RED BANK: DEMS TAP HORGAN AND YNGSTROM


horgan burnham 022614 2
Incumbents Kathy Horgan and Cindy Burnham, above, and newcomer Erik Yngstrom, below, will vie for two open council seats in November.
 (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

erik yngstromLess than three months into a new Republican era and eight months before the next election, Red Bank’s Democrats have chosen their candidates for council.

Incumbent Kathy Horgan and newcomer Erik Yngstrom, a member of the zoning board, have been nominated to run in the Democratic primary election to be held June 7, party chairman and Councilman Ed Zipprich announced Friday night.

Separately, Republican Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, who broke the Democrats’ seven-year lock on the council with her victory in 2013, told redbankgreen that she will seek re-election.

Read More »

RED BANK: DEMOCRATS CLOSE OUT ERA

mike dupont 121615 2Councilman Mike DuPont at his final council meeting Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A 25-year run of Democratic rule in Red Bank entered its final phase at a low-key borough council meeting Wednesday night.

Councilman Mike DuPont delivered his swan song after three terms, having been defeated by a Republican, Mike Whelan, who wasn’t yet born when the Democrats attained their current majority in 1990.

Read More »

RED BANK: RECOUNT GIVES WHELAN WIN

taylor whelan disomma 112015Mike Whelan, flanked by Councilman-elect Mark Taylor and GOP Chairman Sean DiSomma, celebrates at the county Board of Elections office Friday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

[See update on DuPont concession below.]

Election 2015 graphicRepublican political newcomer Mike Whelan claimed victory, again, after a recount of votes in this month’s Red Bank council election Friday.

The new tally, ordered last week by a Superior Court judge at the request of incumbent Democratic Councilman Mike DuPont, showed that Whelan beat DuPont by three votes — one more than his apparent margin of victory going into the recount.

“I’m happy this process has worked out,” Whelan told redbankgreen, minutes after Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon declared him the winner. “Now, it’s time to get to work.”

Read More »

RED BANK: DEMS WIN RECOUNT ORDER

Election 2015 graphicBy JOHN T. WARD

Citing the thin vote margin, a Superior Court granted a request for a recount in the Red Bank council election Friday.

The action by Judge Katie Gummer, in Freehold, means that incumbent Democratic Councilman Mike DuPont still has at least one more shot at reversing his apparent two-vote loss in last week’s election.

Read More »

RED BANK: GOP CALLS DUPONT ‘SORE LOSER’

duponts 110315Councilman Mike DuPont, with his wife, Doreen, beside him, addresses Democratic supporters on election night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election 2015 graphic

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Republicans blasted incumbent Councilman Mike DuPont as a “sore loser” Thursday for seeking a recount of his apparent two-vote loss in last week’s election.

DuPont is scheduled to appear before a judge in Superior Court in Freehold Friday on his petition for a  recount, which Republicans say would constitute an “unprecedented” fourth counting of votes from the November 3 squeaker.

Read More »

RED BANK: GOP CLAIMS WIN IN SQUEAKER

mike whelan 110315 2An apprehensive Mike Whelan watches as election results are posted on election night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See UPDATE, below]

Election 2015 graphic

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Republicans did in fact oust Democrats for control of the borough council last week, GOP  Chairman Sean Di Somma said following a count of provisional ballots in Freehold Monday morning.

But three-term incumbent Councilman Mike DuPont told redbankgreen that the Democrats will file for a recount.

 

Read More »

RED BANK: PROVISIONALS YET TO BE COUNTED

rb gop 110315 2Republicans Mark Taylor, left, Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer and Mike Whelan surround party chairman Sean Di Somma in celebration at the Chowda House Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election 2015 graphic

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Republican Chairman Sean Di Somma says he’s confident his party’s long-sought takeover of the borough council will stand up to a recount and the sorting-through of provisional ballots.

The still-uncertified vote tallies from Tueday’s election show the GOP won both open council seats to claim their first majority on the governing body in a generation Tuesday.

But with about two dozen provisional ballots yet to be counted, just four votes separate Republican Mike Whelan and three-term incumbent Democrat Mike DuPont, according the Monmouth County Clerk’s website.

Read More »

RED BANK: GOP CLAIMS HISTORIC WIN

whelan taylor 110315Republican Mark Taylor speaks to followers at the Chowda House as running mate Mike Whelan looks on Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election 2015 graphic

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Republicans won both open seats to claim their first borough council majority in a a generation Tuesday.

Political newcomers Mark Taylor and Mike Whelan — who wasn’t yet born when his party last controlled the governing body —  outpolled three-term incumbent Democrat Mike DuPont and his running mate, Mike Ballard, to give the GOP a 4-2 majority.

Read More »

ON THE GREEN: TOWN-BY-TOWN VOTING GUIDE

Election 2015 graphicHere’s redbankgreen’s town-by-town rundown of what offices are at stake and who’s running in Tuesday’s elections.

We’ve also got some information down near the bottom on what you need to bring to a polling station in order to vote; how to operate the voting machines; and what do do when things go awry.

Read More »

RED BANK: LANDSLIDE COMING?

From left at top: Democrats Mike Ballard and Mike DuPont face Republicans Mark Taylor and Mike Whelan in the November 3 election. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election 2015 graphicBelow are the results of redbankgreen’s first, totally unscientific, finger-in-the-wind attempt at election polling: a survey intended for Red Bank voters about the borough council race.

On the November 3 ballot are Mike Ballard and Mike DuPont, Democrats, and Mark Taylor and Mike Whelan, Republicans. (The links take you to their answers to a Q&A earlier this month.)

Read More »

ON THE GREEN: BALLOTS! GET YOUR BALLOTS!

Election 2015 graphicThe Monmouth County clerk has posted ballots for the November 3 elections.

For the benefit of Red Bank-area voters who swear every year to study the ballot before entering the voting booth but never quite get around to it, here’s redbankgreen’s town-by-town rundown of what offices are at stake and who’s running.

Click the town name to see its sample ballot.

Read More »

RED BANK: WHO DO YOU LIKE FOR COUNCIL?

From left at top: Democrats Mike Ballard and Mike DuPont face Republicans Mark Taylor and Mike Whelan in the November 3 election. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election 2015 graphicHere’s redbankgreen’s first, totally unscientific, finger-in-the-wind attempt at election polling: a survey intended for Red Bank voters about the borough council race.

Running are Mike Ballard and Mike DuPont, Democrats, and Mark Taylor and Mike Whelan, Republicans. (The links take you to their answers to a Q&A earlier this month.)

Scroll down to participate.

Read More »

RED BANK: DuPONT LOSES BELMAR JOB

dupont-010111Red Bank Councilman Mike DuPont was squeezed out of his post as Belmar’s borough attorney Tuesday, four days after a court ruling found shortcomings in his handling of a ballot question there, APP.com reported Tuesday.

The website of the Asbury Park Press reported that DuPont resigned at the request of Mayor Matthew Doherty, “after a Superior Court judge ruled that the borough didn’t properly vote on placing an explanatory statement for a bond question on the Nov. 3 ballot.”

Read More »

RED BANK: BUDGET, BONDS & A NEW HIRE

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesA first look at this year’s budget, and public confusion over the impact of a series of proposed bonds, dominated Wednesday night’s bimonthly meeting of the Red Bank council.

The governing body also moved toward the creation of a new $90,000-a-year job at borough hall: information technology director.

Read More »

RED BANK BROAD-TO-RIVER: JUST MORE TALK?

2004 ebner planA 2002 proposal, above, by property owner Robert Ebner to open the view from Broad Street to the Navesink hit a dead end. (Photo below by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

broad river 012815 3Is downtown Red Bank finally going to get its long-coveted river view at the north end of Broad Street? Or is recent buzz about a possible plan just more blue-sky talk?

A widely shared dream for generations, the so-called Broad to the River concept envisions opening up a panorama of the Navesink from the main downtown corridor.

At this point, however, the chatter appears to be little more than an attempt to revive an idea that’s hit a brick wall repeatedly over much of the last century.

Read More »

RED BANK: SET LOOSE THE DOGS, BUT WHERE?

RB DOG DAYS 073013 22Canines can meet-and-sniff at Dog Days of Summer events, but some dog lovers would like a facility for daily use. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank bends over – if not quite backwards, but with plastic bags in hand – for dogs, with a monthly street-closing festival for man’s best friend in the dog days of summer. But nowhere in town can a dog owner unleash and let Fido run free.

Not legally, at least.

At least three borough council members and the dog-owning mayor think that’s a situation that needs, um, to be fixed.

Read More »

RED BANK: BUDGET IN SPOTLIGHT

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bankers with an interest in how much their local government costs them can find out where the money goes at a presentation Thursday night.

That’s when borough hall department heads explain their 2014 funding requests to the public at an annual event inaugurated by Councilman Mike DuPont in 2007.

On the table is the 2014 proposed $21 million spending plan, which town officials said is $218,000 smaller than 2013’s. About $12.6 million of that is to be covered by the local property tax.

Still unknown, however, is what property owners will pay, though preliminary estimates show the owner of a home assessed at the town average – currently estimated at $387,440 – paying $64.77 more this year.

Read More »

RED BANK: LIVING SHORELINE WINS REPRIEVE

The crumbling library bulkhead, above right, abuts that of the Corinthian Cove condos, at left. Below, resident Tom Labetti of Elm Place makes a point during the public hearing. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

The tide turned abruptly on the Red Bank Eisner Memorial Library bulkhead issue Wednesday.

A $600,000 bond ordinance to pay for a new bulkhead at the site, and one at another Navesink River property, was tabled at the eleventh hour, after having appeared headed to certain approval.

The tabling followed defections by two councilmembers, Kathy Horgan and Ed Zipprich, who said they would side with environmentalists and residents who called for a “living,” or structure-free, shoreline.

“I think we need to explore the issue more,” Horgan said. “During the superstorm, any living shoreline had very little damage and self-repaired itself very quickly.” She also noted that  the Stevens Institute of Technology and the American Littoral Society had previously offered to create the natural shoreline, at no cost to the borough.

Read More »

RED BANK: DI SOMMA TO FILL OUT GOP BALLOT

By JOHN T. WARD

The man behind an eleventh-hour robocalling campaign about a Red Bank bond issue last week is running for borough council, he tells redbankgreen.

Sean Di Somma, right, said local Republican officials plan to file paperwork with the Monmouth County Clerk Thursday making his candidacy official.

The move would again give the GOP two candidates as it tries to break the Democrats’ lock on the governing body, following the sudden departure from the race last month by Republican Suzanne Viscomi.

Read More »

RED BANK: ROBOCALLER DIALS UP TENSION

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank man who tried to rally last-minute opposition to a bond vote engaged elected officials in a tense exchange over taxes and debt Wednesday night, but got no vocal backing from the audience.

Sean Di Somma, 31, of Morford Place, had robocalled an unspecified number of residents just hours before the bimonthly borough council meeting with a pre-recorded message warning that the governing body was about to “ram through” a $500,000 bond ordinance “to continue their own reckless and out-of-control spending.”

Di Somma did not speak during the public comment session prior to the vote on the bond, which won unanimous approval. Afterward, though, he engaged in an increasingly sharp exchange with Councilman Mike DuPont, each interrupting and telling the other to “hold on.”

Read More »

RED BANK: A QUIET NIGHT WITH THE BUDGETS

By WIL FULTON

It was a tale of two tax plans in Red Bank Wednesday night as the mayor and council advanced the 2013 budgets for both the municipality and RiverCenter on a relatively light agenda.

The borough budget – proposed at $21.2 million and containing a 7.7-percent tax increase, to 52.9 cents per $100 of valuation – was originally scheduled for an adoption vote at the session. An adoption vote is now anticipated at the May 8 meeting, said borough CFO Coleen Lapp.

Meantime, the spending plan, which would have the owner of a home assessed at the borough average $396,000 paying $2,054, is subject to possible changes, she said.

Read More »

RED BANK DEMS MAINTAIN LOCK ON POWER

Councilman Mike DuPont referred to his wife’s battle with cancer in his victory speech, with running mate Art Murphy at his side.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD & DAN NATALE

Incumbent Red Bank council members Mike DuPont and Art Murphy drubbed their sole Republican challenger Tuesday, ensuring a continued Democratic lock on power at borough hall.

Political newcomer Suzanne Viscomi polled just 1,476 votes, barely two-thirds the totals racked up DuPont, with 2,266 votes, and Murphy, 2,155.

“I think the voters like what we do, and we need to continue,” DuPont told a group of supporters gathered in the vacant former Ballew’s jewelry store on Broad Street.

Viscomi, though, went down swinging.

Read More »

RED BANK GOP CANDIDATE NOW RUNS SOLO

Council candidate Suzanne Viscomi, left, joined by state Senator Jen Beck, center, and Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, answers questions during a presser in her driveway Monday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Already a little-known, thinly financed newcomer taking on established incumbents, Red Bank council candidate Suzanne Viscomi will go the rest of the campaign without a running mate.

Viscomi announced Monday that ticket mate and fellow borough board of ed member Allen Palma has had to withdraw from the race for personal reasons.

At an open-air press conference outside her home Monday, Viscomi said the vacancy on the ballot was unlikely to be filled, and that she would run solo. But she didn’t see that as a hinderance in her effort to unseat either Art Murphy or Mike DuPont.

“We only need one voice” to counter that of the all-Democratic mayor and council, she said.

Read More »