RED BANK: MENNA ADMITS FOOD TRUCK ERROR

pasquale menna 031120Mayor Pasquale Menna on Locust Avenue in March. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna says he will recuse himself from future discussions of food trucks following questions raised by redbankgreen about work he did for the owner of a proposed site of a mobile eatery.

Menna, a private practice lawyer, did not disclose his connections to the property owner during Wednesday night’s council workshop meeting, when he revived the dormant issue of food trucks. But he said the omission was unintentional.

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RED BANK: MENNA BLASTS HEALTH ‘RUMORS’

pasquale menna 031120Mayor Pasquale Menna speaks with school board President Fred Stone at a March 11 ceremony opening the new primary school emergency access road. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE, 4:40 p.m.: Menna tells redbankgreen he has been released from the hospital after treatment as a presumed-positive patient, according to he chart, though he has not received test results yet. He is home and expects to remain self-isolated for the next two weeks, he said. Meantime, the council workshop meeting scheduled for Wednesday has been canceled.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna, who said he is hospitalized “as a precaution” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, blasted former councilwoman Cindy Burnham and an online publication Monday for spreading “rumors” about his health in recent days.

Separately, borough Business Administrator Ziad Shehady told redbankgreen that Burnham “should be brought up on charges” for what he called her “blatant lies” about him.

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RED BANK: SNACK BAR, SCREENS ON AGENDA

red bank riverside gardens concessionThe council won’t renew the lease on the snack stand at Riverside Gardens Park under a measure on Wednesday’s agenda. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After several years as a seasonal commercial operation, the concession stand in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park has proven to be a fiscal dud.

So suggests a proposal to nix an extension of the soon-to-expire lease on the building. That, along with an ordinance tightening up the property maintenance law governing lawns and window screens, is among the items of interest up for consider at for the council’s regular session Wednesday.

Here’s a quick rundown.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL WRAP

Mayor Pasquale Menna, seen here at the Town Light-up in November, kicked off his pre-council meetups with little advance notice. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

It was another quick night as the Red Bank council held its second regular session of 2020 Wednesday night.

A light agenda saw the governing body wrap up public business in under 30 minutes before going behind closed doors to discuss litigation and a lease.

Here’s a recap.

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RED BANK: TWO QUICK SESSIONS AND A SNAFU

red bank council 010820Would-be honorees Jim Scavone, in blue vest, and Guy Maratta, in brown jacket, arriving at borough hall with supporters Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank officials kicked off the New Year with a snafu Wednesday night.

After racing through back-to-back workshop and regular meetings in record time, the borough council concluded public business – just as two people who’d been told they’d be honored arrived with their families and colleagues.

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RED BANK: MENNA OFFERS PROTOCOL FIX

tammy murphy pasquale menna 010120New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy with Mayor Pasquale Menna prior to the start of Wednesday’s reorganization meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna proposed a workaround Wednesday to a year-old protocol covering comments and questions at council meetings: he says he’ll show up an hour early to field them.

At the borough government’s annual New Year’s Day reorganization meeting, attendees also heard Menna heap thanks on Governor Phil Murphy, whose wife, Tammy Murphy, attended the ceremonial session.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL WRAP

red bank eastside parkFootings are ready for the installation of a prefab restroom building at Eastside Park. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A bond to fund parking improvements and the swearing-in of a new police officer headlined a relatively quiet session of the Red Bank council Wednesday night.

Here’s a wrap-up of the highlights:

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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: 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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RED BANK: FIREFIGHTERS KEEP FREE Y ACCESS

red bank ymcaThe Red Bank nonprofit says no families of kids now in a free membership program will be turned away. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s volunteer firefighters will get to keep their free memberships to the local YMCA, the organization announced Wednesday.

Police will still have to pay, though now at a discount, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit said. But there’s no change to the plan unveiled last week to end across-the-board free memberships for borough schoolchildren.

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RED BANK: MENNA ‘IRATE’ OVER YMCA ACTION

red bank pasquale mennaRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna speaking at the the Memorial Day ceremony last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna on Thursday blasted a decision by the Community YMCA to end free memberships for borough schoolchildren and emergency first-responders.

Menna went on the offensive after the Y’s “unilateral” action, which he said was made without any advance notice to or discussion with his administration.

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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: BROAD TO THE RIVER? ‘WE’LL SEE…’

red bank broad street Buildings along Front Street have blocked views of the Navesink River from Broad Street for more than a century. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njIs there, at last, a well-capitalized Broad-to-the-river plan for Red Bank in the works?

Not in his office, says developer Steve Denholtz, whose multi-state empire has been devouring borough properties — including three that would fit in nicely with a project offering panoramic Navesink River views from downtown.

Then again, that doesn’t mean one might not happen, Denholtz tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: TRIO GUILTY OF TEACHER’S MURDER

jonelle meltonRed Bank teacher Jonelle Melton was slain in her Netpune City apartment in 2009.

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAlmost a decade after the death of Red Bank Middle School teacher Jonelle Melton, three men were found guilty Tuesday of her vicious torture and murder.

A jury in Freehold found the trio guilty of all charges in the case, according to a Twitter announcement early Tuesday afternoon from the office of Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.

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RED BANK: STUDENTS RETHINK MONMOUTH ST.

curtis mcdaniel red bank ,n rutgers student plans monmouth streetCurtis McDaniel discussing the concept plan he co-created, showing an eastward view along Monmouth Street. Below, developer Todd Herman comments on a student pitch. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

todd herman, red bank, nj rutgers student plans monmouth streetAssignment: come up with new design concepts to enliven the stretch of Monmouth Street between the train station and borough hall in Red Bank.

The response: lots of new apartments, rooftop bars, hidden parking decks, pockets of greenery and even an amphitheater across the street from the Count Basie Center for the Performing Arts.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL AGENDA

red bank, nj, borough hall, 90 monmouth st.Borough hall would get a new phone system under a contract up for approval by the council. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Here’s a preview of the Red Bank borough council’s agenda for its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night:

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RED BANK: OLDEST FIRE COMPANY RETIRED

Relief Engine Company retains the second-floor meeting space in its longtime home on Drummond Place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[CORRECTIONS: The original version of this post mistakenly identified the Relief Engine Company as the oldest firefighting unit in Red Bank. That honor belongs to the Navesink Hook and Ladder, which was established in 1872, eight years before Relief, which was the town’s second fire company. Additionally, the Drummond Place firehouse is now owned by St. James Church, not the borough, as previously reported.redbankgreen apologizes for the errors.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Making Red Bank history, one of the borough’s six volunteer fire companies is being retired from active duty.

Under a consolidation plan in the works for three years, the Relief Engine Company, stranded for the past two years without a firetruck, will become a keeper of borough firefighting history, Chief Stu Jensen announced Wednesday.

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LITTLE SILVER: RBR NAMES 6 TO HALL OF FAME

Pictured left to right are the 2017 inductees for the RBR Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame: RBR teacher Cassandra Dorn; Red Bank Middle School Vice Principal James T. Pierson; Dr. Erin Curtis, Optometrist; Sergeant Joey Fields, Red Bank Police Department; Dr. Carol A. Penn, physician family medicine, and Ramona Johnson, special education teacher, Newark NJ public schools.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

On the morning of April 28, an annual highlight of spring took place once again at Red Bank Regional High School,when the BUC Backer Foundation inducted six RBR graduates into its Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.

State Senator Jennifer Beck, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna, Red Bank Councilman Michael Whelan, Shrewsbury Mayor Donald Burden, and Little Silver Councilman Daniel O’Hern were among the friends, family members and community neighbors who gathered in the school’s theatre to celebrate the contributions of this year’s honorees. The inductees were introduced by the RBR Buccaneer Newspaper students, who wrote bios on the alumni for a commemorative journal, and musical accompaniment was provided by the piano majors of RBR’s Visual and Performing Arts Academy. The festivities continued with a celebratory luncheon catered by the RBR culinary students.

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RED BANK, FH, LS HOST A NIGHT OUT

rb nno 1 080712Bounce houses are part of the evening’s activities, as police departments in three local boroughs (Red Bank, Fair Haven, Little Silver) invite families to take part in the National Night Out initiative on Tuesday.

It began 32 years ago as a simple promotion in which police departments across the nation encouraged residents to keep their porch lights burning as a show of solidarity against crime. It evolved in many communities into a public-welcome event that mixed family-fun activities with a serious message of safe streets (and made a celebrity out of a trenchcoat-wearing dog named McGruff).

Here in the charged election-year atmosphere of 2016 — where statistical declines in violent crime are countered by news stories involving the horrifically high-profile deaths of police officers and civilians — the annual occurrence known as National Night Out takes on a newfound significance, as an opportunity for police departments, public officials and community members to meet and maintain the dialogue.

On the evening of Tuesday, August 2, both Red Bank and Fair Haven continue their now-traditional participation in the nationwide initiative — and this year, they’ll be joined by a third municipality on the greater Red Bank green: the bordering borough of Little Silver.

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RED BANK: CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME

anderson menna 050115Mayor Pasquale Menna, right, at last year’s inaugural Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball. The fundraiser returns to the Oyster Point Hotel on Friday as one of several benefit events around the borough this week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

The month of May flowers into full effect with more than just greenery and colorful scenery — it’s also prime time for charity galas and other fundraising vehicles, dedicated to the benefit of some of our area’s hardest-working nonprofit organizations.

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RED BANK MAYOR’S BALL RETURNS MAY 6

anderson menna 050115Mayor Pasquale Menna, right with Carol and John Anderson at the first Mayor’s Ball, in 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Press release from Red Bank Mayor’s Ball Committee 

Mayor Pasquale Menna will be the host — and former Mayor Edward J. McKenna Jr. will serve as master of ceremonies — when the Red Bank Mayor’s Charity Ball returns to The Oyster Point Hotel for its second annual edition on Friday, May 6.

The event, which begins at 7 p.m., will honor retired public works supervisor and zoning board member Jesse Garrison (Humanitarian Award), the Count Basie Theatre (Cultural and Arts Award), the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department (Historical Legacy Award), Philip J. Bowers & Co. (Urban Development Award), and Riverview Medical Center (Manufacturing and Technology Award). Red Bank RiverCenter, the Special Improvement District founded in 1991, will be recognized as it marks its 25th Anniversary.

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RED BANK: SLAIN TEACHER & COPS HONORED

melton event 121815 1 melton event 121815 2Family members and friends from throughout Monmouth County gathered at Calvary Baptist Church in Red Bank Friday evening to remember slain borough teacher Jonelle Melton. Organizers also spotlighted law enforcement officials who investigated and recently charged  three men in the her 2009 slaying. Though the case is not yet closed, police and prosecutors deserved to be recognized for “keeping their word and doing something positive,” said co-organizer Linda Clark. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: REMEMBERING JONELLE MELTON

jonelle melton 111915 2Family members and friends from throughout the community will gather at Calvary Baptist Church Friday evening to remember slain Red Bank teacher Jonelle Melton.

It’s being framed by Calvary Baptist Church as “A Night to Remember” — an opportunity for both somber reflection and the season’s rejoicing, rooted in a community’s shared tragedy, but setting its sights on the star of peace and healing.

When Rev. Dr. Kenneth McGhee Jr. and the congregation of the River Street church open their doors to all members of the Red Bank community this Friday evening, the occasion will be a special pre-Christmas celebration of fellowship and Yuletide spirit — one that incorporates a tribute to Red Bank Middle School Jonelle Melton, and an expression of support for her family.

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