Below is where the responses to questionnaires sent to the four council candidates (for two available seats) on the November 8 ballot in Red Bank would appear, if any of them had responded. None did. But we welcome their thoughts on the issues, and encourage them to comment.
Wall Street debt-rating agency Moody’s has raised concerns about Red Bank’s $25.2 million worth of general-obligation bonds.
In a announcement posted on its website late last Friday, Moody’s affirmed its prior Aa3 rating on the debt, but revised its outlook to “negative,” citing a drop in the town’s current-fund balance to 2.14 percent of revenue in 2010, from 9.14 percent in 2007.
The agency indicated that a downgrade of the debt could follow if “recent fiscal strain” continues.
By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank’s Republican contenders for borough council were on the defensive Wednesday night as their opponents, and some voters, pressed them on their perceived sudden re-emergence as election day looms.
Resident David Prown asked GOP candidates Grace Cangemi and Joe Mizzi how confident taxpayers should feel in their representation, given what he characterized as their low profile between last spring’s candidacy announcement and now. Several questioners pressed them on the point of view that the pair say is missing from the current all-Democrat council.
In the evening’s most heated moment, incumbent Ed Zipprich called his opponent’s criticisms of the current council “absolutely ridiculous,” and said Cangemi, a former council member, hadn’t appeared at a session of the governing body since she lost a re-election bid in 2008, though she had pledged to serve as a watchdog.
“What have you done for the town in the three years since you walked out the door?” he asked.
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
The last time redbankgreen talked to Joe Mizzi, on election night last November, he’d just acknowledged his loss in the race for a seat on the Red Bank borough council and said he was going to begin work on his next campaign.
“My last quote was, ‘I’m not going anywhere,'” said Mizzi, a 35-year-old financial analyst and adjunct professor of economics at Brookdale Community College. “And I meant it.”
On Friday, Mizzi, a Republican, announced he’s making a second run to break the Democratic lock on all six council seats, and this time he’s enlisted a familiar name to run with him: former Councilwoman Grace Cangemi.
Joe Mizzi was excited Tuesday night, thinking this might be the one.
As treasurer of the local GOP for the past four years, and one of its two candidates for Red Bank council, he said he felt he and running mate Rob Lombardi had a good shot at displacing one or both Democratic incumbents on the ballot, Kathy Horgan and Sharon Lee.
It boded well that voter turnout appeared to have been “suprisingly strong,” he told redbankgreen shortly after polls closed, and he’d heard positive feedback from those who’d cast ballots.
The Westside Community Group held its fourteenth annual council candidates’ debate Wednesday night. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
It was a tame affair, one that started and ended with smiles and handshakes, with serious debate and a few zingers in between.
The crowd of a couple dozen at Wednesday night’s debate of Red Bank’s council candidates was also a bit subdued, but asked about all the hot topics in town: taxes, pedestrian safety and the local economy.
It opened up with quips from Mayor Pasquale Menna, who thanked the crowd for coming to Sharon Lee’s birthday party she turned 55 yesterday and said Republican candidate Joe Mizzi, who sports a shaved pate and spontaneously threw out the opening remarks he prepared a month ago, had a full head of hair before he finished writing his beginning statement.
Then it got serious.