On the ballot November 2: charter study commission candidate John Gosden. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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 John Gosden had to say in response to a questionnaire sent to all contenders by redbankgreen.

John Gosden

Age: 58

Address: 43 Harrison Avenue, Red Bank
Length of residence in town: 22 Years
Is Red Bank’s present form of government problematic? Please explain your answer: 
 Yes. It was stated in the 2018 Management Enhancement Report of Red Bank’s Government that also recommended the Charter Study Commission. This scathing but thorough report will be a good guide for the Charter Study commission to review what has and has not changed since. Changing our antiquated weak Mayor form of Government was highly recommended. I believe we can only accomplish this by choosing a new Government provided by the Faulkner Act that includes Nonpartisan elections. Currently, most of our elected officials are chosen by the local party chairs and go uncontested in most primary elections with very little voter turnout.
By doing away with the closed primaries where one is chosen and/or has to Bend a Knee to the D’s or the R’s it will make it easier for any resident to get on the ballot and campaign on local issues. This will result in more competitive elections with higher turnouts because more people will have the opportunity to vote on the candidates and right from the start. More competitive elections where elected officials are competing for the votes of the people and not the blessings of party chairs will result in better government. We do not need to bring divisive national politics into local elections.
In addition, I would like to propose that we have Campaign contributions limited to a bare minimum for each candidate. We don’t want a secret party endorsement or someone coming along just throwing money into a small local campaign. It should be easy for any resident to run and compete in a local election regardless of wealth or connections.
This may mean that we have to ask our state government for a special provision but something I believe will be well worth the effort.
What would you bring to the table as a commission member? 
What I will not be bringing to the table is any local party relationships or affiliations.
I graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst as a Political Science major. I currently have my own business in Educational Sales. I served on the Red Bank Library Board for four years. Most of all my wife and I have chosen Red Bank as our home and the place where we raised our family. I’ve been through and have seen a lot in Red Bank. I’m doing this because I love this town and I think it can only get better.
I will bring my own independent unbiased opinion as a 22 year resident of Red Bank. I  think this is important in helping to make sure that our new government is one that favors the people and not the parties.
Here are redbankgreen‘s Q&As with the other charter study commission candidates:

***** 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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