Red Bank voters will have 11 candidates to choose from when they elect a five-member charter study commission November 2.
Here’s what candidate Scott Broschart had to say in response to a questionnaire sent to all contenders by redbankgreen.
Address: E Bergen Place
Length of residence in town: 8 Years (7+ years on Hudson Ave, <1 year on E. Bergen Pl.)
Is Red Bank’s present form of government problematic?
For starters, it’s extremely dated. Our current form of government was established when our municipal government was concerned about regulating things like:
Tying of horses to trees
Sales of fruit on the street
As absurd as they sound, they were some of the primary focuses of our elected officials when our current form of government was established. Now here we are in a rapidly changing digital age, still operating the borough as if horses are still the primary form of transportation.
In 2018, the borough commissioned an official report to assess how well our current government is being run. I encourage anyone questioning whether or not our current form of government is problematic to read that report. Page two alone is pretty damning. (http://www.redbanknj.org/DocumentCenter/View/3938/2018-Management-Enhancement-Review-PDF)
So to circle back to the initial question; yes, I think it’s problematic and it needs to be addressed.
What would you bring to the table as a commission member?
I recently came across a quote by Deepak Chopra that I think is very applicable here, “all great changes are preceded by chaos.”
In the last five years, what we have witnessed in Red Bank government is nothing short of chaos – uncontested elections, confidential emails being leaked, municipal employees being fired at midnight on New Year’s Eve, municipal employees quitting, municipal buildings falling apart, municipal contracts being sabotaged, the list goes on and on.
None of this is healthy, and it needs to change.
As a Charter Study Commissioner, I would bring an open mind towards change. I’d bring a commitment to take an educated look at all available forms of government and work with experts in the field to help find the right form of government for our borough.
For over a year now, I led the Red Bank First petition drive, seeking to change Red Bank to a non-partisan form of government. I still favor a non-partisan form of government for our borough. That has not changed. What has changed is that I think we need to make a more informed decision on the additional details on a future form of government. These details are extremely vital and where I think bringing in experts will help provide us with a clear path towards building a modern government.
Should we have a strong mayor vs. strong administrator? Should we have five council seats or seven? Should we have representation through wards? Do we need elections every year? These are some of the many important decisions that needed to be guided by input from experts.
I am confident that the bipartisan group of residents I am running with; Nancy Facey-Blackwood, Ben Forest, Mark Taylor & Kate Okeson share many of the same values and are committed to making an informed, educational decision to one of the most important decisions facing Red Bank in the last century.
***** ELECTION GUIDE *****
• The election of the five-member charter study commission is on the ballot along with a referendum on whether the five-member commission should be formed to review Red Bank’s 113-year-old form of government.
Here’s the specific wording of the public question:
Shall a charter commission be elected to study the charter of the Borough of Red Bank and to consider a new charter or improvements in the present charter and to make recommendations thereon?
If the referendum passes, the commission’s eventual recommendation to the council could lead to change in the form of government used by Red Bank since 1908.
If the referendum fails, the election of the commissioners would be moot. Voters may choose candidates even if they vote ‘no’ on the question about the charter study.
• Find the Red Bank ballot here.
• For information on the various ways to cast your vote, check out this article. It includes information on mail-in ballots and early, in-person voting, which begins October 23.
Information about election-related deadlines is here.
• Monmouth County election offices (300 Halls Mill Road, Freehold Township) will offer extended hours to allow voters to apply for and drop off vote-by-mail ballots. The offices will be open on Friday, October 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, October 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• In-person, election day voting will take place at the polling stations shown below. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Note that in-person, election day voting for residents of the 1st and 8th districts will take place at borough hall (90 Monmouth Street).
• Finally, here’s a video on using Monmouth County’s new digital voting machines, which employ touchscreen technology familiar to users of smartphones and tablets:
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