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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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LINCROFT: BCC HOSTS SPRING JOB FAIR

Press release from Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders

If you are seeking a new job or even a career change, you should look no further than Monmouth County’s Spring Job Fair on Friday, April 21. The free admission event will be hosted inside the Robert J. Collins Arena at the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College.

Running from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Spring Job Fair will provide you with access to employers seeking talented candidates in every discipline, from hospitality and health care to finance, education, telecommunications, computer science and everything in between. More than 140 local businesses and resource organizations have made arrangements to participate.

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RED BANK: TAX BILLS TO RISE 2.9 PERCENT

Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, a CPA who heads the finance committee. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxes

Typical Red Bank homeowners would see a $x increase in the borough portion of their 2017 property tax bills under a budget introduced at Wednesday night’s council meeting.

For the owner of a home assessed at the town-average $362,342, that means an increase of $57.25 for the year.

 

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RUMSON, FAIR HAVEN PARENTS GO TO SCHOOL

Press release from Rumson School District

The Tri-District Initiative is a partnership that begins in the elementary and middle schools of Rumson and Fair Haven boroughs, and continues at the separate district dedicated to Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. In the spirit of aligning programs and creating dialog between the students, families and educators, the special services department at each district created a public-invited program under the name Special Education Parent Academy.

This forum features topics that can help parents at each level of the educational process. For December’s meeting, the tri-district team shared information regarding supports and programming for students receiving special education services, as they transition from middle to high school and beyond.

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LINCROFT: BCC HOSTS MINORITY MALE EVENT

Ed Johnson MMIEd Johnson, former Asbury Park mayor and director of Brookdale Community College’s Higher Education Center in Long Branch, hosts a workshop during the 2016 Minority Male Initiative conference in Lincroft. (Photo by Brookdale Community College)

Press release from Brookdale Community College

On Friday, February 17, Brookdale Community College and the Monmouth/Ocean County Pan Hellenic Council will host the third annual “Minority Male Initiative” conference on the college’s Lincroft campus.

Scheduled for 8:30 a.m., the free conference titled “Setting Priorities for Career Success” will be held in Brookdale’s Warner Student Life Center. The event co-sponsored by Hackensack Meridian Health and Brookdale’s Educational Opportunity Fund program will offer career-oriented workshops designed specifically for local high school juniors, seniors and current Brookdale students.

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LINCROFT: FREE WELDING TRAINING FROM BCC

welding-bccStudents hone their welding skills during a free training program hosted by Brookdale Community College in 2015. (Photo by Brookdale Community College)

Press release from Brookdale Community College 

Jobless men and women can train in an in-demand trade at no cost, as Brookdale Community College co-hosts a free welding training program for area residents beginning in February.

Offered in partnership with Ocean County College, The 166-hour program is open to unemployed individuals with a high school diploma or equivalency degree. Training, which takes place from February 7 to March 30 at OCC’s campus in Toms River, will cover a wide range of hands-on skills and basic industry knowledge, including arc welding, welding fabrication, blueprint reading, resume writing and job search skills.

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RED BANK: DEMOCRATS REASSERT CONTROL

yvonne-erik-yngstrom-010116Erik Yngstrom embraces his mother, Yvonne Yngstrom, after giving his oath as councilman. Below, Kathy Horgan began her fourth term on the council and was elected its president. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

kathy-horgan-010117Red Bank’s first Republican majority in a generation ended after just a year Sunday, when Democrats regained control of the borough council.

With the addition of political newcomer Erik Yngstrom to the governing body, the Democrats now share 3-3 parity with the GOP on the council. But with the support of three-term Mayor Pasquale Menna as the tiebreaker to any potential deadlock, the Democrats wasted no time in doling out key jobs to partisans.

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RED BANK: BURNHAM CASTS FINAL ‘NO’ VOTE

cindy-burnham-122816Council President Cindy Burnham at her final meeting as a member of the governing body Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Firebrand activist Cindy Burnham ended her  term on Red Bank’s council Wednesday night vowing to continue the work that made her its most consistent contrarian.

On her way out, she cast the last in a long series of “no” votes in which she was the lone dissenter.

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RED BANK: PAYOUTS WILL DEPLETE FUND

rb-borough-hall-111316-2Red Bank’s borough hall during a roof replacement job in November. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesRetirements by three senior employees in coming months won’t put an immediate squeeze on Red Bank taxpayers, two municipal officials said Tuesday.

But the departures will all but deplete a rainy day fund created to cushion the blow of outsized payouts for unused sick and vacation time, said Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, who heads the finance committee.

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RED BANK: SICKELS TO RETIRE AT END OF 2017

mancuso-sickels-101716Stanley Sickels, right, with fellow planning board member Dan Mancuso at a meeting in October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s top unelected official is hanging up his hat at the end of 2017.

Make that hats. The departure of Stanley Sickels, who serves as the borough government’s administrator, purchasing agent and construction code official, may test a long-debated premise: that replacing him would require more than one hire, at a cost far exceeding his combined salary.

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RED BANK: UPDATES ON WATER

rb-meter-swap-110216-1An installer with National Metering Services installing a new wireless meter in a Red Bank home earlier this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

Some quick updates on Red Bank water…

The stinky, dirty water that affected some customers earlier this month has been corrected, borough officials tell redbankgreen. But they’re being cautious about turning on the tap too quickly.

And with the townwide water-meter replacement project underway, users should be alert to a change in their billing.

Details on both below.

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RED BANK: STINKY WATER PROMPTS CHANGE

water faucet dripRed Bank reversed its seasonal water supply arrangement after complaints about taste and odor. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03

After a burst of complaints about stinky, foul-tasting water, Red Bank officials reverted to the municipal water supply earlier this week, redbankgreen has learned.

Now, those officials are waiting for New Jersey American Water Company, which supplies the borough’s water for six months of the year, to clear up an algae problem at the Swimming River Reservoir before resuming the flow, they said.

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MIDDLETOWN LIBRARY HOSTS JOB FAIR

mtownPress release from The Community YMCA

On Saturday, November 19, the Shrewsbury-based Community YMCA invites the public to attend a Community Employment Fair, sponsored by CYMCA’s Bayshore Family Success Center. This free event will be hosted at the Middletown Library, located at 55 New Monmouth Road, just east of Route 35 North.

Scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Community Employment Fair will feature over 25 employers from all different departments in retail, healthcare, customer service, food service and more. Job seekers are encouraged to bring multiple resumes and to dress to impress.

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