RED BANK: DEMOCRATS FORM BLACK CAUCUS

Fortune Cultural Center co-founder Gilda Rogers, left, and Councilman Michael Ballard. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank’s Democrats have formed a Black caucus to “bring forward future civic leaders.”

The party announced the group’s formation on Monday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

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RED BANK: FRICTION OVER WEST FRONT PLAN

A rendering depicts 141 West Front Street upon completion. (Visual by  Feinberg & Associates. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposed development that would dramatically alter a downtown Red Bank block won’t have a significant impact on traffic, a developer’s consultant told the zoning board Wednesday night.

The hearing prompted some friction between the developer’s representatives and a board member, who warned them to “be careful” if they wanted his vote.

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RED BANK: HEARING FOR PRC PLAN TO RESUME

red bank 141 west front garageUnder the proposal, 137 apartments and additional would be built above Pazzo MMX restaurant on West Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njInterrupted by the pandemic, a hearing on a massive development proposed in downtown Red Bank is slated to resume Wednesday night.

The borough zoning board has scheduled a rare special session to review a plan for a nine-story addition atop Pazzo MMX restaurant – but now with 13 fewer apartments than originally proposed.

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RED BANK: BALLARD, ZIPPRICH SAIL TO WINS

Poll workers wrapping up a 14-hour day Tuesday night at Red Bank borough hall, the town’s only polling station for this year’s election. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Running unopposed, Red Bank Democrats Ed Zipprich and Michael Ballard were on an unimpeded path to re-election to borough council Tuesday amid a pandemic that depressed in-person turnout.

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RED BANK: NONPARTISAN ELECTIONS? NOT YET

red bank scott broschart 083120.jpgRed Bank First leader Scott Broschart at home on Hudson Avenue in August. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Scott Broschart is on a one-man quest to reform both Red Bank’s government and how people get elected to it.

Neither will happen this year. A referendum Broschart has been pushing for since July is not on the November 3 ballot. But Broschart says he’s perfectly fine with that.

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RED BANK: BALLARD, ZIPPRICH DUCK Q&A

Councilmembers Ed Zipprich, center, and Michael Ballard with Kathy Horgan in January, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Neither of the two incumbents seeking re-election as Red Bank council members responded to questions sent to them by redbankgreen last week.

Democrats Ed Zipprich, seeking his fifth three-year term, and Michael Ballard, seeking his second, are running unopposed in the November 3 election.

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LITTLE SILVER: ODD LOT TO GET NEW USE

Use of the triangular lot on Rumson Place near Broad Street raised concerns for neighbors. (Photo from Google Maps. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Little Silver planning board on Thursday gave a green light for a local landscaper to use an odd lot with tricky access to store his vehicles overnight.

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RED BANK: SNACK BAR TO BE PARKING OFFICE

The former concession stand at Riverside Gardens Park has been vacant for the past year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

park it 2020Red Bank officials plan to turn the Riverside Gardens Park snack bar into a parking utility satellite office.

Rarely used for two decades before short runs as an ice cream stand and a gourmet takeout restaurant, the vacant structure will be reopened as an office and public interface for the borough’s parking enforcement unit, Business Administrator Ziad Shehady tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: CHANGES EYED AT BASIE FIELDS

Under the proposal, most of Henry Street would be eliminated and a new playground built alongside Mohawk Pond. (CME Associates graphic. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A street that effectively serves as shortcut past the main entrance to Count Basie Fields would be closed to traffic under a concept plan discussed by the Red Bank council Wednesday night.

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SANDY HOOK: PROPOSED FEE HIKE RETURNS

The per-car fee would jump to $20, from $15, under the proposed hike. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Four years after a planned entry fee increase was scrapped, Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook will try again.

Under a proposed fee hike announced Wednesday, visitors would pay $20 per day per vehicle, or $100 per season, starting in the summer of 2021.

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RED BANK: PROBE, METERS & MORE ON AGENDA

A leak of emails, including correspondence between Councilman Ed Zipprich and a prospective bidder for the trash contract, is the subject of an investigation. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich will get the investigation into a leak of emails he requested earlier this month.

Approval of the probe, as well as final adoption of the 2020 budget; extended hours of parking meter enforcement; and a half-dozen police department promotions are all on the council’s busy agenda for Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: ANDERSON ‘EVOLUTION’ ROLLS ON

The former Anderson Storage building, above. Below, Chris Cole in the space being readied for Glen Goldbaum’s Lambs & Wolves salon.(Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With the opening last week week of Sickles Market and Booskerdoo, Red Bank’s Anderson Storage building has all but completed a transformation in the works for almost two decades.

But for developer Chris Cole, who oversaw the project, it’s just another day at the office.

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RED BANK: NEW LOT, HOURS ON AGENDA

The plan calls for a new parking lot on the former site of the Marine Park tennis courts. (Image by CME Associates. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

park it 2020A new parking lot in Red Bank’s Marine Park is among the topics slated for discussion by the council Wednesday night.

So is an issue put on hold five months ago: increasing the hours of paid parking downtown.

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RED BANK: MENNA ADMITS FOOD TRUCK ERROR

pasquale menna 031120Mayor Pasquale Menna on Locust Avenue in March. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna says he will recuse himself from future discussions of food trucks following questions raised by redbankgreen about work he did for the owner of a proposed site of a mobile eatery.

Menna, a private practice lawyer, did not disclose his connections to the property owner during Wednesday night’s council workshop meeting, when he revived the dormant issue of food trucks. But he said the omission was unintentional.

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FAIR HAVEN: NO DUNKIN’ ON OVER EASY

fair haven over easy 061620Over Easy Kitchen plans to open in space vacated by Bike Haven nearly four years ago. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njNo angry crowds, no predictions of traffic jams or children being run over by cars.

A restaurant proposed for Fair Haven’s Acme shopping center had a far easier time winning approval Tuesday night than its prospective neighbor, a Dunkin’ coffee shop that divided the town for months.

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RED BANK: PLAZA DETAILS STILL IN THE WORKS

red bank monmouth street 060220Monmouth Street between Broad Street and Maple Avenue would become a pedestrian plaza all day on Sundays as part of a recovery plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njDetails for turning two downtown Red Bank streets into part-time dining and shopping plazas hinge largely on pending clarity from Trenton, borough officials said Tuesday.

On a Zoom/conference call with merchants, borough officials said they need information from Governor Phil Murphy on key issues before they can finalize plans for allotting sidewalk and street space among restaurants, retailers and others.

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RED BANK: BASIE PLANS DRIVE-IN CONCERT

Jersey shore favorites Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes will play for an audience watching from parked vehicles. (Video by Basie Center. Click to enlarge.)

Darkened by the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank’s Count Basie Center for the Arts is taking its act to the track.

The storied venue plans to host a July 11 drive-in concert by  Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes at Monmouth Park in Oceanport on July 11.

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