STREAK ENDS WITH A SMILE IN SEA BRIGHT

m-smeltzerMaryann Smeltzer ended 30 years of attending municipal meetings Tuesday night, sitting in on her last Sea Bright council session — a brief, 30-minute one — before she retires next week. Council members gave her a farewell bouquet and showered her with praise. “It’s been quite a journey,” Smeltzer, 60, said. “One I’ll never forget.” (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT NAMES NEW ADMINISTRATOR

sea-bright-boro-hallStepping into borough hall as Sea Bright’s new administrator is Plumsted’s former top official. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Just a couple weeks before Maryann Smeltzer says sayonara to Sea Bright, the borough council has hired a replacement for the retiring administrator.

Next in line for the top administrative slot — and clerk duties, too — is Richard Kachmar, a 59-year-old Howell resident who last served as Plumsted’s administrator for 13 years before the budget ax loomed.

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THE WEEK IN REARVIEW: MAY 8-14, 2011

dinerA painter finishes off a welcome sign in the window of Broadway Diner. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A roundup of articles appearing last week here on redbankgreen is below.

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SAYING GOODBYE TO HER TOWN

m-smeltzerSea Bright Administrator Maryann Smeltzer will retire at the end of June. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Maryann Smeltzer was born in Long Branch, and for the last dozen or so, has lived with her husband of 39 years in West Long Branch.

Her allegiance, by logic, would be to one of those towns.

Not so for Smeltzer, who’s spent the last 31 years, with a break, making a daily trip up Ocean Avenue to Sea Bright Borough Hall, working her way up from a part-time secretary to borough administrator.

“Whenever I talk about my town, [husband Richard] thinks I’m talking about West Long Branch, but I’m talking about Sea Bright,” she said. “Sea Bright will always be my town.”

Smeltzer, who turns 60 on June 2, will retire from her town at the end of June.

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OCEAN AVENUE WORK NEAR COMPLETION

sb-roadworkThe state Department of Transportation is expected to wrap up a months-long roadwork project on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright this week. The work, which got started in early March, includes resurfacing the roadway between the bridges that connect the borough to Rumson and Highlands, and installing new curbing, borough Administrator Maryann Smeltzer said. Targeted completion date is Wednesday, she said. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

ANYBODY MISSING A VOLKSWAGEN?

sb-potholesPotholes in Sea Bright’s municipal lot — some “that could swallow a couple Volkswagens,” in the words of Councilman Read Murphy — will finally get properly patched, borough officials said. Administrator Maryann Smeltzer said the work, including restriping of the lot, will be done “well before Memorial Day.” (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT: X MARKS THE WRONG SPOT

murphy-plansCouncilman Read Murphy goes over revised beachfront development plans, assuring residents that the library is not going to be razed. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The Sea Bright borough council, in a rush job to dot its i’s and cross its t’s on a major beachfront development plan, apparently forgot to look out for the x’s.

It was an “oversight,” an “honest mistake,” council members said, as they took a minor scolding from residents who thought the borough library was going to get bulldozed.

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SEA BRIGHT BONDS TO FIX A CRACK GONE BAD

sb-council-chambersSea Bright’s council chambers is cordoned off with plastic as it’s being used as a temporary storage area for the eastern wing of borough hall.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Sea Bright Borough Hall. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving — and makes you keep paying for it.

It’s that pesky wall with the crack in it that’s revealing itself to be an even bigger headache than anticipated, with every look-see uncovering a new problem.

“It’s just been one thing after another,” said borough Engineer Jackie Flor.

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SEA BRIGHT BOROUGH HALL CRACKING UP

sea-bright-boro-hall The building’s eastern wall has damage that will end up costing the borough tens of thousands to fix. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Sea Bright Borough Hall just might get some of that extra space officials and employees say they’ve needed, but not in a way that anyone wanted.

If you take a walk out back and look at the building’s eastern wall, you’ll see a lightning-shaped crack running down it and a section that clearly wants to separate from the rest of the building. The damage, though visible from the outside, is worse inside, says administrator Maryann Smeltzer.

In the kitchen, which is on the other side of the wall, cabinets are becoming loose. In the men’s bathroom, one end of the window frame has an inch-long gap from the wall.

“We know the walls are shot,” Councilman Read Murphy said.

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