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RED BANK: CHARTER RACE SET

red-bank-052721-borough-hall-500x332-9720392On the ballot in November: whether to review Red Bank’s form of government, and who should do it. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

election-2021-220x189-5394649It’s official: Red Bank voters will have 11 candidates to choose from when they elect a five-member charter study commission in November.

Also on the ballot: a referendum on whether the study itself should be conducted.

As of the filing deadline Friday afternoon, 11 candidates submitted petitions with at least 100 signatures of adult residents, borough Clerk Pam Borghi said.

Borghi said she is going through the signatures and will be certifying the petitions for forwarding to the Monmouth County Clerk for inclusion on the November 2 ballot.

Among the contenders are a two former Red Bank council members; a former Fair Haven council member; and chairpersons of two borough committees.

Under a charter study referendum approved by the borough council in May, voters will be asked if a five-member commission should be formed to review the borough’s 113-year-old form of government, and if so, who should serve on it.

If the first question fails, the election of the commissioners would be moot, Borghi said. But if it passes, as expected, the commission’s eventual recommendation to the council could lead to change in the form of government used by Red Bank since it broke off from Shrewsbury Township in 1908: the “borough” model, under which the six-member council has both legislative and executive power and the mayor votes only to break ties.

Based on the experiences of other New Jersey towns that have revamped their models, the group’s findings also might usher in nonpartisan elections, potentially blunting the Democratic party’s 30-year dominance of Red Bank government.

Voters may choose candidates even if they vote ‘no’ on the question about the charter study.

The candidates are:

Scott Broschart, of East Bergen Place.

Michael DuPont, of South Street, former three-term council member.

Nancy Facey-Blackwood, of Chestnut Street, chairperson of the Environmental Commission.

Ben Forest, of Locust Avenue, a member of the borough board of education.

• Jesse Garrison, of Shrewsbury Avenue, a former zoning board member.

• John Gosden, of Harrison Avenue.

• Aimee Humphreys, of West Lake Road, a former Fair Haven resident who served a term on its council.

• John Jackson, of East Bergen Place.

Kate Okeson, of Chapin Avenue, chairperson of the Human Relations Commission,

Mark Taylor, of Tilton Avenue, a former one-term council member.

• Thomas R. Wieczerzak, of Oakland Street.

Though voters may select candidates individually, five candidates are running as a slate: Broschart, Facey-Blackwood, Forest, Okeson and Taylor.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
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