Red Bank Disbands Committee Studying Separate School District, But Mayor Hopes Effort Does Not Die

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - by Gail Perry

Red Bank has been exploring the possibility of creating an independent school district.  On Tuesday night, Mayor John Roberts said the exploratory committee has determined that the city does not have enough students to form a separate district, and there also was a lack of expertise in the committee that would be necessary to form a school zone.


For now, the committee was disbanded, but Mayor Roberts said he hoped that a future board of commissioners would bring it up again.

He said “I’d approve it—absolutely.” He said he felt that a smaller and local district could do a better job.   The vote was unanimous to disband the committee.


The proposal to close a section of Ashmore Avenue to motorized vehicular traffic brought a group of people who live on that street to the Red Bank Commission meeting. The section of roadway under discussion is narrow, steep and on a curve. A portion of the street is already supposed to be one way, however, according to the residents, that is largely ignored. The speed limit, which has been posted at 15 mph, is also ignored.  Cars routinely drive in both directions in the one-way zone and speed on the dangerous section of the street, residents said. Most of those speaking Thursday night were in favor of the closure. It is a street with a lot of people walking dogs and where children live and play.


Mayor John Roberts made a motion to close a portion where the road starts uphill and curves, but the motion failed to receive a second. Vice Mayor Eddie Pierce said that he did not see an overwhelming reason to close it and the other commissioners agreed.  Although blocking the road would be expected to slow traffic, it would cause a problem for emergency and public works vehicles because they would have to find a place to turn around instead of continuing around the curve and down the hill on Ashmore.


After the vote which left the road as it currently is, the concerned citizens asked the commissioners to come up with another solution. The 15 mph limit makes no difference if there is no one to monitor it, said one person who asked for police presence. Another asked for stop signs hoping to break up vehicles that are speeding. Another suggested putting three-way stop signs at several intersections. There also is an unopened easement which could be opened up to use for a turn around, said one speaker. Reassurances were given that the city is aware of the problems concerning the road and will be looking for answers.


A vote was unanimous to accept the gift of a five-acre parcel of land from the Trust for Public Land. The land is behind Ridgemont Apartments. It will become part of the overall plan for Stringers Ridge Trail that currently starts at White Oak Park. In the future, the trail will lead farther into Red Bank, said the mayor.


The council members, acting as the Red Bank Beer Board, approved an off-premise beer license for Walgreens at 4038 Dayton Blvd. The new license was needed because of the name change for the business, which formerly was Rite Aid.


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