FAIR HAVEN: RESIGNATION FOLLOWED CLASH

Ben Lucarelli at the dedication of Williams, Albert and Robards Park in 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njSince he abruptly resigned as Fair Haven’s mayor two days ago, Ben Lucarelli hasn’t said a word publicly about his decision.

But a recording of Monday night’s council session captures him frustrated over a loss of “decorum” at public meetings and taking flak for his own conduct.

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RED BANK: ADMINISTRATOR SEARCH ON PAUSE

Chief Darren McConnell at National Night Out in August. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicOne of two Red Bank council members who last week called the search for a new borough administrator “stalled” said he learned only this weekend that his colleagues had halted the search weeks earlier.

Meanwhile, two others on the all-Democratic council, as well as Mayor Pasquale Menna, said they’re happy with the job police Chief Darren McConnell is doing as interim administrator, and feel no pressure to replace him.

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FAIR HAVEN: LUCARELLI RESIGNS AS MAYOR

Ben Lucarelli during the council’s annual session held at the Knollwood School in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter nearly a decade in the position, Ben Lucarelli has resigned as Fair Haven’s mayor, effective immediately, borough Administrator Theresa Casagrande announced Tuesday.

No reason was given.

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RED BANK: GRANT BOOSTS LIBRARY WIFI

Scenes from the recent installation of enhanced wifi at the library. (Click to enlarge.)

Press release from the Red Bank Public Library

The Red Bank Public Library has been selected as one of 27 libraries and was recently awarded $10,000 of grant funding by The NJ State Library to
support the CARES ACT Mini-Grant for Public Libraries.

The grant award supplemented the cost of an improved WiFi system that is now strong enough to provide service to anyone on the library grounds, inside or outside the building.

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RED BANK: GOP BAILS AND VISCOMI JUMPS IN

Sue Viscomi has mounted a candidacy as an independent, making it a three-way race for two council seats. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank voters will have three candidates to choose from for two council seats in November.

For the second year in a row, none of them will be Republicans.

And for the second time in three years, Sue Viscomi is running as an independent.

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RED BANK: DOGS AGAIN FROLIC IN PARK

Like a dog aroused by the smell of food, Red Bank’s pandemic-interrupted Dog Days of Summer series snapped back to life in Marine Park Saturday. 

The gathering, organized by the borough’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, featured live music by the Wag, displays by pet care organizations and several hundred wet noses.

Check out redbankgreen‘s photos from the event below.

(Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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ON THE GREEN: IN MEMORY

September 11 2001 memorial gif

Dozens of residents of the Greater Red Bank Green were among the 147 Monmouth County residents, and 2,996 overall, who died in the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

Information about commemorations in Red Bank and Atlantic Highlands can be found here.

RED BANK: TWO CALL EXEC SEARCH “STALLED”

red bank, nj, ed zipprich, michael ballard, ziad shehadyFormer Business Administrator Ziad Shehady, right, with council members Ed Zipprich, left, and Michael Ballard in December, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicWith a second vacancy in a key position looming, Red Bank’s search for a borough administrator has stalled without explanation, say two council members.

And the current, interim holder of the position, police Chief Darren McConnell, tells redbankgreen” that there has been no recent movement” toward a replacement.

Mayor Pasquale Menna, however, disagrees, and says the local government is operating “in stellar fashion” under McConnell.

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RED BANK: FORECAST IDEAL FOR ‘DOG DAYS’

The weather outlook appears ideal for the 2021 installment of Dogs Days of Summer in Red Bank Saturday.

Organized by the borough’s volunteer Animal Welfare Advisory Committee and Parks and Rec department, the event runs from noon to 4 p.m. in Marine Park, and features live music by the Wag (naturally), as well as contests, pet-care information, vendors and animal welfare organizations.

The Red Rock Tap + Grill on Wharf Avenue, opposite the park, will host a Doggy After Party.

According to the National Weather Service, the event won’t need its rain date (Sunday), with lots of sunshine expected amid temperatures peaking in the mid-70s. Here’s the extended forecast. (Photo by John T. Ward.  Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: YASSIN FACES BACK-RENT LAWSUIT

Hazim Yassin at his first meeting as a council member in January, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

UPDATE: September 9, 2021: See Yassin’s response to this article below.

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Councilman Hazim Yassin hasn’t paid the rent on his apartment in 18 months and owes more than $29,000, his landlord alleges in a lawsuit.

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RED BANK: CHARTER RACE SET

On the ballot in November: whether to review Red Bank’s form of government, and who should do it. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

It’s official: Red Bank voters will have 11 candidates to choose from when they elect a five-member charter study commission in November.

Also on the ballot: a referendum on whether the study itself should be conducted.

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RED BANK: IN CHURN, ALL-DAY EATERY OPENS

Patrick Jeffrey and daughter Elli outside his newly opened restaurant. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThis edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn delivers news about the opening of a new all-day restaurant in downtown Red Bank.

And on the business horizon: a new children’s shoe shop, and a cigar-and-CBD “tasting room.”

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RED BANK: REGION SPARED BY STORM

Though other areas of New Jersey suffered disastrous flooding, the Greater Red Bank Green was spared as Hurricane Ida swept across the state Wednesday.

At 7:30 a.m. Thursday, power utility JCP&L’s outage map showed 90 customers in the area of Silverbrook Road in Shrewsbury without electricity; a handful in Fair Haven; and none in Red Bank.

Police in Red Bank and Fair Haven said they had no damage reports. redbankgreen took a quick drive through Red Bank, Fair Haven and Little Silver and saw no sign of flooding or wind damage.

Above: a view along the Navesink River from Red Bank’s Marine Park shortly after sunrise Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: TOP TWO JOBS OPEN AS CFO QUITS

Peter O’Reilly, left, with Mayor Pasquale Menna, right, and since-departed Business Administrator Ziad Shehady in May, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicAfter just two and a half years, Red Bank is back in the market for a borough chief financial officer.

With the departure of Peter O’Reilly, who submitted a letter of resignation Tuesday, the top two jobs at town hall are now vacant.

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RED BANK: CRIME & ARREST REPORTS

The crime and arrest reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for August, 2021. This information is unedited; see below for additional information.

CRIMES

Criminal Mischief: In the area of Pearl St a report of Criminal Mischief was taken on 08/07/2021. Victim stated the rear window of a motor vehicle was broken causing an unknown dollar amount of damage. Ptl. Froilan Hernandez.

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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: TREES BOOST TAB FOR ROADWORK

The work to preserve trees on Hudson Avenue included bumping out curbs and extending driveway aprons. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Mid-project changes to preserve trees helped boost the tab for road work in Red Bank by more than $227,000 to this summer, officials said.

And the added expenses came in one penny below the threshold at which the entire $1.14 million project would have had to be re-bid.

RED BANK: TEACHER NAMED COUNTY’S BEST

Alyssa Geary, below, teaches at the Red Bank Middle School. (Click to enlarge.)

On August 25, the New Jersey Department of Education announced 21 educators as the 2021-2022 County Teachers of the Year during a virtual awards ceremony.

Among them: Red Bank Middle School teacher Alyssa Geary, who garnered the honor for Monmouth County.

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