FAIR HAVEN: NEW MAYOR FINDS COMPROMISE

Mayor Joshua Halpern, second from left in top row, as seen during Monday’s virtual council meeting. (Screengrab from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njFive days into the job, Fair Haven’s new mayor forged a “compromise” Monday night in an effort to preserve funding for a road project that appeared dead a week ago.

“We’re looking for progress here,” Mayor Joshua Halpern said during a 47-minute special council meeting, his first as a public official.

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FAIR HAVEN: NEW MAYOR REVIVES ROAD PLAN

Cooney Terrace, above, and part of Hance Road would remain sidewalk-free, and possibly curb-free, under a proposal up for a vote Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Se UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA Fair Haven road project that appeared dead Tuesday may have been revived by the man who was named mayor that night.

Mayor Joshua Halpern on Friday called a special meeting of the council for Monday night to consider a plan to repave the northern end of Hance Road – but without sidewalks and maybe without curbs.

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FAIR HAVEN: SIDEWALK PLAN HITS DEAD END

Delivery trucks and tree-removal equipment narrowed a stretch of Hance Road Wednesday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter seven years of planning, and months of intense pushback, Fair Haven’s council killed a plan to install sidewalks and curbs in an area that residents likened to a “country lane” Tuesday night.

The action, on a 3-3 vote without a mayor in place to cast a tiebreaker, left unanswered what to do about streets that still need repaving, and whether to waive a $350,000 grant to pay for it.

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FAIR HAVEN: NEWCOMER TAPPED AS MAYOR

Mayor-elect Joshua Halpern with local Republican Chairman Andy Trocchia and a resident following the council meeting Tuesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA political newcomer is set to become Fair Haven’s next mayor.

At its semimonthly session Tuesday night, the council chose Joshua Halpern, a 10-year borough resident who’s never served on a government committee, to fill the chair vacated by Ben Lucarelli when he abruptly quit September 14.

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FAIR HAVEN: RESIGNATION FOLLOWED CLASH

Ben Lucarelli at the dedication of Williams, Albert and Robards Park in 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njSince he abruptly resigned as Fair Haven’s mayor two days ago, Ben Lucarelli hasn’t said a word publicly about his decision.

But a recording of Monday night’s council session captures him frustrated over a loss of “decorum” at public meetings and taking flak for his own conduct.

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FAIR HAVEN: LUCARELLI RESIGNS AS MAYOR

Ben Lucarelli during the council’s annual session held at the Knollwood School in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter nearly a decade in the position, Ben Lucarelli has resigned as Fair Haven’s mayor, effective immediately, borough Administrator Theresa Casagrande announced Tuesday.

No reason was given.

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FAIR HAVEN: FIREMEN’S FAIR BACK ON TRACK

The fair will return in August, said Councilman Mike McCue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The summer-ending food-and-fun extravaganza known as the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair will return in August, borough Councilman Mike McCue said Monday night.

That sparkler of news, another sign of the waning COVID-19 pandemic, came amid council action on the budget, cannabis, waterfront property and more.

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FAIR HAVEN: COUNCIL HIGHLIGHTS

Closed since early in the pandemic, Fair Haven’s borough hall and library will reopen June 7, administrator says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A new council member, a call for budget cuts, a planned reopening of borough hall and a pandemic ponytail were among the topics at what might have been the last Fair Haven council meeting of the pandemic Monday night.

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FAIR HAVEN: LOADS OF PRAISE FOR DPW PLAN

A view from the northwest of the proposed DPW garage and offices. Recycling compactors would be concealed by a fence. (Concept by the Goldstein Partnership. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njFair Haven planning board members and residents heaped truckloads of “love” Tuesday night on a revised plan to overhaul the town’s public works yard. Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: DUNKIN’ AIMS FOR FRESH START

The new shop as it appeared before dawn Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicAfter nearly two and a half years of town-splitting arguments, Fair Haven now has a Dunkin’ coffee shop.

Considering the wringer he went through to get to this point, owner Domenic Sequeira was in a pretty affable mood Wednesday morning.

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FAIR HAVEN: PD, DPW CONCEPTS UNVEILED

fair haven police plan 101320A concept drawing of a new police station on Fisk Street, above; below, an aerial view superimposing the station at top, as well as a new rec center and parking lot. (Visuals by The Goldstein Partnership. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fair haven police rec center plan 101320Fair Haven residents got their first peek at concept plans for a trio of new borough facilities Tuesday night.

They also got the first hint of what some of it might cost.

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FAIR HAVEN: PD, DPW, PLANS IN REVISION

Borough Engineer Rich Gardella, at upper right, discussed concept plans for the public works yard on Third Street during the council meeting Monday night. Below, a 2019 rendering showing a DPW building repositioned to Third Street. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fair haven, nj, dpw conceptIt’s back-to-the-drawing board time as Fair Haven officials try once again to advance two significant capital projects.

One is a proposed new police station, which was the driving factor behind two controversial, and failed, property acquisition efforts in recent years.

The other is a public works yard makeover that not long ago appeared on track to yield residential lots the town could sell to fund later projects. That may no longer be the case.

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FAIR HAVEN: BIKE LANE DEBATE CONTINUES

fair haven bike laneUnder the plan, “share the road” sharrows would be painted in both directions through the eastern business district. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A debate over proposed bike lanes and share-the-road markings along the length of River Road in Fair Haven rolled on Monday night.

One week after he broke a tie to advance the plan, Mayor Ben Lucarelli brought in some “sources of authority” on the issue. But opposition, even among some bikers, continued.

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FAIR HAVEN: COUNCIL SPLITS ON BIKE PLAN

Under the plan, both sides of River Road between Lake Avenue and Hance Road would be marked with bike lanes; sharrows would be painted from Hance east to the Rumson border. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See CORRECTION below]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A plan for bike lanes in Fair Haven hit some potholes last week.

Mayor Ben Lucarelli was forced to break a tie when three council members balked at approving share-the-road markings through the River Road business district.

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FAIR HAVEN: DUNKIN’ COMMENTS LESS HEATED

red bank what's going on herefair haven dunkin This time a year ago, Fair Haven was a town divided. The issue? Whether to allow a Dunkin’ coffee shop to fill a vacancy in the River Road strip mall anchored by an Acme supermarket. The back-and-forth on the Fair Haven, NJ Facebook page got so nasty that the moderator shut down commenting on the issue.

Well this week, seven months after the planning board approved the shop, the still-empty retail space got its Dunkin’ sign, and the moderator allowed a resumption of comments. So how’d that go?

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FAIR HAVEN: DUNKIN’ WINS BOARD APPROVAL

fair haven shopping centerThough turns would still be allowed in both directions on River Road, the shopping center’s eastern driveway will be changed to exit-only, under a condition set by the board. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njMore than a year after it was proposed, a Dunkin’ coffee shop won approval to operate in Fair Haven Monday night.

The 6-2 planning board vote, shortly before 11 p.m. capped months of passionate debate over traffic safety, a fast-food law that went MIA and the shop’s potential impact on the small-town character of the borough.

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FAIR HAVEN: GOP HOLDS ONTO COUNCIL

Fair Haven voters went with familiar Republicans in Tuesday’s elections. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fair haven, nj election voter registrationIncumbent Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli, who was unchallenged on the ballot, and Councilwoman Betsy Koch retained their seats in Tuesday night’s election.

They’ll be joined on the governing body in January by their two Republican running mates, former council member Jim Banahan and newcomer Jacquie Rice, according to unofficial results from the Monmouth County Clerk.

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FAIR HAVEN: BEN LUCARELLI Q&A

fair haven, nj, ben lucarelliBen Lucarelli. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

fair haven, nj, election, q&A,

The mayoralty and three seats on the Fair Haven Borough Council are up for grabs in the November 6 election.

On the ballot are Republican Mayor Ben Lucarelli, who is running unopposed; incumbent Republican Councilwoman Betsy  Koch and her Republican running mates Jim Banahan and Jacquie Rice; and Democrats Evan Hughes, Cameron Spector and Carolyn Williams.

Here are Lucarelli’s written responses to questions posed to all Fair Haven candidates recently by redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN: JIM BANAHAN Q&A

fair haven, nj, jim banahanJim Banahan. (Click to enlarge.)

fair haven, nj, election, q&A,

The mayoralty and three seats on the Fair Haven Borough Council are up for grabs in the November 6 election.

On the ballot are incumbent Republican Mayor Ben Lucarelli, who is running unopposed;  incumbent Republican Councilwoman Betsy  Koch and her running mates Jim Banahan and Jacquie Rice; and Democrats Evan Hughes, Cameron Spector and Carolyn Williams.

Here are Banahan’s written responses to questions posed to all Fair Haven candidates recently by redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN: EVAN HUGHES Q&A

Evan Hughes. (Click to enlarge.)

fair haven, nj, election, q&A,

The mayoralty and three seats on the Fair Haven Borough Council are up for grabs in the November 6 election.

On the ballot are Republican Mayor Ben Lucarelli, who is running unopposed;  incumbent Republican Councilwoman Betsy  Koch and her Republican running mates Jim Banahan and Jacquie Rice; and Democrats Evan Hughes, Cameron Spector and Carolyn Williams.

Here are Hughes’ written responses to questions posed to all Fair Haven candidates recently by redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN: ELIZABETH KOCH Q&A

betsy koch, fair haven, njElizabeth Koch. (Click to enlarge.)

fair haven, nj, election, q&A,

The mayoralty and three seats on the Fair Haven Borough Council are up for grabs in the November 6 election.

On the ballot are Republican Mayor Ben Lucarelli, who is running unopposed;  incumbent Republican Councilwoman Elizabeth Koch and her Republican running mates Jim Banahan and Jacquie Rice; and Democrats Evan Hughes, Cameron Spector and Carolyn Williams.

Here are Koch’s written responses to questions posed to all Fair Haven candidates recently by redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN: JACQUIE RICE Q&A

fair haven, nj, jacquie riceJacquie Rice. (Click to enlarge.)

fair haven, nj, election, q&A,

The mayoralty and three seats on the Fair Haven Borough Council are up for grabs in the November 6 election.

On the ballot are Republican Mayor Ben Lucarelli, who is running unopposed;  incumbent Republican Councilwoman Betsy  Koch and her Republican running mates Jim Banahan and Jacquie Rice; and Democrats Evan Hughes, Cameron Spector and Carolyn Williams.

Here are Rice’s written responses to questions posed to all Fair Haven candidates recently by redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN: CAMERON SPECTOR Q&A

fair haven, nj, cameron spectorCameron Spector. (Click to enlarge.)

fair haven, nj, election, q&A,

The mayoralty and three seats on the Fair Haven Borough Council are up for grabs in the November 6 election.

On the ballot are Republican Mayor Ben Lucarelli, who is running unopposed;  incumbent Republican Councilwoman Betsy  Koch and her Republican running mates Jim Banahan and Jacquie Rice; and Democrats Evan Hughes, Cameron Spector and Carolyn Williams.

Here are Spector’s written responses to questions posed to all Fair Haven candidates recently by redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN: CAROLYN WILLIAMS Q&A

fair haven, nj, carolyn williamsCarolyn Williams. (Click to enlarge.)

fair haven, nj, election, q&A,

The mayoralty and three seats on the Fair Haven Borough Council are up for grabs in the November 6 election.

On the ballot are Republican Mayor Ben Lucarelli, who is running unopposed;  incumbent Republican Councilwoman Betsy  Koch and her Republican running mates Jim Banahan and Jacquie Rice; and Democrats Evan Hughes, Cameron Spector and Carolyn Williams.

Here are Williams’ written responses to questions posed to all Fair Haven candidates recently by redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN: KOCH JOINS COUNCIL AFTER ALL

With an assist from Councilwoman Susan Sorensen, Betsy Koch, right, takes her seat for the first time as a council member during a meeting held at the Knollwood School, where she’s a teacher. Members of the student council were also on the dais. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Less than a three weeks after a narrow loss at the polls, Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Koch won unanimous appointment to the Fair Haven council Monday.

She replaces Councilman Rowland Wilhelm, who stepped down with two years remaining on his third three-year term.

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