Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: 

Red Bank is at a crossroads. We are two long-time residents who want to ensure the path forward embraces our shared future, while celebrating and preserving all that makes our town such a unique, cherished place. 

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When we decided, independently and without coercion from any outside influences, to challenge current council members Triggiano and Yassin for their seats, we were fully aware of the upheaval to the “politics as usual" approach to municipal government this would cause.

We understood that our opponents would be shocked and disappointed to know they were being challenged. We knew, as citizens who have been voting for decades, that loyalties would be tested and usual alliances questioned. We knew we would have to convince Red Bank residents that our shared vision for the town was genuine, fact based, and inspired by our collective sense of town history and local pride. 

We never imagined that, instead of a vigorous conversation on matters of leadership, legislation and law, our opponents would instead sink to vicious, baseless personal attacks on our Red Bank Committee chair. 

These attacks are false. They are dishonest. They are beneath the dignity of the town and its government. And they speak directly to why we decided, after decades of privately living here, to enter the political arena and become public figures. 

For the past three years we have watched our public discourse coarsen, our facilities fall into disrepair, our public payroll bulge and our residents become angrier as Triggiano and Yassin openly advocated, encouraged and supported turning our Borough Council into nothing more than a rubber stamp of the sitting Business Administrator’s desires. 

We are not racists. We are not homophobes. We are not Islamaphobic. We find such accusations scurrilous, offensive and insulting. We are deeply concerned citizens who believe the very fabric of Red Bank's quality of life is being threatened by our opponents, who remain eager to embrace whatever Ziad Shehady and his redevelopment agency cronies desire. 

We welcome a robust discussion with Triggiano and Yassin regarding our policy differences. We believe it would behoove these candidates to spell out their accomplishments since taking office and provide us with their vision for Red Bank’s future. We implore them to refrain from further personal attacks against other elected officials and private citizens.

We respectfully request that they honor the democratic process and stand for nomination in Red Bank as they, and countless candidates before them, have done. Submit Letters of Intent to run for reelection. Do not make secret, backroom deals with County leaders to skip the democratic process. Instead, do the right thing and fully participate in our town’s democratic process. 

As the election last November proved, our town, and our nation work best when we let voters decide. Let the people of Red Bank speak. 

And may the best candidates win. 

Sincerely, 

Dr. LeRoi Jones & Mr. Bruce Maida