RED BANK: COUNCIL INITIATES REBUILD

The Senior Center occupies a stand-alone building on Shrewsbury Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council moved to jumpstart repairs to water-damaged Senior Center Wednesday night, one day after a recommendation by the Redevelopment Agency that it do so.

But even enroute to a unanimous vote, the measure churned up bitterness among the all-Democratic governing body.

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RED BANK: SENIOR CENTER FIX-UP ADVANCES

The backyard of the mothballed Senior Center overlooking the upper Navesink River. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposal to repair Red Bank’s mothballed Senior Center without adding any new facilities won a Redevelopment Agency endorsement Tuesday evening.

The action could defuse one of the hottest issues in a contested Democratic race for two council seats just six weeks before a primary vote.

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RED BANK: TOP JOB OPEN AT TIME OF STRIFE

red bank, nj, ken deroberts, pasquale mennaZiad Shehady, left, and Mayor Pasquale Menna listen as consultant Ken DeRoberts, in foreground, addresses the council in January, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe resignation of Red Bank’s business administrator after only three years last week was the result of scheming by political enemies, Mayor Pasquale Menna contends.

Now, a prevailing atmosphere of “dysfunction” will “absolutely” make it harder to fill the town’s top unelected position, he told redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: DEMS SWAP IN NEW CANDIDATE

By JOHN T. WARD

Trying to unseat its own incumbents in a primary contest, the Red Bank Democratic party has replaced one of two candidates for borough council seats, the organization announced Monday.

And according to local party Chairman and Councilman Ed Zipprich, the names of all four will be listed in the same column on the June 8 ballot, giving them all perceived equal footing.

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RED BANK: VISCOMI REBUTS RACISM CHARGE

Sue Viscomi at a school board meeting in March, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThree Red Bank council members were silent Wednesday in the face of accusations that one of them had smeared a resident by accusing her of using “racist” language last month.

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RED BANK: LOCAL DEMOCRATS RUPTURE

Then-candidates Kate Triggiano and Hazim Yassin at the Mayor’s Ball in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Already showing cracks, the Red Bank Democratic party’s facade ruptured Monday night with the announcement that political newcomers will challenge two incumbents for their council seats.

Days after holding a virtual re-election fundraiser attended by Governor Phil Murphy, Kate Triggiano and Hazim Yassin opted to bypass the local party nomination process controlled by Councilman Ed Zipprich as they seek second terms, saying he’s on a vendetta that “reeks of boss politics.”

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RED BANK: WORRY LINGERS AMONG DREAMERS

Clockwise from top left: Adriana Medina Gomez, Itzel Perez Hernandez, Yaritza Ortega, Karina España and Karla Ortega. (Photos from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAs it became clearer in the weeks after the November 3 election that Joe Biden would become the 46th president of the United States, Adriana Medina Gomez‘s phone began ringing more than usual.

“Among our clients, there was a sense of, ‘OK, Biden won, now what? What can I do to get legal?'” said Medina Gomez, a legal assistant in the Red Bank office of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker social justice organization. “Like immediately, the calls started pouring in about that.”

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RED BANK: DEMOCRATS FORM BLACK CAUCUS

Fortune Cultural Center co-founder Gilda Rogers, left, and Councilman Michael Ballard. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank’s Democrats have formed a Black caucus to “bring forward future civic leaders.”

The party announced the group’s formation on Monday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

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RED BANK: LOCALS CELEBRATE BIDEN VICTORY

For more than five hours Saturday, a small, rotating group gathered in Riverside Gardens Park for a low-key celebration of the election of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

There were no speeches: just virtual hugs, some tears, as well as cheers – punctuated by honking horns and occasional middle fingers from passersby on West Front Street.

Below are some some reflections on the election outcome among participants.

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RED BANK: SPLIT COUNCIL OKS ENGINE DEAL

red bank fire engine 93 102217The Independent Engine Company’s 1994 Seagrave pumper, seen in the 2017 Halloween parade, would be traded in with a second engine. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA recurring split within Red Bank’s all-Democratic council was on display again Wednesday night, when a majority approved the purchase of two new fire engines. Read More »

RED BANK: YASSIN GETS POLS TO PONY UP

Councilman Hazim Yassin in February, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Councilman Hazim Yassin tells redbankgreen he has assembled a bipartisan coalition of elected officials from across New Jersey to donate funds from their campaign warchests to the fight against the coronavirus.

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RED BANK: IN LIMBO, ‘DREAMERS’ HEAD TO DC

red bank daca dreamersCristian Aparicio, Deysi Avila and Itzel Perez Hernandez have all attended Brookdale Community College under their status as DACA ‘Dreamers.’ (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWhile the Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday on the Trump Administration’s move to rescind protections for undocumented young immigrants, a busload of them from Red Bank planned to be out on the streets of Washington, D.C.

The court’s decision “is make-or-break” for them, said Itzel Perez Hernandez, a 26-year-old borough resident who is among the some 700,000 ‘Dreamers’ still afforded protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA.

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RED BANK: GOP CLAIMS WEST SIDE ADVOCACY

jonathan maciel penney 102419Jonathan Maciel Penney speaking at last week’s West Side Community Group forum. (Photo by Ben Forest. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

ELECTION 2019In an effort to break the Democratic lock on the Red Bank council, this year’s Republican candidates have set their sights squarely on a Democratic stronghold: the West Side.

At events and in campaign literature, Allison Gregory and Jonathan Maciel Penney have sought to align themselves with minority groups and residents threatened with displacement from the West Side as a result of gentrification.

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RED BANK: HORGAN Q&A

RED BANK KATHY HORGANCouncilwoman Kathy Horgan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

, ELECTION 2019

Red Bank voters will choose two council members for three-year terms in the November 5 election.

On the ballot are incumbent Democrats Kathy Horgan and Erik Yngstrom and Republican challengers Allison Gregory and Jonathan Maciel Penney.

redbankgreen sent all candidates written questions. Here are Horgan’s responses.

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RED BANK: PENNEY Q&A

jonathan maciel penneyJonathan Maciel Penney. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

, ELECTION 2019

Red Bank voters will choose two council members for three-year terms in the November 5 election.

On the ballot are incumbent Democrats Kathy Horgan and Erik Yngstrom and Republican challengers Allison Gregory and Jonathan Maciel Penney.

redbankgreen sent all candidates written questions. Here are Penney’s responses.

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RED BANK: YNGSTROM Q&A

Councilman Erik Yngstrom. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

, ELECTION 2019

Red Bank voters will choose two council members for three-year terms in the November 5 election.

On the ballot are incumbent Democrats Kathy Horgan and Erik Yngstrom and Republican challengers Allison Gregory and Jonathan Maciel Penney.

redbankgreen sent all candidates written questions. Here are Yngstrom’s responses.

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RED BANK: GREGORY Q&A

red bank nj allison gregoryAllison Gregory. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

, ELECTION 2019

Red Bank voters will choose two council members for three-year terms in the November 5 election.

On the ballot are incumbent Democrats Kathy Horgan and Erik Yngstrom and Republican challengers Allison Gregory and Jonathan Maciel Penney.

redbankgreen sent all candidates written questions. Here are Gregory’s responses.

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LITTLE SILVER: NEFF TROUNCES BRANDT

bob neff little silverMayor Bob Neff embraces his wife and twin daughters as early results were announced at a backyard party. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

ELECTION 2019Little Silver Mayor Bob Neff easily won the first, not to mention oddest, Republican primary the borough has seen in decades Tuesday.

By more than a 2-1 margin, Neff held off a challenge from first-time candidate Rick Brandt in a race in that saw Brandt banned from firehouses and schools over his campaign’s unauthorized use of photos.

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LITTLE SILVER: BRANDT PHOTOBOMBS AGAIN

Rick Brandt during an interview in January. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

ELECTION 2019Already under suspension by the volunteer fire department for improper use of photos in his campaign, the Republican challenger for mayor in Little Silver is in another flap over photos, this time with the school district.

Rick Brandt, who’s up against incumbent Mayor Bob Neff in the GOP primary next month, has also drawn the ire of the organization that manages the town’s most historic property.

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LITTLE SILVER: BRANDT ON THE OUTS WITH FD

rick brandt little silve nj fireRick Brandt on the scene of a June, 2017 condo fire in Little Silver. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

ELECTION 2019A Republican candidate for mayor in Little Silver is in hot water with the volunteer fire department in which he’s a member.

Rick Brandt, who’s challenging incumbent Mayor Bob Neff in the GOP primary, is under suspension by the department for improper use of imagery, redbankgreen has learned.

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RBR: FORUM ADDRESSES IMMIGRATION CRISIS

brenda codallos, itzel perez, michele alcaldeImmigrant advocates Brenda Codallos, left, and Itzel Perez listen as attorney Michele Alcalde speaks at RBR Thursday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe political conflicts that rage over immigration will eventually be settled by today’s young people, who overwhelmingly believe immigrants are good for America, a guest speaker at Red Bank Regional High said Thursday.

Until then, however, the fears of immigration opponents must be met with data that demonstrates the economic benefits of immigration, he and others said.

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RED BANK: DEMS OUST POULOS AS CFO

eugenia poulous red bank njCFO Eugenia Poulos at a council meeting in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njBorough hall may have been closed for New Year’s Eve, but the Red Bank council had one, last-minute bit of business to take care of Monday.

After a brief closed-door meeting, the governing body voted, 4-1, to fire the chief financial officer, just hours before she would have attained tenure.

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FAIR HAVEN: GOP HOLDS ONTO COUNCIL

Fair Haven voters went with familiar Republicans in Tuesday’s elections. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fair haven, nj election voter registrationIncumbent Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli, who was unchallenged on the ballot, and Councilwoman Betsy Koch retained their seats in Tuesday night’s election.

They’ll be joined on the governing body in January by their two Republican running mates, former council member Jim Banahan and newcomer Jacquie Rice, according to unofficial results from the Monmouth County Clerk.

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