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: DEMS TO SHARE ‘COUNTY LINE’

Councilmen Ed Zipprich and Michael Ballard at last year’s September 11 memorial ceremony. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

In the rare Democratic primary race shaping up in Red Bank for June 7, all candidates from two opposing factions will share the coveted “party line,” redbankgreen has learned.

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman David G. Brown II has rejected a demand by borough party Chairman Ed Zipprich that only incumbents from the 18-member committee that runs the party be given the preferred ballot position.

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RED BANK: ‘FED UP’ SLATE AIMS FOR OVERHAUL

Among the slate’s members are, clockwise from top left: Wilson Beebe, Suellen Sims, Kate Triggiano, Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Ben Forest, Kathy Horgan, Boris Kofman and Frank Corrado. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Eighteen “fed up” Democratic party loyalists plan to take on what they call Red Bank’s “exclusionary party machine” in the June primary elections, they said in an announcement early Thursday.

Their goals, they said, are to “bring transparency and end divisiveness” within the organization – and unseat Ed Zipprich as chairman.

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RED BANK: DEMS DUMP MENNA FOR BALLARD

Michael Ballard and Ed Zipprich in 2015; Mayor Pasquale Menna is visible in the background. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Dumping a party stalwart after more than three decades in office, Red Bank’s Democratic regulars nominated Councilman Michael Ballard as their candidate for mayor Wednesday.

The move exposed new depths of a bitter split with 16-year incumbent Mayor Pasquale Menna, who told redbankgreen that party committee members had shown “their true colors” with their decision.

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FAIR HAVEN: KOCH, COLE WIN COUNCIL TERMS

Betsy Koch, left, and Tracy Cole. (Candidate-supplied photos. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Incumbent Republican Betsy Koch and running mate Tracy Cole secured seats on the Fair Haven council with convincing wins over two Democrats Tuesday.

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RED BANK: CANDIDATES MAKE THEIR PITCHES

Candidates (from left) Jacqueline Sturdivant, Sue Viscomi and Kate Triggiano at Monday’s event, with moderator Amy Goldsmith at right. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank voters were treated to a rancor-free forum featuring the three candidates for two borough council seats Monday night.

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RED BANK: VIRTUAL CANDIDATES’ NIGHT SET

Candidates (from left) Jacqueline Sturdivant, Kate Triggiano and Sue Viscomi have confirmed their participation, according to organizers. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank voters will get a chance to pose questions to the three candidates for borough council in a remote forum scheduled for Monday night.

The West Side Community Group announced Friday that it would conduct its 26th annual Candidate’s Night via Zoom and Facebook.

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FAIR HAVEN: GASPERINI Q&A

On the ballot November 2: Fair Haven council candidate Bob Gasperini. (Photo provided by candidate. Click to enlarge.)

CORRECTION: ALL borough voters in the November 2 election are to cast in-person ballots at the Church of the Nativity parish center at 180 Ridge Road. An outdated list of polling places was incorrectly included in the original version of this post. Apologies to those who were inconvenienced.

Fair Haven voters will have four candidates to choose from when they elect two council members November 2.

Here’s what candidate Bob Gasperini had to say in response to a questionnaire sent to all four by redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN: KOCH Q&A

On the ballot November 2: Fair Haven council candidate Betsy Koch. (Photo provided by candidate. Click to enlarge.)

CORRECTION: ALL borough voters in the November 2 election are to cast in-person ballots at the Church of the Nativity parish center at 180 Ridge Road. An outdated list of polling places was incorrectly included in the original version of this post. Apologies to those who were inconvenienced.

Fair Haven voters will have four candidates to choose from when they elect two council members November 2.

Here’s what candidate Betsy Koch had to say in response to a questionnaire sent to all four by redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN: COLE Q&A

On the ballot November 2: Fair Haven council candidate Tracy Cole. (Photo provided by candidate. Click to enlarge.)

CORRECTION: ALL borough voters in the November 2 election are to cast in-person ballots at the Church of the Nativity parish center at 180 Ridge Road. An outdated list of polling places was incorrectly included in the original version of this post. Apologies to those who were inconvenienced.

Fair Haven voters will have four candidates to choose from when they elect two council members November 2.

Here’s what candidate Tracy Cole had to say in response to a questionnaire sent to all four by redbankgreen.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: TROMBINO Q&A

On the ballot November 2: Fair Haven council candidate Sonja Trombino. (Photo provided by candidate. Click to enlarge.)

CORRECTION: ALL borough voters in the November 2 election are to cast in-person ballots at the Church of the Nativity parish center at 180 Ridge Road. An outdated list of polling places was incorrectly included in the original version of this post. Apologies to those who were inconvenienced.

Fair Haven voters will have four candidates to choose from when they elect two council members November 2.

Here’s what candidate Sonja Trombino had to say in response to a questionnaire sent to all four by redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN: NEWCOMER TAPPED AS MAYOR

Mayor-elect Joshua Halpern with local Republican Chairman Andy Trocchia and a resident following the council meeting Tuesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA political newcomer is set to become Fair Haven’s next mayor.

At its semimonthly session Tuesday night, the council chose Joshua Halpern, a 10-year borough resident who’s never served on a government committee, to fill the chair vacated by Ben Lucarelli when he abruptly quit September 14.

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RED BANK: EARLY VOTING ADDS THIRD OPTION

A voter dropping off a ballot outside Red Bank borough hall last October. The drop boxes will again be used this year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Voters on the Greater Red Bank Green and across New Jersey will have a new option for making their picks in November’s general election: early, in-person voting.

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FAIR HAVEN: RESIGNATION FOLLOWED CLASH

Ben Lucarelli at the dedication of Williams, Albert and Robards Park in 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njSince he abruptly resigned as Fair Haven’s mayor two days ago, Ben Lucarelli hasn’t said a word publicly about his decision.

But a recording of Monday night’s council session captures him frustrated over a loss of “decorum” at public meetings and taking flak for his own conduct.

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FAIR HAVEN: LUCARELLI RESIGNS AS MAYOR

Ben Lucarelli during the council’s annual session held at the Knollwood School in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter nearly a decade in the position, Ben Lucarelli has resigned as Fair Haven’s mayor, effective immediately, borough Administrator Theresa Casagrande announced Tuesday.

No reason was given.

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RED BANK: GOP BAILS AND VISCOMI JUMPS IN

Sue Viscomi has mounted a candidacy as an independent, making it a three-way race for two council seats. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank voters will have three candidates to choose from for two council seats in November.

For the second year in a row, none of them will be Republicans.

And for the second time in three years, Sue Viscomi is running as an independent.

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RED BANK: WOMEN IN LEAD AS DEMS SPLIT

Kate Triggiano at her January, 2019 swearing-in with husband, David, son, Otto, and former Assemblyman John Wisniewski. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The two women on competing tickets moved closer to claiming wins in the Red Bank Democratic primary election for council Wednesday.

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RED BANK: THREE CLOSE IN DEM’S PRIMARY

By JOHN T. WARD

Incumbent Councilwoman Kate Triggiano led three other candidates after a rare Red Bank Democratic primary challenge Tuesday.

But the race for two openings on the party ticket in November was far from settled, with the second spot an even closer call.

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RED BANK: ONE PRIMARY CONTESTED, ONE NOT

By JOHN T. WARD

Four Red Bank Democrats square off Tuesday in a rare primary election for two spots on the November ballot for borough council.

Meantime, the borough’s Republicans have two “placeholder” candidates on the primary ballot.

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RED BANK: AGENCY CALLS FOR $9.3M YARD

A Google Maps satellite view of the public works yard and adjoining property to the east, roughly outlined in red. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank should move quickly to bond for an overhauled public works facility, according to a recommendation adopted by the Redevelopment Agency Tuesday evening.

Estimated cost, including the acquisition of property adjacent to the Chestnut Street site: $9.3 million.

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RED BANK: CHARTER REVIEW VOTE SLATED

Authorization of the charter study, and all five seats on it, would be on the November ballot if the council follows through on Wednesday’s informal vote. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[Updated to include borough attorney memo on charter review timeline.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s council informally agreed Wednesday night to have voters decide whether the borough’s form of government should be reviewed for possible overhaul.

The unanimous action by the council, all Democrats, could eventually lead to nonpartisan elections, watering down the party’s long dominance of municipal government.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON COUNCIL AGENDA

The council meets via Zoom due to pandemic restrictions. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe creation of a commission to examine Red Bank’s century-old government structure is on the table when the council holds its monthly workshop session Wednesday night.

So are renovations to the mothballed Senior Center and the swan song of Business Administrator Ziad Shehady.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL INITIATES REBUILD

The Senior Center occupies a stand-alone building on Shrewsbury Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council moved to jumpstart repairs to water-damaged Senior Center Wednesday night, one day after a recommendation by the Redevelopment Agency that it do so.

But even enroute to a unanimous vote, the measure churned up bitterness among the all-Democratic governing body.

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