Taxpayers of Red Bank need to take control

If there were ever any doubt that the residents and citizen taxpayers of Red Bank have been abused by the party in control of Red Bank over the last 18 years, you need only look at the soaring property tax bills and costs we suffer while over development-related expenses continue unabated. While this is obvious to most of us in Red Bank, less obvious is how poorly our assets and tax dollars have been handled by the McKennacrats.

While real estate prices have soared in Monmouth County and Red Bank over those 18 years, our borough of Red Bank properties seem to have been subject to the “buy high” and “sell low” method of “how to lose money in real estate” program.

By way of example, our Borough Hall property at 90 Monmouth St. was purchased for $800,000 during the real estate crash in 1990 and the building was arguably worthless. After spending about $5 million more than originally estimated, the taxpayers have been left with a hefty mortgage on a municipal building that many of us were led to believe was going to cost far less.

About 10 years later, after real estate had recovered and was rising substantially, we sold both our old Borough Hall at 32 Monmouth St. and our old police station and courthouse at 51 Monmouth St. for a total of only $330,551. Incredibly, 51 Monmouth St. was sold for only $1!

Since the $1 deed was signed on July 18, 2000, (by then Councilman Pat Menna), the new owner of the property has paid zero property taxes. That property is currently assessed at $1,864,900 and remains tax-exempt. This same property was recently offered for sale for $2,550,000.

The corporation that received title to our former building has Ed McKenna, 229 Broad St., Red Bank, listed as its vice president on the N.J. State Business Entity Status Report.

Another example of poor real estate management is ordinance No. 2006-23, which gave away borough property rights to a developer. The borough received no consideration for that giveaway. Arguably, that borough lot is far less valuable and useable now than it was before the developer freebie.

If this is how the Red Bank Democrats treat our borough property, it is no wonder that property taxes and the costs of living go up, while our property values take a roller coaster ride.

The Red Bank voters must take control of Red Bank. They must get involved with and support Councilwoman Mary Grace Cangemi and John Tyler on Election Day or expect more of the same.
Bill Meyer
Red Bank