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RED BANK: WHAT HR HEAD KNEW IN DISPUTE

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAlmost two months before she filed allegations of harassment by the town’s administrator, Red Bank’s personnel director was told her job was on the line, borough officials claim.

The assertion that human resources manager Eva Biviano had been informed her employment was at risk would appear to contradict statements made by her lawyer, who’s also her brother.

But he says that does not undermine her allegations about “months of abuse” by Business Administrator Ziad Shehady.

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RED BANK: SHEHADY ACCUSED OF HARASSMENT

ziad shehady, red bank, njRed Bank Business Administrator Ziad Shehady at borough hall in June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

SEE UPDATE BELOW

By JOHN T. WARD

Five months after he took the job, Red Bank’s business administrator is facing a harassment complaint, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY ON TABLE

Seen here at a council meeting in April, Ken DeRoberts, left, and Joe Hartnett of Government Strategy Group managed borough operations on an interim basis earlier this year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The authors of a report that called for the creation of a redevelopment agency for downtown Red Bank appear to be on their way to getting a contract to make it happen.

Government Strategy Group would lead the way toward the creation of the agency, chief executive officer Ken DeRoberts said in a presentation at the borough council’s first-ever workshop-only meeting Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: REPORT RIPS TOWN OPERATIONS

A management review found that “at least 12” full-time positions could be eliminated from borough government. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Citing numerous examples of “dysfunctionality,” an unsparing review of Red Bank’s management recommends widespread overhauls, from a new form of government to improved courtroom security.

The Management Enhancement Report, commissioned last October and posted on the borough website Friday, includes insider comments highly critical of the way things work, or don’t work, at borough hall.

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RED BANK: LIBRARY DIRECTOR TO RETIRE

Elizabeth McDeromott, center, at the 2015 Red Bank Mayor’s Ball. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Elizabeth McDermott, who guided the Red Bank Public Library through perhaps the most turbulent chapter of its 81-year history, will retire at the end of June.

An ex-software industry consultant who changed careers well into adulthood, McDermott announced her retirement in the spring issue of the library’s newsletter, out this week.

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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: 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: EX-REC HEAD ALLEGES RACISM

memone-kidsMemone Crystian with Red Bank Little Leaguers in 2010. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A former director of Red Bank’s parks and rec department is suing the borough and former officials, alleging she was forced out of the job by racism and gender discrimination.

Memone Crystian quit the position in May, 2015, “after years of being subjected to a hostile work environment” that included discrimination by then-borough Administrator Stanley Sickels and then-councilman Art Murphy, the suit alleges.

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RED BANK: DEMS TAP ACTING ADMINISTRATOR

Michael Ballard heads for his seat on the dais after his swearing-in as councilman Monday. Below, Kenneth DeRoberts, a consultant, was named interim administrator through March 31. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Back in control of the Red Bank council, Democrats flexed their muscle Monday on the issue of who will run the day-to-day operations of municipal government now that Stanley Sickels has left the building.

Answer: still to be determined. For the next three months, however, the job of borough administrator will be held by a consultant on local government efficiency.

 

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RED BANK: COUNCIL WRAPS ON BITTER NOTE

At the end of his final meeting on the dais, Stanley Sickels embraces Councilman Mark Taylor as Councilman Mike Whelan looks on. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council ended its 2017 session in acrimony Wednesday night as Republicans accused Democrats of politicizing the replacement of Stanley Sickels as borough administrator.

 

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RED BANK: SICKELS LAUDED FOR ‘COMMITMENT’

Stanley Sickels at Wednesday night’s council meeting, above, and on the scene of a fire in September, 2014, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s mayor and council gave a warm, low-key sendoff to the the borough government’s top unelected official Wednesday night.

Over a career in municipal operations that began in 1979 and spanned numerous paid and volunteer roles, Administrator Stanley Sickels was a “consummate professional” who earned a reputation that went “way beyond the reach of Red Bank,” Mayor Pasquale Menna told the audience at the governing body’s semimonthly meeting.

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RED BANK: POSTMASTER’S POSTS DRAW FIRE

An status update on the Facebook page of postmaster Michael Angelo Ciano, below, showed an assault rifle with the comment, “Anti-muslim vaccinations.” (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s postmaster has attracted the attention of human rights activists over what they call “vile” Facebook posts promoting racism, misogyny and apparent endorsements of violence against liberals and other groups, redbankgreen has learned.

A United States Postal Service spokesman confirmed that the agency is looking into complaints about photos and comments posted by postmaster Michael Angelo Ciano on his personal page.

“Imagine the work environment in that post office for any employees that are other than white men,” one woman wrote.

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RED BANK: Q&A ON ADMINISTRATOR SEARCH

Borough Administrator Stanley Sickels, center, with Councilman Mike Whelan and borough Clerk Pam Borghi last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With the planned retirement of Stanley Sickels, Red Bank officials are on the hunt for a successor to fill the top unelected position in borough government: borough administrator.

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RED BANK: A TOAST FOR THE ‘BIG-FOOD’ HOST

He’s a product of Little Silver schools who, at age 14, started small as he embarked on what’s turned out to be a career in food: as dishwasher at Danny’s Pizza in his hometown. He went on to gigs as busboy at 2 Senza; barista at No Ordinary Joe’s Café; bartender at the Downtown; and other restaurant jobs in Red Bank, Manhattan and Brooklyn too numerous to list. 

Now, Casey Webb, a 1994 graduate (football, wrestling) of Red Bank Regional who’s also cultivated a sideline as an actor, has landed a big gig, as host of the popular Travel Channel’ show ‘Man v. Food.’

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RED BANK: SECOND-METER ISSUE RETURNS

 Action has been delayed on water meters that would allow Red Bankers to avoid sewerage charges for watering lawns and washing cars, according to the borough administrator. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Where are the water meters that would let Red Bank homeowners irrigate their lawns without incurring sewer charges?

The secondary meters were a hot topic leading up to the borough council’s approval 18 months ago of $3.7 million in bonds to install new primary meters in every home and business, and to cover other upgrades to the municipal water utility.

Since then, though, there’s been little said about the meters — until last week, when the issue sputtered back to life.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL PROMOTES FIVE OFFICERS

Newly sworn Red Bank police Captain Mike Frazee receives congratulations from Administrator Stanley Sickels Wednesday night, when the borough council promoted five officers and hired a new patrolman.

Click ‘read more’ for photos from the packed-room swearing-in ceremonies.

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RED BANK: TWO NEW TO BOROUGH BLUE


Red Bank Police Chief Darren McConnell holds the Bible as his son, Darren M. McConnell, swears an oath of duty on his promotion to probationary patrolman Wednesday. Also elevated to the position was Michael Baron, at right.

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LINCROFT: CAREER-BUILDING PROGRAM AT BCC

Press release from Brookdale Community College

Area residents interested in starting a career in construction and building are invited to participate in an accelerated, hands-on training program offered at the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College.

The program, offered through Brookdale’s new Accelerated Career and Technical Institute (ACT), provides students with 170 hours of classroom and practical training from May 30 to June 30.

Professional instructors will guide students through all aspects of the building process, including the use of tools, compatibility of materials and math-based measurements. During the course of the program, students will apply those skills while building a scaled structure from the ground up.

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RED BANK: SPARKS FLY OVER BUDGET

Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, seen here last May with GOP colleagues Mark Taylor and Mike Whelan, found herself at odds with them, and Mayor Pasquale Menna, Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank adopted its 2017 budget Wednesday night amid some odd political frictions.

Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, who leads the budget-setting finance committee, took clear umbrage at a last-minute critique of the spending plan by Mayor Pasquale Menna. Then, the only ‘no’ votes when it came up for adoption were cast by her two fellow Republicans on the dais.

And before the night was over, Schwabenbauer’s main adversary in this year’s election, Democrat Ed Zipprich, issued a press release commending her.

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