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More Parking Spaces at Ocean Township Municipal Building

  By DON STINE Ocean Township will add about 70 more parking spaces to its municipal parking lot to alleviate overcrowding for municipal court and various other township meetings. “We have court twice a week and the lot can become full. Many times there is not enough parking for some meetings and people park across the street (at the old Monmouth Council Boy Scouts of America building across Deal Road). And this can become a real safety issue,” Township Administrator Andrew Brannen said. The Township Council approved a $120,000 bond to purchase almost half-acre lot, to the north of the…

City’s Landmark Building to Be Sold

  By DON STINE Asbury Park’s historic New Jersey National Guard Armory building, which is more than 100 years old and now houses Harold Daley VFW Post 1333, is being put up for sale. Post Junior Vice Commander Joseph Williams, who also chairs the post’s real estate and investment committee, said the decision to sell the building, at 701 lake Avenue, was a difficult one for the veterans to make but that, in the long run , it was determined the best thing to do. “This is a magnificently constructed building and has such a great history. We are all…

Asbury Park Seeks to Fill Key Positions

  By DON STINE Asbury Park’s new City Council hopes to fill vacancies in some of the top managerial positions in the city in the near future. Asbury Park, one of only two cities in Monmouth County, is now without a permanent city clerk, city manager, chief financial officer, and police chief. All people in these key positions are “acting” appointments right now, pending the appointment of full-time personnel. Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn said that the City Council hopes to resolve these job issues in the near future. “We are a city going through a transition right now with a…

Proposed Incentive Plan in Ocean Would Decrease Property Taxes

  By DON STINE Ocean Township residents may get a little property tax relief by shopping at local businesses under an innovative plan being put together by township officials. Called “Own Ocean,” the program calls for participating residents to get a rebate on their property taxes if they shop at a township-based business. “It is a property tax rewards program that tries to put money back in the taxpayer’s pocket,” Mayor Christopher Siciliano said. Siciliano said the program is still being organized and is expected to be launched sometime later this year. “It may take about nine months but it…

Garofalo Named Deputy Mayor in Ocean

  By DON STINE Ocean Township’s new Deputy Mayor William Garofalo said last week that taxpayers can expect no increase in the municipal budget this year. “We have weathered the (budget) storm and cost-saving measures we put in place are paying off. I am confident we will have a flat tax this year,” he said. “I think the tides have turned and I am happy and confident that we are going forward,” he said. Mayor Christopher Siciliano has previously stated that a flat tax rate is one of the main goals under his administration. Ocean Township’s current municipal tax rate…

Lesgislators to Present Plan for River Dredging

  By DON STINE Three local legislators said last week that they will announce plans later this year that will result in the environmentally-beleaguered Shark River getting dredged. In a joint Jan. 15 press release, state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth), Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone and Neptune Township Committeeman Randy Bishop said that funding for the project and a means to dewater dredge materials have apparently been resolved with state officials. “2015 will prove to be the year we see movement on the Shark River dredging project,” Beck said in the statement, which did not elaborate on the plan.facts. “I have…

Asbury Festhalle and Biergarten Will Have European Flair

  By DON STINE The new Asbury Festhalle and Biergarten restaurant is having a soft-opening for a few days this week in anticipation of its grand opening, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 7. “We are having an invitation-only, soft opening for three days. We will then regroup and see what needs to be improved and fixed,” co-owner Jennifer Lampert said. She said the restaurant will then have another soft opening, inviting only local residents and workers before its Feb. 7 grand opening. “We will have a ribbon-cutting, music and should be in full swing by then,” she said. Restaurateur Andy Ivanov,…

Asbury Park City Clerk to Retire After 34 Years

  By DON STINE After 34 years on the job, Asbury Park City Clerk Stephen M. Kay is calling it quits at the end of this month. “I guess it’s about time,” Kay said earlier this week. He also said that a recent knee replacement operation and the slow pace of his physical recovery is also a factor in his decision to retire. Kay, who is 63, has been the city clerk since 1980 and he has seen more than his fair share of ups and downs in the city, including surviving through a number of political scandals on the…

Ocean Parents File Lawsuit Over Student Survey

  By DON STINE Several Ocean Township parents have filed a lawsuit against the local school district for what they say is illegally administering a survey to sixth, ninth and twelfth-grade students that ask detailed questions about their sexual behavior and attitudes, mental and psychological problems, and other personal questions without parental consent. The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, Jan. 6, with state Commissioner of Education David Hespe against the Ocean Township Board of Education. Petitioners in the law suit include Michelle Green, Jack Green IV, Danielle Sintic, Lexa Skowrenski and Christana Kmecz – all with children in the school…

Jubilant Audience Welcomes New City Mayor, Council

  Above – Coaster Photo – Asbury Park Mayor John Moor kisses his wife, Vera, following his swearing in on Jan. 1. By DON STINE Asbury Park’s new City Council, led by Mayor John Moor, came in as a unified team sworn in on New Year’s Day as the jubilant overflow crowd answered with a standing ovation. The Jan. 1 swearing-in ceremony for the Asbury Together ticket, which swept the November election, was in sharp contrast to the last swearing in which took place in July 2013 and featured 11th hour deals prompting some residents to storm out of the…

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