RED BANK: BUDGET INTRO ON AGENDA

The mayor and council meet at borough hall for their first in-person session in 26 months Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A budget for 2022 is on the agenda when the Red Bank mayor and council hold their first in-person meeting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday night.

The session is also the first to simultaneously employ technology allowing participation from home.

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RED BANK: RIVERCENTER TAPS DOWNTOWN PRO

Bob Zuckerman has run business-promotion organizations in South Orange, where he’s now an elected official, and Westfield. (Photo by Matt Glass. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A downtown-management professional with extensive experience in New York and New Jersey has been tapped to run Red Bank RiverCenter, the organization announced Thursday.

Bob Zuckerman replaces Glenn Carter, the onetime borough planning director who served as RiverCenter’s executive for less than a year prior to his retirement earlier this year.

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RED BANK: ADMIN SEARCH TO BE REVIVED

Chief and interim Business Administrator Darren McConnell with Senior Center Director Jackie Reynolds last October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See Correction below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicRed Bank’s council will try again to find a full-time borough administrator, following an abandoned effort of year ago.

The search will be revived even as the governing body, sharply divided on numerous other issues, appears to agree that police Chief Darren McConnell is doing a faultless job in double duty as interim administrator.

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RED BANK: CONTRACT, ADMIN JOB ON AGENDA

More than three years after it was closed by a catastrophic leak, the borough Senior Center is about to get repairs. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicRed Bank’s council is scheduled to award a contract to repair the Senior Center, and to discuss a possible new search for a borough administrator, when it holds back-to-back workshop and regular meetings Wednesday night.

Here are some highlights from the agendas:

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RED BANK: CLERK BRINGS TINY-TOWN FOCUS

Laura Reinertsen in her office at Red Bank borough hall last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Having begun her career in a town so small that she sometimes had to fill in as a bus driver, Red Bank’s new borough clerk, Laura Reinertsen knows what it means to wear multiple hats.

It’s an experience that informs her approach to her job, she told redbankgreen last week.

“I kind of veer out of my lane just to keep things moving,” she said.

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RED BANK: SPARKS FLY YET AGAIN

A screen grab from Wednesday’s council meeting. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s mayor and the so-far only contender for his job squared off Wednesday night at yet another contentious borough council meeting.

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RED BANK: HIRING DELAYED BY SALARY ISSUE

Mayor Pasquale Menna, left, and Councilman Michael Ballard, right, squared off over the proposed clerk’s salary. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s council put off hiring a new borough clerk over salary issues Wednesday night.

During the governing body’s monthly workshop session, Councilman Michael Ballard, a contender to displace Pasquale Menna as mayor, accused Menna of playing “Monday night quarterback” for raising concerns late in the process.

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RED BANK: NEW CLERK ON COUNCIL AGENDA

The council wants Monmouth County to improve pedestrian safety at Broad Street and Pinckney Road. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s council is scheduled to appoint a new borough clerk this week.

Here are some highlights from the agendas as the council holds back-to-back workshop and regular meetings Wednesday night:

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RED BANK: EX-AGENCY MEMBER FIRES BACK

wilson beebe 072319Wilson Beebe at a Redevelopment Agency session in July, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 See correction below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWith the Red Bank Redevelopment Agency on the chopping block, one of its former members fired a parting shot at elected officials Thursday.

Contrary to claims, the town got its money’s worth, Wilson Beebe wrote in an “open letter to the Red Bank council and residents.” And “the responsibility for the manner in which the Senior Center project was handled rests solely” on the borough council, he said.

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RED BANK: STURDIVANT TEES UP REDEV, ADMIN

Councilwoman Jacqueline Sturdivant, framed in green, at Wednesday’s meeting. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njNewly elected Red Bank Councilwoman Jacqueline Sturdivant this week followed through on a campaign pledge by proposing the borough Redevelopment Agency be disbanded.

She also proposed resetting the power of the borough business administrator, a role she called “authoritarian.”

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RED BANK: AGENCY FUTURE IN SPOTLIGHT

Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Cherron Rountree speaking at the borough library earlier this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWith the cancellation of its year-ending meeting scheduled for earlier this week, Red Bank’s Redevelopment Agency closes out 2021 having met just twice since July.

Going into 2020, whether it will survive to its third anniversary is an open question.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON COUNCIL AGENDA

Interim Business Administrator and police Chief Darren McConnell with Senior Center Director Jackie Reynolds in October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAt its semimonthly meeting Tuesday night, the Red Bank council is expected to consider a new employment pact with the borough’s acting administrator.

Also on deck: appointing a Master Plan consultant; weighing in on the future of the charter school; and anticipating a looming retirement at borough hall.

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RED BANK: SKATEBOARD EVENT ON AGENDA

red bank east side lots 040820Red Bank’s East Side parking lots could be the scene of a skateboarding event in May. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA spring 2022 skateboarding event is up for approval by the Red Bank council at its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night.

Also on the agenda: a change in the rent-control ordinance, a couple of murals and more.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON COUNCIL AGENDA

Red Bank’s borough hall as storm clouds rolled in from the west Saturday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAt its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, the Red Bank council is expected to take up financing the Master Plan, selling a brand-new vehicle, filling a job vacancy and more.

Here’s some of what’s on the agenda:

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RED BANK: AGENCY TO SEEK COUNCIL INPUT

Executive director Cherron Rountree, outlined in yellow, addresses the Red Bank Redevelopment Agency during its virtual meeting Tuesday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s Redevelopment Agency needs to do more to educate the public about its work, its new executive director told members Tuesday evening.

At the same time, the agency will be looking for guidance from the borough council on what that work should be, Chairman David Huber said.

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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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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: 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: REDEVELOPMENT HEARING SLATED

Outline indicates the properties under consideration for “area in need of redevelopment” designation. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA possible zoning reclassification for the site of an approved 210-unit apartment project is scheduled go to the Red Bank planning board Monday night.

The review will offer the first public airing of a request by would-be developer Saxum Real Estate for tax breaks in order to proceed with the project.

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RED BANK: SAXUM SEEKS TAX BREAKS

A long-idle gas station at Riverside Avenue and Bridge Avenue will be included in a second review of the designation for the former VNA headquarters, at left above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe would-be developer of a massive apartment complex at Red Bank’s northern tip is now angling for tax relief in order to build the project.

Consultant Ken DeRoberts told the borough  redevelopment agency Tuesday that Saxum Real Estate has submitted a new plan for the former Visiting Nurse Association property that’s driven by a need for a PILOT, or payment in lieu of taxes agreement.

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RED BANK: ROUNTREE OK’D OVER OBJECTIONS

Cherron Rountree, bottom left, during the Redevelopment Agency’s June 22 meeting Tuesday. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s council hired a new executive director for the borough redevelopment agency Wednesday night over objections based on her inclusion in a sexual harassment lawsuit.

The dispute highlighted competing interpretations of who should get the benefit of doubt in a so-called “me-too” case.

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RED BANK: SPEED, POT & BUDGET ON AGENDA

The speed limit on the full length of Front Street/River Road through town would be reduced to 25 miles per hour under a Monmouth County proposal. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA ban on fireworks, a new executive director for the redevelopment agency, a reduced speed limit and more crowd a busy agenda when the Red Bank council holds its only regular session of July Wednesday night.

 

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