RED BANK: ZIPPRICH DERIDES ‘SMEAR’ WAR

Councilman Ed Zipprich, right, with then-Councilman Erik Yngstrom at a workshop session in March, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic

Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich has been “exonerated” after a two-year “smear campaign” meant to “dehumanize” him, he said in a statement to redbankgreen Thursday.

Zipprich’s statement came in response to special attorney’s finding that he did not “interfere” in the award of a trash collection contract two years ago.

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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH CONDUCT ‘NOT UNLAWFUL’

Councilman Ed Zipprich, right, with Councilman Michael Ballard in February. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

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Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich did not “interfere” in the award of a trash collection contract two years ago, according to an unreleased report obtained by redbankgreen.

Special attorney Scott Salmon’s report also says “there is evidence to suggest” that former business administrator Ziad Shehady was the the anonymous source of internal emails about Zipprich that were leaked to redbankgreen.

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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: BROADWALK PANEL FORMED

red bank what's going on hereNavigating sidewalks on Broad Street in downtown Red Bank is a bit of a challenge these days.

What’s the latest on the streetscape project that’s been underway since November in the streets northernmost blocks? Read on.

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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: COUNCIL SPARS OVER BROADWALK

Curb replacement work underway as part of the Broad Street streetscape project last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAn ongoing split among Red Bank council Democrats played out as a power struggle Wednesday night over who will steer the reopening of the seasonal Broadwalk dining and shopping plaza.

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RED BANK: DISTRICT TAX UP TWO PERCENT

The budget includes funding for a counselor to help stressed students, Rumage said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Federal and state grants to offset pandemic-related expenses helped keep the Red Bank school district tax increase at two percent for the second year in a row, Superintendent Jared Rumage said Tuesday night.

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RED BANK: BROADWALK MAY RETURN IN JULY

Diners enjoying lunch in the Broadwalk zone in October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njDelayed by street a reconstruction project, Red Bank’s Broadwalk outdoor dining plaza will return this summer, borough officials agreed Wednesday.

The informal consensus of the council was the first indication that the downtown car-free experiment, launched in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, would get a third edition.

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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: DENHOLTZ PLANS MASSIVE PROJECT

Denholtz’s plan would cover several NJ Transit parking lots, as well as company-owned sites. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicDenholtz Properties is negotiating to create a massive new development at the Red Bank train station, redbankgreen has learned.

The company’s plan is dependent on the borough designating a swath of sites around the station as redevelopment area, CEO Steve Denholtz said in an interview this week.

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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: CENTER FIXES OK’D, RE-ARGUED

Angela Mirandi, in second pane from left in the top row, attended her first session as a council member. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See CORRECTION below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThree years after a fire suppression system leak forced a shutdown of Red Bank’s Senior Center, the borough council approved nearly $2 million in financing for repairs Wednesday.

As in the past, members clashed over the reasons for the time elapsed and cost. Added to the acrimony was a new element: blame for failure to identify money recently found sitting idle in old accounts and now earmarked for repairs.

Unmentioned during the virtual meeting was a lawsuit, announced hours earlier, that seeks to remove Angela Mirandi, who attended for the first time as a council member.

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RED BANK: ‘BOAT RAMP’ TO FUND CENTER FIX

A municipal boat ramp on the Navesink River was once envisioned for the north end of Maple Avenue, now a nature area called Maple Cove. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank officials boasted earlier this month that they’d “cobbled together” about $1 million from idle accounts to soften the impact on taxpayers of repairing the long-shuttered Senior Center.

It turns out a big chunk of that sum has been stuck in the borough’s sofa cushions for 30 years, designated for a never-built boat ramp, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL WRAP

Council Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, center top row, chaired the meeting for the first time since her January 1 election as council president. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Red Bank’s council debated several issues with less friction Wednesday night than often seen over the past two years.

 

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RED BANK: COUNCIL OKS MAIN, TIE-IN COSTS

A Montana Construction crew working on Broad Street earlier this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njBroad Street in Red Bank will get a new, $1.3 million water main, following council action to expand a $2.7 million sanitary sewer project that has disrupted downtown traffic for the past three months.

And property owners won’t have to pay thousands of dollars to replace their water connections, as some had feared.

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RED BANK: ROAD SAFETY ON COUNCIL AGENDA

Bodman Place meets Riverside Avenue between 176 Riverside, at left, and the Colony House apartments, center. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRestarting an effort that failed four years ago, the Red Bank council is expected to again press for the installation of a traffic light at a busy intersection.

Also on the agenda for the council’s semimonthly meeting Wednesday night is a request that Monmouth County create new crosswalks on busy Shrewsbury Avenue.

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RED BANK: CEO NEEDED, ADVISER SAYS

Joe Hartnett, right, with Ken DeRoberts at a Red Bank council meeting in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

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Whatever new form of government it might adopt, Red Bank needs a strong chief executive officer, a consultant who co-authored a critical review of borough operations said last week.

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RED BANK: COMMISSION PREPARES TO DIG IN

Attorney Michael Collins, left, on the dais with Chairwoman Nancy Facey Blackwood. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

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After two preparatory sessions, the Red Bank Charter Study Commission expects to begin digging into its task on January 13.

In the interim, the five-member citizen’s body has a “homework” assignment.

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RED BANK: “YOU BROKE IT, YOU FIX IT”

A Montana Construction crew working on Broad Street earlier this month. (redbankgreen photo. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njProperty owners in downtown Red Bank pushed back Wednesday night on the notion that they should pay thousands of dollars each to replace their water service lines.

Addressing the borough council on their behalf, Red Bank RiverCenter Executive Director Glenn Carter invoked the adage, “you broke it, you fix it.”

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RED BANK: GOVERNMENT REVIEW LAUNCHED

Sworn in by Mayor Pasquale Menna, right, were commission members, standing from left: Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Kate Okeson, Mark Taylor, Mike DuPont and Ben Forest. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA study that could result in an historic overhaul of Red Bank governance, and imperil three decades of Democratic party dominance, got underway Tuesday night.

On the agenda of the newly empaneled Red Bank Charter Study Commission were nuts-and-bolts matters: requesting a budget, finding a lawyer and setting a meeting schedule.

On the unofficial agenda: learning to use the microphones.

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RED BANK: COMMISSION SETS FIRST MEETING

Commission members, from left: Mike DuPont, Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Ben Forest, Kate Okeson and Mark Taylor. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Authorized by borough voters earlier this month, the Red Bank Charter Study Commission has scheduled its first meeting.

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