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: COUNCIL TAKES AIM AT POT, GUNS

Councilman Bob Marchese urged the council to ban recreational pot sales while allowing for medicinal trade. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Mixed in among discussions of yard sales and tree removals at the Fair Haven council’s semimonthly meeting Monday night were two issues of concern statewide and beyond: marijuana and guns.

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FAIR HAVEN: TOWN TAKES UP POT DEBATE

Councilmen Bob Marchese, center, and Jon Peters, with Business Administrator Theresa Casagrande in foreground, at Monday night’s meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven officials mulled joining other towns in Monmouth and Ocean counties in opposing the legalization of recreational marijuana Monday night.

But the discussion was left unfinished, as council members differed over what specifically they would oppose of Governor Phil Murphy’s plans for legalization, and what they would find acceptable.

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FAIR HAVEN: WALK & BIKE PLAN ON TABLE

Among changes recommended in the draft plan is an expansion of sidewalk coverage in town. Below, Councilman Jon Peters with residents at Monday’s event. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven residents and business got their latest opportunity Monday night to weigh in on host of walking-and-biking infrastructure proposals that could serve as a blueprint for decades to come.

The informational session, which preceded the borough council’s regular semimonthly meeting, was focused on the latest version of a draft document called the Pedestrian and Bike Active Transportation Plan.

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FAIR HAVEN TREE LAW PUT IN THE SHADE

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

bob-marcheseIn Fair Haven’s great tree debate, the borough council has gone back and forth for months, trying to find middle ground on revisions that would satisfy advocates of both property rights and environmental concerns.

Now, the shade tree commission has weighed with a set of proposed revisions to the ordinance. The planning board has chimed in, too, recommending the  law be uprooted altogether and re-seeded with a fresh perspective.

Where does a governing body go from here? Back to the negotiating table, apparently.

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TREE LAW SPLITS FAIR HAVEN COUNCIL

tree-chopWorkers cut down a tree in front of a Third Street home in Fair Haven Monday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Months of discussion and a handful of proposed revisions to Fair Haven’s tree preservation ordinance still haven’t gotten the six-member council in agreement on just what to do with the contentious law.

Half want to keep it as is. The other half, in the name of preserving property rights, want it updated.

When the latest would-be updates, proposed by Councilman Bob Marchese, came up for an introduction vote Monday night, the motion passed with a tie-breaking ‘yes’ by Mayor Mike Halfacre.

But that doesn’t mean they’ll will go into effect when a final vote comes.

“I will tell you gentlemen, if this same ordinance comes before me again, on a 3-3 tie I will vote no,” Halfacre said.

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FAIR HAVEN MAY TRIM TREE LAW

fh-treesHance Road in Fair Haven. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Councilman Bob Marchese’s got his axe ready, and it looks like changes to Fair Haven’s tree ordinance are imminent.

Marchese is proposing tweaks to the borough’s tree law, which he says infringes upon property owners’ rights.

“I believe our tree ordinance is subject to a constitutional attack, quite honestly,” he said. “I want to get this moving.”

It got moving Monday night, and the revised ordinance is expected to be introduced for a vote next month.

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FAIR HAVENITES QUACK OVER PET DUCKS

nicole-dawn-stoverNicole Stover, left, and her mother, Dawn, make their case to the borough council to keep six ducks as pets. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The borough council in Fair Haven is faced with a difficult and unusual decision.

On Monday night, the governing body heard from Nicole and Dawn Stover, who for the last six months have raised six ducks on their South Woodland Drive property — to the chagrin of their neighbors, who have health concerns and complain that the noise from the ducks is irritating.

If the council allows the Stovers to keep the ducks, it will upset the neighbors. If it denies the family’s request, then it will have broken the heart of 12-year-old Nicole, who’s raised the ducks — she’s named them Jeffrey, Delilah, Daisy, Lucifer, Blue and Genie — and says they’re “pretty much like my children.”

This is a touchy subject, especially in Fair Haven, where disruptions to the status quo tend to spin the populace into a tizzy.

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COUNCILMAN WANTS TO AXE TREE ORDINANCE

bob-marcheseBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Is Fair Haven Councilman Bob Marchese barking up the wrong tree?

The second-year councilman, shown right, told his counterparts Monday night that he wants to see the borough’s tree ordinance repealed, and intends to take it to a vote in the near future.

The ordinance, designed to protect trees of a certain size from the saw, was at issue last year when the borough code enforcement officer refused to let a home builder cut down a dozen trees and the council overruled the decision.

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FAIR HAVEN TREE LAW GETS ANOTHER LOOK

zoe-gallagher12-year-old Zoe Gallagher made her case to the borough council Monday night to amend Fair Haven’s tree ordinance. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Fair Haven is looking at revising its tree ordinance, and is doing so after a push from an unlikely source: a 12-year-old borough girl.

Zoe Gallagher, who made waves last month after a dozen trees were chopped down across the street from her Poplar Avenue home, Monday night asked the borough council to amend its ordinance in a way that she thinks will offer more protection for trees in town. After hearing her make her case, the council moved to introduce the amended ordinance and send it along to the planning board for review.

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WATER EMERGENCY CONFOUNDS LOCALS

water-emergencyRumson is among local towns being asked to conserve water. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

High temperatures and a lack of rain prompted the area’s leading water supplier to declare a water emergency over the holiday weekend with little warning, leaving some residents and local officials puzzled.

On Saturday, New Jersey American Water issued a mandate restricting all non-essential water usage, such as watering lawns and washing cars, to its customers, many of whom are in redbankgreen‘s coverage area.

But without the typical media blitz from the PR departments warning people of the risk of a water emergency, the restrictions came as a bit of shock to some.

“The odd thing to me is that we wound up in sort of a critical situation without any water,” said Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl. “Normally, there’s some build up to a water crisis, and in this case, we didn’t have it.”

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FH COUNCIL TAKES FLAK ON TWO ISSUES

fh-overlay-meeting2

More than 50 residents filled the borough council chambers Monday night for a chance to be heard on two separate hot-button issues in town. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Fair Haven officials got a double helping of discontent Monday night when a riled crowd pushed back on two issues residents say threaten the borough’s way of life: tree chopping and senior housing.

Following the recent decimation of trees on Poplar Avenue, neighbors laced into the council for not giving them notice that the 12 trees would be cut down and for allowing the property owner to take an ax to Fair Haven’s cherished scenery.

They disputed the effectiveness of the borough’s tree ordinance, yelled that the council was wrong to allow the trees to be cut down against the advice of the shade tree commission.

But an increasingly contentious plan to create an overlay district so a local developer might build age-restricted homes generated even more bile.

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TAX DISCOUNT IDEA BROACHED, PUT ON HOLD

marcheseCouncilman Bob Marchese explains his idea to generate revenue through investing taxes that are paid early, while councilman Ben Lucarelli looks on. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It didn’t take long for rookie Fair Haven Councilman Bob Marchese to start chipping away at ideas he campaigned on.

He formally floated one earlier this week: give a discount on property taxes for those who pay their bills early. The borough would then invest the money paid at a higher rate than the discount given.

The idea appeared to be dead on arrival. Because of economic conditions, the council has decided to hold off on Marchese’s idea. It could be revived at some point in the future, though, officials suggested.

“It’s not the right time to do this, unfortunately,” Mayor Mike Halfacre said. “But we’re always looking for ideas and think outside the box, as they say, to save some money and in this case, make some money.”

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