Beck, O’Scanlon to set up shop on Monmouth St.

Council amends ordinance to allow gov’t offices


RED BANK- Apair of legislators with local roots are set to relocate their offices to the streets of Red Bank.

New Jersey state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R- 12) and stateAssemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-12) are moving their District 12 legislative offices to the third floor of 32 Monmouth St.

TheMonmouth Street location is the old home of the borough municipal building and is next door to the longtime Red Bank landmark, the Dublin House.

“Beck lives in Red Bank, and Declan lives in Little Silver and works in Red Bank, so for ease of commute for the two legislators we decided to have an office in the eastern portion of the district,” said 12th Legislative District spokesman Tom Fitzsimmons.

Beck andO’Scanlon have other close ties to the area, since both are former council members on their respective borough councils. Beck was a former Red Bank councilwoman andO’Scanlon a former Little Silver councilman.

Before themove, the Red Bank Borough Council has to amend a subsection of the planning and development regulations to allow government offices to be located on Monmouth Street.

“We took out government offices on Monmouth Street, which as far as I’m concerned made no sense, since that was [where] our government office [was located],” saidMayor PasqualeMenna at the Red Bank council meeting last week.

He said there were two reasons council members should vote to amend the regulations.

“Number one, we would want to encourage our public to have access to government, and what better way to do it than to put them [government offices] right in the middle where most of the public comes to. Number two, this would not be a not-forprofit or tax exempt. It makes landlords hopefully get a good tenant, which serves the public, and we don’t lose any money in the process.”

The ordinance was introduced at the Jan. 14 council meeting and it defines the term business office and what types of offices are included in that category.

“Business Office shall mean a business establishment which does not offer a product or merchandise for sale to the public, but offers or provides a service primarily administrative or clerical in nature,” the ordinance reads.

One type of office that is specifically listed in the ordinance includes “Legislative District Offices for any State or Federal elective office,” such as the office for Beck and O’Scanlon.

“For some odd reason, the zoning ordinance forbade government offices [onMonmouth Street] which I think was originally probably designed to avoid high-traffic motor vehicles, Social Security offices,” said Fitzsimmons.

He added, “MayorMennawas very helpful and amenable in agreeing to rectify that situation. This is not going to be a high-traffic office.”

New Jersey stateAssemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-12) will be manning a satellite office on Main Street in Freehold in the western portion of the district, since she resides in Colts Neck, according to Fitzsimmons.

O’Scanlon is also making headlines for his appointment to the Assembly Budget Committee on Jan. 14.

“I am thrilled and humbled by this opportunity to serve on the Assembly Budget Committee,” said O’Scanlon in a press release. “I realize that this is quite an honor for a freshman assemblyman.”

According to Fitzsimmons, for a newlegislator to be put on the budget committee at any point is a high honor, but that it’s especially pertinent at this time with the state facing a fiscal crisis.

“It’s a big deal that the 12th District will have a voice in the fiscal future of our state,” said Fitzsimmons.

O’Scanlonwas also appointed to theMilitary and Veterans Affairs committee.

Beck’s state Senate appointments include the Judiciary, State Government and Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation committees, said Fitzsimmons.

Casagrande’s Assembly appointments include the Judiciary and State Government committees.