Home Government Elections Brick Mayoral Candidate Proposes Splitting Town Into ‘Wards’ for Elections

Brick Mayoral Candidate Proposes Splitting Town Into ‘Wards’ for Elections

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The Brick Township municipal complex. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
The Brick Township municipal complex. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

An independent candidate for Brick Township mayor has proposed modifying the municipal electoral system so that the town is split into four wards, each of which would directly elect a council member from their part of town.

The move has not gained favor with either the Republican or Democratic candidates.

Robbert Canfield, the independent candidate, said his proposal would help residents express concerns since they would have a designated representative on the council. As it currently stands, seven members are elected to the council at-large, regardless of where they live in town. Under Canfield’s proposal, three at-large council members would remain and the other four seats would be split into wards. Toms River currently uses a partial ward system for its municipal council.

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“I feel like sometimes there’s not enough representation going on,” said Canfield, expressing, for example that Lake Riviera residents likely wouldn’t share the same concerns as Herbertsville or barrier island residents. “People feel there is no one on their side, so to speak, and they have to show up en masse.”

Mayor John Ducey said implementing a ward system could prove an “interesting, but expensive endeavor, and under the current system varying parts of town are already represented.

“Nobody has really been clamoring for something like this,” he said. “On the current council, every seat is opened up to every resident.

There are members of council who live in Herbertsville, off Princeton Avenue, near Drum Point Road and one barrier island resident currently serving, just to name a few. Ducey said the idea is an “interesting” one, but comes with its pitfalls.

Ruthanne Scaturro, Ducey’s GOP mayoral challenger, said the idea would merit “serious consideration,” but also said she has heard negative feedback on the ward system from Toms River residents.

“I’ve spoken to Toms River people many times and they often regret doing that. It individualizes certain areas, and I don’t think you want to do that,” Scaturro said. “It causes some infighting – my ward needs this and my ward needs that – so you get some of that.”

Canfield said the idea is worth implementing.

“You’d have someone you can go to – someone who knows the problems and can bring that voice with them,” he said. “It’s about representation and advocacy.”


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  • Stephen Brill

    Similar to what I asked for at the last Council Meeting!

    • Rob

      I was there and I thank you for the inspiration! I’ve noticed a couple others who said the same thing indirectly as well.

    • Nan

      It is too late to get it on a ballot. It is not too late to mobilize the voters to the corruption of process and get an arena for our voice.

      We must demand Town Hall Meetings at which the Public control the agenda not a lying official.

      We have to start. Let us all assemble at the Council meeting and begin to stress We the People are supposed to control, the Chair of the Meeting is not supposed to respond to comments we make. The Mayor is an invited guest and should only respond and quote statutory reasons in what he says. Let us assert it is the township who most represents us. If what we question or need rests in a higher statuary authority i.e., Freeholders; State; State Agency e.g., the Turnpike Authority the Council should insist a Representative attend a Town Hall meeting and answer in depth.

  • Andy Pat

    Put it on the ballot as a question. Let the public weigh in on whether to even explore. If they say yes, explore and discuss the pros and cons. If they say no, end of discussion.

    • Rob

      That would be a fair idea.

  • Chief Wahoo

    Look at all the sheep who need leaders to lead them to nowhere.

    • Let’s Roll

      The leaders are leading the sheep over a cliff.