SEA BRIGHT LIBRARY RAZING SPARKS DEBATE

sb library 1 011214On Sunday, a backhoe sat on the slab where the library had stood until it was demolished a day earlier. Below, an architect’s rendering of a proposed combination library and bathing pavilion. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

SB Pavilion & Library westIn 2011, when concept plans for a remodeled Sea Bright municipal parking lot were drawn up, town officials assured residents that the library building had been left off by accident. It’s not going to be torn down, they said.

Last June, when the council approved spending $70,000 to repair damage to the structure caused by Hurricane Sandy seven months earlier, the action was touted on the borough government’s Resource Center website under the headline, “Sea Bright Library to be Rebuilt.”

But last month, the borough council abruptly reversed course, deciding the library had to go. And on Saturday, the building was hastily demolished, blindsiding supporters who were racing to save it and triggering a debate on social media about the significance of the simple frame structure.

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SETTEMBRINO: CUT NON-ESSENTIAL SERVICES6

mt_settembrinoNAME: Kevin M. Settembrino, (Republican)

AGE: 40

OCCUPATION: Architect, AIA, LEED AP

LENGTH OF RESIDENCE IN TOWN: 3 Years

General Questions:

1. What do you see as the top three issues in town? Property Taxes, Property Taxes, Property Taxes

2. What specifically are you planning to do to address those issues? Reduce the size of local goverment to a “Needs Based Government” and eliminate all non-essential local government services.  Increase employee heath care contributions to match the private sector.

3. What will be the challenges in getting these goals accomplished? The Mayor’s Toolkit needs to be passed by the State Legislature to allow municipalities to opt out of the civil service stranglehold and to reduce the burden of binding arbitration.

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