RED BANK: EX-AGENCY MEMBER FIRES BACK

wilson beebe 072319Wilson Beebe at a Redevelopment Agency session in July, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 See correction below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWith the Red Bank Redevelopment Agency on the chopping block, one of its former members fired a parting shot at elected officials Thursday.

Contrary to claims, the town got its money’s worth, Wilson Beebe wrote in an “open letter to the Red Bank council and residents.” And “the responsibility for the manner in which the Senior Center project was handled rests solely” on the borough council, he said.

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RED BANK: STURDIVANT TEES UP REDEV, ADMIN

Councilwoman Jacqueline Sturdivant, framed in green, at Wednesday’s meeting. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njNewly elected Red Bank Councilwoman Jacqueline Sturdivant this week followed through on a campaign pledge by proposing the borough Redevelopment Agency be disbanded.

She also proposed resetting the power of the borough business administrator, a role she called “authoritarian.”

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RED BANK: CEO NEEDED, ADVISER SAYS

Joe Hartnett, right, with Ken DeRoberts at a Red Bank council meeting in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic

Whatever new form of government it might adopt, Red Bank needs a strong chief executive officer, a consultant who co-authored a critical review of borough operations said last week.

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RED BANK: AGENCY FUTURE IN SPOTLIGHT

Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Cherron Rountree speaking at the borough library earlier this month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWith the cancellation of its year-ending meeting scheduled for earlier this week, Red Bank’s Redevelopment Agency closes out 2021 having met just twice since July.

Going into 2020, whether it will survive to its third anniversary is an open question.

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RED BANK: BOARD NIXES REDEVELOPMENT BID

Saxum owns the former VNA site, viewed here from the former Raceway gas station on Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njSaxum Real Estate‘s request for a controversial zoning change in Red Bank hit a solid brick wall Monday night.

At a meeting that lasted just 12 minutes, the borough planning board unanimously rejected a proposal that objectors feared would lead to massive tax breaks for the developer.

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RED BANK: AGENCY TO SEEK COUNCIL INPUT

Executive director Cherron Rountree, outlined in yellow, addresses the Red Bank Redevelopment Agency during its virtual meeting Tuesday. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s Redevelopment Agency needs to do more to educate the public about its work, its new executive director told members Tuesday evening.

At the same time, the agency will be looking for guidance from the borough council on what that work should be, Chairman David Huber said.

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RED BANK: SAXUM HEARING POSTPONED

A rendering of Saxum’s planned project at Riverside Avenue and Bodman Place. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njOpponents of a potential tax deal for a massive proposed development in Red Bank may have to cool their heels until October to challenge the first step in the process.

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RED BANK: TAX BREAK CLOUDS SAXUM HEARING

Saxum’s project would replace the former Visiting Nurse Association headquarters at 176 Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s planning board kicked off a process Monday night that could result in a rezoning of prime real estate.

But while the ultimate goal of the effort – a tax break for a developer – was not under immediate consideration, it was clearly on the minds of objectors, including at least one board member.

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RED BANK: REDEVELOPMENT HEARING SLATED

Outline indicates the properties under consideration for “area in need of redevelopment” designation. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA possible zoning reclassification for the site of an approved 210-unit apartment project is scheduled go to the Red Bank planning board Monday night.

The review will offer the first public airing of a request by would-be developer Saxum Real Estate for tax breaks in order to proceed with the project.

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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: 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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RED BANK: SENIOR CENTER FIX-UP ADVANCES

The backyard of the mothballed Senior Center overlooking the upper Navesink River. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposal to repair Red Bank’s mothballed Senior Center without adding any new facilities won a Redevelopment Agency endorsement Tuesday evening.

The action could defuse one of the hottest issues in a contested Democratic race for two council seats just six weeks before a primary vote.

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RED BANK: SENIOR & REC PLANS REVIEWED

A concept plan showing facilities at the southern entrance to Count Basie Fields includes an indoor basketball court. (Screenshot from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank Redevelopment Agency began sorting through concept plans for possible new senior citizen and recreation facilities Tuesday.

Added to the “fix it now” demand by advocates of a stand-alone Senior Center was a new one: leave the outdoor basketball courts at Count Basie Fields alone.

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RED BANK: POSSIBLE TOWN HALL SITE ID’D

The building at Broad Street and East Bergen Place has served as a branch for various banks since 1965. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s Redevelopment Agency is looking at a Broad Street bank site as a possible future home for borough government.

Emphasis on “possible.” But the Wells Fargo branch at the corner of East Bergen Place has attributes that may make it “viable,” borough Business Administrator Ziad Shehady said at the agency’s monthly meeting Tuesday.

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RED BANK: SHEHADY QUITS AGENCY POST

ziad shehady, ken derobertsZiad Shehady, left, with Ken DeRoberts at the 2018 Mayor’s Ball. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njZiad Shehady resigned as the executive director of the Red Bank Redevelopment Agency Tuesday, saying the position had become a “lightning rod” for criticism and source of distraction from his primary job as borough business administrator.

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RED BANK: RACIST SLUR, OR SLIP OF TONGUE?

Sue Viscomi, right, with Hazim Yassin and Kate Triggiano at borough hall in April, 2018. All three ran for council that year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA Red Bank board of ed member faced sharp criticism Thursday for a purported racist rendition of the borough business administrator’s name the night before.

But Sue Viscomi vehemently denied referring to Ziad Shehady as “Mr. Jihad.”

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RED BANK: CENTER DEBATE CONTINUES

Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, center of bottom row, prevailed on a resolution regarding the Redevelopment Agency. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njSarcasm and insults flew Wednesday night as the Red Bank council yet again clashed over the future of the mothballed Senior Center.

This time, residents provided much of the ire. Read More »

RED BANK: AGENCY PRESSED ON SENIOR HALL

David Huber, center top, began what he said would be his last year as redevelopment agency chairman. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank residents pressed the borough’s Redevelopment Agency to save the Shrewsbury Avenue Senior Center Tuesday.

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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: 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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RED BANK: NEW AGENCY EYES TOWN ASSETS

red bank borough hallAmong the ideas the committee may take up: the possible sale of borough hall, above, at 90 Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA new municipal body with the potential to exert powerful influence on the future of Red Bank quietly took to the stage Tuesday.

Not quite the hottest ticket in town, the late-afternoon session of the new Redevelopment Agency drew an audience of three: two advisory committee members, who left early, and a reporter. But the ideas being floated, including the possible sale of borough hall, could soon move to the spotlight.

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RED BANK: REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY NAMED

red bank, nj, ken deroberts, pasquale mennaGovernment consultant Ken DeRoberts will manage the agency. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council approved two of its own members and five other residents to constitute a new borough redevelopment agency Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL AGENDA

red bank nj riverisde gardens parkThe council is looking  for Green Acres grants to make improvements to Riverside Gardens Park, above, and Bellhaven Natural Area, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank bellhaven natureAppointments to a new redevelopment agency and grants for improvements to two parks highlight a relatively quiet lineup for the Red Bank council’s semimonthly meeting Wednesday night.

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