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: SHEHADY RESIGNS TOP BORO JOB

Ziad Shehady in his borough hall office in June, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[This post has been updated since it was first published.]

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter only three years on the job, Ziad Shehady is resigning as Red Bank’s top unelected official, he told the borough council behind closed doors Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: SENIOR & REC PLANS REVIEWED

A concept plan showing facilities at the southern entrance to Count Basie Fields includes an indoor basketball court. (Screenshot from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank Redevelopment Agency began sorting through concept plans for possible new senior citizen and recreation facilities Tuesday.

Added to the “fix it now” demand by advocates of a stand-alone Senior Center was a new one: leave the outdoor basketball courts at Count Basie Fields alone.

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RED BANK: CENTER BACKERS RALLY AGAIN

Marian Quinn of Manor Drive speaking at the rally. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njInvoking “demolition by neglect” and the prospect of “apartments” on the site, several dozen Red Bankers rallied Saturday to demand that the mothballed borough Senior Center be repaired.

They also momentarily drowned out the grandson of the center’s founder when he took issue with one of the handmade signs posted on the building.

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RED BANK: SHEHADY SLATES PUBLIC FORUMS

Ziad Shehady at borough event in February, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA week after announcing he was stepping down from a position that had become a “lightning rod” for criticism, Red Bank Borough Administrator Ziad Shehady said he plans to host a pair of public roundtables on a wide range of issues later this month.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ZOOMING THIS WEEK

red bank, nj, council, mic, microphoneThe council is expected to discuss possible changes to the public comment protocol at its workshop session Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s planning board, council and zoning board meet this week, all via Zoom.

In chronological order, here’s what to expect in terms of business:

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RED BANK: RACIST SLUR, OR SLIP OF TONGUE?

Sue Viscomi, right, with Hazim Yassin and Kate Triggiano at borough hall in April, 2018. All three ran for council that year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA Red Bank board of ed member faced sharp criticism Thursday for a purported racist rendition of the borough business administrator’s name the night before.

But Sue Viscomi vehemently denied referring to Ziad Shehady as “Mr. Jihad.”

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RED BANK: CENTER DEBATE CONTINUES

Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, center of bottom row, prevailed on a resolution regarding the Redevelopment Agency. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njSarcasm and insults flew Wednesday night as the Red Bank council yet again clashed over the future of the mothballed Senior Center.

This time, residents provided much of the ire. Read More »

RED BANK: SENIOR CENTER DEBATE RAGES ON

A view into the mothballed Senior Center through a window in December. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank council members clashed yet again over the borough’s Senior Center Wednesday night.

Among the issues: a petition demanding that the facility, which has been out of commission for almost two years, be repaired and reopened at its riverfront location.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON COUNCIL AGENDA

Among the many events organizers hope to bring back in 2021: the Red Bank Classic 5k, slated for June 19. A list of event dates is up for approval by the council. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s borough council meets with a busy agenda of financing actions, hirings and more Wednesday.

There’s also something missing, though numerous commenters have demanded it: changes to the meeting protocol covering… public comment.

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RED BANK: MORE SPARKS OVER SENIOR CENTER

The Senior Center offers a rare vantage for Red Bankers to view the Navesink and Swimming rivers, speakers said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s elected officials got an earful from the public about the borough’s disabled Senior Center Wednesday night.

But even as the all-Democratic council unanimously approved a new lease on interim space, sparks continued to fly between its members over the center’s near-term future.

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RED BANK: DEMS ERUPT OVER SENIOR CENTER

The Senior Center has been out of commission for most of the past two years following a pipe leak. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njTension among Red Bank Democrats over the future of the borough’s Senior Center erupted in public over the weekend.

Joined by Mayor Pasquale Menna, four of the council’s six Democrats lit into the other two, one of whom is the party chairman, as having “placed their own popularity over what’s best for our residents and taxpayers.”

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RED BANK: SENIOR CENTER STILL ON ICE

The Senior Center has been out of commission for most of the past two years. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Red Bank’s Senior Center is not for sale, Mayor Pasquale Menna insists.

But two years after extensive damage caused by a burst pipe, multiple questions surround the still-closed Shrewsbury Avenue facility. Among them: will it reopen anytime soon, and will it stay where it is?

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RED BANK: CHANGES EYED AT BASIE FIELDS

Under the proposal, most of Henry Street would be eliminated and a new playground built alongside Mohawk Pond. (CME Associates graphic. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A street that effectively serves as shortcut past the main entrance to Count Basie Fields would be closed to traffic under a concept plan discussed by the Red Bank council Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: BOARD SUED OVER TWO DECISIONS

red bank, nj, vna, 176 riverside, saxumThe owners of the Colony House apartments, at right, claim the plan for the VNA site, at left, violates their property rights. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Two months after approving one of the largest development projects in Red Bank history, the borough planning board has been sued over the decision, redbankgreen has learned.

The suit arrives as the board is defending itself in a lawsuit concerning a proposed Hampton Inn just across the street.

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RED BANK: SAXUM PLAN APPROVED

Red bank 176 Riverside saxumSaxum relocated the proposed  pedestrian plaza shown in this rendering from the Riverside Avenue side of the project to the Bodman Place side. (Rendering by MVMK Architecture. Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

One of the largest development projects in Red Bank history won planning board approval Monday night.

The OK for 210 apartments at Riverside Avenue and Bodman Place requires developer Saxum Real Estate to seek state approval for a traffic light there. But the project can go ahead even if the request fails.

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RED BANK: BOARD AIRS SAXUM PLAN HURDLES

red bank saxum plan 090419 4A rendering depicts the proposed plaza at Riverside Avenue and Bodman Place that board members raised safety concerns about. (Rendering by Arterial Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Red Bank planning board members aired numerous misgivings about one of the largest development plans in borough history Monday night.

High on the list that developer Saxum Real Estate is expected to address: traffic and pedestrian safety issues. Read More »

RED BANK: PLAZA FOCUS OF SAXUM HEARING

176 riverside red bank saxumA rendering depicts the Bodman Place side of the proposed apartment project. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

The fate of one of the largest development plans in Red Bank history remained unresolved Monday night.

At the fourth planning board hearing on the 210-unit apartment complex proposed for the site of the former VNA headquarters, attention centered largely on the wisdom of putting a public plaza on busy Riverside Avenue.

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RED BANK: POOP & MORE DELAY SAXUM VOTE

red bank saxum plan 090419 4A rendering displayed at the planning board depicts a public plaza on the Riverside Avenue side of the proposed apartment project. (Rendering by Arterial. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Unanswered questions held up a planning board vote on one of the largest development plans in Red Bank history Wednesday night.

Among them: where will the poop deposited on the rooftop dog runs go?

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RED BANK: SAXUM CONFRONTS TRAFFIC ISSUE

red bank 176 riverside 080519 3.jpgA rendering shows the Riverside Avenue facade of the proposed apartment project. (Rendering by MVMK Architecture. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

Like many motorists, a traffic engineer for one of the largest development plans in Red Bank history found himself confronting an intersection likened to “Russian roulette” Monday night. Read More »

RED BANK: SAXUM TRAFFIC Q&A DELAYED

Red bank 176 Riverside saxumA rendering shows one of the two buildings proposed  for the former VNA site, with Riverside Avenue at left and Bodman Place at right. (Rendering by MVMK Architecture. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

It was a night of “hold that thought” as hearings got underway on one of the largest development plans in Red Bank history Monday night.

At a planning board session on a 210-unit apartment complex proposed for a busy stretch of Riverside Avenue, neighbors who packed the room were repeatedly advised to defer their questions and comments on traffic until the developer’s traffic consultant testifies.

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RED BANK: MASSIVE SAXUM PLAN FILED

176 riverside elevation riverside ave side RED BANKA rendering of the Riverside Avenue side of the multiuse project proposed for the former Visiting Nurse Association headquarters site. (Plan by Dynamic Engineering. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

What could be the largest development project in Red Bank history would put 210 living units and more on a 2.7-acre parcel, redbankgreen has learned.

The project proposed by Saxum Real Estate would also include a 326-vehicle parking garage, co-working space and retail or restaurant space, according to a detailed plan filed last month.

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