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RED BANK REGIONAL: $17.9M PLAN ON BALLOT

Frank Neary, who heads RBR’s finance committee, addressing the audience at the council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Voters in Red Bank, Little Silver and Shrewsbury are scheduled to decide the fate of a $17.9 million capital plan for their shared high school later this year.

On Wednesday night, two Red Bank Regional High officials told an audience at the borough council meeting that a December 11 referendum is, in part, critical to maintaining a cash cow: tuition paid by non-district students.

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RED BANK: COURT NIXES TAX ACTION

The borough’s attempt to revoke Riverview’s tax exemption for two years amounted to a “fishing expedition” in search of justification, the court ruled.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank can’t retroactively revoke the tax-exemption for Riverview Medical Center, New Jersey’s tax court ruled last week.

In attempting to do so, the borough was improperly hoping that a “fishing expedition” in the form of legal action would turn up evidence that the hospital, owned by Hackensack Meridian Health, was being used as a for-profit facility, the court ruled. Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: POLICE ACTIVITY

Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Fair Haven Police Department for the months of May and June, 2018. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

5-18: Michael P. Fish. 27, Middletown was arrested after a warrant was discovered during a traffic stop for his arrest. Subject was released after posting full cash bail. Ptl. Eric Patton was the arresting Officer.

5-23: Lisa K. Edwards. 46, Red Bank was arrested after a warrant was discovered during a traffic stop for his arrest. Subject was released after posting full cash bail. Ptl. Brooks Robinson was the arresting Officer.

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RED BANK: DISTRICT GETS FUNDING BOOST

Jobs and after-school programs that were cut this spring are being restored, said Superintendent Jared Rumage, seen at left with board president Fred Stone before a lobbying trip to Trenton in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank school officials have been busy in recent days restoring jobs, programs and contracts eliminated just four months ago.

Under Governor Phil Murphy’s first budget, the borough’s 1,422-student pre-K-8 district saw a 55-percent jump in state aid, which board members said Tuesday night was a cause for both celebration and frustration.

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RED BANK: SAXUM SPREE CONTINUES

Located at Broad and West Front streets, Saxum’s latest acquisition has Urban Outfitters as its sole ground-floor tenant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Morris County-based real estate investment firm has acquired one of downtown Red Bank’s oldest and most prominent commercial structures.

The purchase of the home of an Urban Outfitters store by an arm of Saxum Real Estate is the firm’s third major investment in the town in the past 18 months, and the first for occupied space.

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RED BANK: AFTER SCATHING REPORT, WHAT?

Business Administrator Ziad Shehady in front of the large-screen monitor he uses in staff meetings to track projects. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Now that a scathing review of municipal operations has landed on their desks, what will Red Bank’s leaders do with it?

It won’t go into a drawer to be forgotten, says the newly hired official charged with implementing most of its recommendations. In fact, he says, change is already underway.

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RED BANK: VNA SITE UP FOR NEW HOUSING

The former VNA headquarters building on Riverside Avenue, with the Colony House apartments at right. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The massive former VNA Health Group headquarters in Red Bank would be demolished and replaced with multifamily residential housing under a plan in the works, redbankgreen has learned.

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FAIR HAVEN: TWO MONTHS OF POLICE ACTIVITY

Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Fair Haven Police Department for the month of March and April, 2018. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

03/05- Nicholas Gil, 24, Port Monmouth was placed under arrest subsequent to a motor vehicle stop. He was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Subject was also found to have an active warrant out of Holmdel in the amount of $1000.00. Subject was later released after posting full bail. Sgt. Stephen Schneider was the arresting Officer.

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RED BANK: PROPERTY TAX UP 4.7 PERCENT

Michael Ballard, who heads the finance committee, with Mayor Pasquale Menna at left, on election night last November. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank property owners may see a 4.7-percent increase in the local portion of their tax bill this year under a budget introduced Wednesday night.

The hike was driven by a drop in revenue, said Councilman Michael Ballard, including a halt by Riverview Medical Center of its customary payment in lieu of taxes.

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RED BANK: SCHOOL TAX HIKE, JOB CUTS LOOM

Jobs and after-school programs are on the cutting block unless the state comes through with an additional $750,000, said Superintendent Jared Rumage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The average Red Bank homeowner would pay about $117 more in taxes to support borough schools this year if New Jersey legislators don’t come through with more funding, Superintendent Jared Rumage said Tuesday night.

Even with the levy increase, the local primary and middle schools could see cuts in staffing and extracurricular programs such as jazz band and the fledgling cross-country track team, he said.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL OKS ‘REVERSE’ APPEALS

Mayor Pasquale Menna shows off the 1925 and 1926 tax bills for a Red Bank property during Wednesday’s council meeting. How much were they? Read on. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The borough of Red Bank, hammered in recent years by tax appeals, is going “aggressive” at the urging of Mayor Pasquale Menna.

At its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, the council approved hiring a law firm to sue commercial property owners whose assessments appear to be low relative to the real estate market.

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RED BANK: CHARTER AID BOOST SLAMMED

District officials say they may have to eliminate a new cross-country program in order to balance the budget. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank school board members and parents reacted with outrage Monday night to an effective reduction in state aid under funding announced by the administration of Governor Phil Murphy last week.

Though nominally a $178,503 increase for the district, more than that sum is to be relayed to the Red Bank Charter School, Superintendent Jared Rumage said at a board meeting at the primary school.

With the district seeing an effective decline in aid while state funding to the charter school’s rises $1,025 per student, “I think the time has come to have the discussion about running two public schools in Red Bank,” Rumage told redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN: POLICE ACTIVITY

Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Fair Haven Police Department for the month of January, 2018. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

1-11-18- Report of vandalism at the Two River Authority substation off of Chestnut Street. Ptl. Christian Hostrup took the report.

1-19-18- Christian Villalba, 24, Elizabeth was arrested for contempt subsequent to a motor vehicle stop. Subject posted bail and was released pending a court appearance. Ptl. Christian Hostrup was the arresting Officer.

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LITTLE SILVER: LAWMAKERS ADDRESS FUNDING

Local residents and school officials, including state Senator Declan O’Scanlon, below, turned out for the event at the Markham Place School. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Dozens of taxpayers and school administrators from the Greater Red Bank Green packed a Little Silver auditorium Wednesday night to press legislators for help with education costs.

 

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RED BANK: SALE PUTS BUILDING ON TAX ROLLS

The former VNA headquarters building on Riverside Avenue has been acquired by an office developer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s municipal coffers are about to be bolstered by the addition to the tax rolls of a major office building.

“It is now taxable,” Mayor Pasquale Menna said Wednesday about the former VNA Health Group headquarters, following a report by app.com that the property had been acquired by a private developer for $7.4 million.

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FAIR HAVEN: POLICE ACTIVITY

Crime and arrest reports, unedited, as provided by the Fair Haven Police Department for the month of December, 2017. For additional information, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

12/02- Steven Marlow, 35, United Kingdom, was placed under arrest for Burglary and Criminal Mischief. Subject was transported to MCCI. Ptl. Christian Hostrup was the arresting Officer.

12/04- A Cambridge Ave resident reported the theft of a package from the homes doorstep. Ptl. Dwayne Reevey took the theft report.

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RED BANK: DEMS TO SEEK PARKING STUDY

Councilman Erik Yngstrom now heads the all-Democrat parking committee.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a post-election lull, Red Bank Democrats plan to bring in a parking consultant to offer guidance on how to fix parking issues downtown, Councilman Erik Yngstrom said Wednesday.

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LITTLE SILVER: OATHS AND ‘BAD POETRY’

Chris Healy, above, and Mike Holzapfel, below, were joined by their wives and sons as they were sworn in as council members. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Delayed a few days by last week’s snowstorm, Little Silver residents turned out on an icy night for the annual government reorganization Monday.

For their trouble, they were treated to Mayor Bob Neff’s state-of-the borough message delivered, as is his custom, in verse.

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RED BANK: NOW TAKING TAX PREPAYMENTS

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank has joined Belmar, Jersey City and other New Jersey municipalities in encouraging residents to consider reducing the impact of the newly adopted federal tax plan on their wallets.

How? By prepaying local property taxes before the end of 2018.

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RED BANK: SICKELS SENDOFF, H2O ON AGENDA

Stanley Sickels at a planning board meeting in 2013. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s most powerful unelected official is slated to get an official sendoff at the semimonthly council meeting Wednesday night.

Also on the agenda: the town’s heaviest water users would be subject to higher minimum charges under a measure slated for introduction.

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RED BANK: PARKING AGENDA IN TRANSITION

A builder may be chosen to redevelop the White Street lot this month, and a parking study could soon follow. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Amid recriminations and calls for a fresh start, Democrats began taking the wheel in the drive for a possible new parking structure in downtown Red Bank last week.

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FAIR HAVEN: KOCH JOINS COUNCIL AFTER ALL

With an assist from Councilwoman Susan Sorensen, Betsy Koch, right, takes her seat for the first time as a council member during a meeting held at the Knollwood School, where she’s a teacher. Members of the student council were also on the dais. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Less than a three weeks after a narrow loss at the polls, Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Koch won unanimous appointment to the Fair Haven council Monday.

She replaces Councilman Rowland Wilhelm, who stepped down with two years remaining on his third three-year term.

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STATEHOUSE: GOPAL, O’SCANLON SCORE WINS


 Vin Gopal and his 11th-district running mates staked out an island of Democratic blue in a sea of GOP red. (Map by NJSpotlight.com.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Middletown resident Phil Murphy was the clear winner in the 2017 New Jersey gubernatorial race Tuesday, in spite of a chilly reception from his home county.

Meanwhile, Republican state Senator Jen Beck of Red Bank lost her 11th-district statehouse seat to Democrat Vin Gopal, and first-term Red Bank Councilman Mike Whelan came up short in his bid for an Assembly seat on Beck’s ticket.

Former Little Silver Councilman Declan O’Scanlon, a Republican, held off a challenge to his 13th-district state Senate seat by Middletown Democrat Sean Byrnes, according to results posted by the Monmouth County Clerk.

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LITTLE SILVER: HEALY, HOLZAPFEL WIN

Capping a year overshadowed by a widely despised new cell tower in the heart of town, Little Silver voters went with new blood in Tuesday’s election for two council members.

They opted for Democrat Christoper Healy and Republican Michael Holzapfel, dropping Holzapfel running mate, incumbent Dane Mihlon.

Democrat Matthew Cohen finished fourth in the four-way race, in which just 165 votes separated the top and bottom candidates, according to results posted online by the Monmouth County Clerk.

 

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