RUMSON: WRITE-IN DRIVE HEATS UP ELECTION

rumson writein 110313A write-in campaign for two candidates billing themselves as the Rumson Family ticket emerged in the wake of the Oxford House controversy last month. Below, Tim McCooey at the October 22 borough council meeting, the night before he became a candidate. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

tim mccooey 102213If the trend over the past century holds on Election Day, Rumson will seat an all-Republican borough council in January.

Ah, but which Republicans?

In a development that may add drama to Rumson’s usual election-night snoozer, two political newcomers have mounted an eleventh-hour write-in campaign, hoping to harness what they say is frustration with their party’s incumbents.

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RUMSON: AU REVOIR, V-ZONE

A home on Warren Street in Rumson undergoing elevation in February. (Click to enlarge)

By COLBY WILSON

All homes in storm-battered Rumson have been moved out of the most vulnerable flood zone under new flood-elevation maps released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency Monday.

Mayor John Ekdahl says the revised maps are significantly different than the advisory maps released back in December.

“One of the things that becomes apparent as it effects Rumson is that we virtually lost all “V” zones,” Ekdahl said. “Even Barley Point [Island}, where we lost four homes, was removed.”

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RUMSON UPS FLOOR LEVELS IN FLOOD ZONES

Blue markers on an aerial view of Rumson indicate homes that were damaged by floods during Hurricane Sandy. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rumson became the first town on the Green to change its building standards in the wake of Hurricane Sandy when it boosted minimum first-floor levels in flood zones Tuesday night.

After storm-driven tides sent surges as high as 12 feet into homes along the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers, the borough council approved a zoning change that sets a new minimum level of 13 feet above base flood elevations in waterfront zones, replacing minimums of eight, nine and 10 feet.

The changes, and a pledge to revisit the ordinance after the Federal Emergency Management Administration issues new elevation guidelines, expected within the next two weeks, mostly drew praise from residents who said their efforts to resolve insurance claims and rebuild their homes would have been stalled by inaction.

“People need to tell their insurance companies” what the Rumson standard is “so they can decide whether to stay and rebuild, raise their homes or move,” said borough Administrator Tom Rogers. “We’re trying to help them.”

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PINK LINE: RUMSON SAYS ‘PAINT IT BLACK’

The fading pink stripe on East River Road in Rumson, as seen Wednesday morning. (Click to enlarge)

By CONNOR SOLTAS

As it did in the past in Red Bank, a pink road stripe painted on the main drag through Fair Haven and Rumson in celebration of Pink Week back in May is beginning to lose its charm.

“Rumson wants to know when the pink line is going to go away,” said Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl.

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PRESS: AVERAGE RUMSON TAX BILL UP $3

Rumson’s council approved a 2012 budget that calls for a $3 increase to the local property tax for the owner of a home assessed at the borough-average $1 million, the Asbury Park Press reports Wednesday.

The $14.93 million budget approved at a Tuesday afternoon session of the governing body marks a $67,486 decline in overall spending, Press reporter Larry Higgs writes.

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RUMSON BOATHOUSE PLAN ADVANCES

Shells and other gear remain at the site where a boathouse is envisioned.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A waterfront house acquired by Rumson three years ago was demolished over the holidays, moving the borough one stroke closer to its long-term goal of building a boathouse for rowing crews there someday.

Mayor John Ekdahl cautions, however, that no plans for such a facility have yet been drawn up. Nor has any necessary fundraising been organized, he tells redbankgreen.

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DETAILS ABOUT ROBBERY STILL UNDER WRAPS

rumson-bank1A stretch of West River Road was blocked off nearly four hours Tuesday after a bomb threat at the Bank of America. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Two suspects are in police custody after allegedly threatening to blow up the Bank of America on River Road in Rumson Tuesday afternoon, Mayor John Ekdahl said.

The unidentified men, who are from Monmouth County, are being held at Rumson police headquarters until they are charged by the Prosecutor’s Office.

After a near four-hour lockdown of part of Rumson’s busy main road, a sweep conducted by the FBI showed there was no bomb in the building, Ekdahl said.

“The building is clear,” he said. “There’s no bombs in the bank.”

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CBS DROPS IN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF JERSEY

roccaMo Rocca interviewed Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl back during shorts weather for an upcoming piece for CBS Sunday Morning. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

New Jersey, it seems, is always on the defensive. There’s the ‘Jersey stinks‘ stigma, and while we have the small luxuries of pork roll sandwiches and not having to pump our own gas, the Garden State can’t quite get past the perception that it’s a dump with mafia ties and is a breeding ground for ultra-tanned, fist-pumping troublemakers.

In reality, all one really has to do is stop looking at photo galleries glamorizing the bronzed figureheads and TV shows celebrating jaw-dropping indulgence and take a trip to a place without a boardwalk or parkway rest stop.

Like, say, Rumson.

CBS News did, and on an upcoming Sunday morning plans to air a piece showcasing all this affluent community has to offer: shoreline tranquility, a bustling business district, horse-and-carriage rides, speed-boating on the Navesink — you know, the typical wintertime stuff.

But the story is not that CBS made this discovery a half-year ago, nor was it interviewer Mo Rocca‘s yacht club-ish outfit, a pink Oxford and baby blue shorts.

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BURNING Q: WHAT’S IN THE MAYOR’S OFFICE?

rumson-boro-hallRumors of a wet bar and a Viking stove are mistaken, but there is a fireplace. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It’s been more than a year since employees and officials moved into Rumson’s pristine new borough hall on East River Road, but there are still a few punch-list items needed to close the book on the project.

Among them: a runner to protect the wood of a staircase leading from the lobby to the second floor. Meantime, strips of blue painter’s tape warn visitors not to go upstairs.

But the off-limits treatments have led some residents to wonder just what’s up there, and may be fueling rumors that Mayor John Ekdahl’s office is a lavish one, complete with wet bar, Viking stove and working fireplace.

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RUMSON LANDS REGATTA, FOR REAL THIS TIME

img_5131111409Five collegiate rowing teams will take to the waters off Rumson’s Victory Park on September 25, officials say.

Rumson’s efforts to attract big-time crew competition may have ended up on a sandbar last year. But there will be collegiate sculling in the Navesink River, says Mayor John Ekdahl.

And he doesn’t mean at some indeterminate date in the distant future. He means, like, ten days from now.

Nine months after watching the Dad Vail Regatta make a u-turn back to Philadelphia without so much as putting an oar in the water off Victory Park, as planned, the borough will host the Rumson Boat Race on Saturday, September 25, Ekdahl announced today.

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