RED BANK: MORE SPARKS OVER SENIOR CENTER

The Senior Center offers a rare vantage for Red Bankers to view the Navesink and Swimming rivers, speakers said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s elected officials got an earful from the public about the borough’s disabled Senior Center Wednesday night.

But even as the all-Democratic council unanimously approved a new lease on interim space, sparks continued to fly between its members over the center’s near-term future.

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RED BANK: YASSIN MOVES TO COUNCIL FORE

Councilman Hazim Yassin at a council meeting in February, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter a year of butting heads with most of his fellow Democrats, Red Bank Councilman Michael Ballard lost his seat on the budget-shaping finance committee Friday.

He was displaced by first-term Councilman Hazim Yassin at the borough government’s annual New Year’s Day reorganization meeting. Read More »

RED BANK: TRASH PACT, LEAK REPORT OK’D

DeLisa Demolition won the bidding to haul the borough’s trash and recycling for another five years. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicMonths later than expected, Red Bank officials agreed this week to enter a new five-year contract for private trash hauling, one that will increase the frequency of recycling pickups.

They also agreed to hire an outside attorney to look into disputed emails about the bid specifications.

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RED BANK: TRASH SURVEY SPLITS COUNCIL

A screengrab of the council’s session Wednesday night. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA trash-and-recycling survey became the latest wedge between two factions of Red Bank’s one-party council Wednesday night.

The dispute included innuendo that Councilman Ed Zipprich could not be trusted to keep information secret from bidders in the pending award of a trash hauling contract.

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RED BANK: DEAL OVER LEAK PROBES POSSIBLE

ballard zipprich 102217Michael Ballard, left, and Ed Zipprich with an unidentified woman at the 2017 Halloween parade. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA stalemate over dueling demands for probes stemming from a Red Bank government email leak may be headed toward resolution.

At the urging of Mayor Pasquale Menna, council members informally agreed Wednesday night to seek a legal opinion regarding their options on how to proceed.

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RED BANK: SPLIT COUNCIL OKS ENGINE DEAL

red bank fire engine 93 102217The Independent Engine Company’s 1994 Seagrave pumper, seen in the 2017 Halloween parade, would be traded in with a second engine. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA recurring split within Red Bank’s all-Democratic council was on display again Wednesday night, when a majority approved the purchase of two new fire engines. Read More »

RED BANK: TWO NEW PUMPERS PLANNED

The new apparatus would be stationed at the Independent Engine house, shared with the First Aid Squad on Spring Street at left, and the Westside Hose firehouse on Leighton Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s volunteer fire department will replace two trucks in the coming year under a plan discussed at last Wednesday’s council workshop session.

“It’s been a long-awaited purchase,” fire Chief Scott Calabrese told the council.

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RED BANK: SPLIT OVER LEAK PROBE CONTINUES

A screengrab of the council’s session Wednesday night, with councilmembers Erik Yngstrom at center left and Michael Ballard at center right. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA dispute over leaked emails entered its third month when the Red Bank council met for a workshop session via Zoom Wednesday night.

The issue has pitted two Democrats who are running for re-election against four who aren’t.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL AGENDA

Borough hall remains closed for public meetings to limit the spread of COVID-19, so the council will again meet via Zoom. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njMissing, once again, from the agenda for the Red Bank council session Wednesday are dueling versions of a resolution calling for an investigation.

 

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RED BANK: DEMS CLASH OVER BUDGET, PROBE

A screengrab of the council’s session Wednesday night. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicRifts among Democrats were on almost nonstop display during a three-hour meeting of the Red Bank council Wednesday night.

While Councilman Ed Zipprich pressed for a probe into an email leak he said had smeared his reputation, at least two of his colleagues were more concerned about his intervention in the bidding for a new trash hauling contract.

But first, the all-Democratic body split over proposed budget cuts pushed by Councilman Michael Ballard that others saw as unwise.

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RED BANK: PLAZA DETAILS STILL IN THE WORKS

red bank monmouth street 060220Monmouth Street between Broad Street and Maple Avenue would become a pedestrian plaza all day on Sundays as part of a recovery plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njDetails for turning two downtown Red Bank streets into part-time dining and shopping plazas hinge largely on pending clarity from Trenton, borough officials said Tuesday.

On a Zoom/conference call with merchants, borough officials said they need information from Governor Phil Murphy on key issues before they can finalize plans for allotting sidewalk and street space among restaurants, retailers and others.

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RED BANK: STREET CLOSINGS FOR DINING OK’D

red bank broad street 032720Broad Street would be closed from the intersection with Front Street, above, to Wallace Street three nights a week under the plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njTwo major streets in the heart of downtown Red Bank would be closed to traffic to allow mid-street dining and shopping under action taken by the borough council Wednesday night.

The economic recovery measure needed lightning-fast approval so the business district “can to be ready the second we get the call” from Trenton about expected loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, said Councilwoman Kate Triggiano.

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RED BANK: FRESH TAKE ON FOOD INSECURITY

red bank kitch organicKitch Organic, on Leighton Avenue, is offering donation-powered “Kitch Kares” deliveries of organic groceries, below. (Click photos to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Kitch Organic in Red Bank plans to roll out a new offering to help fill a void in the COVID-19 crisis: food packages that emphasize fresh vegetables and fruits rather than non-persishables.

The idea: to address rising food insecurity with healthy, organic produce and dairy products, said borough Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, who hatched the idea with Kitch owner Joe Durso.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL TAKES AIM AT BALLOONS

red bank balloonsCampaign balloons given out at the 2014 Halloween Parade prompted complaints that the event was being politicized. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council may soon take up a proposed ban on mass balloon releases, its members agreed at their workshop meeting Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: ‘SURPRISE’ RIFT OVER YOM KIPPUR

kate triggiano, erik yngstrom, hazim yassin, red bank njNewly sworn council members Kate Triggiano and Hazim Yassin flank Council President Erik Yngstrom at the council reorganization meeting in January. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

[UPDATE, October 4: Yom Kippur council meeting canceled for lack of quorum after mayor and council members who voted against having it say they won’t be there, he says on his Facebook page.]

By a split vote, the Red Bank council decided Wednesday night to stick to its schedule and hold its next meeting on Yom Kippur.

The 3-2 outcome of a vote at the council’s workshop meeting caught Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, who had argued for a change, off guard.

“We’re going to have the meeting?” she asked. “So we’re keeping the meeting on Yom Kippur?”

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RED BANK: PUSHBACK OVER REDEV CONTRACT

ken deroberts megan masseyCommissioner Megan Massey pressed agency manager Ken DeRoberts on differences in prices quoted for a contract. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s new Redevelopment Agency began doling out work to professionals Tueday, and one member immediately tapped the brakes on spending.

At its monthly meeting Tuesday, Commissioner Megan Massey signaled a reluctance to approve a contract that had been recommended by the agency’s manager.

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RED BANK: FOOD TRUCK BAN TO CONTINUE

red bank riverside avenue gas stationA proposal would have allowed food trucks to operate on underused property outside the downtown, including the vacant gas station at Riverside and Bridge avenues. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA push to end Red Bank’s ban on food trucks ran out of gas Wednesday night.

Over the objections of one of their colleagues, council members sided with owners of brick-and-mortar restaurants, who say trucks would unfairly undermine them while rewarding other property owners for neglect.

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RED BANK: INTERPRETERS TO AID POLICE

red bank translator program juan sardoBorough resident Karla Ortega, left, translated remarks by Lieutenant Juan Sardo into Spanish as Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, right, looked on at last week’s council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njIn what may be a first in New Jersey, Red Bank police will be able to draw on a team of local volunteers to help them bridge language divides in dealing with the public.

A new program championed by first-term Councilwoman Kate Triggiano will make volunteer interpreters available to help police in their normal duties as well as at community events, she said.

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RED BANK: REDEV AGENCY INCHES AHEAD

wilson beebe 072319Wilson Beebe recommended some tweaks to the agency’s statement of goals and objectives. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njStill taking small steps, Red Bank’s new Redevelopment Agency advanced on its goal of giving municipal properties some long-overdue attention Tuesday.

In a 20-minute meeting, agency members agreed to begin the process of assessing the condition of borough real estate holdings.

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