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RED BANK: REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY ON TABLE

Seen here at a council meeting in April, Ken DeRoberts, left, and Joe Hartnett of Government Strategy Group managed borough operations on an interim basis earlier this year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The authors of a report that called for the creation of a redevelopment agency for downtown Red Bank appear to be on their way to getting a contract to make it happen.

Government Strategy Group would lead the way toward the creation of the agency, chief executive officer Ken DeRoberts said in a presentation at the borough council’s first-ever workshop-only meeting Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: REPORT RIPS TOWN OPERATIONS

A management review found that “at least 12” full-time positions could be eliminated from borough government. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Citing numerous examples of “dysfunctionality,” an unsparing review of Red Bank’s management recommends widespread overhauls, from a new form of government to improved courtroom security.

The Management Enhancement Report, commissioned last October and posted on the borough website Friday, includes insider comments highly critical of the way things work, or don’t work, at borough hall.

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RED BANK: LIBRARY DIRECTOR TO RETIRE

Elizabeth McDeromott, center, at the 2015 Red Bank Mayor’s Ball. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Elizabeth McDermott, who guided the Red Bank Public Library through perhaps the most turbulent chapter of its 81-year history, will retire at the end of June.

An ex-software industry consultant who changed careers well into adulthood, McDermott announced her retirement in the spring issue of the library’s newsletter, out this week.

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RED BANK: NEW ADMINISTRATOR NAMED

Ziad Andrew Shehady reading to young students in Springfield last month. (Photo courtesy of Ziad Andrew Shehady. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council approved the hiring Wednesday night of a new borough administrator, giving the town’s most powerful unelected job to an Army veteran who became the mayor of a Union County town at the age of 25.

And his salary will be triple that of his predecessor.

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RED BANK: DEMS TAP ACTING ADMINISTRATOR

Michael Ballard heads for his seat on the dais after his swearing-in as councilman Monday. Below, Kenneth DeRoberts, a consultant, was named interim administrator through March 31. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Back in control of the Red Bank council, Democrats flexed their muscle Monday on the issue of who will run the day-to-day operations of municipal government now that Stanley Sickels has left the building.

Answer: still to be determined. For the next three months, however, the job of borough administrator will be held by a consultant on local government efficiency.

 

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RED BANK: COUNCIL WRAPS ON BITTER NOTE

At the end of his final meeting on the dais, Stanley Sickels embraces Councilman Mark Taylor as Councilman Mike Whelan looks on. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank council ended its 2017 session in acrimony Wednesday night as Republicans accused Democrats of politicizing the replacement of Stanley Sickels as borough administrator.

 

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RED BANK: SICKELS LAUDED FOR ‘COMMITMENT’

Stanley Sickels at Wednesday night’s council meeting, above, and on the scene of a fire in September, 2014, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s mayor and council gave a warm, low-key sendoff to the the borough government’s top unelected official Wednesday night.

Over a career in municipal operations that began in 1979 and spanned numerous paid and volunteer roles, Administrator Stanley Sickels was a “consummate professional” who earned a reputation that went “way beyond the reach of Red Bank,” Mayor Pasquale Menna told the audience at the governing body’s semimonthly meeting.

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RED BANK: Q&A ON ADMINISTRATOR SEARCH

Borough Administrator Stanley Sickels, center, with Councilman Mike Whelan and borough Clerk Pam Borghi last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With the planned retirement of Stanley Sickels, Red Bank officials are on the hunt for a successor to fill the top unelected position in borough government: borough administrator.

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FAIR HAVEN: POLICE STATION UPGRADES SLATED

The stationhouse hasn’t been updated since its conversion from a schoolhouse in 1983. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven’s police station is in for a once-in-a generation makeover in coming months.

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RED BANK: SICKELS TO RETIRE AT END OF 2017

mancuso-sickels-101716Stanley Sickels, right, with fellow planning board member Dan Mancuso at a meeting in October. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s top unelected official is hanging up his hat at the end of 2017.

Make that hats. The departure of Stanley Sickels, who serves as the borough government’s administrator, purchasing agent and construction code official, may test a long-debated premise: that replacing him would require more than one hire, at a cost far exceeding his combined salary.

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FAIR HAVEN: McGOVERN TO TAKE LEAD AT PD

FHPD Mcgovern 042016 3Joe McGovern, who’s to be sworn in as chief Monday night, has spent his entire career with the borough police department. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
AUTHORITIES_FH-2016-v3

It’s a cliché, but in terms of police activity, Fair Haven cries out for comparison to Mayberry. Crime is almost nil, and the top two categories of calls involve traffic and residential construction: blocked driveways, dumpster placements and the like.

Still, this bedroom community has undergone a rapid growth spurt. There are hundreds of kids — more than at any time in the town’s 104-year history — and more traffic.

“We’re also one of the only towns left where most of the kids ride bikes to school,” said acting police Chief Joe McGovern, who is scheduled to become chief next week.

Which makes pedestrian safety the number-one issue for police, he said. “It’s our job to make sure they’re safe.”

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RFH: SOURLIS ENDS 30-YEAR WINNING CAREER

George-Sourlis-610x343 (1)Rumson-Fair Haven girls’ basketball coach George Sourlis, the Shore Conference’s all-time winningest coach, announced his retirement Wednesday. Sourlis ends his 30-year leadership of the Lady Bulldogs after five state championships, 14 sectional titles and a record of 653-198, including a 22-7 tally in his final season.

In an interview with NJ.com, Sourlis credited his players, assistant coaches and school administration for the team’s success, which he said has been “not because of George Sourlis and George Sourlis alone. We’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to withstand the test of time.” (Photo courtesy of Shore Sports Zone.)

FAIR HAVEN: CHIEF HANGING UP HIS HAT

darryl breckenridge 081715Darryl Breckenridge is winding down a career of 35 years with the police in his hometown. He’s seen below at a 2012 Veteran’s Day commemoration with World War II veteran Ray Taylor.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taylor breckenridge 111112He was only four-and-a-half years old, but Darryl Breckenridge remembers the day he decided to become a policeman.

There was a knock on the family’s front door in Fair Haven, and when he looked up, “I saw that policeman’s hat” through the topmost pane, he told redbankgreen this week.

Wearing “that hat” was police Chief Carl Jaubecy, who let young Darryl sit in his lap as he offered the boy’s mother a job as a school crossing guard.

“That was it,” said Breckenridge, who’s now closing out a 35-year career in law enforcement, the last 10 as chief himself. “From that day, I knew I was going to do it.”

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RED BANK: SAYING GOODBYE TO ‘GRANDMA’

mary boynton 0122314Mary Boynton with some of her freshly awakened toddler charges last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Over the past 30 years, Mary Boynton has wrapped her arms around hundreds of youngsters at the Monmouth Day Care Center in Red Bank.

But one stands out: Anthony, a special-needs child who arrived at the facility on Drs. James Parker Boulevard as a nine-month-old infant, and stayed until he was 10 years old.

When Anthony left, “I cried and cried,” says Boynton.

Expect some tears to flow this week, when the 84-year-old Boynton wraps up her three decades of service at the center to embark on a life in retirement.

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RED BANK: SCHOOLS HEAD MORANA TO RETIRE

laura morana 111709Superintendent Laura Morana in her office in 2009. (Click to enlarge)

Red Bank schools Superintendent Laura Morana is leaving the district at the end of the month, according to a measure approved at a school board meeting Wednesday night.

According to a late addition to the meeting agenda, the board accepted her resignation “for the purpose of retirement,” effective September 30.

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