RED BANK, NJ: Always good to start out a council meeting on a high note. 

There was electricity in the air as his family and a contingent of fellow Red Bank Police officers congratulated Jorge Torres on his promotion to Sergeant.

Some of Torres' family were unavailable; two of his sisters could not make it, his father was laid up in the hospital with his mom at his side, and his daughter is studying abroad in England - but watched the ceremony from a live video feed!

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A 12-year veteran, a very emotional but happy Torres said, “I’m really elated and looking to honor this department in this position as well as honor my fellow patrolmen and fellow officers.”

To watch the video of the ceremony, click HERE.

RBPD – Best in the Business.

Mayor Pat Menna accepted a donation (in lieu of taxes), from the Monmouth Boat Club offered by Commodore Bob Markoff.  Markoff also presented a photograph of the mayor on the Navesink River taken on the race committee boat.

Next up was proclamation to salute to the Red Bank Chapter of the Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County for all the great work they’ve done.  Executive Director Doug Eagles said, “This community holds a deep place in my heart, and it’s a great honor to be able to provide young people with the tools they need to succeed in life, and the club is doing that day in and day out.”

A real nice proclamation on behalf of the NJ Senate and Assembly was made by Senator Vin Gopal to Herbert Reed, a former Red Bank resident who was honored as a recipient of a community award for his dedication to sports and education.  Also presenting was Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey.  Reed graciously accepted his citation and told some very funny stories. 

To watch a video of Mr. Reed relating these stories, click HERE.

The September 11th council’s Workshop meeting (draft) minutes were made available.  To read them, click HERE.  

Street naming ordinance adopted:

After a huge controversy the council named a small alley way off Boat Club Court (cornered by 26 West on the Navesink restaurant), “Iceboat Lane.”  It was initially to be named after former Mayor Ed McKenna, Jr., but opposition by several residents at a previous council meeting objected, relating several incidents and convictions of the former mayor including driving while intoxicated.  To read the Ordinance, click HERE.

Resolutions included:

Awarding of a contract to Freehold based Precise Construction for improvements to the Bellhaven Nature Area Park.

The hiring of Lyndsay Merola as full-time Communications Officer (Dispatcher), with a start date of October 1st.

Then it got interesting with the public comments section.

Several members of the Red Bank Community Garden asked pointed questions about the contamination and what was being done about it.

On August 10th, the Marion Street Garden was closed to the public from concerns of lead contamination in the soil.  To read a previous TAPinto Red Bank article on this, click HERE.  and HERE to read the environmental report. 

Mark Halloran made several observations and asked questions about the lead contamination, saying that he thought the environmental report provided by CME Associates was “misleading,” and that, “If you wanted to build a house on that property, you couldn’t without doing remediation on it” due to levels that exceeded NJ lead contamination standards. 

"The responses to date have made it feel like we were bothering the town by bringing up our concerns…, I did not get a sense of urgency from the dispatches back from the city.”

Business Administrator Ziad Shehady replied, “The perception that there is no sense of urgency could not be further from the truth.  From the minute that this was reported to the borough there were immediate steps and actions taken.  The DEP, the Board of Health, and the Dept. of Health and Human Services at the state level, all were all brought in.  We acted out of an abundance of caution to close (the garden).

You definitely want to watch what the other gardeners had to say.  Click HERE to watch the video of this segment.

The council adjourned to meet in executive session to discuss litigation on the tax appeals for 140-148 Broad Street, a set of buildings presently anchored by the TwoRiver Community Bank, and 133 Broad Street, a large parking lot.  Mayor Menna said that, “No formal action would be taken.”

To read the entire agenda, click HERE.

All videos were provided through the courtesy of Suzann Viscomi.

To watch the video of the entire meeting click HERE.

The next Workshop meeting is Wednesday, October 2nd, 6:30pm with the next council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, October 9th, 6:30pm.  Both will be held at Borough Hall, 90 Monmouth Street.

These meetings are important. 

They determine how, where and what your money is being spent on, and, the future direction your elected officials are taking the borough.

Plus, it's the best free show in town. 

Come, learn and voice your opinion.

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