RED BANK: BALLARD AND PORTMAN TO FACE OFF

 

The two contenders for mayor in Red Bank’s June 7 Democratic primary have agreed to a virtual debate.

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RED BANK: BROADWALK PANEL FORMED

red bank what's going on hereNavigating sidewalks on Broad Street in downtown Red Bank is a bit of a challenge these days.

What’s the latest on the streetscape project that’s been underway since November in the streets northernmost blocks? Read on.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL SPARS OVER BROADWALK

Curb replacement work underway as part of the Broad Street streetscape project last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAn ongoing split among Red Bank council Democrats played out as a power struggle Wednesday night over who will steer the reopening of the seasonal Broadwalk dining and shopping plaza.

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RED BANK: ‘CORRECTIVE ACTIONS’ ON AGENDA

The council has not yet resumed in-person meetings; Wednesday’s session will again be held via Zoom. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Corrective actions” to address deficiencies identified in an audit are on the Red Bank council’s agenda for Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: MIRANDI DECISION AWAITED

Attorney Dan O’Hern, seen at right with Mayor Pasquale Menna in 2014, represents the borough in the lawsuit. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicA Superior Court judge deferred an immediate decision Friday morning on whether to temporarily remove Angela Mirandi from the Red Bank council, as demanded by a pending lawsuit.

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RED BANK: HORGAN BAILS; NEWCOMER RUNS

Councilwoman Kathy Horgan greets Mayor Pasquale Menna at the Mayor’s Ball in 2016. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Yet another Red Bank Democratic official is heading for the exit while decrying “divisiveness” stoked by party leadership.

Councilwoman Kathy Horgan told redbankgreen Tuesday that, “with a heavy heart,” she’s not seeking a sixth three-year term.

Meanwhile, a political newcomer has stepped forward hoping to succeed Pasquale Menna as mayor.

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RED BANK: MENNA WON’T SEEK RE-ELECTION

Mayor Pasquale Menna, left, with Councilman Michael Ballard on February 11. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic

After 16 years in office, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna won’t seek  a fifth term, redbankgreen has learned.

Menna’s decision, and the absence of other contenders, clears a path for Councilman Michael Ballard to secure the Democratic party nomination without resistance by the incumbent in the June primary election.

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RED BANK: PLAQUE HONORS A ‘FIGHTER’

Freddie Boynton, in blue shirt, looks on as Mayor Pasquale Menna unveils a plaque honoring him at Johnny Jazz Park. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A two-time Golden Gloves champ, Freddie Boynton didn’t quit fighting after his professional boxing career ended in the 1980s.

Instead, he got into a truck, and found ways to fight for his neighbors on Red Bank’s West Side.

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RED BANK: MIRANDI KEEPS SEAT, FOR NOW

Angela Mirandi, in black mask, as she was sworn to office by Congressman Frank Pallone outside borough hall February 11. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicA Monmouth County court denied a request Monday that Angela Mirandi be temporarily removed from her seat as an appointed member of the Red Bank council.

Superior Court Judge David F. Bauman instead ruled that Mirandi can continue in the post at least until April 8.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL PICKS O’HERN

Attorney Dan O’Hern with Councilwoman Kathy Horgan at the Mayor’s Ball in 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicReduced by conflicts of interest to half-power, the Red Bank council hired attorney Dan O’Hern Jr. to defend the borough against a lawsuit Friday afternoon.

The selection was formalized at a special council session called in advance of a Monday morning hearing at which a Superior Court judge could oust one council member at the behest of another.

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RED BANK: WHO’S THE ‘BOROUGH’ IN LAWSUIT?

A view of a closed-door Red Bank council executive session in 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicWith one Red Bank council member suing two others and the municipal government itself, who gets to be the “borough” in attorney-client discussions?

It’s complicated.

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RED BANK: MIRANDI DECISION POSTPONED

Angela Mirandi at her February 11 swearing-in ceremony. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicA Monmouth County judge postponed a decision Wednesday on whether Angela Mirandi can retain her seat as an appointed member of the Red Bank council.

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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH, BALLARD ON AGENDA

Councilmen Michael Ballard, left, and Ed Zipprich at borough hall last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.) 

By JOHN T. WARD

On deck to testify at a special session of the Red Bank Charter Study Commission Thursday is Democratic party chairman and Councilman Ed Zipprich.

Also slated to sit for an interview is Councilman Michael Ballard, a Zipprich ally on the fiercely divided but all-Democratic governing body.

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RED BANK: DEMS DUMP MENNA FOR BALLARD

Michael Ballard and Ed Zipprich in 2015; Mayor Pasquale Menna is visible in the background. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Dumping a party stalwart after more than three decades in office, Red Bank’s Democratic regulars nominated Councilman Michael Ballard as their candidate for mayor Wednesday.

The move exposed new depths of a bitter split with 16-year incumbent Mayor Pasquale Menna, who told redbankgreen that party committee members had shown “their true colors” with their decision.

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RED BANK: DEMS AIR PARTY’S DIRTY LAUNDRY

Mayor Pasquale Menna, top left, and Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, center bottom, participated in commission interviews via Zoom Wednesday. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Mayor Pasquale Menna on Wednesday joined a growing parade of current and former Red Bank officials who have identified “interference” by council members as one of the borough government’s foremost problems.

In stunning testimony before the Charter Study Commission, Menna also was one of three Democrats who laid blame for local government “dysfunction” squarely on their own party.

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RED BANK: SIDES CLASH OVER COUNCIL SEAT

Angela Mirandi at her February 11 swearing-in ceremony, with Mayor Pasquale Menna, center, and Councilman Ed Zipprich at right. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank’s establishment Democrats have “admitted” in a court filing that last month’s appointment of Angela Mirandi to the borough council was tainted, challengers contended Tuesday.

Two party dissidents said in their own court filing that the purported admission bolsters their argument that Mirandi should be swiftly removed from the governing body.

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RED BANK: PARTY DEFENDS APPOINTMENT

Councilwoman Angela Mirandi at her February 11 swearing-in ceremony. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank’s establishment Democrats contend that their own failure to meet a deadline means the appointment of Angela Mirandi to the council should stand.

The unexpected argument was made in a letter filed in Superior Court Monday in a response to a lawsuit filed last week by Councilwoman Kathy Horgan and Charter Study Commission member Kate Okeson.

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RED BANK: CENTER FIXES OK’D, RE-ARGUED

Angela Mirandi, in second pane from left in the top row, attended her first session as a council member. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See CORRECTION below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThree years after a fire suppression system leak forced a shutdown of Red Bank’s Senior Center, the borough council approved nearly $2 million in financing for repairs Wednesday.

As in the past, members clashed over the reasons for the time elapsed and cost. Added to the acrimony was a new element: blame for failure to identify money recently found sitting idle in old accounts and now earmarked for repairs.

Unmentioned during the virtual meeting was a lawsuit, announced hours earlier, that seeks to remove Angela Mirandi, who attended for the first time as a council member.

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RED BANK: DEMS SUE DEMS TO OUST MIRANDI

Councilman and Democratic party Chairman Ed Zipprich attaches a borough pin to Angela Mirandi’s lapel after her February 11 swearing-in. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicThe civil war among Red Bank Democrats shifted to the courts Wednesday, as two local party committee members announced they sued to have newly-sworn council member Angela Mirandi removed from office.

The Superior Court lawsuit against party Chairman Ed Zipprich and others alleges he illegally froze out committee members Kathy Horgan and Kate Okeson in filling a council vacancy earlier this month.

News of the lawsuit broke just hours before Mirandi was expected to attend her first council session as a member.

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RED BANK: BALLARD BLASTS SELF-DEALING ALLEGATION, ANNOUNCES MAYORAL RUN

Councilman Michael Ballard at Councilwoman Angela Mirandi’s oath ceremony Friday. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Councilman Michael Ballard Tuesday blasted as “fictitious” an allegation that he slipped a raise for his wife, a part-time borough employee, past the rest of the governing body in 2019.

In the same press release, Ballard announced his intention to run for mayor, setting up a back-room clash with fellow Democrat and four-term incumbent Pasquale Menna.

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RED BANK: MIRANDI ZOOMS INTO OFFICE

Angela Mirandi, center, prior to her swearing-in. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bankers were finally able to put a face to the name as Angela Mirandi completed her swift transformation from commenter to council member Friday evening.

The corporate accountant, whose voice became familiar to other attendees of Zoom-hosted council meetings during the pandemic, was sworn to office in a brief ceremony outside borough hall, less than 48 hours after a divided council selected her to fill a vacancy.

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RED BANK: MIRANDI VOTED TO COUNCIL SEAT

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank’s governing council is about to get a new member: Angela Mirandi, a corporate-numbers professional who would immediately have a spot on the powerful budget oversight committee.

But Mirandi’s selection Wednesday night followed a dramatic few minutes in which the chairman of the Democratic party declined to endorse one of the other two residents whose names he had forwarded as contenders.

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RED BANK: CHARTER SCHOOL WINS EXTENSION

The school’s campus includes buildings on Oakland Street, above, and Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank Charter School has won state authorization to operate for another five years, Head of School Kristen Martello announced Wednesday.

The widely expected extension was granted by the New Jersey Department of Education over the objection of borough school district’s board, which was joined by the town council in its request that the school be closed.

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RED BANK: YNGSTROM QUITS, CITING TOXICITY

Erik Yngstrom celebrates his first election to council in 2016. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njCiting political “divisiveness” and “toxic rhetoric” about his recent marriage, Erik Yngstrom resigned from the Red Bank council Wednesday morning.

His departure from the all-Democratic governing body sets the table for a possible power shift back to party regulars headed by Councilman Ed Zipprich, an outcome Yngstrom said would only make things worse.

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