JUDGE TOSSES LAWSUIT OVER 51 MONMOUTH

51-monmouthAt issue was a settlement of an earlier lawsuit over the former borough hall and police station, now home to the Children’s Cultural Center. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot-topic rightA state court judge has dismissed a lawsuit by two non-resident property owners who claimed that Red Bank illegally settled an earlier suit with the Community YMCA over the onetime borough hall at 51 Monmouth Street.

Superior Court Judge Patricia DelBueno Cleary granted a summary judging dismissing all claims by Cindy Burnham and attorney Bill Meyer at a hearing in Freehold late Thursday morning, Mayor Pasquale Menna tells redbankgreen.

“In essence we won,” Menna said. “It’s unfortunate the borough had to expend money to defend itself.”

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TOWER SPARED APPARENT LIGHTNING STRIKE

alarm-070811A flash, a boom and an an automated alarm had Red Bank volunteer firefighters scrambling to the historic town hall at 51 Monmouth Street Friday afternoon on reports that the clock tower had been struck by lightning. Fire Chief John Mego, however, said a witness at the Broadway Diner next door saw the lightning hit to the rear of the building, and no evidence of a strike was found. The Relief Fire Company headquarters is attached to the structure, which is owned by the Community YMCA. (Click to enlarge)

NO-SHOWS NIX RED BANK COUNCIL SESSION

rb-quorumThe council couldn’t hold its regular meeting Wednesday night because of a lack of a quorum. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank’s regular council meeting Wednesday night was, in the words of Mayor Pasquale Menna, a “legal nullity,” which is just a fancy way to say there would be no meeting at all.

Councilman Ed Zipprich is out of the country. So is Councilwoman Kathy Horgan. Councilwoman Sharon Lee was out of the state. And Councilwoman Juanita Lewis was stuck in Piscataway.

“So, consequently we cannot open this meeting,” Menna said.

Not that the governing body was going to do much anyway.

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SUIT CALLS 51 MONMOUTH DEAL ‘ILLEGAL’

51-monmouthTwo property owners want the former borough hall returned to Red Bank as a public asset. (Click to enlarge)

As anticipated by Mayor Pasquale Menna, a lawsuit has been filed challenging Red Bank’s settlement of litigation earlier this year over the former borough hall and police station at 51 Monmouth Street.

The suit, filed by Maple Cove activist Cindy Burnham of Fair Haven and lawyer Bill Meyer of Tinton Falls, claims that both the original sale of the building to a nonprofit children’s organization in 2000 and the settlement of litigation over that deal earlier this year were “illegal and improper.”

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GADFLIES CHALLENGE YMCA SETTLEMENT

bill-meyerThe Red Bank council took heat over the deal from lawyer Bill Meyer. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank’s litigation with the Community YMCA is near an end, but Mayor Pasquale thinks borough officials may not be finished making trips to Superior Court in Freehold.

After a three-hour meeting that included nearly two hours of grilling by local watchdogs, the council passed a resolution approving a settlement that allows the nonprofit to sell the former borough police state at 51 Monmouth Street to its neighbor, St. James RC Church/Red Bank Catholic High School. The settlement puts to rest the second of two suits that had pitted the Y against the borough.

But comments from the public suggest Red Bank may be in for more legal work.

“I think there’s going to be a challenge to our action,” Menna told redbankgreen afterward.

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LAWSUIT TO COST BOROUGH $125,000

51-monmouthThe former police station, with the Relief Engine Company firehouse attached at right, is on both state and national registers of historic places. (Click to enlarge)

Public comment on a proposed settlement of a long-simmering dispute over the former Red Bank police station was temporarily halted Wednesday night after a resident questioned whether the issue had been properly advertised.

But not before borough officials outlined the terms of the deal with the Community YMCA that will cost borough taxpayers $125,000 over five years — and not before residents began castigating it as a no-win deal for the town.

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PRESS: BOROUGH & Y SETTLE A LAWSUIT

51-monmouthA proposed sale of the former borough hall by the Community YMCA has been tied up in litigation for nearly three years. (Click to enlarge)

One of two lawsuits pitting the Community YMCA against the borough of Red Bank has reached a tentative settlement that could be approved by the town council Monday night, the Asbury Park Press reports.

The deal would cost the borough $125,000 and clear the way for the Y to sell the former borough hall at 51 Monmouth Street to Red Bank Catholic High School, the newspaper reports.

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