RED BANK: AIM OF GOP PACT DISPUTED

Cindy Burnham says she agreed to the terms set above by her then-fellow Republican Linda Schwabenbauer in order to secure GOP support for her council presidency. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Former Red Bank Councilwoman Cindy Burnham got to be council president in 2016 only after agreeing to toe the line with her fellow Republicans, she claims.

Now, out of office for almost a year, Burnham is airing a backroom deal she entered with her party colleagues to attack onetime ally Linda Schwabenbauer over a purported lack of transparency.

But Schwabenbauer, seeking her second council term in Tuesday’s election, says the agreement isn’t the dirty laundry Burnham claims it to be.

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RED BANK: SQUEEZING IN NEW PARKING SPOTS

Following through on recent action by the borough council, a crew from Red Bank’s public utilities department created two new parking spots Wednesday on White Street in what was previously a loading zone in front of Sweetest Sin lingerie and other stores along the bottleneck into Broad Street.

Then, just minutes later… 

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RED BANK: BUILDERS BALK AT ‘NET 500’

Roger Mumford unveiled a new version of his development plan, one that calls for a park along Maple Avenue between White and Monmouth streets, seen at right in the rendering above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The two finalists vying for the right to redevelop Red Bank’s White Street parking lot both raised concerns about their ability to meet a non-negotiable condition set by downtown merchants: that a new garage add no fewer than 500 public parking spaces to the 273-already there.

Moreover, one of the builders insisted that a definitive study to determine the actual parking deficit downtown is needed, a claim that some business owners have dismissed as an unnecessary speed bump en route to what they contend is a decades-overdue parking solution.

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RED BANK: PARKING GETS TWO SPOTLIGHTS

An effort to redevelop Red Bank’s largest downtown parking lot — and, some would say, ensure the economic viability of the downtown as a whole — moves to a new stage Wednesday night.

Or, more precisely, it moves onto two stages.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S NEXT FOR PARKING?

The redevelopment plan for the White Street parking lot is slated for recission next week, but will have to be redone at some point, says Councilman Mike Whelan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Now that Red Bank’s elected officials have agreed, unofficially, to restart a drive for a downtown parking solution, what happens next?

Two government meetings on one night, for starters.

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RED BANK: POLS PULL U-TURN ON PARKING

The redevelopment plan for the White Street parking lot, outlined in red above, will be rescinded in an effort to end a lawsuit and address concerns about building size, borough officials said. (Image by Google Maps. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s search for a downtown parking solution took a U-turn Wednesday night, when the borough council put in motion a plan to derail a pending lawsuit by former councilwoman Cindy Burnham that members say has impeded progress.

In what was also described as a “compromise” between Republicans and Democrats over proposed building sizes , the council agreed to scrap a contentious nine-month-old redevelopment plan for the White Street parking lot.

At the same time, it knocked out, without much explanation, three of the five developers vying to build a parking deck, and more, on the 2.3-acre site.

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RED BANK: PARKING GARAGE HEARING SLATED

The council will hold a public forum on proposals for the White Street parking site later this month, says Councilman Mike Whelan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Almost six months after they were submitted and three months after they were the subject of hasty presentations, five proposed plans for the redevelopment of Red Bank’s main downtown parking lot will finally get a public hearing, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: GARAGE BACKERS AIM AT LOGJAM

Roger Mumford, seen here in 2015, has offered a new plan for the White Street parking lot site that garage backers hope will dissolve political opposition to development. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

One of the five would-be builders of a downtown parking garage has told Red Bank officials he’s willing to build a 773-space parking garage on White Street in exchange for the right to erect 100 homes next door.

Garage advocates touted the informal proposal Wednesday night in the hopes of busting through a political logjam, one they believe has been erected by the three Democrats on the six-member borough council.

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RED BANK: POSTMASTER’S POSTS DRAW FIRE

An status update on the Facebook page of postmaster Michael Angelo Ciano, below, showed an assault rifle with the comment, “Anti-muslim vaccinations.” (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s postmaster has attracted the attention of human rights activists over what they call “vile” Facebook posts promoting racism, misogyny and apparent endorsements of violence against liberals and other groups, redbankgreen has learned.

A United States Postal Service spokesman confirmed that the agency is looking into complaints about photos and comments posted by postmaster Michael Angelo Ciano on his personal page.

“Imagine the work environment in that post office for any employees that are other than white men,” one woman wrote.

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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH ZAPPED ON ‘ORAL’ TWEET

ed zipprich 081215Councilman Ed Zipprich said there was “no sexual innuendo” in his tweet Trump running mate Pence. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_PlainRed Bank Republicans on Wednesday accused Democratic councilman and party chairman Ed Zipprich of making a not-so-veiled and “bigoted” reference to oral sex about GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence last month.

During the October 4 vice presidential debate between Pence and Democratic nominee Tim Kaine, Zipprich asked on Twitter, “did #mikepence just say he spends time on his knees every day?”

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RED BANK: STEIN TO LEAD RALLY HERE

jill-stein-091516Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is scheduled to participate in a march and rally for environmental justice in Red Bank Saturday.

“Our objective is to bring people together who can lead a pivotal grassroots movement towards better environmental policy, preparation for climate change, and relief for those adversely affected by pollution, climate effects and other environmentally destructive scenarios,” Julie Saporito-Acuña, chair of the Green Party of New Jersey, said in a press release. 

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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH ZAPPED ON ‘PLAGIARISM’

ballard zipprich 101815Councilman and Democratic party chair Ed Zipprich, right, with Democratic council candidate Michael Ballard at the borough Halloween parade last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election 2015 graphic[SEE UPDATE BELOW ]

An eleventh-hour election email purportedly sent by Red Bank Democratic Party chairman and Councilman Ed Zipprich has drawn fire from Republicans both for its content, which they allege was “word-for-word” plagiarized, and for the method by which it was distributed.

Republican chairman Sean DiSomma and Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer both said Zipprich took an email that Schwabenbauer sent out Monday afternoon in support of the two Republican council candidates and tweaked it into an endorsement of the two Democratic candidates.

Then Zipprich sent his version out to recipients whose addresses he improperly obtained from the borough parks and recreation department, said Di Somma, who called for an investigation by state election authorities.

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RED BANK: DuPONT LOSES BELMAR JOB

dupont-010111Red Bank Councilman Mike DuPont was squeezed out of his post as Belmar’s borough attorney Tuesday, four days after a court ruling found shortcomings in his handling of a ballot question there, APP.com reported Tuesday.

The website of the Asbury Park Press reported that DuPont resigned at the request of Mayor Matthew Doherty, “after a Superior Court judge ruled that the borough didn’t properly vote on placing an explanatory statement for a bond question on the Nov. 3 ballot.”

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RED BANK: GOP KICKS OFF EARLY CAMPAIGN

whelan taylor 052715Mark Taylor, right, and running mate Mike Whelan were joined by GOP bigwigs for a campaign kickoff on Monmouth Street Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After a quarter-century in the minority, will Red Bank Republicans be able to harness their momentum of the last two elections to take control of the borough government?

Getting an early jump on this year’s race for two council seats, the local GOP trotted out some big local names for a kickoff event Wednesday night.

And they held it out on Monmouth Street, just feet away from both borough hall and new parking kiosks they believe symbolize the “arrogance” of Democrats, who now hold a 4-2 majority on the council as well as the mayoralty.

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RED BANK: GOP TAPS NEWCOMERS FOR RACE

taylor whelan 033015 1Mark Taylor, left, and Mike Whelan, center, with GOP Chairman Sean Di Somma outside borough hall Monday night. Democrats Mike DuPont and Art Murphy, below, on election night 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

dupont murphy 110612Red Bank Republicans, hoping to leverage gains in the last two municipal elections, have set their sights on control of the borough council for the first time in 25 years.

And as in the last election, when all-but-unknown Linda Schwabenbauer emerged as the top vote-getter in a field of four candidates, they’re putting their bets on political newcomers.

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RED BANK: BURNHAM WINS ZONING CASE

cindy burnham 121814Cindy Burnham with her attorney, Ron Gasiorowski, at Thursday night’s zoning board hearing. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The fix wasn’t in – not this time at least.

Cindy Burnham, the lone Republican on the Red Bank council who often lambastes the Democratic majority for what she contends are back-room  development deals, went before the zoning board Thursday night seeking an OK for a new garage and back porch for her home at 71 Wallace Street.

She came loaded for bear.

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RED BANK: WEST SIDERS MARCH IN PROTEST

rb march 102514 4rb march 102514 2About three dozen protesters marched through Red Bank Saturday morning to object to rising property taxes, a proposed spray park at Bellhaven Nature Area, borough hiring practices and what they termed police “aggressiveness.”

Organizer Freddie Boynton said the event, spotlighting concerns of West Siders, was not meant to be partisan, though it called for “new leadership” at borough hall.  “There’s a lot of frustration on this side of town,” said Boynton, a retired DPW employee. “We’re not being treated like the rest of the town is.”  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: DEMS GET PRICKLY OVER BALLOONS

rb gop balloons 101914Legos with legs were among the parade participants who accepted GOP balloons from candidate Linda Schwabenbauer, below. (Photo above by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

schwabenbauer 101914A Menna Administration official and a Republican council candidate clashed at Sunday’s Red Bank Halloween Parade over campaign balloons.

GOP contender Linda Schwabenbauer said she believed she was exercising a First Amendment right and had borough authorization when she gave away about 200 balloons bearing her name and that of running mate Sean Di Somma to children and adults before the start of the parade.

But Parks and Recrecreation department director Memone Crystian told her to stop, threatening to call the police if she continued, she said.

Administration officials dispute the claim that they’d OK’d a balloon distribution, and contend they have the law on their side in asking Schwabenbauer to stop.

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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH ARREST VIDEO POSTED

zipprich 110607Councilman Ed Zipprich, left, at Democratic HQ on election night in 2007. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02A video showing Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich under arrest for driving while intoxicated in 2011 is “making its rounds among Monmouth County’s politically connected,” the Asbury Park Press reported Friday.

On its website, the newspaper includes a link to the video on YouTube, but YouTube shows the video as having been removed by the user, who is not identified.

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4 A.M. CAMPAIGN CALL PROMPTS INDICTMENT

dwayne hornerA Facebook image of Dwayne Horner, a Texas man indicted for alleged dirty politics in Monmouth County.  (Click to enlarge)

HOT-TOPIC_02A predawn political robocall campaign intended to stir up voter ire against incumbent state Senator Joe Kyrillos during the 2013 Republican primary led to the indictment of a Texas man Monday.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni announced the indictment by grand jury of Dwayne Horner, 45, of Little Elm, Texas, who was the campaign manager for Leigh Ann Bellew, a Tea Party-backed challenger to Kyrillos.

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SEA BRIGHT: MURPHY QUITS COUNCIL

READ MURPHY 102512Read Murphy with television reporters shortly before Hurricane Sandy hit Sea Bright. He’s expected to be succeeded by John Lamia, below, who outpolled him in last month’s GOP primary. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

john lamia 061814A month after coming in tied for second in the Sea Bright Republican primary, incumbent Councilman Read Murphy has resigned, according to a published report.

After about 25 non-continuous years on the governing body, “stick a fork in me. I am done,” Murphy told redbankgreen Thursday afternoon.

He said friction with the rest of the council over both his “unilateral” approach to serving and his request to be hired as the town’s beach manager had taken the “fun” out of the job.

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RUMSON: LATE WRITE-IN PUSH FALLS SHORT

Election_2013_Plain

By JOHN T. WARD

An eleventh-hour write-in campaign for Rumson council ended with a pair of soccer dads missing their goal but feeling they’d scored some points Tuesday.

Tim McCooey and Tom Ridgway, running under the banner of Rumson Family since launching their campaign less than two weeks ago, polled a combined 1,445 votes, compared to incumbent Republican Joe Hemphill, with 1,176, and zoning board member Laura Atwell, also a Republican, with 1,143, according to unofficial tallies posted by the Monmouth County Clerk’s office.

Inspired in part by what they saw as an insufficient response by the current administration to the sudden appearance in town of Oxford House, a drug-and-alcohol recovery home that was the scene of a drug fatality on October 13, McCooey and Ridgway hastily built a campaign that they said would live on, win or lose.

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RUMSON: WRITE-IN DRIVE HEATS UP ELECTION

rumson writein 110313A write-in campaign for two candidates billing themselves as the Rumson Family ticket emerged in the wake of the Oxford House controversy last month. Below, Tim McCooey at the October 22 borough council meeting, the night before he became a candidate. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

tim mccooey 102213If the trend over the past century holds on Election Day, Rumson will seat an all-Republican borough council in January.

Ah, but which Republicans?

In a development that may add drama to Rumson’s usual election-night snoozer, two political newcomers have mounted an eleventh-hour write-in campaign, hoping to harness what they say is frustration with their party’s incumbents.

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