Let us go in; the fog is rising – Emily Dickinson
New councillors, new clerk. Things are starting to look a bit different on Red Bank Borough Council. Whether that is a matter for relief or here we go again has yet to be seen, but it would seem that the previous regime’s out-of-town inspired petty-fogging plotting didn’t work out so well for them or the town, and probably trashed the hopes of any genuine grass-roots movement gaining ground in what should be a pretty liberal-minded and progressive community.
But here we are, and it’s good to see some attempt by councillors to rescue the town from at least a couple of years of government by the Meme of the Moment and self-absorbed, erm… selfies. So what’s on the Agenda?
First up is the Proclamation regarding the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day on the 29th April, 2022. This will, no doubt, come as some relief to trees which have endured pretty shabby treatment in the borough lately. Hopefully, this will serve as a basis for the borough to start regarding trees as essential allies in the future, including their important role in ameliorating climate change, improving air quality and safe street environments, let alone acting as green arteries for birds and bugs, and shade, through the town and to the Navesink.
Let’s hear it for the trees!!!
Another Proclamation about International Firefighters Day, May 4, 2022. Firefighters? Goes without saying doesn’t it?
And another… It’s National Public Works Week, May 15–21, 2022. Motto, “Ready and Resilient“, which I’m trusting means that the town is intending to turn over yet another new leaf.
The appointment of a Special Counsel to look into alleged “interference” with RB’s 2020 sanitation contract should hopefully see the end of a rather silly episode. I think that maybe the voting record may pretty much tell the tale…
So, on to the “Broadwalk” project. A vision of a community asset, or a complete infrastructure disaster. The council is proposing an ad hoc committee to look at the big picture. Let’s hope it engages more than just restauranteurs with benefits:
“WHEREAS, the Council proposes to establish an Ad Hoc Committee on the “Broadwalk” project to initiate
strategic planning, to recommend potential policies, procedures, and initiatives related to the project, and
to ensure an effective means of liaising with the Administration, as well as local businesses, residents and groups committed to similar actions within the borough…“
Now, I said it looks as if there may be a ray of light on the council, and here we have a resolution which mentions sustainability, The Sustainable Jersey 2022 EDF Climate Corps Program Application. I don’t know if this is another job for the boro’s grant application consultant, but judging by the number of notifications I get from NJ Bike/Ped alone, we’re missing out on a lot of money for street and environmental grants. Perhaps this should be more of a priority than just referring to a contractor when someone happens to notice an opportunity.
So, that’s just a selection from the boro’s agenda. There are other little gems in there. Unfortunately, there is no report from the Zoom/hybrid meeting working party, so once again participants will be subject to controls which do not help transparency or democracy. The working party should be seeking advice from residents’ experience and needs. Certainly, as a host and participant of hundreds of Zoom meetings over the past few years, I can tell you that if you want to steer a meeting and resist open government then just keep on doing what the boro’ is doing on its Zoom meetings.
Meeting Notice: Regular Meeting of Mayor and Council, Wednesday, April 27, 2022 @6.30pm
Some dated information for virtual meeting:
MAYOR & COUNCIL MEETINGS (Zoom Webinar ID is 927 077 730)
Clerk: Pam Borghi, firstname.lastname@example.org, 732-530-2740
- INTERNET-ACCESSIBLE DEVICE (Audio and/or Video)
- To access the Zoom webinar, visit https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_HBqRxj8pRheqUk1cLVl1bQ from an internet-accessible browser or download the appropriate mobile device application:
- TELEPHONE DIALING INSTRUCTIONS (Audio Only)
- Dial +1 929 205 6099 and enter the Zoom ID (927 077 730) when prompted.