RED BANK: BANK STREET SHITHOLE PERSISTS

red bank poku shithole 90 bank streetThe porch and yards surrounding 90 Bank Street are crammed with items and vehicles that the owner calls “assets.” (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njNine months after Red Bank’s most prominent residential shithole was in a media spotlight, the situation just keeps getting worse, neighbors say.

Now, after years of litigation over summonses, the borough is going after the owners in civil court, hoping to win an order allowing the town to remove all the junk at their expense.

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RED BANK: “TENACIOUS’ INSPECTOR CITED

RED BANK menna woods yassinFire inspector Frank Woods, flanked by Mayor Pasquale Menna and Councilman Hazim Yassin, was honored for averting possible catastrophe at an apartment complex. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A “tenacious” Red Bank employee won recognition from the borough council Wednesday night for efforts that officials said headed off a possible disaster at an apartment complex last month.

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RED BANK: RAMPING UP CODE ENFORCEMENT

The front yard of a vacant house at 98 East Front Street is overgrown with weeds. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank is cracking down on property-based quality-of-life issues, borough officials said last week.

Word of a ramp-up of code enforcement — including foot patrols — for matters like unmowed lawns and rubbish came in response to a complaint that some residents have been threatened with fines for minor infractions.

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RED BANK: POKU CLAIMS RACIAL PREJUDICE

An undated drone shot shows the collection of vehicles and trash in Poku’s backyard. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The owner of a Red Bank residential property packed with rusting vehicles and other junk told a TV news program on Tuesday that he’s a victim of racial prejudice.

William Poku, whose property was the subject of a report by redbankgreen earlier in the day, also denied that he’s hoarding junk.

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RED BANK: JUNK-FILLED YARD IRKS NEIGHBORS

Clutter fills the front porch at 90 Bank Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The house at 90 Bank Street in Red Bank has been vexing neighbors for years.

It’s surrounded on three sides by a massing of cars, trucks and hard-to-discern clutter. The porch, with collapsing rain gutters, appears to groan under the weight of piled boxes. And the mess continues in the street out front, where neighbors say rusting vehicles have sat for years.

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RED BANK: SICKELS LAUDED FOR ‘COMMITMENT’

Stanley Sickels at Wednesday night’s council meeting, above, and on the scene of a fire in September, 2014, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s mayor and council gave a warm, low-key sendoff to the the borough government’s top unelected official Wednesday night.

Over a career in municipal operations that began in 1979 and spanned numerous paid and volunteer roles, Administrator Stanley Sickels was a “consummate professional” who earned a reputation that went “way beyond the reach of Red Bank,” Mayor Pasquale Menna told the audience at the governing body’s semimonthly meeting.

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RED BANK: Q&A ON ADMINISTRATOR SEARCH

Borough Administrator Stanley Sickels, center, with Councilman Mike Whelan and borough Clerk Pam Borghi last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With the planned retirement of Stanley Sickels, Red Bank officials are on the hunt for a successor to fill the top unelected position in borough government: borough administrator.

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RED BANK: BURNHAM CASTS FINAL ‘NO’ VOTE

cindy-burnham-122816Council President Cindy Burnham at her final meeting as a member of the governing body Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Firebrand activist Cindy Burnham ended her  term on Red Bank’s council Wednesday night vowing to continue the work that made her its most consistent contrarian.

On her way out, she cast the last in a long series of “no” votes in which she was the lone dissenter.

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RED BANK: SICKELS TO RETIRE AT END OF 2017

mancuso-sickels-101716Stanley Sickels, right, with fellow planning board member Dan Mancuso at a meeting in October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s top unelected official is hanging up his hat at the end of 2017.

Make that hats. The departure of Stanley Sickels, who serves as the borough government’s administrator, purchasing agent and construction code official, may test a long-debated premise: that replacing him would require more than one hire, at a cost far exceeding his combined salary.

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RED BANK: STREET ART GETS QUALIFIED OK

rb mural 050115Street artist Elle, at left, with Metrovation’s Amanda Cheslock as Elle created a mural at the Anderson Building on May 1. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s transit hub may be getting a fresh splash of color from a well-known street artist.

Actually, three splashes, though it’s already got one: an on-the-spot piece that went up a bit prematurely earlier this month, at least by borough government standards.

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CITATIONS FLOW AFTER THE SNOW

monmouth-st-snowA stretch along Monmouth Street is one of many culprits in violation of Red Bank’s snow removal ordinance requiring property owners to clear the snow and ice from their sidewalks within 24 hours of a snowfall. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Although most of the downtown and residential properties’ sidewalks are clear from the recent blasts of snow, there are still some out there that haven’t seen a good shoveling in a while. Aside from causing a pedestrian hazard, it’s against borough ordinance.

The borough has, in turn, slapped lots of people with fines for not keeping the sidewalks clear of ice and snow.

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