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: ZIPPRICH, BALLARD ON AGENDA

Councilmen Michael Ballard, left, and Ed Zipprich at borough hall last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.) 

By JOHN T. WARD

On deck to testify at a special session of the Red Bank Charter Study Commission Thursday is Democratic party chairman and Councilman Ed Zipprich.

Also slated to sit for an interview is Councilman Michael Ballard, a Zipprich ally on the fiercely divided but all-Democratic governing body.

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RED BANK: DENHOLTZ TO BUY MAYO PROPERTY

Mayo Auto Service owner Pete Soviero outside his Monmouth Street shop last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicThe Denholtz Properties juggernaut continues, with the Red Bank real estate development company about to acquire another key block of sites in town.

Mayo Auto Service owner Pete Soviero has agreed to sell the Monmouth Street property alongside the train station that’s been home to his business for the past 18 years, he confirmed to redbankgreen last week.

But the shop is “not going anywhere” for several years, he said.

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RED BANK: CRIME & ARREST REPORTS

The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for February, 2022. This information is unedited; see below for additional information.

CRIMES

Theft: In the area of W. Front St., a patrol unit took a report of theft from a business on 02/08/2022. Victim reported a black in color Apple IPhone 13 valued $1,100.00 was taken while inside of a business. Ptl. Michael Zadlock.

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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: DEMS DUMP MENNA FOR BALLARD

Michael Ballard and Ed Zipprich in 2015; Mayor Pasquale Menna is visible in the background. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Dumping a party stalwart after more than three decades in office, Red Bank’s Democratic regulars nominated Councilman Michael Ballard as their candidate for mayor Wednesday.

The move exposed new depths of a bitter split with 16-year incumbent Mayor Pasquale Menna, who told redbankgreen that party committee members had shown “their true colors” with their decision.

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RED BANK: ZONING BOARD REJECTS PRC PLAN

The latest proposal by PRC called for additions at 141 West Front Street to top out at six stories, as shown at left. The original nine-story plan is shown at right. (Renderings by William Feinberg. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter two years and multiple rounds of scaling back, the air space above Pazzo MMX restaurant in downtown Red Bank won’t be filled with new apartments after all.

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RED BANK: DEMS AIR PARTY’S DIRTY LAUNDRY

Mayor Pasquale Menna, top left, and Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, center bottom, participated in commission interviews via Zoom Wednesday. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Mayor Pasquale Menna on Wednesday joined a growing parade of current and former Red Bank officials who have identified “interference” by council members as one of the borough government’s foremost problems.

In stunning testimony before the Charter Study Commission, Menna also was one of three Democrats who laid blame for local government “dysfunction” squarely on their own party.

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SANDY HOOK: MAN FOUND GUILTY OF ATTACK

The assault occurred in a car parked at Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook, authorities alleged. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

A Hudson County man was found guilty of sexual assault on a woman at Sandy Hook almost two years ago, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Thursday.

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RED BANK: SIDES CLASH OVER COUNCIL SEAT

Angela Mirandi at her February 11 swearing-in ceremony, with Mayor Pasquale Menna, center, and Councilman Ed Zipprich at right. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank’s establishment Democrats have “admitted” in a court filing that last month’s appointment of Angela Mirandi to the borough council was tainted, challengers contended Tuesday.

Two party dissidents said in their own court filing that the purported admission bolsters their argument that Mirandi should be swiftly removed from the governing body.

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RED BANK: CENTURY HOUSE SPARED

Downtown Investors has dropped its plans to demolish the house at 26 Wallace Street for parking. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA century house targeted for demolition in downtown Red Bank has been spared the wrecking ball, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: NO-CHARGE PHARMACY TO OPEN

The Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy is expected to open in April, its founder said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank is about to become home to New Jersey’s first free-medication drugstore, its founder told redbankgreen this week.

Pharmacist Ritesh Shah said he plans to open the no-charge dispensary next month in memory of his sister, who died from complications of COVID-19.

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RED BANK: PARTY DEFENDS APPOINTMENT

Councilwoman Angela Mirandi at her February 11 swearing-in ceremony. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank’s establishment Democrats contend that their own failure to meet a deadline means the appointment of Angela Mirandi to the council should stand.

The unexpected argument was made in a letter filed in Superior Court Monday in a response to a lawsuit filed last week by Councilwoman Kathy Horgan and Charter Study Commission member Kate Okeson.

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RED BANK: EX-AGENCY MEMBER FIRES BACK

wilson beebe 072319Wilson Beebe at a Redevelopment Agency session in July, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 See correction below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWith the Red Bank Redevelopment Agency on the chopping block, one of its former members fired a parting shot at elected officials Thursday.

Contrary to claims, the town got its money’s worth, Wilson Beebe wrote in an “open letter to the Red Bank council and residents.” And “the responsibility for the manner in which the Senior Center project was handled rests solely” on the borough council, he said.

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RED BANK: PRC SHRINKS PROPOSAL AGAIN

The latest plan calls for additions at 141 West Front Street to top out at six stories. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

EDITOR’ NOTE: This is a repost of an article from January 18. The January 20 zoning board hearing on this plan was cancelled and is now scheduled for Thursday, March 3.

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njMore than two years after it was first proposed, a massive addition to an existing building in downtown Red Bank keeps getting less massive.

With the third round of revisions made in the hope of satisfying the zoning board this week, PRC Group has reduced its ask to 58 residential units, down from the original 150, and from 99 last summer.

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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: DEMS SUE DEMS TO OUST MIRANDI

Councilman and Democratic party Chairman Ed Zipprich attaches a borough pin to Angela Mirandi’s lapel after her February 11 swearing-in. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicThe civil war among Red Bank Democrats shifted to the courts Wednesday, as two local party committee members announced they sued to have newly-sworn council member Angela Mirandi removed from office.

The Superior Court lawsuit against party Chairman Ed Zipprich and others alleges he illegally froze out committee members Kathy Horgan and Kate Okeson in filling a council vacancy earlier this month.

News of the lawsuit broke just hours before Mirandi was expected to attend her first council session as a member.

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RED BANK: LEAD-TAINTED SOIL TO BE REMOVED

A map showing the properties where the DEP plans to do soil testing and remediation. An added arrow indicates the community garden lot. (DEP map. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicHomes near Red Bank’s community garden may require heavy excavation work to remove lead-contaminated soil, New Jersey environmental officials told residents Tuesday night.

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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: APARTMENT REVIEW RESUMES

An elevation showing the Monmouth Street side of the proposed mixed-used project, looking eastward. (Rendering by SOME Architects. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njStalled for more than two years, hearings on a proposal for four stories of new apartments and shops on Monmouth Street resumed in Red Bank Thursday night.

Among early subjects of concern were plans to raze two homes for parking, and the impacts on adjoining properties.

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RED BANK: HPC SPLITS OVER CENTURY HOUSE

Downtown Investors plans to demolish the house at 26 Wallace Street for parking. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njMembers of Red Bank’s Historic Preservation Commission split Wednesday night over its next steps regarding a developer’s plan to demolish a century house for parking.

The HPC also approved remodeling plans for a building at a key downtown intersection after the owner revised plans that were rejected a month ago.

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RED BANK: BALLARD BLASTS SELF-DEALING ALLEGATION, ANNOUNCES MAYORAL RUN

Councilman Michael Ballard at Councilwoman Angela Mirandi’s oath ceremony Friday. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Councilman Michael Ballard Tuesday blasted as “fictitious” an allegation that he slipped a raise for his wife, a part-time borough employee, past the rest of the governing body in 2019.

In the same press release, Ballard announced his intention to run for mayor, setting up a back-room clash with fellow Democrat and four-term incumbent Pasquale Menna.

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