Councilman Ed Zipprich, right, with Councilman Michael Ballard in February. (Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich did not “interfere” in the award of a trash collection contract two years ago, according to an unreleased report obtained by redbankgreen.
Special attorney Scott Salmon’s report also says “there is evidence to suggest” that former business administrator Ziad Shehady was the the anonymous source of internal emails about Zipprich that were leaked to redbankgreen.
For the 10th year in a row, Red Bank borough government department heads are scheduled to offer presentations on their 2016 budget proposals at a public information session scheduled for Wednesday, May 18 at at borough hall.
Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, who heads the finance committee, says there’s been a “severe” drop in revenue from last year along with an increase in expenses. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
The first majority-Republican Red Bank budget in a generation is set to make its debut this week, and it comes with a likely tax hike.
While officials are hopeful they can trim the increase, the draft budget shows a 5.5-percent jump in the municipal levy, or roughly $115 a year for the owner of a residential property assessed at the average $354,497, Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer tells redbankgreen.
One way to soften the impact, she said, is to extend the hours for which parking fees are collected.
Red Bank property owners will have until August 25 to pay their third-quarter tax bills without incurring a penalty, under a resolution past by the borough council Wednesday night.
The grace period usually ends on the 10th day of the month quarterly taxes are due. But because the tax rate for the new budget year was not certified by Monmouth County until July 17, bills won’t be mailed until July 31 – and the law requires a 25-day payment period, according to tax collector Ashlesha Deshplande. Still, for those who pay later than August 25, the interest applies to the full 25-day interim, she cautioned. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Elected officials would be permitted to vote on applications by their campaign contributors under a law change that’s up for a vote in Red Bank this week.
And the upper limits on what contributors can give politicians would soar to more than six times the current cap.
That’s according to an article in Saturday’s Asbury Park Press.
The proposed changes have baffled state Senator Jen Beck, a former Red Bank who favored an ordinance that went into effect after her tenure. That law would be gutted if the proposed changes are approved, she said.
“This only opens the borough to political influence and corruption,” Beck told Press reporter Larry Higgs. “It’s unclear to me why [Mayor Pasquale Menna] would move in that direction, when he supported” the existing ordinance.
As the budget axe looms over 26 jobs in Middletown, the township has scheduled two public meetings in anticipation of coming to agreement with unions in contract negotiations.
That doesn’t mean the meetings will be held, however.
The meetings, scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, are not so much a sign that contract resolutions are imminent as a routine legalities in case agreements are, in fact, reached and ready to be voted upon.
“If the unions don’t come back with an agreement we’re looking for, then the meetings will be canceled,” Mayor Tony Fiore told redbankgreen.
Little Silver’s tax rate is going up. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
A year after declining, taxes are about to rise in Little Silver.
The borough council introduced its 2011 budget Monday, a $10.1 million spending plan that will boost the tax rate 2.6 percent, or 1.3 cents per $100 of assessed property value. At 51.1 cents, that equates to a $65 annual increase for a home assessed at the town average $500,000, said Chief Financial Officer Laura Geraghty.