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RED BANK: BRIDGE RENAMED FOR KYRILLOS

State Senator Joe Kyrillos at the opening of the new bridge in May, 2015. Freehold John Curley is at left. Below, a Google Satellite view of the bridge. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

For who knows how long, the West Front Front Street bridge connecting Red Bank and Middletown has been colloquially known as “Hubbard’s Bridge.” To Monmouth County, which owns the span and replaced it three years ago, it’s “S-17.”

As of Thursday, though, the 488-foot connector over the upper Navesink River has a new name: the “Senator Joseph M. Kyrillos Bridge.”

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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: THREE HONORED FOR LONGEVITY

The Red Bank council and two state legislators honored three people for longevity Wednesday night. Among them: Edith Blake, above, who celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday.

Blake told redbankgreen she didn’t know what all the “fuss” was about.

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RED BANK: BURNHAM DISHES AND… OOPS!

Councilman Mike Whelan with Tiffanie Borges at the 2016 Mayor’s Ball, above. Below, then-Councilwoman Cindy Burnham at the same event with Industry magazine’s Anthony Barbera. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s semimonthly council meeting veered into Page Six territory Wednesday night when former Councilwoman Cindy Burnham suggested Councilman Mike Whelan was dating someone other than his longtime girlfriend.

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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: JENSEN ELECTED FIRE CHIEF

Chief-elect Stu Jensen arrives at the Navesink Hook & Ladder house on Mechanic Street following his election Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Amid flashing red lights and sounding horns, Red Bank’s volunteer firefighters marked the election of Stu Jensen as 2018 borough fire chief with a celebration Tuesday night.

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RED BANK: HABCORE RAISES $55K

Past HABcore presidents Marilyn Pearlman, Rolf Marganeau and Sue Harbison with Board of Trustees President Kathleen Mullarkey and Executive Director Steve Heisman.

Press release from HABcore

On Friday, October 6, over 150 guests attended the HABcore Home Sweet Home Gala held at the beautiful Navesink Country Club in Middletown. HABcore is proud to announce they raised $55,000 at the gala for the services HABcore provides each day to residents in their expanding programs.

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TINTON FALLS: GIVING BACK ON MITZVAH DAY

Mitzvah day participants adorned blankets for special recipients from infants to the elderly thorugh Jewish and Family Services. James Sabo of Matawan, below, was one of many volunteers who donated blood.

Press release from the Monmouth Reform Temple

Premature babies born at Riverview Medical Center will have cozy homemade knit caps to wear, thanks to a set of volunteers who knitted them during the annual Mitzvah Day held at Monmouth Reform Temple (MRT), Tinton Falls, on Sunday October 29.

Mitzvah Day is a day to “make a difference” in the community, says Rabbi Marc Kline. “The work of Mitzvah Day is not a one and done set of projects. Our congregation is committed to many projects of Tikkun Olam (healing the world) throughout the year.

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RED BANK: ARTISTS HONOR ONE OF THEIR OWN

Colleagues in creativity plan to honor the late artist Terry McCue, above, with a bench that overlooks the Navesink River from the Red Bank Public Library, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

To honor of one of their own, the members of a long-standing monthly art class at the Red Bank Public Library plan to install a bench on the institution’s grounds overlooking the Navesink River.

First, they’re selling their own work to fund it.

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RED BANK: DEAD BANK, GRATEFUL AT GIG 200

Dead Bank guitarist Jim Willis, left, and bassist Nash Aliaga at Jamian’s, where the band was conceived six years ago. A photo of the late Jerry Garcia has a place of honor on the stage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[UPDATE, July 7: Forecast of rain postpones tonight’s Dead Bank show at the Dublin House. The band’s 200th gig will instead be tomorrow night (Friday) at the Dub, weather permitting.]

By JOHN T. WARD

The band’s name, echoing a moniker for Red Bank at its economic low of the 1980s, doesn’t exactly thrill local chamber-of-commerce types, Dead Bank guitarist Jim Willis acknowledges.

“We’ve gotten a lot of crap from the town about it,” Willis said last week. “They’ll never let us play any of their festivals because of it. But I just wanted to see another connotation for ‘Dead Bank,’ a positive one.”

The Grateful Dead cover band is an inarguably local phenomenon, and this week, weather permitting, Dead Bank’s “perpetual tour of of Monmouth Street” brings it to the backyard of the Dublin House Pub for its 200th show.

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FAIR HAVEN: POLICE STATION UPGRADES SLATED

The stationhouse hasn’t been updated since its conversion from a schoolhouse in 1983. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven’s police station is in for a once-in-a generation makeover in coming months.

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RED BANK: ONE-STOP WEDDING BIZ OPENS

The Wedding Establishment takes over a space vacated by Love Lane Tuxedos 13 years ago. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallAs the son of a singer in a wedding band, Mike Hernandez Jr. says he “grew up in the wedding business.” He was there when the band came to the house for its weekly rehearsals, and when no babysitter was available, he’d be schlepped to gigs, killing time behind the drummer.

That, and much more, he says, makes him well-qualified to create something he doesn’t believe has ever succeeded before: a one-stop market for wedding services. And in doing so, he’s ended one of downtown Red Bank’s most enduring vacancies.

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RED BANK: LONGTIME MUNICIPAL JUDGE DIES

himelman 030316 5Judge William Himelman swearing in a defendant last year.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

people-in-the-newsRed Bank municipal court Judge William Himelman died Thursday, according to Mayor Pasquale Menna. He was 85 years old.

The circumstances and place of his death were not immediately available.

Believed to have been New Jersey’s longest-serving local court jurist in modern times, if not state history, Himelman presided on the borough bench for 38 years. Long past the age at which others in his position retired, he doled out justice to everyone from cellphone-gabbing motorists and drunk drivers to a pair of men who squared off while naked.

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RED BANK: DONATED HOUSE COMING DOWN

rb 27 linden 012417doug-cavanaughTwo years after the death of its owner, the house at 27 Linden Place in Red Bank is slated for demolition this week.

Doug Cavanaugh, seen at right in 2009 painting a hitching post he installed outside the house, left the property in his will to Saint James Roman Catholic Church, whose schools he’d attended.

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RUMSON’S SWARTZ RE-ELECTED LIBRARY CHAIR

Press release from Monmouth County Library

Renee Swartz Lillian BurryDuring its reorganization meeting held recently at the Eastern Branch Library in Shrewsbury, Renee Swartz of Rumson was unanimously re-elected chair of the Monmouth County Library Commission, a position that the popular long time member has held since 1976.

A graduate of Barnard College, Swartz (left in picture, with Freeholder Lillian Burry) dates her interest in the role of libraries back to the early years of her marriage, when she was asked to volunteer as a survey taker for the American Association of University Women, as a way of determining what educational resources would be offered to the growing population of Monmouth County.

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