RED BANK: DEAL OVER LEAK PROBES POSSIBLE

ballard zipprich 102217Michael Ballard, left, and Ed Zipprich with an unidentified woman at the 2017 Halloween parade. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA stalemate over dueling demands for probes stemming from a Red Bank government email leak may be headed toward resolution.

At the urging of Mayor Pasquale Menna, council members informally agreed Wednesday night to seek a legal opinion regarding their options on how to proceed.

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RED BANK: SPLIT OVER LEAK PROBE CONTINUES

A screengrab of the council’s session Wednesday night, with councilmembers Erik Yngstrom at center left and Michael Ballard at center right. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicA dispute over leaked emails entered its third month when the Red Bank council met for a workshop session via Zoom Wednesday night.

The issue has pitted two Democrats who are running for re-election against four who aren’t.

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RED BANK: WHAT’S ON AGENDA… AND NOT

Councilman Ed Zipprich in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njMissing from the agenda for the Red Bank council session scheduled for Wednesday night: clashing demands for investigations.

But the probes – one focused on the source of an email leak, and the other on alleged conduct exposed by the emails – may still get an airing.

Here’s a look-ahead at the agenda for the session.

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RED BANK: DEMS CLASH OVER BUDGET, PROBE

A screengrab of the council’s session Wednesday night. (Zoom screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topicRifts among Democrats were on almost nonstop display during a three-hour meeting of the Red Bank council Wednesday night.

While Councilman Ed Zipprich pressed for a probe into an email leak he said had smeared his reputation, at least two of his colleagues were more concerned about his intervention in the bidding for a new trash hauling contract.

But first, the all-Democratic body split over proposed budget cuts pushed by Councilman Michael Ballard that others saw as unwise.

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RED BANK: DELISA TO GET ‘EMERGENCY’ PACT

DeLisa Demolition would continue to pick up waste and recycling under an interim contract that boosts its existing rate by $10,000 per month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

this just in redbankgreenRed Bank’s elected officials will be asked to authorize an “emergency” trash contract this week after no bids were received for a longterm pact, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: PROBE, METERS & MORE ON AGENDA

A leak of emails, including correspondence between Councilman Ed Zipprich and a prospective bidder for the trash contract, is the subject of an investigation. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich will get the investigation into a leak of emails he requested earlier this month.

Approval of the probe, as well as final adoption of the 2020 budget; extended hours of parking meter enforcement; and a half-dozen police department promotions are all on the council’s busy agenda for Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: ZIPPRICH ASKS FOR LEAK PROBE

Councilman Ed Zipprich, left, at a press conference held by Governor Phil Murphy at Riverview Medical Center in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich said he has asked for an investigation into a leak of emails in which Business Administrator Ziad Shehady suggested Zipprich was out to “sabotage” the bidding for a new trash hauling contract.

Separately, friction between Shehady and Councilman Michael Ballard flared up again at the council’s workshop meeting Wednesday.

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RED BANK: ‘SABOTAGE’ OF TRASH BID ALLEGED

red bank trash delisaDeLisa Demolition won the borough’s trash contract, now up for rebid, in 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicRed Bank Business Administrator Ziad Shehady has asked elected officials to discuss, in private, what he calls an effort by a council member to “sabotage” the process of awarding a new trash-hauling contract, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: DPU UPDATES PICKUP SCHEDULES

red bank trash pickup delisaWhen is recycling picked up again? How do we get rid of that old sofa in the basement?

Answers to these and similar questions are available to Red Bank residents in the form of a new bulletin from the Department of Public Works. It covers everything from Christmas tree to hazardous waste disposal, including brush and trash pickup schedules for 2019.

Downloadable and printable versions in English and Spanish are available online. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

ON THE GREEN: NEW RECYCLING RULES

Starting next week, recyclables put out at the curb in plastic bags won’t be picked up in a number of Monmouth County towns. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Monmouth County municipalities are rushing this week to implement new rules to prohibit the use of plastic bags to hold domestic recyclables for pickup.

The change is being driven by China, Red Bank Business Administrator Ziad Shehady tells redbankgreen.

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ON THE GREEN: THAW ENDS LONG COLD SNAP

With a foot of snow atop the Navesink River ice and wind-chill temperatures below zero, visitors to Marine Park in Red Bank hoping to see some iceboat racing had to settle for empty white riverscapes Sunday. On McCarter Pond in Fair Haven, though, skaters found several small shoveled-out areas in which to enjoy the ice, at right. 

The extended snap of bitter cold was expected to end Monday, when daytime temperatures reach about 35 degrees, kicking off a warming trend though the week. But freezing rain could make for hazardous driving conditions in Monday evening. Check out the National Weather Service forecast below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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ON THE GREEN: DEEP FREEZE FOLLOWS STORM

With wind-chill temperatures at 9 degrees below zero and many local streets packed with ice, the main parking lot at the Red Bank train station was nearly empty at 6:15 a.m. Friday, above, but road activity was stirring a short while later on West River Road in Rumson, right.

Check out some additional photos taken from the Greater Red Bank a day after Thursday’s snowstorm below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: FIRST SNOW OF 2018 BLOWS IN

An overnight snowstorm that left about three inches by daybreak may have prompted widespread school closings, but it was just another workday for a man delivering goods to Playa Bowls, above, and a Starbucks barista getting ready for the day’s customers in downtown Red Bank early Thursday. 

What comes next will be anything but ordinary, however, according to forecasters.

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RED BANK: TAXPAYER BUDGET Q&A SLATED

rb boro hall 041416taxesFor the 10th year in a row, Red Bank borough government department heads are scheduled to offer presentations on their 2016 budget proposals at a public information session scheduled for Wednesday, May 18 at at borough hall.

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RED BANK: PARKING IDEA SPUTTERS

rb white meter 112415A proposal to extend meter enforcement hours appeared to get no traction Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesThe Red Bank council postponed the introduction of the first majority-Republican budget in a generation Wednesday.

Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, who’s heading up the budget-writing finance committee, said she wanted more time to hear suggestions from residents and business owners on how to reduce a prospective tax increase.

But one of Schwabenbauer’s own suggestions — increasing the number of hours for which metered parking is in effect — appeared to be a non-starter.

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RED BANK: GOP DRAFT BUDGET HAS TAXES UP

schwabenbauer 010216 2Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer, who heads the finance committee, says there’s been a “severe” drop in revenue from last year along with an increase in expenses. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesThe first majority-Republican Red Bank budget in a generation is set to make its debut this week, and it comes with a likely tax hike.

While officials are hopeful they can trim the increase, the draft budget shows a 5.5-percent jump in the municipal levy, or roughly $115 a year for the owner of a residential property assessed at the average $354,497, Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer tells redbankgreen.

One way to soften the impact, she said, is to extend the hours for which parking fees are collected.

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RED BANK: CRUSHING IT DOWNTOWN

RB TRASH 101315
HOT-TOPIC_03
New to the Red Bank business district:
solar-powered trash compactors paired with recycling bins, which RiverCenter executive director Jim Scavone says should help reduce spillage by holding five times the volume of standard containers. They also alert the borough when they’re full, he said.

The bins are or will soon be in four locations, said Scavone: on Broad Street outside Urban Outfitters and Starbucks; on Monmouth Street at the Count Basie Theatre; and outside West Elm on West Front Street. RiverCenter and the borough government splt the cost of the devices, which go for about $6,000 per set, Scavone said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: SWITCH ADDS COLLECTION DAYS

delisa 090315HOT-TOPIC_03With the switch to private cartage last week, all homes in Red Bank have now had at least one pickup by DeLisa Demolition of Tinton Falls, which won a three-year, $1.49 million contract for collection of trash, recyclables and household bulk waste last month.

The change, borough officials said in advance, would have been all but unnoticed by residents. But there’s a perk or two, including — as some perplexed residents may have noticed on Labor Day holiday pickups.

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RED BANK: TRASH PICKUP TO GO PRIVATE

rb trash 092414 1Two of the borough’s four garbage trucks will be sold, and the other two kept for leaf and snow removal, officials said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank is getting out of the garbage business.

By a 4-0 vote at a special, single-issue meeting Monday night, the borough council approved a three-year, $1.49 million contract for collection of trash, recyclables and household bulk waste with a private hauler, Delisa Demolition of Tinton Falls.

But the change, effective September 1, will be all but unnoticeable to residents and small-business owners, town officials said. And it should generate “significant” savings, they contend.

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RED BANK: PRIVATE TRASH PICKUP NEARS

rb trash 092414 2No borough employees will lose jobs or benefits in the switch, Mayor Pasquale Menna said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The end of public-sector trash collection in Red Bank could come as soon as September 1, under the terms of a contract that the borough council body discussed in private Wednesday night.

Still not quite at the end of a process it began 18 months ago, the council scheduled a special meeting for next Monday night solely to vote on the deal.

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RED BANK READY FOR STORM, SAYS DPU HEAD

rb snow 012115 2Plows will roll out of the borough DPU yard on Chestnut Street starting at about 3 a.m. Thursday, says a borough official. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

As recently as Tuesday morning, “we were begging for salt,” Red Bank utilities head Gary Watson tells redbankgreen.

But by the end of the day, his department obtained a load of salt – just enough, Watson expects, to get the town through the snowstorm forecast for Wednesday night into Thursday, when 6 to 10 inches are expected to fall.

“We’re OK for this event,” Watson said Wednesday afternoon, moments after wrapping a meeting at which plowing assignments were given out.

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RUMSON: PRIVATE TRASH PICKUP PLANNED

rumson trash 012215 2A municipal trash crew at work on Forrest Avenue last week. Below, Mayor John Ekdahl says the timing is good for privatization. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

ekdahl 102213Four years after a proposal to privatize Rumson’s trash pickup got trashed by residents, the borough is trying again. And this time around, Mayor John Ekdahl is getting no flak, he says.

The main reason, he said, is that the latest plan, unveiled at the borough government reorganization on January 1, won’t have any adverse impact on jobs.

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RED BANK: PARKING REPORT UNDER WRAPS

rb white lot 2 032814Town officials have yet to disclose the recommendations of a consultant on what to do with the White Street lot. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A document that could lay the conceptual groundwork for a new parking garage in downtown Red Bank remains under wraps.

Delivered last month, the roughly 100-page report, by the civil engineering firm CME Associates, offers recommendations on how the town should leverage an asset: its 2.3-acre White Street municipal lot, according to Mayor Pasquale Menna.

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