HOLMDEL – Residents of Holmdel appear to have approved a public question which asked if they wanted to create a charter study commission whose members would examine Holmdel’s current form of government and possibly recommend changes in the township’s form of government.
According to unofficial results posted online by the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office, 3,013 residents voted “yes” and 2,762 residents voted “no” on the proposal.
The election was conducted with vote by mail ballots; with early in-person voting on nine days in October; and with in-person voting on Nov. 2.
According to the clerk’s office, due to New Jersey’s vote by mail law, the mail in ballot count will continue after Election Day. The law allows mail in ballots to be received by the Board of Election up to six days after the close of the polls, provided the ballot is postmarked on Election Day.
As of Nov. 3, early voting has been processed; election night mail in ballots have been partially processed; late mail in ballots were pending and provisional ballots were pending, according to the clerk’s office.
The following question appeared on the ballot: “Shall a charter commission be elected to study the charter of Holmdel and to consider a new charter or improvements in the present charter and to make recommendations thereon?”
Holmdel currently operates under the Township Committee form of government. There are five members of the committee, all of whom are elected at large and generally identified by their affiliation with a political party (i.e., Democrat or Republican).
Holmdel’s mayor is not directly elected by voters, as is the case in municipalities that operate under a different form of government.
Instead, each January, the five members of the Township Committee elect one individual who sits on the governing body to serve as mayor for the year. The mayor runs the Township Committee meetings.
The ballot question before residents did not state that Holmdel will change its current form of government if the ballot question was approved by a majority of voters.
The question asked voters if a commission should study Holmdel’s charter and consider a new charter or improvements in the present charter.
One option could be a change to a nonpartisan form of government in which candidates seeking elected office would not run under the banner of a political party (i.e., Democrat or Republican).
It the results hold, a charter study commission comprised of five individuals will be created to study Holmdel’s current Township Committee form of government and to consider a potential new charter.
Adult residents of Holmdel were eligible to file a petition to run for a seat on the five-member charter study commission.
Five residents filed petitions to serve on the commission: Those residents were Janet M. Berk, Gerald Buffalino, Kin Gee, C. Zachary Gilstein and William Kastning.
According to the results posted online, Berk received 3,249 votes, Buffalino received 3,129 votes, Gee received 3,125 votes, Gilstein received 3,022 votes and Kastning received 3,005 votes.
If, after studying the matter over several months, the members of the charter study commission recommend a change in Holmdel’s form or government, the recommendation would be submitted to voters in a public question at a future election, according to an ordinance adopted by the Township Committee.