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Menna, Triggiano, Yassin sworn in to complete all-Democratic government in Red Bank

Democrats Pasquale Menna, Kate Triggiano and Hazim Yassin have been sworn in as municipal officials in Red Bank to complete an all-Democratic governing body.

Menna was re-elected mayor and Triggiano and Yassin were elected to their first terms on the Borough Council in the Nov. 6 election.

During Red Bank’s annual reorganization meeting on Jan. 1, Menna took the oath of office and began serving a new four-year term as mayor. Susan Davis Wigenton, United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey, administered the oath of office to Menna. 

Menna ran for re-election in uncontested races in 2010 and 2014. In 2018, he defeated Republican Pearl Lee to claim the mayor’s post once again.

Triggiano and Yassin began serving three-year terms. Former state Assemblyman John Wisniewski administered the oath of office to Triggiano and state Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling administered the oath of office to Yassin.

Menna welcomed Triggiano and Yassin to the dias and asked the new members of the council to address the public.

Triggiano thanked her neighbors for showing their support as she was sworn into office, saying, “You are really what drove me to care about our town so much. I promise I will always be accessible and transparent. Most of you know where I live, you can come knock on my door. I look forward to serving all of you.”

In his remarks, Yassin said, “I really appreciate the support this town has shown me … One thing I take from my faith that I plan to apply is my concept that leadership is more about responsibility. We as a council are responsible to you as residents and constituents and I hope I can live up to your standards.”

After taking their seats on the dais, Triggiano and Yassin participated in their first vote and helped to elect Councilman Erik Yngstrom as the council president for 2019.

The other members of the council are Michael Ballard, Kathy Horgan and Ed Zipprich. Zipprich served as the council president in 2018.

In his remarks, Menna reflected on the first review of Red Bank’s municipal services that was conducted by Government Strategy Group in 2018.

Moving forward, Menna said, “This was the first time any governing body in this municipality had the courage and the initiative to look at everything since we were created in 1907 and actually have a plan as to where we are going in the future.”

The consulting firm recommended “a multi-pronged consolidation and reorganization of the borough’s governmental services.”

“As a result of that report,” Menna continued, “we actually have either perfected or are in the process of perfecting roughly 35 or so of the different recommendations made to catapult this municipality.

“… The genesis of those recommendations is that we needed a strong, creative, intelligent focus at Borough Hall. We have that in our business administrator,” he said.

Ziad Shehady was hired as Red Bank’s business administrator in May 2018, the same month Government Strategy Group released its review of the borough to elected officials.

Menna said there is “vital and healthy growth” in the municipality, which he said is beneficial to economic prosperity in Red Bank. He said millions of dollars are being used by Saxon Property Development to help restore historic properties in the downtown district.

Menna thanked council members for adopting an ordinance that details a redevelopment plan proposing the construction of apartments at 176 Riverside Ave.

The development of the apartments would satisfy a portion of Red Bank’s state mandated obligation to provide opportunities for the development of affordable housing, officials said.

Menna also thanked members of the Red Bank Police Department, fire companies and first aid squad for their continued service as emergency responders.

Finally, the mayor described the nature of implementing a Shop Red Bank program.

“It is my hope that in the next month or so, we will be able to roll out (a plan) for the council to adopt a Shop Red Bank program,” Menna said.

He said Shop Red Bank would provide an incentive for individuals who own property in town to earn credit on their property tax bill by patronizing businesses that participate in the program. Similar initiatives aimed at getting people to support local businesses are in place in several other Monmouth County communities.

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