RED BANK: DEMOCRATS FORM BLACK CAUCUS

Fortune Cultural Center co-founder Gilda Rogers, left, and Councilman Michael Ballard. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank’s Democrats have formed a Black caucus to “bring forward future civic leaders.”

The party announced the group’s formation on Monday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

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RED BANK: YASSIN MOVES TO COUNCIL FORE

Councilman Hazim Yassin at a council meeting in February, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter a year of butting heads with most of his fellow Democrats, Red Bank Councilman Michael Ballard lost his seat on the budget-shaping finance committee Friday.

He was displaced by first-term Councilman Hazim Yassin at the borough government’s annual New Year’s Day reorganization meeting. Read More »

RED BANK: TRASH PACT, LEAK REPORT OK’D

DeLisa Demolition won the bidding to haul the borough’s trash and recycling for another five years. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicMonths later than expected, Red Bank officials agreed this week to enter a new five-year contract for private trash hauling, one that will increase the frequency of recycling pickups.

They also agreed to hire an outside attorney to look into disputed emails about the bid specifications.

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RED BANK: LOOSE LIPS AT COUNCIL SESSION

Mayor Pasquale Menna, upper left, and Councilman Ed Zipprich, center left, seen on Zoom during Wednesday’s council session Attorney Greg Cannon is in second row, third from left. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe final Red Bank council meeting of 2020 included a couple of apparent cases of loose lips.

In one, Mayor Pasquale Menna revealed more than the borough attorney thought he should about the settlement of a lawsuit over Riverview Medical Center’s water bill.

In another, Councilman Ed Zipprich  questioned the qualifications of a newly hired official.

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RED BANK: TRASH SURVEY SPLITS COUNCIL

A screengrab of the council’s session Wednesday night. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA trash-and-recycling survey became the latest wedge between two factions of Red Bank’s one-party council Wednesday night.

The dispute included innuendo that Councilman Ed Zipprich could not be trusted to keep information secret from bidders in the pending award of a trash hauling contract.

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RED BANK: BALLARD, ZIPPRICH SAIL TO WINS

Poll workers wrapping up a 14-hour day Tuesday night at Red Bank borough hall, the town’s only polling station for this year’s election. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Running unopposed, Red Bank Democrats Ed Zipprich and Michael Ballard were on an unimpeded path to re-election to borough council Tuesday amid a pandemic that depressed in-person turnout.

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RED BANK: NONPARTISAN ELECTIONS? NOT YET

red bank scott broschart 083120.jpgRed Bank First leader Scott Broschart at home on Hudson Avenue in August. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Scott Broschart is on a one-man quest to reform both Red Bank’s government and how people get elected to it.

Neither will happen this year. A referendum Broschart has been pushing for since July is not on the November 3 ballot. But Broschart says he’s perfectly fine with that.

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RED BANK: BALLARD, ZIPPRICH DUCK Q&A

Councilmembers Ed Zipprich, center, and Michael Ballard with Kathy Horgan in January, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Neither of the two incumbents seeking re-election as Red Bank council members responded to questions sent to them by redbankgreen last week.

Democrats Ed Zipprich, seeking his fifth three-year term, and Michael Ballard, seeking his second, are running unopposed in the November 3 election.

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RED BANK: DEAL OVER LEAK PROBES POSSIBLE

ballard zipprich 102217Michael Ballard, left, and Ed Zipprich with an unidentified woman at the 2017 Halloween parade. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA stalemate over dueling demands for probes stemming from a Red Bank government email leak may be headed toward resolution.

At the urging of Mayor Pasquale Menna, council members informally agreed Wednesday night to seek a legal opinion regarding their options on how to proceed.

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RED BANK: SPLIT OVER LEAK PROBE CONTINUES

A screengrab of the council’s session Wednesday night, with councilmembers Erik Yngstrom at center left and Michael Ballard at center right. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA dispute over leaked emails entered its third month when the Red Bank council met for a workshop session via Zoom Wednesday night.

The issue has pitted two Democrats who are running for re-election against four who aren’t.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL AGENDA

Borough hall remains closed for public meetings to limit the spread of COVID-19, so the council will again meet via Zoom. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njMissing, once again, from the agenda for the Red Bank council session Wednesday are dueling versions of a resolution calling for an investigation.

 

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RED BANK: LITTLE PROGRESS ON GARDEN

red bank what's going on hereThirteen months after it was abruptly closed over contamination concerns, Red Bank’s only community garden heads into autumn with a crop of periodically mown grass.

But what happened to the neighborhood soil testing that was supposed to be conducted? And will the garden reopen?

redbankgreen’s What’s Going On Here? has an update.

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RED BANK: GOP PAIR QUIT COUNCIL RACE

jonathan maciel penney 102419Jonathan Maciel Penney speaking at the West Side Community Group forum last October. (Photo by Ben Forest. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Both Republican candidates for Red Bank borough council seats in November’s election have formally dropped out of the race.

As a result, incumbent Democrats Michael Ballard and Ed Zipprich appear to have a clear glide path to re-election. Read More »

RED BANK: WHAT’S ON AGENDA… AND NOT

Councilman Ed Zipprich in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njMissing from the agenda for the Red Bank council session scheduled for Wednesday night: clashing demands for investigations.

But the probes – one focused on the source of an email leak, and the other on alleged conduct exposed by the emails – may still get an airing.

Here’s a look-ahead at the agenda for the session.

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RED BANK: DEMS CLASH OVER BUDGET, PROBE

A screengrab of the council’s session Wednesday night. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicRifts among Democrats were on almost nonstop display during a three-hour meeting of the Red Bank council Wednesday night.

While Councilman Ed Zipprich pressed for a probe into an email leak he said had smeared his reputation, at least two of his colleagues were more concerned about his intervention in the bidding for a new trash hauling contract.

But first, the all-Democratic body split over proposed budget cuts pushed by Councilman Michael Ballard that others saw as unwise.

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RED BANK: DELISA TO GET ‘EMERGENCY’ PACT

DeLisa Demolition would continue to pick up waste and recycling under an interim contract that boosts its existing rate by $10,000 per month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

this just in redbankgreenRed Bank’s elected officials will be asked to authorize an “emergency” trash contract this week after no bids were received for a longterm pact, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: PROBE, METERS & MORE ON AGENDA

A leak of emails, including correspondence between Councilman Ed Zipprich and a prospective bidder for the trash contract, is the subject of an investigation. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich will get the investigation into a leak of emails he requested earlier this month.

Approval of the probe, as well as final adoption of the 2020 budget; extended hours of parking meter enforcement; and a half-dozen police department promotions are all on the council’s busy agenda for Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH ASKS FOR LEAK PROBE

Councilman Ed Zipprich, left, at a press conference held by Governor Phil Murphy at Riverview Medical Center in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich said he has asked for an investigation into a leak of emails in which Business Administrator Ziad Shehady suggested Zipprich was out to “sabotage” the bidding for a new trash hauling contract.

Separately, friction between Shehady and Councilman Michael Ballard flared up again at the council’s workshop meeting Wednesday.

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RED BANK: ‘SABOTAGE’ OF TRASH BID ALLEGED

red bank trash delisaDeLisa Demolition won the borough’s trash contract, now up for rebid, in 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Business Administrator Ziad Shehady has asked elected officials to discuss, in private, what he calls an effort by a council member to “sabotage” the process of awarding a new trash-hauling contract, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: BUDGET Q&A SLATED AFTER ALL

red bank, nj, ed zipprich, michael ballard, ziad shehadyCouncilman Michael Ballard, center, with Councilman Ed Zipprich, left, and Business Administrator Ziad Shehady in December, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Almost two months later than promised, Red Bank residents will get a detailed explanation next week of a borough budget that would increase property taxes by 2.8 percent.

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RED BANK: TAX INCREASE AT 2.8 PERCENT

A screengrab from Wednesday’s virtual meeting, with Councilman Michael Ballard at top center and Business Administrator Ziad Shehady at center right. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic

Red Bank property owners would pay 2.8 percent more in municipal taxes this year, under a budget advanced by the borough council Wednesday night.

The still-evolving $22.4 million spending plan was the centerpiece of a nearly three-hour online council meeting that left viewers with a lot to unpack.

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RED BANK: TAX INCREASE ON AGENDA

michael ballard 051320Councilman Michael Ballard during an online meeting in May. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesDelayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank’s proposed budget for 2020 would boost the amount to be raised from local property owners by 5.4 percent.

But heading into the final stretch, it’s not clear that the chairman of the finance committee will support the spending plan if it goes to a vote Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: JOBS DEBATE SPLITS COUNCIL

red bank recycling center 051420 Robert Greene, left, and John Caine at the Red Bank recycling center Thursday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicA plan to eliminate two part-time jobs at the recycling center sharply divided Red Bank’s all-Democratic council Wednesday night.

Things got personal. During the governing body’s semimonthly meeting, conducted via Zoom, Councilman Ed Zipprich accused Business Administrator Ziad Shehady of retaliation for an earlier action by the union that represents the affected employees.

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