Search Results for: "sharon lee"

LOCATION AN ISSUE FOR COMMUNITY GARDEN

sharon-lee-031611Councilwoman Sharon Lee details her objections to a request to create a community garden at the Red Bank Public Library. (Click to enlarge)

A push for the creation of a community garden at the Red Bank Public Library ran into some mud Wednesday.

Big question: whether that’s the best place for it.

Smaller question: how much will it cost to install a dedicated water line, and who will pick up the tab in these cash-starved times?

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RED BANK: RUGBY TOO ROUGH FOR BASIE

scrum2Monmouth Rugby of Red Bank, in blue, and Monmouth Rugby of Wales, in stripes, in a scrum at Thompson Park in Lincroft in May, 2008. (Click to enlarge)

Its home, the Wilde Rover, is in town, on Shrewsbury Avenue, and it contributes nicely to the community, one Red Bank council member says of the Monmouth Football Rugby Club.

But sorry, ruggers, you can’t practice here, the governing body told the club last week. You just play too rough.

It’s not a call that’s sitting well with the 38-year-old club.

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RED BANK COUNCIL CANS PRINGLE FIRM

Pringle_and_hall_2_72307Former borough attorney Ken Pringle, left, and partner Tom Hall at a Red Bank council meeting in July, 2007. Below, new attorney Dan O’Hern at Saturday’s reorganization meeting. (Click to enlarge)

ohern-010111Red Bank has a new lawyer with a familiar name.

Out is the law firm headed by Belmar Mayor Ken Pringle. In is Daniel O’Hern Jr., a Little Silver councilman and son of late Red Bank mayor and state Supreme Court Justice Daniel O’Hern.

Council members cited economic reasons for the change.

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FAMILIAR FACES AT RED BANK SWEARING-IN

nicosia-lee-lewisFormer Red Bank Mayor (1963-’66) and retired Superior Court Judge Ben Nicosia swears in Sharon Lee, center, to her third three-year term as borough councilwoman as council colleague Juanita Lewis looks on.

Also taking office Saturday were Councilwoman Kathleen Horgan, starting her second term, and Mayor Pasquale Menna, embarking on his second four-year term.

The governing body enters its third year comprised solely of Democrats. (Click to enlarge)

MIZZI: ‘I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE’

gopGOP candidates Rob Lombardi and Joe Mizzi, center, react to poll results at Anna Little’s campaign headquarters on Bridge Avenue Tuesday night. (Click to enlarge)

Joe Mizzi was excited Tuesday night, thinking this might be the one.

As treasurer of the local GOP for the past four years, and one of its two candidates for Red Bank council, he said he felt he and running mate Rob Lombardi had a good shot at displacing one or both Democratic incumbents on the ballot, Kathy Horgan and Sharon Lee.

It boded well that voter turnout appeared to have been “suprisingly strong,” he told redbankgreen shortly after polls closed, and he’d heard positive feedback from those who’d cast ballots.

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RED BANK: DEMS SWEEP

demsRed Bank Democrats celebrating at campaign headquarters on West Front Street Tuesday night. (Click to enlarge)

Democratic incumbents Kathy Horgan and Sharon Lee coasted to victory in the Red Bank council race Tuesday, extending the party’s domination of the governing body for at least another year.

Mayor Pasquale Menna, who ran unopposed for a second term, capped the slate’s box-out of GOP challengers Rob Lombardi making his second bid for council in two years, and GOP treasurer Joe Mizzi.

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LEE: DOWNTOWN NEEDS A PARKING GARAGE

rb_leeNAME : Sharon Lee (Democrat, incumbent)

AGE: 55

OCCUPATION:  Asst. Budget Planner

LENGTH OF RESIDENCE IN TOWN:  Life long

General Questions:

1. What do you see as the top three issues in town?

Taxes

Parking

Housing

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ROOM FOR DEBATE, AND A COUPLE OF LAUGHS

debate3The Westside Community Group held its fourteenth annual council candidates’ debate Wednesday night. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It was a tame affair, one that started and ended with smiles and handshakes, with serious debate and a few zingers in between.

The crowd of a couple dozen at Wednesday night’s debate of Red Bank’s council candidates was also a bit subdued, but asked about all the hot topics in town: taxes, pedestrian safety and the local economy.

It opened up with quips from Mayor Pasquale Menna, who thanked the crowd for coming to Sharon Lee’s birthday party — she turned 55 yesterday — and said Republican candidate Joe Mizzi, who sports a shaved pate and spontaneously threw out the opening remarks he prepared a month ago, had a full head of hair before he finished writing his beginning statement.

Then it got serious.

election_2010_header6

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CANDIDATES’ FORUM RETURNS

election_2010_header4

Will this year’s sleepy election contest for Red Bank mayor and two council seats finally stir to life?

It will get its best chance Wednesday night, when the West Side Community Group holds its fourteenth annual candidates’ night at River Street Commons.

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STRIKING A POLITICAL POSE

menna-broad-stEven though he’s running unopposed this year, Mayor Pasquale Menna is still doing a little campaign work. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

Mayor Pasquale Menna, along with councilwomen Kathy Horgan and Sharon Lee, who are up for re-election, posed for the camera in downtown Red Bank Wednesday afternoon.

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RB COUNCIL WRAP: NOTHIN’ DOIN’

council-chambersA peek into the Red Bank council chambers, with the reflection of paperwork posted in the hallway. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Ah, summer stagnation.

The Red Bank council met Monday night, and the agenda was L-I-G-H-T light.

Here’s a recap of the evening’s non-titillation:

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COUNCIL DELAYS CAB CHANGES

yellow-carAny changes to the current taxi ordinance in Red Bank will have to wait while the borough council does more investigating. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

If the borough council is going to make any changes to its taxi ordinance, it’s going to make sure they are the right ones, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna said Monday night, when a scheduled adoption of the amended ordinance was tabled.

The delay comes two weeks after the council proposed changes to its ordinance that would place tighter controls on cab owners and operators, some of whom are believed to be hording licenses in an effort to tamp down competition. But since the ideas were brought forward, the council has received a deluge of comments and critiques from those in the business, and the council is listening.

“If we’re going to make changes to the ordinance, they should be the best possible changes,” Menna said.

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COUNCIL APPROVES SANDWICH BOARD SIGNS

hot-topic rightRejecting the advice of the borough planning board, the Red Bank Council last night said merchants may put sandwich-board advertising on sidewalks outside their establishments through the end of this year.

Overruling concerns that the signs would pose a safety hazard to pedestrians and violate the intent of the borough’s master plan, the council voted 5-1 for an ordinance permitting free-standing signage, which they said is needed to help stores attract customers in a difficult economy.

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BOARD KICKS SANDWICH SIGNS TO THE CURB

sandwich-board3Sandwich board signs have made recent appearances on Red Bank’s streets despite being prohibited under current borough law. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

If Red Bank businesses are allowed to put sandwich board signs on their sidewalks this year, it won’t happen with the support of the borough’s planning board.

Rejecting, by a 4-1 vote, a recent proposal by the council to revive an old ordinance that permitted the signs outside stores and restaurants boroughwide, board members said the move is in conflict with the objectives of the town’s master plan and would impede pedestrian traffic and accessibility.

“I don’t think it really conforms to our master plan, and I think it would be more of a public hazard than public good,” acting chairman Guy Maratta said.

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BUILDER COMPLETES HISTORICAL CONVERSION

leroy-houseA nine-month renovation project on LeRoy Place has just wrapped up. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Charlie McCague wasn’t looking for a fight or a hassle from anybody. Even standing well over six-feet tall, he comes across as a benevolent guy, his soft Irish brogue offsetting his intimidating stature.

But a hassle of sorts what he got after he bought a long-vacant Victorian at 28 LeRoy Place in Red Bank last year and presented plans to convert it into office space, McCague admits, hesitantly.  Some neighbors griped about the idea, and the planning board, which had to approved the change in use, wasn’t uniformly in favor of it, either.

The argument was that the home should stay strictly residential and maintain its historical qualities. A conversion, opponents said, would promote “creeping commercialism” into the area, which is partially  zoned for residential and professional office use. Councilwoman Sharon Lee called it “an assault on our historic homes.”

Still, McCague narrowly won approval to make the conversion, and now that work has just wrapped up, the only sign of creeping commercialism appears to be in the back, where a handicapped parking sign is staked in the ground.

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WHO’S RUNNING, AND WHO ISN’T

menna-052609-2The path to a second term appears unobstructed for Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Mayors Pasquale Menna and Mike Halfacre, of Red Bank and Fair Haven, respectively, don’t appear to have any competition in their re-election bids this year.

Both men filed petition paperwork on Monday, the state deadline, to run for re-election. No one else filed for their seats.

But they could face competition if independents write-in for the June 8 primary and November 2 general election ballots.

Menna told redbankgreen that the absence of an opponent “doesn’t mean anything. ” He said he’s only concerned with his role the next four years as the borough’s top executive.

“I can only keep on doing what I’ve been doing and do it the best I can,” he said.

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Y ZONE CHANGE QUASHED BY COUNCIL

rb-councilCongregation Beth Shalom Secretary Sara Breslow speaks against a proposed zoning ordinance at Monday’s council meeting. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank’s borough council voted 4-1 against a contentious ordinance amendment that would have made the Community YMCA a permitted use at its longtime location Monday night, effectively ending the organization’s recent bid to expand the Maple Avenue facility.

It very well may be the council’s most expensive vote this year, according to Mayor Pasquale Menna.

“My only admonition is that it’s going to be really costly for the borough. I can’t guarantee what happens,” he said.

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YMCA ZONE ISSUES HEADS BACK TO COUNCIL

ymcaMaple Avenue’s most famous non-conformer, the Community YMCA, will again seek permitted-use status. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The hottest potato in town is back in the hands of the Red Bank Borough Council.

A proposed ordinance amendment that would make the Community YMCA a permitted use on Maple Avenue is moving toward a final vote by the council, presumably at its meeting next Monday night.

But the council will be acting without the aid of a resolution that Mayor Pasquale Menna believes the governing body may need in the event that the amendment is shot down, triggering a lawsuit.

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SECOND BOARD REJECTS Y EXPANSION PLAN

menna-goldinMayor Pasquale Menna listens as Marvin Goldin of Temple Beth Shalom asks the planning board to reject the YMCA zoning request. (Click to enlarge)

Six weeks after a proposal to expand the Community YMCA facility came up one vote short at the Red Bank zoning board, an attempt to get the idea back on track ran into a brick wall at the planning board Monday night.

The outcome left Mayor Pasquale Menna isolated by two boards over which he has appointment control. Seven planning board members voted in favor of a resolution finding the Y plan not to be in conformance with the goals of the borough’s Master Plan. Menna alone voted ‘no’ on the measure.

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COUNCIL NIXES PINK BANK FREE PARKING

Img_6226Mannequins at Backward Glances done up for the 2008 edition of Pink Bank.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A request by Riverview Medical Center for free parking in downtown Red Bank for the week of ‘Pink Bank’ was DOA Monday night.

Except for one member, the borough council wanted no part in the hospital’s proposal, coming just two weeks after the governing body voted to double curb meter rates and and hike permit fees.

“I don’t understand the nexus of this,” Mayor Pasquale Menna said, before moving onto the next agenda item at Monday’s council meeting.

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WAR OF WORDS: RED BANK DEMS v. BECK & CO.

beck-010310-41dupont-election2009-2State Senator Jennifer Beck’s refusal to back Red Bank’s request for special treatment in Trenton has drawn fire from local Democrats led by Councilman Mike Dupont.

Red Bank’s all-Democrat council wanted local legislators in their corner recently when they appealed to new Governor Chris Christie for special consideration as he sharpened his budget-cutting knives.

But state Senator Jennifer Beck and her two 12th-district Assembly colleagues, Caroline Casagrande and Declan O’Scanlon, all Republicans like Christie, said quite publicly that borough officials haven’t done enough to merit special treatment in Trenton.

That did not sit well at borough hall. Yesterday, the council Dems (not including Mayor Pasquale Menna) went on the offensive with a letter sent to the GOP three and circulated to reporters.

“You refuse to advocate for the residents of Red Bank with the newly elected Governor to mitigate the hardship Red Bank is experiencing due to the high number of non-profit and tax exempt organizations in our Borough,” says the letter, signed by Councilman Mike DuPont, with apparent endorsement (but no signatures) of councilmembers Art Murphy, Sharon Lee, Kathy Horgan, Juania Lewis and Ed Zipprich.

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LONGEVITY PAY STAYS… FOR NOW

longevity-pay-crowdBorough employees turned out Monday night to voice their concerns over the council’s proposal to freeze longevity pay. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Just when it appeared that the Red Bank Council was set to pass an ordinance freezing an incentive program for borough employees, those same employees banded together Monday night to try and get the council to buckle.

It worked.

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TICKET BLIZZARD POSSIBLE, TOO

rb-plow1A borough plow works Monmouth Street at the height of Saturday’s blizzard. (Click to enlarge)

With a second major winter storm in three days expected to wallop the region starting tonight, Red Bank officials have amped up their enforcement of street-parking rules and snow-removal laws, they say.

More than at any time in the past two decades, the public works and police departments are coordinating their efforts to clear borough streets and parking lots of snow, officials say. And that could mean more tickets, they warn.

“We really don’t bother people about parking on the streets” when it snows, says Councilwoman Sharon Lee. “But it’s gotten to the point where it has not paid for us to be pliable.”

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BOROUGH SALARY INCREASES APPROVED

hot-topic rightWith a contingent of town employees looking on and only one, brief objection raised, the Red Bank Borough Council approved an annualized three-percent salary increase for most of its non-unionized workers Tuesday night.

Even Kim Senkeleski, a Republican who ran an unsuccessful campaign for a seat on the governing body this year, expressed no misgivings about the size of the boost.

“Everyone’s entitled to a raise,” she said.

Only Bill Poku, of Bank Street, objected to the increase, and he did so parenthetically, in remarks that were otherwise focused on the reliability of property tax assessments.

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