LITTLE SILVER: HARASSMENT SUIT COST $290K

carolyn kossack 090612Superintendent Carolyn Kossack, seen here in 2012.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03lawsuit that accused Little Silver’s school superintendent of same-sex sexual harassment was settled for $290,000, a website focused on government settlements reported Monday.

The case, which also alleged wrongful termination, was resolved last November, but its monetary details were not previously disclosed.

Read More »

LITTLE SILVER: HARRASSMENT SUIT SETTLED

carolyn kossack 090612Superintendent Carolyn Kossack, seen here in 2012.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Little Silver Board of Education has approved a proposed settlement of a lawsuit against Superintendent Carolyn Kossack alleging same-sex sexual harassment and wrongful termination.

The case involved allegations by JoAnn Riley, of Edison, who claimed she was just four months into her job as a $105,000-a-year special services supervisor when she was abruptly fired.

Read More »

UP: INSURANCE, ENROLLMENT & SCHOOL TAX

Red Bank property owners could face a 5.6-percent increase on their borough school tax bills, according to a report in Tuesday’s Asbury Park Press.

A proposed $22.8 million budget for the 2013-2014 school year,  introduced Monday night, calls for a 5.64-percent increase that board of education members blamed on soaring insurance costs and a five percent increase in the student population, the newspaper reported.

Read More »

PRELIMINARY: AVERAGE RED BANK TAX UP $94

The spending plan includes debt service on the estimated $1 million cost of a replacing 25-year-old Ladder 91, above.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Still a work in progress, the 2012 Red Bank budget calls for a $94 tax increase on property assessed at the borough-average $401,393, officials said Wednesday night.

The figure  reflects a 4.5-percent increase in the municipal rate, to 53.2 cents per $100 of assessed value, from 50.9 in 2011, said Chief Financial Officer Colleen Lapp.

Driving the increase is an unexpected $464,000 spike in insurance costs, “the majority of it health insurance;” tax-appeal refunds, which in the first two months of the year have already rung up to $135,000; and a contractual $118,000 increase in pay for police, said Lapp.

Read More »

SNOW GETS SOME BLAME FOR TAX HIKE

plow-stuckA borough plow stuck in the snow on Mechanic Street on December 27. The cost of the storm is about to sock Red Bank property owners. (Click to enlarge)

Red Bank property taxes may rise again this year.

Blame the usual culprits of climbing health insurance and pension costs. Add in a steep increase in refunds for tax appeals. But don’t forget the snow.

Yes, the bill for the blizzard of December 26 & 27, which paralyzed the region for days afterward, has come due.

Read More »

RED BANK’S DISGRACE GOES NATIONAL

The ugly spectacle of hecklers shouting down a woman in a wheelchair in Red Bank last week is getting national play.

Last night, Keith Olbermann of MSNBC’s Countdown played a portion of the video Brian Donohue shot for his online Star-Ledger feature, Ledger Live, during the August 26 town hall meeting held by sixth-district Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. at the Red Bank Middle School.

The topic: national health insurance.

“If somebody were to parody the truly ugly behavior at some of these healthcare town halls, it might read like this,” Olbermann says in setting up the video.

Read More »

SLEDGER TOWN HALL VIDEO

Here’s Star-Ledger video reporter Andre Malok’s takeaway from Tuesday night’s town hall meeting of federal healthcare reform, held at the Red Bank Middle School.

An Asbury Park Press video is here.

If you missed it, here’s the redbankgreen article.

HOSTILE CROWD SHOUTS DOWN PALLONE

img_1265-2With the auditorium inside already packed, a crowd of more than 1,000 people snaked around the front yard of the Red Bank Middle School awaiting its turn inside. Three consecutive seatings were required to accommodate the turnout, with the final session beginning at around 10:30p.

Some came to yell ‘Get a job’ at their congressman. One came to ask him if he was a communist. Another spent $14 on a cab ride from Middletown to declare her own candidacy for his seat, on the platform of “if everybody gave up meat and chicken, people wouldn’t get sick.”

In the aggregate, most of the 1,300 people who swamped Tuesday night’s forum on a proposed federal health insurance plan came to vent their anger over the plan’s expense and expected impact on their continued access to quality medical services.

Through it all, sixth-district Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., a Democrat, stood his ground on the auditorium stage at the Red Bank Middle School, unwavering in his defense of the plan.

“I don’t believe that the majority are opposed to this,” he said, speaking of his own constituents, prompting one of many cascades of boos heard over the course of three seatings.

img_1515-2Attendees pro and con on health insurance reform tried to out-sing each other on ‘God Bless America’ prior to the start of the second session.
Read More »

PALLONE PLANS TOWN HALL ON HEALTHCARE

hot-topic1Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. has scheduled a town-hall style Q&A about health insurance reform for Tuesday, August 25 in Red Bank.

But Pallone, a Long Branch Democrat who chairs a House subcommittee with responsibility for oversight of Medicare and other health-related matters, is facing pressure to find a larger venue than the council chambers at borough hall for the meeting.

Red Bank resident Krishna Tyler, on behalf of the vacationing GOP council candidate Kim Senkeleski, is circulating an email calling on recipients to contact Pallone’s office to ask for a change of locale.
Read More »