RED BANK: BRAKES TAPPED ON METERING PLAN

RiverCenter asked that enforcement of any changes to the parking ordinance be postponed until completion of planned streetscape work on White Street and the adjoining lot. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Facing pushback, Red Bank officials on Wednesday slowed a proposal to extend paid parking to 10 p.m.

The plan, first reported by redbankgreen, drew numerous critical comments on Facebook, which several council members alluded to at Wednesday night’s council workshop session.

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RED BANK: EXTENDED METERING ON AGENDA

red bank parking ticketAdding four hours a day of paid parking is among the recommendations of a recent report. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank’s elected officials are expected to take up a proposal this week to expand paid parking – and enforcement – to 10 p.m.

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RED BANK: SNACK BAR, SCREENS ON AGENDA

red bank riverside gardens concessionThe council won’t renew the lease on the snack stand at Riverside Gardens Park under a measure on Wednesday’s agenda. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

After several years as a seasonal commercial operation, the concession stand in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park has proven to be a fiscal dud.

So suggests a proposal to nix an extension of the soon-to-expire lease on the building. That, along with an ordinance tightening up the property maintenance law governing lawns and window screens, is among the items of interest up for consider at for the council’s regular session Wednesday.

Here’s a quick rundown.

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RED BANK: TRAFFIC STUDY ON AGENDA

red bank broad st snow 011820A proposed study is expected to track traffic at 19 downtown intersections, including Broad and West Front streets, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A study of downtown traffic is up for discussion at the Red Bank council’s workshop session Wednesday evening.

The data to be gathered is expected to be useful for future parking, pedestrian and other initiatives, borough Business Administrator Ziad Shehady tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: COMMENTING POLICY UNDER FIRE

red bank, nj, ziad shehadyBusiness Administrator Ziad Shehady has allowed little deviation from the council’s commenting protocol since his arrival in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council moved to eliminate a citizenship requirement for business licensing and approved a debt refinancing Wednesday night.

And once again, the protocol for comments at council meetings was put to the test. Here’s a recap of  what went down at the semimonthly session.

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RED BANK: GOP CLAIMS WEST SIDE ADVOCACY

jonathan maciel penney 102419Jonathan Maciel Penney speaking at last week’s West Side Community Group forum. (Photo by Ben Forest. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

ELECTION 2019In an effort to break the Democratic lock on the Red Bank council, this year’s Republican candidates have set their sights squarely on a Democratic stronghold: the West Side.

At events and in campaign literature, Allison Gregory and Jonathan Maciel Penney have sought to align themselves with minority groups and residents threatened with displacement from the West Side as a result of gentrification.

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FAIR HAVEN: VOTERS TO DECIDE $15.6M PLAN

fair haven knollwood school 052219.Architectural renderings of the proposed additions to the Knollwood School (above) and Sickles School. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fair haven schools sickles plan 052219Fair Haven residents are scheduled to vote Tuesday on a $15.6 million plan to create classrooms and improve security at the borough’s two schools.

But first, they’ve got to go to the right polling station.

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RED BANK: PARKING SYSTEM TO GET MAKEOVER

red bank tom calu meterInterim parking director Tom Calu with a smart meter at Wednesday’s presentation. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s entire inventory of parking meters and kiosks is slated for replacement, borough officials said Wednesday, as they debuted a ‘smart’ meter scheduled for rollout curbside early next year.

Meantime, the search for a parking director, the foremost recommendation of a parking study released in January, has been “disappointing,” the official leading the search told redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: RUMAGE REFLECTS ON FIVE YEARS

JARED RUMAGE, red bankSuperintendent Jared Rumage wished middle schoolers a nice holiday weekend on the Friday before Memorial Day in May. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s school district still faces stiff financial challenges, but is “without question” in all-around better shape than it was when he arrived five years ago, says Superintendent Jared Rumage.

And as he did at a presentation last week, Rumage is hoping to leverage the narrative of that improvement to win voter approval of a $6.75 million referendum in November.

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FAIR HAVEN: RIVER RATS LOSES TAX CASE

fair haven river rats River Rats’s home at the northern end of Battin Road. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven’s River Rats organization is not entitled to a property tax exemption, even though it’s a registered nonprofit run by volunteers, the New Jersey Tax Court ruled last week.

The organization tells redbankgreen it will appeal the decision.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON THE COUNCIL AGENDA?

red bank plastic bag banSingle-use plastic bags and more would be banned under an ordinance up for introduction. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe Red Bank council has street-sweeping, green roofs, single-use plastics and cranes on its plate when it meets this week for its only regular meeting of July.

Here are some of the expected highlights: Read More »

RED BANK: WHAT’S ON THE COUNCIL AGENDA?

red bank primary access roadWork on the primary school emergency access road, seen here from Locust Avenue, is nearly complete. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njWhile most of America is cracking open its first cold beverages of the July 4 holiday Wednesday evening, the Red Bank council plans to hold a workshop session.

Yep.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON THE COUNCIL AGENDA?

red bank basie trackThe track at Count Basie Fields would be replaced under a plan up for adoption by the council. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposed alternate-side parking ordinance is up for consideration at the Red Bank council’s only regular session this month.

Also on the agenda as the council moves into its summer meeting schedule: taxes, a new track for Count Basie Fields, the settlement of a disputed records request and more. Read More »

RED BANK: TAXES ON WORKSHOP AGENDA

red bank, michael ballardCouncilman Michael Ballard, with borough CFO Peter O’Reilly in foreground. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesIntroduced two weeks ago without a word of comment by elected officials, the 2019 Red Bank budget is scheduled for discussion Wednesday night.

Also on the borough council’s workshop agenda: the resolution of a lawsuit,  and a discussion about food trucks.

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FAIR HAVEN: $15.6M SCHOOLS PLAN UNVEILED

fair haven schools sickles planNew classroom space and other facilities, shown in blue, would be built on a vacant lot adjoining the Sickles School, said Superintendent Sean McNeil, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

fair haven schools sean mcneil Fair Haven residents would get classrooms to allow for full-day kindergarten as well as improved security under a $15.6 million plan officials unveiled Wednesday.

The typical homeowner would also get a tax increase of as much as $566 per year if a public referendum on the plan passes muster with voters in September.

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FAIR HAVEN: SCHOOL REFERENDUM ON TABLE

Sean McNeil, center, with fellow superintendents Brent MacConnell of Shrewsbury, left, and Red Bank’s Jared Rumage at a school funding discussion in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven’s two-school district plans to hold a facilities bond referendum in September, Superintendent Sean McNeil announced earlier this week.

How much spending does the board hope to win approval for? How will the funds be used? Stay tuned, says McNeil.

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RED BANK: COUNCIL DROPS REVERSE APPEALS

red bank nj oceanfirst hqThe OceanFirst Bank headquarters was the subject of a reverse appeal case settled Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njBombarded by criticism from the business community, the Red Bank council on Wednesday dropped a plan to pursue a new round of  “reverse appeals” against commercial properties it believed to be undertaxed.

But first, the council approved the settlement of an older reverse appeal that will boost the taxable value of a downtown building by 69 percent over three years. And battles over cases filed in 2018 continue.

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RED BANK: ‘REVERSE’ TAX APPEALS ON AGENDA

8 east front st. red bank njA law firm hired by the borough says 8 East Front Street, which sold last year for $5.68 million, is improperly assessed at just under $3 million. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank taxesA year after authorizing a law firm to go after owners of properties believed to be undertaxed, the Red Bank council is expected to renew its “aggressive” approach this week.
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RED BANK: THREE NEW HOMES APPROVED

81 west westside red bank njThe new owner of a corner lot at West Westside Avenue and Clifford Place plans to demolish the existing house and build three new homes. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA proposal to build three new homes on an existing one-house lot won approval from the Red Bank planning board Monday night.

But not without some pushback over whether the builder was “squeezing in” too much development.

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