RED BANK: BUDGET INTRO ON AGENDA

The mayor and council meet at borough hall for their first in-person session in 26 months Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A budget for 2022 is on the agenda when the Red Bank mayor and council hold their first in-person meeting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday night.

The session is also the first to simultaneously employ technology allowing participation from home.

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RED BANK: DISTRICT TAX UP TWO PERCENT

The budget includes funding for a counselor to help stressed students, Rumage said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Federal and state grants to offset pandemic-related expenses helped keep the Red Bank school district tax increase at two percent for the second year in a row, Superintendent Jared Rumage said Tuesday night.

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RED BANK: SAXUM CHANGES APPROVED

Architect Adrian Melji with a rendering of the revised project’s Bodman Place side looking northwest from Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicFilling in a horseshoe void, Saxum Real Estate won planning board approval Monday night for changes to a massive apartment project in Red Bank.

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RED BANK: SAXUM SEEKS MORE BEDROOMS

Saxum’s project would be built on the vacant former Visiting Nurse Association headquarter site at 176 Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicTwo years after obtaining approval for a massive residential real estate project in Red Bank, Saxum Real Estate is heading back to the borough planning board in search of a booster.

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RED BANK: DEMS TO SHARE ‘COUNTY LINE’

Councilmen Ed Zipprich and Michael Ballard at last year’s September 11 memorial ceremony. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

In the rare Democratic primary race shaping up in Red Bank for June 7, all candidates from two opposing factions will share the coveted “party line,” redbankgreen has learned.

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman David G. Brown II has rejected a demand by borough party Chairman Ed Zipprich that only incumbents from the 18-member committee that runs the party be given the preferred ballot position.

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RED BANK: ‘FED UP’ SLATE AIMS FOR OVERHAUL

Among the slate’s members are, clockwise from top left: Wilson Beebe, Suellen Sims, Kate Triggiano, Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Ben Forest, Kathy Horgan, Boris Kofman and Frank Corrado. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Eighteen “fed up” Democratic party loyalists plan to take on what they call Red Bank’s “exclusionary party machine” in the June primary elections, they said in an announcement early Thursday.

Their goals, they said, are to “bring transparency and end divisiveness” within the organization – and unseat Ed Zipprich as chairman.

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RED BANK: CENTER FIXES OK’D, RE-ARGUED

Angela Mirandi, in second pane from left in the top row, attended her first session as a council member. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See CORRECTION below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThree years after a fire suppression system leak forced a shutdown of Red Bank’s Senior Center, the borough council approved nearly $2 million in financing for repairs Wednesday.

As in the past, members clashed over the reasons for the time elapsed and cost. Added to the acrimony was a new element: blame for failure to identify money recently found sitting idle in old accounts and now earmarked for repairs.

Unmentioned during the virtual meeting was a lawsuit, announced hours earlier, that seeks to remove Angela Mirandi, who attended for the first time as a council member.

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RED BANK: ‘BOAT RAMP’ TO FUND CENTER FIX

A municipal boat ramp on the Navesink River was once envisioned for the north end of Maple Avenue, now a nature area called Maple Cove. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank officials boasted earlier this month that they’d “cobbled together” about $1 million from idle accounts to soften the impact on taxpayers of repairing the long-shuttered Senior Center.

It turns out a big chunk of that sum has been stuck in the borough’s sofa cushions for 30 years, designated for a never-built boat ramp, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: CHARTER SCHOOL WINS EXTENSION

The school’s campus includes buildings on Oakland Street, above, and Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

See UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank Charter School has won state authorization to operate for another five years, Head of School Kristen Martello announced Wednesday.

The widely expected extension was granted by the New Jersey Department of Education over the objection of borough school district’s board, which was joined by the town council in its request that the school be closed.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL ‘NO’ TO CHARTER SCHOOL

The New Jersey Department of Education will decide whether the Red Bank Charter School can operate for five more years. (redbankgreen photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter nearly three hours of passionate and divided public input, the Red Bank council unanimously supported a resolution calling for a non-renewal of the Red Bank Charter School Tuesday night.

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RED BANK: RUMAGE TEES UP CHARTER FIGHT

JARED RUMAGE, red bankSuperintendent Jared Rumage at the borough middle school in May, 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank schools Superintendent Jared Rumage called on the borough council Wednesday to aid the district in a bid to shut down the Red Bank Charter School, whose authority to operate is up for renewal.

In a direct challenge that echoed rhetoric from a bitter battle leading up to the school’s charter renewal in 2017, Rumage called for a “unified” borough educational system and the elimination of an institution that he said has fostered segregation for its entire 23-year existence.

“It’s a travesty that we have tolerated school segregation for so long in Red Bank,” Rumage told the council via Zoom during its workshop session.

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RED BANK: CANDIDATES MAKE THEIR PITCHES

Candidates (from left) Jacqueline Sturdivant, Sue Viscomi and Kate Triggiano at Monday’s event, with moderator Amy Goldsmith at right. (Photo from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank voters were treated to a rancor-free forum featuring the three candidates for two borough council seats Monday night.

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RED BANK: VIRTUAL CANDIDATES’ NIGHT SET

Candidates (from left) Jacqueline Sturdivant, Kate Triggiano and Sue Viscomi have confirmed their participation, according to organizers. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank voters will get a chance to pose questions to the three candidates for borough council in a remote forum scheduled for Monday night.

The West Side Community Group announced Friday that it would conduct its 26th annual Candidate’s Night via Zoom and Facebook.

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RED BANK: BOARD NIXES REDEVELOPMENT BID

Saxum owns the former VNA site, viewed here from the former Raceway gas station on Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njSaxum Real Estate‘s request for a controversial zoning change in Red Bank hit a solid brick wall Monday night.

At a meeting that lasted just 12 minutes, the borough planning board unanimously rejected a proposal that objectors feared would lead to massive tax breaks for the developer.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON COUNCIL AGENDA

Red Bank’s borough hall as storm clouds rolled in from the west Saturday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAt its semimonthly meeting Wednesday night, the Red Bank council is expected to take up financing the Master Plan, selling a brand-new vehicle, filling a job vacancy and more.

Here’s some of what’s on the agenda:

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RED BANK: SAXUM HEARING POSTPONED

A rendering of Saxum’s planned project at Riverside Avenue and Bodman Place. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njOpponents of a potential tax deal for a massive proposed development in Red Bank may have to cool their heels until October to challenge the first step in the process.

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RED BANK: TAX BREAK CLOUDS SAXUM HEARING

Saxum’s project would replace the former Visiting Nurse Association headquarters at 176 Riverside Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s planning board kicked off a process Monday night that could result in a rezoning of prime real estate.

But while the ultimate goal of the effort – a tax break for a developer – was not under immediate consideration, it was clearly on the minds of objectors, including at least one board member.

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RED BANK: BALLARD OPPOSES SURPLUS USE

Councilman Michael Ballard in 2019. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesRed Bank Councilman Michael Ballard challenged his fellow Democrats on the governing body Thursday night for using unspent funds from 2020 to keep a lid on taxes.

At a special session of the council, held via Zoom, Ballard alleged the use of $3.5 million in surplus was driven by that objective.

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RED BANK: SURPLUS KEEPS TAX RATE LEVEL

A new trash contract and landfill fees increased waste removal costs by $318,000 this year, officials said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxes

Facing large increases in debt financing and trash costs, Red Bank officials dodged a tax rate increase thanks in part to a surplus from 2020, they said Tuesday night.

At a 45-minute information session by the borough finance committee, held via Zoom, Councilman Hazim Yassin called the outcome “phenomenal.”

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ON THE GREEN: TAX DUE DATES EXTENDED

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesRed Bank and Fair Haven property owners who pay their taxes directly, rather than through an escrow account, can hold off on pulling out their checkbooks for a few more weeks.

Bills have yet to be sent out for taxes normally due August 1.

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RED BANK: CENTER PLANS TO COST $96K

Costs associated with planned repairs to the shuttered Senior Center delayed adoption of the borough budget. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesConstruction plans for repairs to Red Bank’s water-damaged and long-closed Senior Center will cost $96,000, borough officials said Wednesday.

Accommodating that expense into the municipal budget will require a budget amendment and special meeting of the council. But they won’t slow the repair efforts, said acting Business Administrator Darren McConnell.

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RED BANK: SPEED, POT & BUDGET ON AGENDA

The speed limit on the full length of Front Street/River Road through town would be reduced to 25 miles per hour under a Monmouth County proposal. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA ban on fireworks, a new executive director for the redevelopment agency, a reduced speed limit and more crowd a busy agenda when the Red Bank council holds its only regular session of July Wednesday night.

 

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RED BANK: NO LOCAL TAX INCREASE IN BUDGET

A screengrab from Wednesday’s virtual meeting, which was chaired by  Councilman Hazim Yassin, top right. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxes

Red Bank property owners will see no increase in the local tax rate under the budget introduced by the borough council Wednesday night.

The governing body also finalized a plan for a charter study referendum that several commenters referred to as “historic;” eliminated the job of animal control officer to make way for the Monmouth SPCA; and tabled the hiring of a new executive director of the Redevelopment Agency.

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