Search Results for: "michael ballard"

RED BANK COUNCIL Q&A: MICHAEL BALLARD

michael ballard 090915 1Michael Ballard, Democrat. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election 2015 graphic

The balance of political power is at play in the November 3 election in Red Bank, which features four candidates for two three-year seats on the borough council. All four have indicated they’ll participate in the West Side Community Group’s annual candidates’ forum at the River Street Commons at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 1. For more information about the event, take it here.

To help voters compare the contenders in terms of personal background and positions on key issues, redbankgreen emailed them identical sets of questions late last week. Here’s what Michael Ballard had to say in response.

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RED BANK: SPCA CONTRACT UNDER REVIEW

Debbie Nagel, who then served as the borough’s backup animal control officer, with a raccoon pup rescued from a tree on Brown Place last May. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njJust six months in, Red Bank is rethinking its deal for animal control services with the Monmouth County SPCA.

The agreement generated a firestorm last spring, in part because it ended an in-house service provided by a borough employee who many residents praised for his dedication to the task.

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RED BANK: YNGSTROM QUITS, CITING TOXICITY

Erik Yngstrom celebrates his first election to council in 2016. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njCiting political “divisiveness” and “toxic rhetoric” about his recent marriage, Erik Yngstrom resigned from the Red Bank council Wednesday morning.

His departure from the all-Democratic governing body sets the table for a possible power shift back to party regulars headed by Councilman Ed Zipprich, an outcome Yngstrom said would only make things worse.

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RED BANK: STURDIVANT TEES UP REDEV, ADMIN

Councilwoman Jacqueline Sturdivant, framed in green, at Wednesday’s meeting. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njNewly elected Red Bank Councilwoman Jacqueline Sturdivant this week followed through on a campaign pledge by proposing the borough Redevelopment Agency be disbanded.

She also proposed resetting the power of the borough business administrator, a role she called “authoritarian.”

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RED BANK: MASK MANDATE EXPECTED

Mayor Pasquale Menna, right, and Congressman Frank Pallone were masked-up at the Red Bank reorganization January 1. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna is expected to issue an executive order mandating indoor mask-wearing to slow the spread of the resurgent COVID-19 virus.

The order, which could come as soon as Thursday, was motivated by “the pain that is being felt in our community,” Menna said at the monthly council workshop Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: EARLY SPLIT AT REORGANIZATION

Jacqueline Sturdivant arrives for her swearing-in, with fellow council members Ed Zipprich at left and Erik Yngstrom at right. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAmid calls for comity, three Red Bank council members tried but failed to derail the appointment of a fourth to a ceremonial post Saturday.

The New Year also began with a resident accusing a council member of “lying” about his place of residence.

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RED BANK: AGENCY FUTURE IN SPOTLIGHT

Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Cherron Rountree speaking at the borough library earlier this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWith the cancellation of its year-ending meeting scheduled for earlier this week, Red Bank’s Redevelopment Agency closes out 2021 having met just twice since July.

Going into 2020, whether it will survive to its third anniversary is an open question.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL WRAPS UP 2021

The council meeting was the final one scheduled for 2021. (Screenshot from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council’s final regular meeting of 2021 included a new police contract, a plan to recombine workshop and regular sessions, a new used Tesla, and praise for a departing colleague.

Here’s an overview.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL ‘NO’ TO CHARTER SCHOOL

The New Jersey Department of Education will decide whether the Red Bank Charter School can operate for five more years. (redbankgreen photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter nearly three hours of passionate and divided public input, the Red Bank council unanimously supported a resolution calling for a non-renewal of the Red Bank Charter School Tuesday night.

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RED BANK: MASTER PLAN OUTREACH PLEDGED

Monday night’s planning board meeting was lightly attended. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA New York City planning firm will run a series of public sessions and set up a web portal for comments while overhauling Red Bank’s Master Plan, planning board members said Monday night.

The promised outreach effort put the proposal by BFJ Planning “heads and tails above” four other pitches for the contract, said member David Cassidy.

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RED BANK: MASTER PLAN IN SPOTLIGHT

The borough’s zoning map is among the topics up for Master Plan review. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicThe choice of a consultant to lead the rewriting of Red Bank’s Master Plan is expected to get a spotlight at the planning board meeting scheduled for Monday night.

After a demand by Councilman Michael Ballard for greater transparency, the board is expected to review its selection process.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON COUNCIL AGENDA

Red Bank’s borough hall as storm clouds rolled in from the west Saturday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAt its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, the Red Bank council is expected to take up financing the Master Plan, selling a brand-new vehicle, filling a job vacancy and more.

Here’s some of what’s on the agenda:

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RED BANK: CENTER REPAIR FORUM(S) POSSIBLE

The Senior Center has been idle since a fire suppression system leak in January, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njSix months after the Red Bank council agreed to repair the water-damaged Senior Center, a presentation – or two – is in the works to get public input on the plans.

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RED BANK: BROADWALK BEGINS EXTRA MONTH

Temporary barriers at the south end of Broadwalk last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njOriginally slated to end its second season this week, Red Bank’s ‘Broadwalk‘ begins a one-month extension Friday.

But while Red Bank RiverCenter and many business owners say the mid-street, car-free promenade has succeeded in attracting customers over 18 months of pandemic, others say it has hurt them.

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RED BANK: ADMINISTRATOR SEARCH ON PAUSE

Chief Darren McConnell at National Night Out in August. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicOne of two Red Bank council members who last week called the search for a new borough administrator “stalled” said he learned only this weekend that his colleagues had halted the search weeks earlier.

Meanwhile, two others on the all-Democratic council, as well as Mayor Pasquale Menna, said they’re happy with the job police Chief Darren McConnell is doing as interim administrator, and feel no pressure to replace him.

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RED BANK: TWO CALL EXEC SEARCH “STALLED”

red bank, nj, ed zipprich, michael ballard, ziad shehadyFormer Business Administrator Ziad Shehady, right, with council members Ed Zipprich, left, and Michael Ballard in December, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicWith a second vacancy in a key position looming, Red Bank’s search for a borough administrator has stalled without explanation, say two council members.

And the current, interim holder of the position, police Chief Darren McConnell, tells redbankgreen” that there has been no recent movement” toward a replacement.

Mayor Pasquale Menna, however, disagrees, and says the local government is operating “in stellar fashion” under McConnell.

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RED BANK: TOP TWO JOBS OPEN AS CFO QUITS

Peter O’Reilly, left, with Mayor Pasquale Menna, right, and since-departed Business Administrator Ziad Shehady in May, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicAfter just two and a half years, Red Bank is back in the market for a borough chief financial officer.

With the departure of Peter O’Reilly, who submitted a letter of resignation Tuesday, the top two jobs at town hall are now vacant.

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RED BANK: SAXUM HEARING POSTPONED

A rendering of Saxum’s planned project at Riverside Avenue and Bodman Place. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njOpponents of a potential tax deal for a massive proposed development in Red Bank may have to cool their heels until October to challenge the first step in the process.

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RED BANK: TREES BOOST TAB FOR ROADWORK

The work to preserve trees on Hudson Avenue included bumping out curbs and extending driveway aprons. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Mid-project changes to preserve trees helped boost the tab for road work in Red Bank by more than $227,000 to this summer, officials said.

And the added expenses came in one penny below the threshold at which the entire $1.14 million project would have had to be re-bid.

RED BANK: WHERE IS THE EMAIL LEAK PROBE?

Councilman Ed Zipprich during a council meeting via Zoom in May. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic

More than eight months after the Red Bank council hired a lawyer to advise it on how to deal with an explosive email leak…

Crickets.

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RED BANK: BALLARD TOUTS NEW FEE LAW

Part of a recent building boom, 170 Monmouth Street is being converted from offices to residences, as seen in June. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesRed Bank Councilman Michael Ballard says a newly enacted ordinance will help address the impact of “explosive development” on borough infrastructure and taxes.

But only if it doesn’t get thrown out by a judge, says Mayor Pasquale Menna.

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RED BANK: LABOR SETTLEMENT ON AGENDA

red bank recycling center 051420The agenda includes settlements with Robert Greene, left, and John Cain, who were laid off from their recycling center jobs in May, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Memorials to living persons would be permitted on borough property under a policy up for possible adoption by the Red Bank council Wednesday night.

Also on the agenda: a settlement with two laid-off workers; curtailing private fireworks and awarding a contract for a Broad Street makeover project.

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RED BANK: DAL PRA PUTS ‘OUR KIDS’ FIRST

Del Dal Pra at Count Basie Park, where the stadium football field was prepped for installation of a new surface last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njEarly on in his new job as Red Bank parks and recreation director, Louis ‘Del’ Dal Pra suspected he’d have to make changes that would tick some people off.

Two encounters this spring convinced him he had no choice.

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