RED BANK: EBANKS OFFERS PLANNING PRIMER

Community planning director Shawna Ebanks speaking at the library Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAbout 15 Red Bank residents got a brief seminar in municipal planning and zoning at the public library Thursday night.

But presenter Shawna Ebanks, the borough’s director of community development, steered clear of third-rail issues such as tax abatements.

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FAIR HAVEN: NEWCOMER TAPPED AS MAYOR

Mayor-elect Joshua Halpern with local Republican Chairman Andy Trocchia and a resident following the council meeting Tuesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA political newcomer is set to become Fair Haven’s next mayor.

At its semimonthly session Tuesday night, the council chose Joshua Halpern, a 10-year borough resident who’s never served on a government committee, to fill the chair vacated by Ben Lucarelli when he abruptly quit September 14.

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RED BANK: HUNDREDS RALLY FOR WOMEN

About 1,000 women, men and children marched and rallied for women’s reproductive rights in downtown Red Bank Saturday.

In conjunction with hundreds of similar events nationwide, the Red Bank gathering, organized by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey and the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, focused on abortion rights as the Supreme Court begins a new term Monday with pivotal cases on the docket.

Chanting “Ruth sent us” and “my body, my choice,” participants marched from the train station to Broad Street and then gathered in Riverside Gardens Park, where speakers, including borough Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, called for the election of women’s rights supporters.

Check out redbankgreen’s photos, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: EARLY VOTING ADDS THIRD OPTION

A voter dropping off a ballot outside Red Bank borough hall last October. The drop boxes will again be used this year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Voters on the Greater Red Bank Green and across New Jersey will have a new option for making their picks in November’s general election: early, in-person voting.

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FAIR HAVEN: RESIGNATION FOLLOWED CLASH

Ben Lucarelli at the dedication of Williams, Albert and Robards Park in 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njSince he abruptly resigned as Fair Haven’s mayor two days ago, Ben Lucarelli hasn’t said a word publicly about his decision.

But a recording of Monday night’s council session captures him frustrated over a loss of “decorum” at public meetings and taking flak for his own conduct.

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FAIR HAVEN: LUCARELLI RESIGNS AS MAYOR

Ben Lucarelli during the council’s annual session held at the Knollwood School in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter nearly a decade in the position, Ben Lucarelli has resigned as Fair Haven’s mayor, effective immediately, borough Administrator Theresa Casagrande announced Tuesday.

No reason was given.

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RED BANK: GOP BAILS AND VISCOMI JUMPS IN

Sue Viscomi has mounted a candidacy as an independent, making it a three-way race for two council seats. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank voters will have three candidates to choose from for two council seats in November.

For the second year in a row, none of them will be Republicans.

And for the second time in three years, Sue Viscomi is running as an independent.

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RED BANK: CHARTER RACE SET

On the ballot in November: whether to review Red Bank’s form of government, and who should do it. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

It’s official: Red Bank voters will have 11 candidates to choose from when they elect a five-member charter study commission in November.

Also on the ballot: a referendum on whether the study itself should be conducted.

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RED BANK: TREES BOOST TAB FOR ROADWORK

The work to preserve trees on Hudson Avenue included bumping out curbs and extending driveway aprons. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Mid-project changes to preserve trees helped boost the tab for road work in Red Bank by more than $227,000 to this summer, officials said.

And the added expenses came in one penny below the threshold at which the entire $1.14 million project would have had to be re-bid.

RED BANK: DUPONT FILES FOR CHARTER SEAT

mckenna dupontMike DuPont, right, riding with law partner and former mayor Ed McKenna in the Red Bank centennial parade in 2008. (Photo by John T. Ward and Chris Ern. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

UPDATE: After publication of this article, redbankgreen learned that John Jackson filed a petition with the borough clerk for a candidacy Tuesday afternoon. This update also adds John Gosden as a resident known to be gathering petition signatures.

Former Red Bank councilman Michael DuPont has made the November election for charter study commission a race.

DuPont told redbankgreen he filed his candidacy petition Wednesday morning, making him the sixth declared candidate for a seat on a five-member body.

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RED BANK: RALLY DEMANDS VAX/MASK CHOICE

Marchers gathered on the sidewalk outside Riverview Medical Center Monday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAbout 150 proponents of “choice” regarding COVID-19 vaccines and masks protested outside Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank early Monday afternoon.

The midday protest followed a rally in Riverside Gardens Park, where god, the U.S. Constitution and the Second Amendment were also invoked.

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RED BANK: FIVE UNITE AS CHARTER SLATE

Running as a team, clockwise from upper left: Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Mark Taylor, Kate Okeson, Scott Broschart and Ben Forest. (Photos by John T. Ward and Chris Ern. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Five self-described “forward-thinking” Red Bank activists have united in pursuit of seats on Red Bank’s charter study commission in the November election.

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RED BANK: LABOR SETTLEMENT ON AGENDA

red bank recycling center 051420The agenda includes settlements with Robert Greene, left, and John Cain, who were laid off from their recycling center jobs in May, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Memorials to living persons would be permitted on borough property under a policy up for possible adoption by the Red Bank council Wednesday night.

Also on the agenda: a settlement with two laid-off workers; curtailing private fireworks and awarding a contract for a Broad Street makeover project.

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RED BANK: MEMORIAL POLICY DEBATED

red bank mckenna alley 081519A 2019 plan to name a dead-end lane off Boat Club Court for former mayor Ed McKenna was dropped at McKenna’s request. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s council divided Wednesday night over a proposed policy regarding official memorials.

At least two council members voiced support for allowing streets, parks and structures for honorees who are still among the living; one spoke against it; another suggested erecting omnibus memorials.

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RED BANK: AGENCY APPOINTEE SILENT

Cherron Rountree, bottom left, during the agency’s meeting Tuesday. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe prospective new manager of the Red Bank Redevelopment Agency appeared onscreen without introduction during its monthly meeting Tuesday evening.

Cherron Rountree, who now serves as township administrator in Holmdel, also did not speak, even as former council member Cindy Burnham said her appointment should be halted by a pending sexual harassment lawsuit in which Rountree is a defendant.

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RED BANK: WOMEN IN LEAD AS DEMS SPLIT

Kate Triggiano at her January, 2019 swearing-in with husband, David, son, Otto, and former Assemblyman John Wisniewski. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The two women on competing tickets moved closer to claiming wins in the Red Bank Democratic primary election for council Wednesday.

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RED BANK: ONE PRIMARY CONTESTED, ONE NOT

By JOHN T. WARD

Four Red Bank Democrats square off Tuesday in a rare primary election for two spots on the November ballot for borough council.

Meantime, the borough’s Republicans have two “placeholder” candidates on the primary ballot.

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RED BANK: AGENCY CALLS FOR $9.3M YARD

A Google Maps satellite view of the public works yard and adjoining property to the east, roughly outlined in red. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank should move quickly to bond for an overhauled public works facility, according to a recommendation adopted by the Redevelopment Agency Tuesday evening.

Estimated cost, including the acquisition of property adjacent to the Chestnut Street site: $9.3 million.

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RED BANK: CENSURED, GREGORY QUITS RBHA

red bank charter mark gregory 021820Mark Gregory at a Red Bank Charter School meeting in February, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA Red Bank Housing Authority board member resigned this week, one month after the board censured him for “wanton disregard for his fellow commissioners.”

Mark Gregory’s resignation, accepted by the board at its monthly meeting Wednesday night, was the second by a Republican member in less than a year.

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RED BANK: MASTER PLAN UPDATE BEGINS

A southward view of Broad Street from 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank embarked on a full-scale rewriting of its Master Plan for the first time in 25 years Monday night.

At a meeting via Zoom that lasted less than 12 minutes, the planning board initiated what could be a two-year process of rethinking the town’s zoning for the next generation.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL INITIATES REBUILD

The Senior Center occupies a stand-alone building on Shrewsbury Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council moved to jumpstart repairs to water-damaged Senior Center Wednesday night, one day after a recommendation by the Redevelopment Agency that it do so.

But even enroute to a unanimous vote, the measure churned up bitterness among the all-Democratic governing body.

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RED BANK: SENIOR CENTER FIX-UP ADVANCES

The backyard of the mothballed Senior Center overlooking the upper Navesink River. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposal to repair Red Bank’s mothballed Senior Center without adding any new facilities won a Redevelopment Agency endorsement Tuesday evening.

The action could defuse one of the hottest issues in a contested Democratic race for two council seats just six weeks before a primary vote.

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FAIR HAVEN: PLAN AIMS TO CUT GRIND WORK

fair haven brush truck bike 052920A truck preparing to back into the brush-grinding site as a child rode a bike nearby last May. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

A brush-grinding facility that has irked Fair Haven neighbors for nearly a decade will see a 60-plus percent reduction in activity under a plan officials unveiled Monday night.

But one council member pressed for a permanent solution: moving it out of the residential area.

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