FAIR HAVEN: McCUE Q&A

fair haven mike mccueMike McCue. (Click to enlarge.)

, ELECTION 2019Two borough council seats are up for grabs in Fair Haven’s November 5 election.

On the ballot are incumbent incumbents Jon Peters and Jacquie Rice, both Republicans, and Democratic challengers Meg Chrisner-Keefe and Mike McCue.

Here are McCue’s written responses to questions posed to all Fair Haven candidates recently by redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN: RICE Q&A

Jacquie Rice. (Click to enlarge.)

, ELECTION 2019Two borough council seats are up for grabs in Fair Haven’s November 5 election.

On the ballot are incumbent incumbents Jon Peters and Jacquie Rice, both Republicans, and Democratic challengers Meg Chrisner-Keefe and Mike McCue.

Here are Rice’s written responses to questions posed to all Fair Haven candidates recently by redbankgreen.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: CHRISNER-KEEFE Q&A

fair haven meghan chrisner-keefe 101519Meg Chrisner-Keefe. (Click to enlarge.)

, ELECTION 2019Two borough council seats are up for grabs in Fair Haven’s November 5 election.

On the ballot are incumbent incumbents Jon Peters and Jacquie Rice, both Republicans, and Democratic challengers Meg Chrisner-Keefe and Mike McCue.

Here are Chrisner-Keefe’s written responses to questions posed to all Fair Haven candidates recently by redbankgreen.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: PETERS Q&A

Jonathan Peters. (Click to enlarge.)

, ELECTION 2019Two borough council seats are up for grabs in Fair Haven’s November 5 election.

On the ballot are incumbent incumbents Jon Peters and Jacquie Rice, both Republicans, and Democratic challengers Meg Chrisner-Keefe and Mike McCue.

Here are Peters’ written responses to questions posed to all Fair Haven candidates recently by redbankgreen.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: TOWN TAKES UP POT DEBATE

Councilmen Bob Marchese, center, and Jon Peters, with Business Administrator Theresa Casagrande in foreground, at Monday night’s meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven officials mulled joining other towns in Monmouth and Ocean counties in opposing the legalization of recreational marijuana Monday night.

But the discussion was left unfinished, as council members differed over what specifically they would oppose of Governor Phil Murphy’s plans for legalization, and what they would find acceptable.

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FAIR HAVEN: TAXES ON THE TABLE

The February sale of a vacant borough-owned lot on Fisk Street helped keep a lid on property taxes this year, said Administrator Theresa Casagrande.   (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Taxes dominated the Fair Haven council’s semimonthly meeting Monday night, with a borough budget up for adoption and presentations on spending plans by two school districts on the agenda.

Bottom line(s): a drop in the borough levy, a drop in the local school tax, and an increase in the one that funds the regional high school.

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MIDDLETOWN, RED BANK: ARTISTS IN MOTION

Commuter artArtist Suzanne Ritger’s mini-watercolors — done in real-time during her morning bus commute to NYC — are a highlight of her exhibit opening Saturday at Middletown Library, while Jon Peters offers up star-spangled examples of American Art (below) at Laurel Tracey Gallery.

LaurelTracyIt’s kind of a cliche for an artist to talk at great length about their “journey,” but in the case of Suzanne Ritger, that journey was a very real way of arriving at a point of inspiration — hurtling through space at 65 mph, and with a busload of fellow passengers along for the ride, whether they realized it or not.

A resident of Red Bank for the past three years, Ritger spent a solid two of those trips around the sun going back and forth from the borough to Manhattan, where her job at a nonprofit agency required her to spend a considerable chunk of her time on a NJ Transit commuter bus. Scenes of that morning journey — hundreds of them; captured in watercolor on postcard-size canvases — form the centerpiece of Are We There Yet?, a solo show of the artist’s work going up on display at Middletown Township Public Library, beginning with a reception this Saturday, October 11.

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FAIR HAVEN: NO TAX HIKE FOR SIXTH YEAR

“It’s not just about saving money,” says council President Jon Peters, below. “It’s keeping the town in good shape.”   (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

On the agenda at Fair Haven’s borough council meeting Monday night: a budget that doesn’t raise taxes for the sixth consecutive year.

Borough Administrator Theresa Casagrande says her research shows only three of New Jersey’s 566 municipalities can claim such a record in recent history.

Jon Peters, the council president and head of the governing body’s finance committee, says the six-year string is the result of hawk-like attention to costs.

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TAX RATE UNCHANGED IN FAIR HAVEN

Fair Haven propery owners will see no change in the local portion of their property tax bills this year, the Asbury Park Press reports Tuesday.

For the fifth consecutive year, according to Press reporter Larry Higgs, the borough council has introduced a spending plan that either reduces or maintains the municipal slice of property levies – excluding school, Monmouth County and Open Space taxes, that is.

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LUCARELLI NAMED FAIR HAVEN MAYOR

With his son Enzo holding the Bible and borough Attorney Sal Alfieri officiating, Ben Lucarelli recites the oath of office as mayor Monday night. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Ben Lucarelli became Fair Haven’s new mayor Monday night on a quick and unanimous vote by his colleagues on the borough council.

He was immediately sworn into office to succeed former Mayor Mike Halfacre, who resigned in January to take a job in the Christie Administration as head of the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control .

Uncertainty remained, however, about just when Lucarelli’s mayoralty ends.

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GOP FLOATS THREE TO SUCCEED HALFACRE

Two sitting council members and a former member are the nominees to fill the empty seat of former Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre, who resigned last month to take a job in the Christie Administration.

The local Republican Committee last week submitted the names of Council President Jon Peters, Councilman Ben Lucarelli and former Council President Andrew Trocchia to fill out the 2012 portion of the two years remaining on Halfacre’s term, committee chairman Rich Magovern tells redbankgreen.

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FAIR HAVEN’S PETERS QUESTIONS WATER TIPS

fh-sprinklerA sprinkler system outside a River Road home in Fair Haven. New Jersey American Water has asked residents to consider voluntary water restrictions in anticipation of a hot, dry summer. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Following the brief blast of heat and dry weather in the area nearly two weeks ago, and in preparation for more of it this summer, New Jersey American Water sent a letter to local mayors suggesting residents consider voluntary water restrictions at home.

On its face, it’s a move by the water company to help prevent what happened last year, and all of a sudden: a mandatory restriction that confounded locals at the height of a holiday weekend.

But at least one Fair Haven official is calling the water company out, and questions whether it has made the necessary improvements to its treatment and distribution system to handle growing demand in Monmouth County.

“We’re starting pretty early in the year to be asking to (reduce) our consumption,” Council President Jon Peters said. “We were told last year this was anomalous. We’re going to be watching very closely.”

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FAIR HAVEN BOE BARELY GETS WITHIN CAP

taxesBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

With the help of partially restored state aid, Fair Haven’s Board of Education is bringing its budget just within the two-percent cap for the 2011-’12 school year.

The $12.2 million plan — $11.8 million of it to be raised through local taxes — includes $184,807 in state aid, a $90,000 boost from the current school year’s aid, which was slashed significantly.

“We definitely had a lot of cuts on the table, so it was a very happy day when we found out we’d get some state aid back,” Superintendent Kathi Cronin said Monday night, when presenting an overview of the budget to the borough council.

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IF IT SITS LIKE A DUCK…

duckJoining the Fair Haven Borough Council Monday night was this wooden duck found in a storage closet at borough hall by Mayor Mike Halfacre. “I thought it was serendipitous,” he said, considering the recent attention on the borough over 12-year-old Nicole Stover’s request to keep six ducks as pets. But there was a minor controversy over the table piece. “I think it’s a goose, actually,” Council President Jon Peters said. The council is expected to decide the fate of Nicole’s ducks at its April 11 meeting. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

BONUS FOR CHIEF, TRASH JOBBED OUT

darryl-breckenridge-010108By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Fair Haven Police Chief Darryl Breckenridge got his annual attaboy from the borough council last night in the form of a $3,000 bonus.

This is not unusual in Fair Haven. Employees do well, they get compensated, Mayor Mike Halfacre said.

And even though Breckenridge is part of the police department, he is not a member of a union, making him eligible for a performance-based bonus, like all other non-union workers, Halfacre said.

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FAIR HAVEN TAPS POLS’ AUNT FOR ADMIN JOB

cell-phoneTo make a quorum, two Fair Haven council members voted via cell phone to approve a new administrator Monday night. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

In less-than-typical fashion, Fair Haven’s borough council voted Tuesday night to hire a new administrator to replace Mary Howell.

The surname should ring a bell. Theresa Casagrande, aunt to Assemblywoman Caroline Casasgrande, steps into the job today.

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A BIT LATE, FAIR HAVEN GIRL TESTS TREE LAW

zoe-gallagherZoe Gallagher, 12, in front of the Poplar Avenue property where trees are being cut down to make room for two houses. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

By last Wednesday, Zoe Gallagher figured it might be too late. By 7:30a Saturday, she was sure.

That’s when she was awakened by sound of trucks and chainsaws. Looking out her window, the 12-year-old knew that there was no chance she’d be able to save the dozen trees that were about to be cut down across the street.

Zoe, who is the president of the environmental club at Knollwood School, was a step behind in her fight for the doomed trees on Poplar Avenue. She hadn’t learned of their impending demise until Wednesday, the day after the home builder, Spencer Foxworth, won an appeal to cut down the trees in order to make room for two new homes on the property. He had previously been denied permission by Elizabeth Lilleston, chairwoman of the shade tree commission and Fair Haven’s code enforcement officer.

“So what’s the point of having a tree ordinance?” Zoe asked, as she watched workers load trucks with tree limbs and brush. “It’s like there isn’t any. You just waste a day presenting the case because you’re going to get it anyway.”

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