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RED BANK: BOROUGH MAY GET USED TESLA

Nancy and Phil Blackwood with the car they’ve offered to the town. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A fire-engine red Tesla sedan may become part of the Red Bank municipal fleet this week, pending the acceptance of a proposed donation by a borough couple.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON COUNCIL AGENDA

Interim Business Administrator and police Chief Darren McConnell with Senior Center Director Jackie Reynolds in October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAt its semimonthly meeting Tuesday night, the Red Bank council is expected to consider a new employment pact with the borough’s acting administrator.

Also on deck: appointing a Master Plan consultant; weighing in on the future of the charter school; and anticipating a looming retirement at borough hall.

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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 STURDIVANT

On the ballot November 2: Red Bank council candidate Jacqueline Sturdivant. (Photo provided by candidate. 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 Jacqueline Sturdivant had to say in response to a questionnaire sent to the three by redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: GARRISON Q&A

On the ballot November 2: charter study commission candidate Jesse Garrison. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank voters will have 11 candidates to choose from when they elect a five-member charter study commission November 2.

Here’s what candidate Jesse Garrison had to say in response to a questionnaire sent to all contenders 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: 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: BALLARD OPPOSES SURPLUS USE

Councilman Michael Ballard in 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesRed Bank Councilman Michael Ballard challenged his fellow Democrats on the governing body Thursday night for using unspent funds from 2020 to keep a lid on taxes.

At a special session of the council, held via Zoom, Ballard alleged the use of $3.5 million in surplus was driven by that objective.

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ON THE GREEN: TAX DUE DATES EXTENDED

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesRed Bank and Fair Haven property owners who pay their taxes directly, rather than through an escrow account, can hold off on pulling out their checkbooks for a few more weeks.

Bills have yet to be sent out for taxes normally due August 1.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON COUNCIL AGENDA

red bank east side lots 040820The East Side parking lots would get a makeover under an engineering contract on the agenda. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council has some weighty spending and hiring matters on its agenda when it meets this week.

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RED BANK: WOMEN IN LEAD AS DEMS SPLIT

Kate Triggiano at her January, 2019 swearing-in with husband, David, son, Otto, and former Assemblyman John Wisniewski. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The two women on competing tickets moved closer to claiming wins in the Red Bank Democratic primary election for council Wednesday.

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RED BANK: ONE PRIMARY CONTESTED, ONE NOT

By JOHN T. WARD

Four Red Bank Democrats square off Tuesday in a rare primary election for two spots on the November ballot for borough council.

Meantime, the borough’s Republicans have two “placeholder” candidates on the primary ballot.

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RED BANK: AGENCY CALLS FOR $9.3M YARD

A Google Maps satellite view of the public works yard and adjoining property to the east, roughly outlined in red. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank should move quickly to bond for an overhauled public works facility, according to a recommendation adopted by the Redevelopment Agency Tuesday evening.

Estimated cost, including the acquisition of property adjacent to the Chestnut Street site: $9.3 million.

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VIRUS UPDATES: STATE VAX TOTAL TOPS 6M

Governor Phil Murphy thanked VNA healthcare providers during a tour of the Red Bank YMCA Friday. (Photo by  John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

hot topic red bank nj

By JOHN T. WARD

New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccine program has now administered more than 6 million doses since it began December 15, Governor Phil Murphy said Monday. More →

RED BANK: DEMS’ INFIGHTING ESCALATES

Ed Zipprich, left, with husband J.P. Nicolaides holding a Bible, recites the oath of office in January, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

With nine weeks to go in a rare primary race for Red Bank council, a civil war within the Democratic party intensified this week. More →

RED BANK: SHEHADY RESIGNS TOP BORO JOB

Ziad Shehady in his borough hall office in June, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[This post has been updated since it was first published.]

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter only three years on the job, Ziad Shehady is resigning as Red Bank’s top unelected official, he told the borough council behind closed doors Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: DEMS CALL FOR CHARTER STUDY

Kathy Horgan with fellow Democrats and council members Ed Zipprich, center, and Michael Ballard in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Again taking aim at their own party’s chairman, four Red Bank council members and Mayor Pasquale Menna have called for a charter study to review the borough’s form of government – and possibly, change the electoral process.

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RED BANK: DEMS SWAP IN NEW CANDIDATE

By JOHN T. WARD

Trying to unseat its own incumbents in a primary contest, the Red Bank Democratic party has replaced one of two candidates for borough council seats, the organization announced Monday.

And according to local party Chairman and Councilman Ed Zipprich, the names of all four will be listed in the same column on the June 8 ballot, giving them all perceived equal footing.

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RED BANK: VISCOMI REBUTS RACISM CHARGE

Sue Viscomi at a school board meeting in March, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThree Red Bank council members were silent Wednesday in the face of accusations that one of them had smeared a resident by accusing her of using “racist” language last month.

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RED BANK: SHEHADY SLATES PUBLIC FORUMS

Ziad Shehady at borough event in February, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA week after announcing he was stepping down from a position that had become a “lightning rod” for criticism, Red Bank Borough Administrator Ziad Shehady said he plans to host a pair of public roundtables on a wide range of issues later this month.

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RED BANK: SHEHADY QUITS AGENCY POST

ziad shehady, ken derobertsZiad Shehady, left, with Ken DeRoberts at the 2018 Mayor’s Ball. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njZiad Shehady resigned as the executive director of the Red Bank Redevelopment Agency Tuesday, saying the position had become a “lightning rod” for criticism and source of distraction from his primary job as borough business administrator.

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RED BANK: LOCAL DEMOCRATS RUPTURE

Then-candidates Kate Triggiano and Hazim Yassin at the Mayor’s Ball in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Already showing cracks, the Red Bank Democratic party’s facade ruptured Monday night with the announcement that political newcomers will challenge two incumbents for their council seats.

Days after holding a virtual re-election fundraiser attended by Governor Phil Murphy, Kate Triggiano and Hazim Yassin opted to bypass the local party nomination process controlled by Councilman Ed Zipprich as they seek second terms, saying he’s on a vendetta that “reeks of boss politics.”

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RED BANK: RACIST SLUR, OR SLIP OF TONGUE?

Sue Viscomi, right, with Hazim Yassin and Kate Triggiano at borough hall in April, 2018. All three ran for council that year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA Red Bank board of ed member faced sharp criticism Thursday for a purported racist rendition of the borough business administrator’s name the night before.

But Sue Viscomi vehemently denied referring to Ziad Shehady as “Mr. Jihad.”

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON COUNCIL AGENDA

Among the many events organizers hope to bring back in 2021: the Red Bank Classic 5k, slated for June 19. A list of event dates is up for approval by the council. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s borough council meets with a busy agenda of financing actions, hirings and more Wednesday.

There’s also something missing, though numerous commenters have demanded it: changes to the meeting protocol covering… public comment.

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RED BANK: YASSIN MOVES TO COUNCIL FORE

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

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter a year of butting heads with most of his fellow Democrats, Red Bank Councilman Michael Ballard lost his seat on the budget-shaping finance committee Friday.

He was displaced by first-term Councilman Hazim Yassin at the borough government’s annual New Year’s Day reorganization meeting. More →