RED BANK: LOCAL DEMOCRATS RUPTURE

Then-candidates Kate Triggiano and Hazim Yassin at the Mayor’s Ball in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Already showing cracks, the Red Bank Democratic party’s facade ruptured Monday night with the announcement that political newcomers will challenge two incumbents for their council seats.

Days after holding a virtual re-election fundraiser attended by Governor Phil Murphy, Kate Triggiano and Hazim Yassin opted to bypass the local party nomination process controlled by Councilman Ed Zipprich as they seek second terms, saying he’s on a vendetta that “reeks of boss politics.”

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RED BANK: WORRY LINGERS AMONG DREAMERS

Clockwise from top left: Adriana Medina Gomez, Itzel Perez Hernandez, Yaritza Ortega, Karina España and Karla Ortega. (Photos from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAs it became clearer in the weeks after the November 3 election that Joe Biden would become the 46th president of the United States, Adriana Medina Gomez‘s phone began ringing more than usual.

“Among our clients, there was a sense of, ‘OK, Biden won, now what? What can I do to get legal?'” said Medina Gomez, a legal assistant in the Red Bank office of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker social justice organization. “Like immediately, the calls started pouring in about that.”

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RED BANK: SENIOR CENTER DEBATE RAGES ON

A view into the mothballed Senior Center through a window in December. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank council members clashed yet again over the borough’s Senior Center Wednesday night.

Among the issues: a petition demanding that the facility, which has been out of commission for almost two years, be repaired and reopened at its riverfront location.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON COUNCIL AGENDA

Among the many events organizers hope to bring back in 2021: the Red Bank Classic 5k, slated for June 19. A list of event dates is up for approval by the council. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s borough council meets with a busy agenda of financing actions, hirings and more Wednesday.

There’s also something missing, though numerous commenters have demanded it: changes to the meeting protocol covering… public comment.

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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: MORE SPARKS OVER SENIOR CENTER

The Senior Center offers a rare vantage for Red Bankers to view the Navesink and Swimming rivers, speakers said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s elected officials got an earful from the public about the borough’s disabled Senior Center Wednesday night.

But even as the all-Democratic council unanimously approved a new lease on interim space, sparks continued to fly between its members over the center’s near-term future.

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RED BANK: CONTRACTOR DENIES RACIST POST

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicAn animal-control specialist who has a backup role with Red Bank government came under fire over the weekend for a racist post on Facebook.

But Randolph Tashman, who was appointed to provide supplementary animal control services to the borough in 2019, denied to redbankgreen that he wrote the post.

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RED BANK: DEMS ERUPT OVER SENIOR CENTER

The Senior Center has been out of commission for most of the past two years following a pipe leak. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njTension among Red Bank Democrats over the future of the borough’s Senior Center erupted in public over the weekend.

Joined by Mayor Pasquale Menna, four of the council’s six Democrats lit into the other two, one of whom is the party chairman, as having “placed their own popularity over what’s best for our residents and taxpayers.”

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RED BANK: SENIOR CENTER STILL ON ICE

The Senior Center has been out of commission for most of the past two years. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Red Bank’s Senior Center is not for sale, Mayor Pasquale Menna insists.

But two years after extensive damage caused by a burst pipe, multiple questions surround the still-closed Shrewsbury Avenue facility. Among them: will it reopen anytime soon, and will it stay where it is?

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FAIR HAVEN: BOROUGH ATTORNEY REPLACED

Greg Cannon, Fair Haven’s new borough attorney, at a Red Bank council meeting in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njNow in the majority, Fair Haven’s Democrats swapped out the longtime borough attorney Monday night.

On a bipartisan vote at the annual municipal reorganization meeting, conducted via Zoom, the council replaced Sal Alfieri with Greg Cannon, who also serves as borough attorney in neighboring Red Bank.

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FAIR HAVEN: DEMS WIN RARE MAJORITY

The Fair Haven vote tally as shown on the Monmouth County Clerk’s website as of Monday evening. (Click to enlarge.)

Fair Haven Democrats have won their first majority on the borough’s governing body in recent memory.

Nearly three weeks after voting closed, official results posted on Monmouth County Clerk’s website late Monday showed incumbent Councilman Chris Rodriguez and running mate Laline Neff won the two open council seats, displacing three-term Republican Susan Sorensen.

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RED BANK: WRITE-IN TO ACCEPT SCHOOL WIN

Only two candidates formally sought three seats on the borough school board. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A write-in candidate expects to join the Red Bank Board of Education when it reorganizes January 5.

And as telegraphed by early results from the November 3 election, a newcomer has displaced Red Bank Regional High board’s president.

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RED BANK: LOCALS CELEBRATE BIDEN VICTORY

For more than five hours Saturday, a small, rotating group gathered in Riverside Gardens Park for a low-key celebration of the election of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

There were no speeches: just virtual hugs, some tears, as well as cheers – punctuated by honking horns and occasional middle fingers from passersby on West Front Street.

Below are some some reflections on the election outcome among participants.

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LITTLE SILVER: HOLZAPFEL, BRENNAN IN LEAD

Little Silver Republican Mike Holzapfel, an incumbent, and running mate Kevin Brennan appeared to be pulling away from Democrats Stephanie Keenan, also an incumbent, and Joan Gotti in the race for two council seats as of Friday morning.

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RED BANK: NEWCOMER LEADS RBR PRESIDENT

The administration building on the Red Bank Regional campus in Little Silver. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Newcomer Stephanie Albanese appears to have displaced incumbent president John Garofalo from the Red Bank Regional High board of education in Tuesday’s election.

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, the Monmouth County clerk’s incomplete vote tally showed Albanese (seen at right) leading Garofalo, 1,352 votes to 649.

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FAIR HAVEN: DEMOCRATS HOLD WIDE MARGIN

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven Democrats appeared headed to a council majority for the first time in memory Wednesday.

With vote tallies incomplete, incumbent Chris Rodriguez and running mate Laline Neff  held wide margins over incumbent Republican Susan Sorensen, who ran solo in pursuit of a fourth three-year term.

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LITTLE SILVER: RACE TOO CLOSE TO CALL

By JOHN T. WARD

The race for two seats on the Little Silver council remained too close to call early Wednesday.

As of 7:30 a.m., Stephanie Keenan, a Democrat with seven months of council experience, led all candidates with 1,193 votes, and first-term incumbent Republican Mike Holzapfel was only 10 votes behind.

But their running mates were still in the the running as Monmouth County election officials continued counting mail-in and in-person ballots.

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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: PANDEMIC-ERA ELECTION ARRIVES

A prospective voter peers inside Red Bank borough hall shortly before the 6 a.m. start of election voting Tuesday.

Amid concern about the spread of COVID-19, borough hall is the only polling location for all Red Bank voters this year. In-person voters will be given paper provisional ballots to complete; disabled voters only will use accessible voting devices.

Polls remain open until 8 p.m., the hour at which mail-in ballot drop-off boxes, including the one seen at right above, will be locked. Find more information here. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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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FAIR HAVEN: RODRIGUEZ Q&A

Christopher Rodriguez. (Click to enlarge.)

Fair Haven voters will be asked to fill two three-year terms on the borough council in the November 3 election.

On the ballot are three candidates: incumbent Republican Susan Sorensen; incumbent Democrat Christopher Rodriguez; and his running mate, Laline Neff.

Here are Rodriguez’s written responses to questions posed to all three candidates recently by redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN: SORENSEN Q&A

Susan Sorensen. (Click to enlarge.)

Fair Haven voters will be asked to fill two three-year terms on the borough council in the November 3 election.

On the ballot are three candidates: incumbent Republican Susan Sorensen; incumbent Democrat Christopher Rodriguez; and his running mate, Laline Neff.

Here are Sorensen’s written responses to questions posed to all three candidates recently by redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN: NEFF Q&A

Laline Neff. (Click to enlarge.)

Fair Haven voters will be asked to fill two three-year terms on the borough council in the November 3 election.

On the ballot are three candidates: incumbent Republican Susan Sorensen; incumbent Democrat Christopher Rodriguez; and his running mate, Laline Neff.

Here are Neff’s written responses to questions posed to all three candidates recently by redbankgreen.

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