RED BANK: TAX INCREASE AT 2.8 PERCENT

A screengrab from Wednesday’s virtual meeting, with Councilman Michael Ballard at top center and Business Administrator Ziad Shehady at center right. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic

Red Bank property owners would pay 2.8 percent more in municipal taxes this year, under a budget advanced by the borough council Wednesday night.

The still-evolving $22.4 million spending plan was the centerpiece of a nearly three-hour online council meeting that left viewers with a lot to unpack.

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RED BANK: TAX INCREASE ON AGENDA

michael ballard 051320Councilman Michael Ballard during an online meeting in May. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesDelayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank’s proposed budget for 2020 would boost the amount to be raised from local property owners by 5.4 percent.

But heading into the final stretch, it’s not clear that the chairman of the finance committee will support the spending plan if it goes to a vote Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: JOBS DEBATE SPLITS COUNCIL

red bank recycling center 051420 Robert Greene, left, and John Caine at the Red Bank recycling center Thursday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicA plan to eliminate two part-time jobs at the recycling center sharply divided Red Bank’s all-Democratic council Wednesday night.

Things got personal. During the governing body’s semimonthly meeting, conducted via Zoom, Councilman Ed Zipprich accused Business Administrator Ziad Shehady of retaliation for an earlier action by the union that represents the affected employees.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL BUSILY CLOSES OUT YEAR

jane eigenrauch 121714Retired librarian Jane Eigenrauch gets a goodbye hug, above, and Councilwoman Juanita Lewis reacts to a tribute at her final meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

juanita lewis 121714At its final scheduled meeting of 2014, the Red Bank council killed a $2.2 million bond ordinance to pay for new water meters amid warnings that a shortage of existing devices could delay new construction in 2015.

The council also:

• approved a new labor agreement covering nearly half the municipal workforce

• extended a moratorium on fees some developers have to pay for parking deficiencies.

• bid adieu to one of its own members

• and honored a newly-retired librarian who had been the borough government’s longest-serving employee.

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RED BANK SEALS BLUE COLLAR PACT

The contract applies to public utilities workers, seen here clearing snow on Broad Street last Saturday, as well as some clerical staffers at borough hall. (Click to enlarge)

By JOE FISHER

A revised contract between Red Bank and borough employees represented by the Communications Workers of America ends a request for mediation sought by the union.

Salary “steps” will be adjusted for both 2012 and 2013, meaning some of the borough’s 71 CWA Local 1038 employees will receive pay raises retroactive to January of last year.

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PRESS: AVERAGE RUMSON TAX BILL UP $3

Rumson’s council approved a 2012 budget that calls for a $3 increase to the local property tax for the owner of a home assessed at the borough-average $1 million, the Asbury Park Press reports Wednesday.

The $14.93 million budget approved at a Tuesday afternoon session of the governing body marks a $67,486 decline in overall spending, Press reporter Larry Higgs writes.

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POLICE PACT: SIX PERCENT OVER TWO YEARS

rbpd-patchA tentative contract with the collective bargaining unit representing Red Bank police calls for three-percent pay raises this year and next, borough officials said Tuesday night.

The terms of the proposed pact were  approved by the borough council in a brief public session following an extended one behind closed doors.

The contract now goes back to Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 39 for approval, after which the council would vote on it.

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MURPHY: BRING THE CONTRACT — AND A PEN

art-murphy-082409Murphy stewing at the August 24 council session.

Red Bank’s council is expected to introduce a proposed labor contract with the Police Benevolent Association at tonight’s meeting.

It had better, lest it risk the ire of Councilman Art Murphy III. The council’s liaison to the police department was furious that the tentative pact wasn’t ready for a vote last time the governing body met, on August 24.

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