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RED BANK: CONTRACT, ADMIN JOB ON AGENDA

More than three years after it was closed by a catastrophic leak, the borough Senior Center is about to get repairs. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicRed Bank’s council is scheduled to award a contract to repair the Senior Center, and to discuss a possible new search for a borough administrator, when it holds back-to-back workshop and regular meetings Wednesday night.

Here are some highlights from the agendas:

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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: BALLARD DECRIES ‘TRAGEDY’

michael ballard 051320Councilman Michael Ballard during a council meeting in May, 2020. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Councilman Michael Ballard spoke with anguish Wednesday night about the police killing of a Minnesota man earlier this week.

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RED BANK: COPS SAY SESTITO INTERFERED

Red Bank police dashcam video from the June 3 incident on East Bergen Place. (Red Bank Police Department video. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank’s police chief has asked the Monmouth County prosecutor to review an incident involving Councilman Michael Ballard earlier this month.

The incident, which Ballard reported as it occurred outside his home during a council meeting on Zoom, led to his wife, Rose Sestito, briefly in handcuffs for allegedly interfering with a police investigation, though no charges were filed.

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RED BANK: BALLARD DUBS COPS ‘AGGRESSIVE’

michael ballardRed Bank Councilman Michael Ballard speaking at Pilgrim Baptist Church Thursday night. (Screenshot from Facebook Live. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Councilman Michael Ballard on Thursday teed up borough cops for what he called “overagressive” treatment of his wife during an incident 24 hours earlier.

Speaking at Pilgrim Baptist Church for an online forum on systemic racism, Ballard, an African-American, also appeared to suggest he’d been treated unfairly by unnamed officials at borough hall in his role as finance chairman.

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RED BANK: BALLARD REPORTS WIFE’S ‘ARREST’

red bank council zoom 060320 Red Bank Councilman Michael Ballard, highlighted at upper right during Wednesday’s council meeting via Zoom. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

To the growing list of embarrassing videoconferencing moments in the COVID-19 era – energetic children running through home offices, cats on keyboards, spilled coffee – a Red Bank councilman added another: a report of spousal arrest in progress.

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RED BANK COPS “HAVE AN IDEA” OF SHOOTERS

rb community 122314Residents packed a hastily organized community meeting on the recent shootings Tuesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01Red Bank police believe they know who’s behind a recent spate of West Side shootings, including one Monday night, but are hamstrung by a lack of evidence sufficient to obtain search warrants, Chief Darren McConnell said Tuesday night.

“Do we have an idea who’s doing this? Yes, we do,” McConnell told a packed community meeting at borough hall, less than 24 hours after the latest gunfire, on West Westside Avenue, “but we can’t prove it yet.”

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RED BANK: COMMUNITY MEETING SLATED

just_in1A string of shootings on the West Side, including one Monday night, has prompted Red Bank officials to schedule a community meeting for Tuesday night.

From an announcement sent out by the borough at noontime Tuesday:

Mayor Pasquale Menna and Police Commissioner Arthur Murphy have scheduled a Community Meeting for 7pm tonight, Tuesday, December 23, 2014 in the Council Chamber/Courtroom on the first floor of the Municipal Building at 90 Monmouth Street to address concerns about a recent incident on West Westside Avenue.  Police Chief Darren McConnell will be available to address the situation.

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RED BANK: COPS WERE NEAR SHOOTING SCENE

rb shooting 122314A view east along West Westside Avenue, the scene of Tuesday night’s shooting, in which a parked car was struck by two bullets and at least eight shots were fired. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_02Off-duty Red Bank police officers out delivering Christmas presents for the PBA heard the gunfire in Monday night’s shooting on the West Side, police Chief Darren McConnell tells redbankgreen.

“They were literally a block and half away” and immediately responded to the scene, on West Westside Avenue just a few doors east of Leighton Avenue, arriving even before nearby residents had called in the 8:39 p.m. shots, he said.

By the time they got there, however, the shooter or shooters, and any intended targets, were gone, McConnell said.

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RED BANK: SHOOTING ‘TARGETED,’ MENNA SAYS

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014By JOHN T. WARD

A shooting in which a vehicle was struck by at least one bullet Monday night is believed to be related to two shootings in November, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna tells redbankgreen.

“The good thing is no one was injured” in the latest incident, which occurred at about 8 p.m. near Leighton Avenue and West Westside Avenue, Menna said.

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RED BANK: SHOTS FIRED AGAIN ON WEST SIDE

AUTHORITIES_RB2-2014By JOHN T. WARD

A vehicle was struck but no one was injured when shots were fired on Red Bank’s West Side Monday night, NJ.com reported.

The shooting occurred within the same three-block area of a November shooting that left two people critically injured and another shooting in which a parked car was shot up in broad daylight two days later.

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RED BANK: RESIDENTS PAN COUNCIL RESPONSE

kirsten ramirez 112414Kirsten Ramirez speaks with police Captain Mike Clay after Monday night’s council meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01Red Bank residents put elected officials in the hot seat Monday night for their response to two shootings on the West Side earlier this month.

Addressing Mayor Pasquale Menna and the six-member council at a bimonthly meeting, West Westside Avenue resident Jill Burden criticized what she called a “lack of communication or even acknowledgement” of the concerns of neighbors following the shootings, which occurred less than two days apart.

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