RED BANK: ZIPPRICH DERIDES ‘SMEAR’ WAR

Councilman Ed Zipprich, right, with then-Councilman Erik Yngstrom at a workshop session in March, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

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Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich has been “exonerated” after a two-year “smear campaign” meant to “dehumanize” him, he said in a statement to redbankgreen Thursday.

Zipprich’s statement came in response to special attorney’s finding that he did not “interfere” in the award of a trash collection contract two years ago.

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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH CONDUCT ‘NOT UNLAWFUL’

Councilman Ed Zipprich, right, with Councilman Michael Ballard in February. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

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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.

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RED BANK: BUDGET INTRO ON AGENDA

The mayor and council meet at borough hall for their first in-person session in 26 months Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A budget for 2022 is on the agenda when the Red Bank mayor and council hold their first in-person meeting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday night.

The session is also the first to simultaneously employ technology allowing participation from home.

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RED BANK: BALLARD AND PORTMAN TO FACE OFF

 

The two contenders for mayor in Red Bank’s June 7 Democratic primary have agreed to a virtual debate.

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RED BANK: HYBRID SESSIONS TO BEGIN

A sampling of screen grabs from council sessions since April, 2020. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicAfter 26 months of sequestration in ‘Hollywood Squares’-style boxes, the Red Bank council has scheduled an in-person session for next week.

But participation-from-home, a format adopted to minimize transmission the COVID-19 virus, will continue, the borough administration announced Wednesday.

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RED BANK: BROADWALK PANEL FORMED

red bank what's going on hereNavigating sidewalks on Broad Street in downtown Red Bank is a bit of a challenge these days.

What’s the latest on the streetscape project that’s been underway since November in the streets northernmost blocks? Read on.

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RED BANK: ADMIN SEARCH TO BE REVIVED

Chief and interim Business Administrator Darren McConnell with Senior Center Director Jackie Reynolds last October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See Correction below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicRed Bank’s council will try again to find a full-time borough administrator, following an abandoned effort of year ago.

The search will be revived even as the governing body, sharply divided on numerous other issues, appears to agree that police Chief Darren McConnell is doing a faultless job in double duty as interim administrator.

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RED BANK: CONTRACT, ADMIN JOB ON AGENDA

More than three years after it was closed by a catastrophic leak, the borough Senior Center is about to get repairs. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicRed Bank’s council is scheduled to award a contract to repair the Senior Center, and to discuss a possible new search for a borough administrator, when it holds back-to-back workshop and regular meetings Wednesday night.

Here are some highlights from the agendas:

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RED BANK: MIRANDI CHALLENGE DROPPED

Councilman Ed Zipprich attaches a borough pin to the jacket of Angela Mirandi after her swearing-in ceremony February 11. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicA legal challenge to Angela Mirandi‘s appointment to the Red Bank council earlier this year has been dropped, redbankgreen has learned.

But while the lawsuit filed by Councilwoman Kathy Horgan and Democratic party secretary Kate Okeson failed to dislodge Mirandi, it shone a harsh light into the workings of the local party under Councilman Ed Zipprich, whose leadership faces an historic challenge next month.

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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: COUNCIL SPARS OVER BROADWALK

Curb replacement work underway as part of the Broad Street streetscape project last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAn ongoing split among Red Bank council Democrats played out as a power struggle Wednesday night over who will steer the reopening of the seasonal Broadwalk dining and shopping plaza.

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RED BANK: CLERK BRINGS TINY-TOWN FOCUS

Laura Reinertsen in her office at Red Bank borough hall last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Having begun her career in a town so small that she sometimes had to fill in as a bus driver, Red Bank’s new borough clerk, Laura Reinertsen knows what it means to wear multiple hats.

It’s an experience that informs her approach to her job, she told redbankgreen last week.

“I kind of veer out of my lane just to keep things moving,” she said.

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RED BANK: TESLA TRYOUT UPDATED

The borough-owned Tesla gets recharged at a station intended for public use. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s borough government is not yet ready to pull the plug on a donated Tesla sedan, even though keeping the vehicle charged up has been a challenge, interim Business Administrator Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: BROADWALK MAY RETURN IN JULY

Diners enjoying lunch in the Broadwalk zone in October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njDelayed by street a reconstruction project, Red Bank’s Broadwalk outdoor dining plaza will return this summer, borough officials agreed Wednesday.

The informal consensus of the council was the first indication that the downtown car-free experiment, launched in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, would get a third edition.

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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH DEMANDS TOWN’S COSTS

Ed Zipprich, center, with council colleagues Kathy Horgan and Erik Yngstrom in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank councilman and Democratic party chairman Ed Zipprich issued a “demand” Tuesday that two party members who sued for the removal of Angela Mirandi from the council reimburse the borough for its legal expenses.

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RED BANK: MIRANDI RETAINS COUNCIL SEAT

Angela Mirandi at her swearing-in ceremony February 11. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicAngela Mirandi retained her seat on the Red Bank council after a judge rejected a motion calling for her temporary removal Tuesday.

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RED BANK: ‘CORRECTIVE ACTIONS’ ON AGENDA

The council has not yet resumed in-person meetings; Wednesday’s session will again be held via Zoom. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Corrective actions” to address deficiencies identified in an audit are on the Red Bank council’s agenda for Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: GOP TRIO TO TRY AGAIN

jonathan maciel penneyRepublican Chairman Jonathan Maciel Penney, seen here in 2019, will run for council in the June primary. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Republican Brian Irwin, who dropped out of a council race two years ago, will seek his party’s endorsement as mayoral candidate in the June primary.

In addition, GOP Chairman Jonathan Maciel Penney will make his fourth attempt in four years for a council seat, joined for the second year in a row by Christine Stout.

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RED BANK: MIRANDI DECISION AWAITED

Attorney Dan O’Hern, seen at right with Mayor Pasquale Menna in 2014, represents the borough in the lawsuit. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicA Superior Court judge deferred an immediate decision Friday morning on whether to temporarily remove Angela Mirandi from the Red Bank council, as demanded by a pending lawsuit.

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RED BANK: HORGAN BAILS; NEWCOMER RUNS

Councilwoman Kathy Horgan greets Mayor Pasquale Menna at the Mayor’s Ball in 2016. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Yet another Red Bank Democratic official is heading for the exit while decrying “divisiveness” stoked by party leadership.

Councilwoman Kathy Horgan told redbankgreen Tuesday that, “with a heavy heart,” she’s not seeking a sixth three-year term.

Meanwhile, a political newcomer has stepped forward hoping to succeed Pasquale Menna as mayor.

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RED BANK: SAXUM CHANGES APPROVED

Architect Adrian Melji with a rendering of the revised project’s Bodman Place side looking northwest from Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicFilling in a horseshoe void, Saxum Real Estate won planning board approval Monday night for changes to a massive apartment project in Red Bank.

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RED BANK: MENNA WON’T SEEK RE-ELECTION

Mayor Pasquale Menna, left, with Councilman Michael Ballard on February 11. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

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After 16 years in office, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna won’t seek  a fifth term, redbankgreen has learned.

Menna’s decision, and the absence of other contenders, clears a path for Councilman Michael Ballard to secure the Democratic party nomination without resistance by the incumbent in the June primary election.

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