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RED BANK: HYBRID SESSIONS PLANNED

A screen grab from the council’s March 23 session via Zoom. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After two years of meeting on laptop screens, the Red Bank council is moving closer to a return to borough hall, while continuing to offer participation from home.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL PICKS O’HERN

Attorney Dan O’Hern with Councilwoman Kathy Horgan at the Mayor’s Ball in 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicReduced by conflicts of interest to half-power, the Red Bank council hired attorney Dan O’Hern Jr. to defend the borough against a lawsuit Friday afternoon.

The selection was formalized at a special council session called in advance of a Monday morning hearing at which a Superior Court judge could oust one council member at the behest of another.

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RED BANK: WHO’S THE ‘BOROUGH’ IN LAWSUIT?

A view of a closed-door Red Bank council executive session in 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicWith one Red Bank council member suing two others and the municipal government itself, who gets to be the “borough” in attorney-client discussions?

It’s complicated.

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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: 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: 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: 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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RED BANK: MIRANDI ZOOMS INTO OFFICE

Angela Mirandi, center, prior to her swearing-in. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bankers were finally able to put a face to the name as Angela Mirandi completed her swift transformation from commenter to council member Friday evening.

The corporate accountant, whose voice became familiar to other attendees of Zoom-hosted council meetings during the pandemic, was sworn to office in a brief ceremony outside borough hall, less than 48 hours after a divided council selected her to fill a vacancy.

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RED BANK: MIRANDI VOTED TO COUNCIL SEAT

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank’s governing council is about to get a new member: Angela Mirandi, a corporate-numbers professional who would immediately have a spot on the powerful budget oversight committee.

But Mirandi’s selection Wednesday night followed a dramatic few minutes in which the chairman of the Democratic party declined to endorse one of the other two residents whose names he had forwarded as contenders.

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RED BANK: ADMINISTRATOR IN SPOTLIGHTS

Interim Business Administrator Darren McConnell, second row right, at the answered questions from Charter Study Commission members Wednesday night. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe executive authority given Red Bank’s appointed administrator may shift back to elected officials next week.

But will voters shift it back in November?

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RED BANK: COUNCIL WRAP

Council Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, center top row, chaired the meeting for the first time since her January 1 election as council president. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Red Bank’s council debated several issues with less friction Wednesday night than often seen over the past two years.

 

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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: YASSIN EVICTED

Hazim Yassin at a council meeting in 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicWith just days left on his term, former Red Bank councilman Hazim Yassin was ordered evicted from his apartment last month, court records show.

The action came less than two months after Yassin agreed to pay his landlord more than $32,000 in overdue rent.

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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: ELECTION RESULTS FINAL

It’s official: Democrats Jacqueline Sturdivant, left, and Kate Triggiano are the winners of this year’s race for seats on the Red Bank council.

The five winners in the race for charter study commission were also unchanged from the preliminary results posted on election night, November 2.

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RED BANK: YASSIN SETTLES RENT CASE

Councilman Hazim Yassin, lower right, listens as Judge Kerry Higgins, upper left, reviews the settlement. (Screengrab from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicLame duck Councilman Hazim Yassin dodged possible eviction from his Red Bank apartment with an agreement to pay his landlord more than $32,000 in back rent Friday.

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RED BANK: CANDIDATES MAKE THEIR PITCHES

Candidates (from left) Jacqueline Sturdivant, Sue Viscomi and Kate Triggiano at Monday’s event, with moderator Amy Goldsmith at right. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank voters were treated to a rancor-free forum featuring the three candidates for two borough council seats Monday night.

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RED BANK: VIRTUAL CANDIDATES’ NIGHT SET

Candidates (from left) Jacqueline Sturdivant, Kate Triggiano and Sue Viscomi have confirmed their participation, according to organizers. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank voters will get a chance to pose questions to the three candidates for borough council in a remote forum scheduled for Monday night.

The West Side Community Group announced Friday that it would conduct its 26th annual Candidate’s Night via Zoom and Facebook.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL CANDIDATE Q&As

Red Bank voters will have three candidates from whom to elect two members of the borough council for three-year terms that begin January 1.

See what they had to say about the issues and their qualifications to tackle them in these Q&As with redbankgreen:

Kate Triggiano
Jacqueline Sturdivant
Sue Viscomi

Be sure to also check out our Q&As with all 11 candidates for the Red Bank Charter Study Commission here, and the extensive voter resource guide below.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL CANDIDATE VISCOMI

On the ballot November 2: Red Bank council candidate Sue Viscomi. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank voters will have three candidates to choose from when they elect two council members November 2.

Here’s what candidate Sue Viscomi had to say in response to a questionnaire sent to the three by redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL CANDIDATE TRIGGIANO

On the ballot November 2: Red Bank council candidate Kate Triggiano. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank voters will have three candidates to choose from when they elect two council members November 2.

Here’s what candidate Kate Triggiano had to say in response to a questionnaire sent to the three by redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: COUNTY CHAIR BLASTS ZIPPRICH

A mailer sent by Zipprich-backed newcomer Jacqueline Sturdivant obscured the name of fellow Democrat and incumbent Kate Triggiano. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

Two weeks before election day, a bitter split between Red Bank and Monmouth County Democratic powerbrokers went wide Tuesday.

In a letter immediately made public, the party’s top county official, David G. Brown II, blasted borough party head Ed Zipprich for “clearly not supporting” incumbent Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, who is seeking a second term.

Zipprich, also a council member, responded with accusations of his own against Brown and Triggiano, with whom he has sparred for more than year.

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