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LES GERTRUDE TO GET A LIFT, OR TWO

Les Gertrude, the grande dame Broad Street apartment building that’s long been troubled by balky elevators, is getting a new pair of lifts.

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At a meeting Tuesday night involving tenants, the landlord and a clutch of local officials, plans to replace the elevators in the 78-year-old building—and the impacts on residents—were discussed.

Mayor Pasquale Menna, who was among those present, said the purpose of the meeting was to let the tenants know what to expect during the disruption and to assure them that their safety won’t be compromised.

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KISSES ALL AROUND FOR NEW COUNCIL?

Dupont_council_2_2They said all the right things at Monday’s Borough Council reorganization.

Mayor Pat Menna praised Republican Councilman John Curley for having run a “good race” for mayor, and pledged to ‘work together’ with him and the other members of the council.

Democrat Michael DuPont, at far left above, taking his seat as the newest member of the governing body, declared that “the politics of personal destruction will end.”

Curley, seen below left with new Council President Sharon Lee and former Mayor Ed McKenna, said “we do have a new sense of cooperation.” Of Menna, Curley called him “my mayor, and I fall in behind him as the loyal opposition.”

Curley_mckenna_2Will it last? Is the post-McKenna era to be one of bipartisanship and occasional handholding? Or was it all for the sake of the children and clergy present?

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A HALF-ASPHALTED JOB?

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What’s with the partial pave jobs on Hudson Avenue and East Bergen Place?

Almost two weeks ago, paving contractors laid down a 10-foot wide strip of steamy new asphalt along the north side of East Bergen. At the same time, they paved exactly half of Hudson—the western half of the north-south thoroughfare. Then the contractors packed up and left.

What gives?

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PROFILE: JOHN CURLEY

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Somehow, the décor seems out of character for the sole occupant of this 673-square-foot condo at Red Bank Manor, a shady cluster of two-story red-brick buildings off Spring Street.

For starters, it’s painted beige, a neutral color. And with its understated furnishings and framed prints of Grecian urns hanging on the beige walls, the place seems way too sedate to be the home of John Curley, the firebrand politician whose manner is often as jabbing as it is courteous.

But something catches your eye soon after you enter the apartment, and it’s more in line with the public Curley persona. There, on the floor, is a rather large exercise machine that announces itself like a six-foot-long exclamation mark. It straddles the opening between the living room and Curley’s home office.

And just like that, the connection between the man and the place is clear. This is the where Curley trains for his trademark door-to-door campaigns against an administration that he denounces as an examplar of machine politics. It’s a device on which the driven Curley challenges himself.

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BEST NIGHT’S SLEEP AFTER SHUTDOWN

“Blissfully quiet,” says one resident.

“It’s been so peaceful,” says another.

Those were two assessments of life at the corner of Leighton Avenue and Catherine Street yesterday, 24 hours after Red Bank officials shut down the controversial Best Liquors store for fire code violations.

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And yet, there was a lingering concern among residents that the recently elevated attention being paid by local officials to the store might vaporize after next Tueday’s election, and that proprietor Sunny Sharma might soon be back in business, attracting his usual noisy and messy clientele.

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CHIN UP, LOVE! THERE MUST BE A SPACE!

Red Bank officials past and present would be well advised to scope out the excruciatingly limited parking options in downtown Freehold, because they could be spending a lot of time in the county seat, thanks to former Red Bank parking director Neil Burnip.

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This week’s Hub reports that Burnip, perhaps the thinnest-skinned Brit ever to leave that scepter’d isle, has followed through on his threat to file suit against the borough. He’s seeking $11.5 million in damages and compensation for what he says was discrimination based on his nationality.

In addition to prosecuting his lawsuit—he’s acting as his own attorney at the moment—Burnip may have to defend himself against allegations of sexual assault and harassment raised by a Red Bank employee. The woman’s attorney recently put the borough on notice of a coming $5 million lawsuit that will allege Burnip stalked, improperly touched and otherwise harassed her between May and August of this year.

Borough Administrator Stanley Sickels is also expected to be named a defendant in that suit for his alleged failure to properly supervise Burnip.

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