RED BANK: TAXES ON WORKSHOP AGENDA

red bank, michael ballardCouncilman Michael Ballard, with borough CFO Peter O’Reilly in foreground. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesIntroduced two weeks ago without a word of comment by elected officials, the 2019 Red Bank budget is scheduled for discussion Wednesday night.

Also on the borough council’s workshop agenda: the resolution of a lawsuit,  and a discussion about food trucks.

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LITTLE SILVER: BRANDT SKIPS GOP FACE-OFF

little silver mayor bob neff Mayor Bob Neff was the sole mayoral candidate at the event at Markham Place School. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

His campaign signs may be everywhere in town, but the challenger in Little Silver’s first mayoral primary in memory was a no-show at the Republican candidates’ forum Tuesday night.

Rick Brandt’s absence occurred less than a week after he was banned from school property for events at which children are present over his unauthorized use of photos, redbankgreen has learned.

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FAIR HAVEN: $15.6M SCHOOLS PLAN UNVEILED

fair haven schools sickles planNew classroom space and other facilities, shown in blue, would be built on a vacant lot adjoining the Sickles School, said Superintendent Sean McNeil, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fair haven schools sean mcneil Fair Haven residents would get classrooms to allow for full-day kindergarten as well as improved security under a $15.6 million plan officials unveiled Wednesday.

The typical homeowner would also get a tax increase of as much as $566 per year if a public referendum on the plan passes muster with voters in September.

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FAIR HAVEN: SCHOOL REFERENDUM ON TABLE

Sean McNeil, center, with fellow superintendents Brent MacConnell of Shrewsbury, left, and Red Bank’s Jared Rumage at a school funding discussion in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven’s two-school district plans to hold a facilities bond referendum in September, Superintendent Sean McNeil announced earlier this week.

How much spending does the board hope to win approval for? How will the funds be used? Stay tuned, says McNeil.

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RED BANK: BOROUGH HIRES NEW CFO

peter oreilly cfo red bank njAlmost five months after his predecessor was hastily dumped, a new chief financial officer for the borough of Red Bank was slated to start work Monday.

Peter O’Reilly, right, who literally wrote the book on municipal finance, steps into the post after five years as Jersey City’s treasurer.

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FAIR HAVEN: POLICE ACTIVITY

fair haven nj police fhpdCrime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Fair Haven Police Department for the month of March, 2019. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

3/13- Thomas Moriarty, 31, Middletown was placed under arrest subsequent to a motor vehicle stop and charged with DWI. Subject was also found to be in possession of less than 50 grams of Marijuana.  Mr. Moriarty was also received summonses for reckless driving, refusal to submit to breathe testing, operating a vehicle without an interlock device, failure to maintain lane and having a controlled dangerous substance in a motor vehicle. Subject was later released pending a Fair Haven Court Appearance. Ptl. Brooks Robinson was the arresting Officer.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL DROPS REVERSE APPEALS

red bank nj oceanfirst hqThe OceanFirst Bank headquarters was the subject of a reverse appeal case settled Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njBombarded by criticism from the business community, the Red Bank council on Wednesday dropped a plan to pursue a new round of  “reverse appeals” against commercial properties it believed to be undertaxed.

But first, the council approved the settlement of an older reverse appeal that will boost the taxable value of a downtown building by 69 percent over three years. And battles over cases filed in 2018 continue.

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RED BANK: ‘REVERSE’ TAX APPEALS ON AGENDA

8 east front st. red bank njA law firm hired by the borough says 8 East Front Street, which sold last year for $5.68 million, is improperly assessed at just under $3 million. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesA year after authorizing a law firm to go after owners of properties believed to be undertaxed, the Red Bank council is expected to renew its “aggressive” approach this week.
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FAIR HAVEN: CONSOLIDATION COMPLICATION?

fair haven 626 river road sunoco m&mThe former Sunoco station on River Road, as seen from Cedar Avenue this week. The site is being used to store materials for an unrelated New Jersey American Water project. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAn ambitious plan to consolidate Fair Haven’s police station and borough hall into a new municipal complex appears to have run into a complication.

The former gas station the town has targeted for the proposed municipal complex has a new owner, who apparently wants to build two dozen townhomes on it.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL AGENDA

red bank nj riverisde gardens parkThe council is looking  for Green Acres grants to make improvements to Riverside Gardens Park, above, and Bellhaven Natural Area, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank bellhaven natureAppointments to a new redevelopment agency and grants for improvements to two parks highlight a relatively quiet lineup for the Red Bank council’s semimonthly meeting Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: HARASSMENT REPORT ON AGENDA

ziad shehadyBusiness Administrator Ziad Shehady in December, above. Below, the council plans to advance plans for the redevelopment of the former VNA headquarters at 176 Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank vna 176 riverside aveA report on a claim of workplace discrimination and a step toward the building of what could become one of Red Bank’s largest residential projects are on the borough council’s agenda for Wednesday night.

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FAIR HAVEN: POLICE ACTIVITY

fair haven nj police fhpdCrime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Fair Haven Police Department for the months of December, 2018 and January, 2019. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

12/01- Edward Brueck Jr., 74, Brick was placed under arrest following a motor vehicle stop after a warrant was located out of Atlantic City for his arrest. Subject was processed and released after posting full cash bail. Ptl. Brooks Robinson was the arresting Officer.

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RED BANK: REDEVELOPMENT ON AGENDA

red bank nj emanuel courtEmanuel Court would be closed to vehicular traffic under a change up for introduction Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe creation of a redevelopment agency for Red  Bank is among the items on the borough council’s agenda Wednesday night.

Also up for consideration at the semimonthly meeting: a smoking ban, and the closing of a driveway onto a busy street.

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RED BANK: PARKING REVENUE STILL ON TABLE

pasquale menna, michael ballard, red bank njCouncilman Michael Ballard, center, and Mayor Pasquale Menna on election night 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s mayor and council say they’re “hopeful and optimistic” about implementing the recommendations of a bombshell parking study delivered this month.

The assertion was made Tuesday in an unusual press release that appeared to walk back comments made by Mayor Pasquale Menna and Councilman Michael Ballard to redbankgreen last week, when they termed a key recommendation in the report potentially “catastrophic” and a “terrible hit” for taxpayers.

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RED BANK: ‘WEANING’ FROM METERS UNLIKELY

Using meters to fund town operations leaves the parking utility “without adequate financial resources” for maintenance and upgrades, the report found. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesOne of the key recommendations of a bombshell study of Red Bank parking appears unlikely to be adopted by borough officials anytime soon, redbankgreen has learned.

At issue: the council’s annual siphoning of the surplus generated by parking meters and kiosks in order to slow property tax increases. Ending the practice, says Mayor Pasquale Menna, would be “catastrophic” for taxpayers.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL AGENDA

red bank nj train stationThe council is expected to seek transit village status for the area around the borough train station. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Affordable housing, development around the train station and what was said when a key employee got fired are on the agenda for the Red Bank council’s semimonthly meeting Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: PARKING SYSTEM FOUND ‘BROKEN’

Carrie Krasnow, with study co-author Brian Bartholomew looking on, addresses the audience at the Red Bank Primary School Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank might soon need another 220 or so parking spaces downtown, but it doesn’t need a parking garage just yet, a pair of experts say in a long-awaited study unwrapped Thursday night.

Instead, local officials first have to fix a “broken” parking management system, they said.

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RED BANK: PARKING STUDY UNBOXING SLATED

red bank nj parking white street[Correction: Meeting to be held at primary school, not the middle school.]

More than a year after a push to redevelop Red Bank’s main parking facility ran into a wall, the results of a parking study will be unwrapped Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: DEMS GLIDE INTO NEW YEAR

red bank, nj, pasquale menna, wayne hartman, scott calabrese, bob holidayMayor Pasquale Menna prepares to swear in new fire Chief Wayne Hartman, center, and deputies Scott Calabrese and Bobby Holiday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s government turned the calendar page to 2019 with a friction-free reorganization meeting Tuesday that kicked off the fourth term of Mayor Pasquale Menna and gave Democrats unfettered control of borough hall.

Here are some highlights:

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RED BANK: DEMS OUST POULOS AS CFO

eugenia poulous red bank njCFO Eugenia Poulos at a council meeting in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njBorough hall may have been closed for New Year’s Eve, but the Red Bank council had one, last-minute bit of business to take care of Monday.

After a brief closed-door meeting, the governing body voted, 4-1, to fire the chief financial officer, just hours before she would have attained tenure.

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RED BANK REGIONAL: REFERENDUM PASSES

Referendum supporters cheer the results at the RBR board of ed office Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njVoters in three towns gave overwhelming support Tuesday to a referendum on $17.3 million worth of capital improvements to Red Bank Regional High School.

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