dupontMike DuPont, right, riding with law partner and former mayor Ed McKenna in the Red Bank centennial parade in 2008. (Photo by John T. Ward and Chris Ern. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

UPDATE: After publication of this article, redbankgreen learned that John Jackson filed a petition with the borough clerk for a candidacy Tuesday afternoon. This update also adds John Gosden as a resident known to be gathering petition signatures.

Former Red Bank councilman Michael DuPont has made the November election for charter study commission a race.

DuPont told redbankgreen he filed his candidacy petition Wednesday morning, making him the sixth declared candidate for a seat on a five-member body.

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RED BANK: APARTMENTS ON MONMOUTH OK’D

A rendering of the Monmouth Street side of the project, with Pearl Street at right. (Image by S.O.M.E. Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAmid complaints that it’s too dense, a plan for 32 new apartments on Monmouth Street in Red Bank won zoning board approval Thursday night.

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RED BANK: FIVE UNITE AS CHARTER SLATE

Running as a team, clockwise from upper left: Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Mark Taylor, Kate Okeson, Scott Broschart and Ben Forest. (Photos by John T. Ward and Chris Ern. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Five self-described “forward-thinking” Red Bank activists have united in pursuit of seats on Red Bank’s charter study commission in the November election.

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RED BANK: APARTMENTS, CLINIC ON AGENDA

The plan now calls for five affordable units at 120 Monmouth Street, up one, among the 32 proposed. (Image by S.O.M.E. Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter a three-month break, a plan for new apartments on Monmouth Street in Red Bank may get an up-or-down vote Thursday night.

Also on the zoning board agenda: a small expansion of the Parker Family Health Center.

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RED BANK: LABOR SETTLEMENT ON AGENDA

red bank recycling center 051420The agenda includes settlements with Robert Greene, left, and John Cain, who were laid off from their recycling center jobs in May, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Memorials to living persons would be permitted on borough property under a policy up for possible adoption by the Red Bank council Wednesday night.

Also on the agenda: a settlement with two laid-off workers; curtailing private fireworks and awarding a contract for a Broad Street makeover project.

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