RED BANK: NONPARTISAN ELECTIONS ADVANCE

Ben Forest outside Sickles Market last September. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njLamenting the “unpleasantness” of Red Bank politics in recent years, Charter Study Commission member Ben Forest made a tearful plea for nonpartisan elections Wednesday.

The commission’s other four members informally agreed. They also began sorting through alternatives to the borough form of government in use since the town was carved out of then-sprawling Shrewsbury Township in 1908.

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RED BANK: TURNOUT LIGHT FOR FORUM

A screengrab of Wednesday’s meeting, held via Zoom. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

An online public forum held Wednesday night by Red Bank’s  Charter Study Commission was brief, as only two residents chimed in.

But more have weighed in by email, according several commission members. And one consistent theme is that residents don’t want an appointed mayor, they said.

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RED BANK: SIX WEIGH IN ON CHARTER REVIEW

By JOHN T. WARD

A half-dozen residents weighed in Tuesday night on Red Bank’s form of government and how people get elected to it.

Among the commenters at a Zoom session of the Charter Study Commission were several who like the idea that council members can make things happen at the department level.

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RED BANK: TAYLOR GRILLS ZIPPRICH, BALLARD

Mark Taylor, center, grilled two sitting councilmen, including Michael Ballard, bottom right. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Aggressive questioning of two current council members by a former councilman marked a special session of the Red Bank Charter Study Commission Thursday night.

Appearing as the final witnesses for phase one of the commission’s review, both Ed Zipprich and Michael Ballard defended the borough form of government in place since 1908, and recent changes to shift power away from the town’s unelected administrator.

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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: 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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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: SHEHADY ON COMMISSION AGENDA

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

See CORRECTION below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njEight months after he ended a stormy stint as Red Bank’s top unelected official, Ziad Shehady is scheduled to offer his perspective on how well the town’s government works Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: CEO NEEDED, ADVISER SAYS

Joe Hartnett, right, with Ken DeRoberts at a Red Bank council meeting in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic

Whatever new form of government it might adopt, Red Bank needs a strong chief executive officer, a consultant who co-authored a critical review of borough operations said last week.

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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: COMMISSION PREPARES TO DIG IN

Attorney Michael Collins, left, on the dais with Chairwoman Nancy Facey Blackwood. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic

After two preparatory sessions, the Red Bank Charter Study Commission expects to begin digging into its task on January 13.

In the interim, the five-member citizen’s body has a “homework” assignment.

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RED BANK: GOVERNMENT REVIEW LAUNCHED

Sworn in by Mayor Pasquale Menna, right, were commission members, standing from left: Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Kate Okeson, Mark Taylor, Mike DuPont and Ben Forest. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA study that could result in an historic overhaul of Red Bank governance, and imperil three decades of Democratic party dominance, got underway Tuesday night.

On the agenda of the newly empaneled Red Bank Charter Study Commission were nuts-and-bolts matters: requesting a budget, finding a lawyer and setting a meeting schedule.

On the unofficial agenda: learning to use the microphones.

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RED BANK: COMMISSION SETS FIRST MEETING

Commission members, from left: Mike DuPont, Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Ben Forest, Kate Okeson and Mark Taylor. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Authorized by borough voters earlier this month, the Red Bank Charter Study Commission has scheduled its first meeting.

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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: CHARTER STUDY SET INTO MOTION

Clockwise from top left: Mike DuPont, Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Ben Forest, Mark Taylor and Kate Okeson. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

CLARIFICATION: This article reported results as of 11 p.m. on election day, and the outcome may change as mail-in ballots are counted.

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank voters went with four of five slate candidates in the borough’s historic election for charter study commission Tuesday.

But first, they said “yes,” overwhelmingly, on whether the study should take place.

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RED BANK: CHARTER STUDY CANDIDATE Q&As

Eleven Red Bank residents are running for five seats in this year’s election for charter study commission.

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

Scott Broschart
Mike DuPont
Nancy Facey-Blackwood
Ben Forest
Jesse Garrison
John Gosden
Aimee Humphreys
John Jackson
Kate Okeson
Mark Taylor
Tom Wieczerzak

In addition, check out the voter resource guide below, with information on the public question that would authorize formation of the commission.

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RED BANK: GOSDEN Q&A

On the ballot November 2: charter study commission candidate John Gosden. (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 John Gosden had to say in response to a questionnaire sent to all contenders by redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: FACEY-BLACKWOOD Q&A

On the ballot November 2: charter study commission candidate Nancy Facey-Blackwood. (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 Nancy Facey-Blackwood had to say in response to a questionnaire sent to all contenders 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: BROSCHART Q&A

On the ballot November 2: charter study commission candidate Scott Broschart. (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 Scott Broschart had to say in response to a questionnaire sent to all contenders by redbankgreen.

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