Red Bank officials expand scope of human relations committee


RED BANK — The members of the Red Bank Borough Council have adopted an ordinance that amends the Human Relations Advisory Committee article of the borough code and changes the name of the committee to the Community Engagement and Equity Advisory Committee.

According to the ordinance, which was adopted on Nov. 9, the advisory committee recommends programs of formal and informal education to the mayor and Borough Council that are intended to forward the elimination of discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry and age.

The ordinance adds that the advisory committee also seeks to eliminate discrimination toward religion, gender, social and economic status, physical and intellectual disabilities, political belief, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The ordinance adds a section which states that the Community Engagement and Equity Advisory Committee will work to increase trust between community members by offering residents more opportunities to interact with one another and explore additional options for residents to be seen and heard by local government in an effort to help them better understand local government initiatives.

According to the committee’s page on the borough’s website, the current members of the panel are Pat Pinto, David Pascale, John Paul Nicolaides, John Jackson, Diem Jones, Kali (Carlos) Carita and Borough Council representative Councilwoman Jacqueline Sturdivant.

The page states that the mission of the advisory committee “is to create and foster programming and practices that make our community more egalitarian, welcoming, inclusive, safe and productive for our residents, our local businesses, visitors and the surrounding communities.”

The advisory committee has adopted the following diversity statement: “Diversity, when it is accepted and respected, is a tremendous strength and asset for any community. It encompasses an understanding that each individual is unique and valuable to the welfare of the community.

“It recognizes and celebrates the differences amongst individuals, and capitalizes on the strengths resulting from these differences. Diversity works best when a community explores these differences in a safe, positive and nurturing environment.

“The Human Relations Advisory Committee of Red Bank, in an effort to set an example for inclusivity, adopts the broadest definition of diversity with the following statement: ‘The dimensions of diversity shall include, but are not limited to the following: race, ethnicity, persons of faith and non-believers, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity, disability, socioeconomic status, cultural orientation, physical abilities, political beliefs, age, and national origin and status.’ ”

The advisory committee was created in 1993.

According to the web page, any resident of Red Bank who believes he or she has been harassed, intimidated or discriminated against because of their race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, and/or veteran status should contact the advisory committee.

The advisory committee will handle the individual’s incident confidentially to the extent possible. It will investigate the situation and make recommendations to the mayor and Borough Council.

In other business, the council members confirmed the appointment of James McGee as a part-time parking enforcement/Class I special law enforcement officer, effective Oct. 16. The hourly rate for the position $16.

Class I special law enforcement officers are authorized to perform routine traffic detail, spectator control and similar duties, according to Red Bank’s municipal code. Class I officers have the authority to issue summonses for disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses, and for violations of municipal ordinances.

The use of a firearm by Class I officers is prohibited and Class I officers are not assigned any duties that may require the carrying or use of a firearm. No more than three Class I special law enforcement officers may be appointed by the governing body, according to Red Bank’s municipal code.