Red Bank Deserves Better Than Partisan Politics

We are Residents For a Non-Partisan Red Bank and we need your help collecting signatures!

Thank you for your support.

About Us

We are residents for a non-partisan Red Bank, and we're working to change Red Bank to a non-partisan form of government, similar to Tinton Falls, Asbury Park, Long Branch and Ocean Township. 

What We're Working to Accomplish

By changing Red Bank to a non-partisan Mayor-Council form of government.

People Over Party

Simply put, we need elected officials focused on local issues, not divisive issues from Washington and Trenton.


Red Bank will elect candidates for council and mayor on a non-partisan basis. On the ballot, voters will choose from candidate names, rather than columns of Democrats and Republicans. This non-partisan system will help encourage bipartisanship, and reduce the influence of un-elected political bosses that currently control the Democratic and Republican political party nominating processes.

To Bring Out The Best In Our Elected Officials

Partisan politics have cause our elected officials to vote by putting their party ahead of the people of Red Bank.


By eliminating partisan elections,  our council-members will begin to vote on what they believe in, NOT what is being forced on them by partisan party leaders or county political bosses..


We're optimistic that we will see people from both parties, as well as unaffiliated, running for office on the same slate.

Put The Issues First

Property taxes, water and sewer bills, public safety, improving our parks, our downtown, potholes, parking, garbage pickup, repairing sidewalks, traffic, infrastructure; the list of issues facing Red Bank is a lengthy one.


By switching to a non-partisan government, we can keep the focus on the issues, and not the partisan personal attacks that have defined local politics lately.


"There is no Republican or Democrat way to pick up the garbage. At the end of the day, people want potholes filled, their streets plowed when it snows and their rubbish picked up."

Fiorello H. La Guardia
Mayor, New York City 1934 - 1945

Why Change Red Bank's Form of Government?

Here are four quick reasons why.

1


OUR CURRENT FORM OF GOVERNMENT IS DATED... VERY DATED

http://redbankfirst.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Petition_Instructions.pdf​​​Red Bank's current borough form of government is one of the oldest forms of government in New Jersey. The borough form was introduced introduced in the 1880's-1890's & reflects the values of that era. When Red Bank incorporated in 1908 it took this form of government. 


In its current form, our government in Red Bank is antiquated and the least inclusive or least democratic form of government in New Jersey. 


The Faulkner Act of 1950 gave New Jersey municipalities more options than the original form of government. Nearly 1/4th of all New Jersey municipalities are currently represented by a "Faulknerized" municipal government.

2


RESIDENTS ARE POWERLESS

Under our current form of government, the residents have little to no power of referendum or recall, as well as restricted access to their local government. We're also beholden to partisanship, which brings us to our next point.

3


PARTISAN POLITICS MUST STOP

Partisan gridlock has prevented Red Bank from progressing. 


Sadly, political affiliation is the driving factor in how our elected officials vote nearly all of the time. These lines should not exist


We expect our elected officials to vote with their heart, not their party line!

4


RAISE THE TALENT LEVEL

In our current form of government, qualified unaffiliated candidates are essentially discouraged to run for office.  Any candidate running for office who wants a realistic shot at getting elected, will have to declare themselves a Republican or Democrat and kiss the ring of their respective party bosses. 


Historically, our Mayor & Council have been controlled by the Democrat party.  This puts the power of who is controlling our Borough in the hands of one person; the Chairman of the Red Bank Democrat Party.


Forcing candidates to run on a national party line discourages a vast majority of Red Bank residents from seeking elected office here in Red Bank. Currently, a majority of registered voters in town are unaffiliated. Those independent residents currently must choose a party to have a realistic shot at winning.


By eliminating party barriers, more qualified people will be encouraged to run for office, raising the bar of our Council, and further encouraging professionals, not politicians to run for elected office.

“Do I support non-partisan in Red Bank? Yes, but I also support it in Middletown. In fact, I support non-partisan in all towns. It’s a better system."

​Senator Vin Gopal
NJ 11th District (D)

January 25, 2018

The Plan

MAYOR-COUNCIL WITH A 7 PERSON COUNCIL AND RUN-OFFS


The Faulkner Act gives us residents multiple options to choose from as far as what type of government they'd like to switch to.


We propose that Red Bank switch to a Mayor-Council form of government with a seven member council and non-partisan elections held in May. 


Red Bank’s council will grow from six to seven members. This increase in membership will help ensure that the council has a greater diversity of viewpoints, which is essential in a community as diverse as Red Bank. It will also ensure, that every current elected official has an opportunity to run for their seat.


Lastly, we feel Red Bank will better served with a run-off. This will prevent a candidate who does not receive the majority of votes from being elected to office. The run-off election will occur 5-6 weeks after the election and will ensure that candidates get over 50% of the vote.

How we chose this plan.


We have spent several months speaking to residents about our vision for a non-partisan Red Bank. We realize that making the switch to non-partisan May elections is a big change for our town and we have done our due diligence in choosing a plan that will best serve our great borough going forward.


The Mayor-Council plan will give us:

  1. Added voices on the council. This will help ensure that makeup of the council matches the diversity of Red Bank, enabling all viewpoints to be heard.
  2. A mayor who serves as the executive branch, separate from the council. This makes for an effective mayor by giving him the authority to appoint department heads. It also holds him/her accountable with a firm system of check and balances from the council. Currently, the mayor only is only ceremonial and serves as a tie-breaking vote. 
  3. A more inclusive government, with recall and initiative power given to the residents


For more information, please visit the NJ League of Municipalities

“The past several years have proven that our democracy strains under divisive partisanship. It's not an effective way t​​​​o truly serve constituents, and Americans are worse off for it."

Mayor Pasquale "Pat" Menna
Red Bank (D)

As quoted in endorsing Josh Welle for Congress

February 20, 2018

The Process

We need to collect 1,287 signatures of register voters in Red Bank. This number is based on 20% of the 6,433 voters who were registered as of the last election.


Collecting these signatures will force this issue to a referendum vote where Red Bank residents will have to vote either for or against changing our current form of government. This will be decided on by the voters, not by the politicians or committees. 


After the voters vote yes on a referendum vote, we will begin our non-partisan elections in May 2019, with the Mayor and all seven Council seats on the ballot. The Council seats will be elected in staggered terms so that all seven members, plus the mayor are not all up for re-election in the same election.


We know this is a long process. Getting so many signatures will take a large effort, but we're committed to changing how Red Bank does business.

Thank you for your support!

"Even better, you can have bipartisan coalitions forming tickets... So you can actually get people working together for the good of the town, reducing the partisan political maneuvering every year for the elections."


Dan Jacobson

Editor, Tri-City News
January 25, 2018

What the Status Quo Is Saying


The party bosses and status quo of Red Bank will fight this change kicking and screaming. They will attack this plan in the stages outlined below. 

1 - "This is nothing more than sour grapes from the Republicans who are no longer in control."

False. It's political statements like these that we're trying to end in Red Bank. We're working to end divisive politics in town. To bring diverse people together. Statements like the above do nothing but divide us.


We need people over party. Progress over political affiliation! No more partisan political posturing from either party!

2 - "Non-partisan is great. Just as long as every town goes non-partisan."

A textbook partisan political statement.


The status quo politicians are openly admitting that non-partisan is a better system. Instead of openly endorsing the plan, they've chosen to take the cowardly approach in that they will only support non-partisan if it's applied in all towns. Once again, our elected officials are not putting Red Bank first! They are more concerned with issuing a feel good statement then they are about good government.


The question we ask to these status quo politicians, why not put Red Bank first and openly endorse a non-partisan plan you feel is great?

Press

Even before formally kicking off Red Bank First, the calls to reform Red Bank's government and switch to non-partisan elections have been growing. Below are a collection of press mentioning the move to change Red Bank to non-partisan.

Get Involved

Are you convinced that we need to change the government in Red Bank? If so, we need your help! The two main ways you can help are by signing the petition or helping us collect signatures.


Every signature counts! Even if you just get a few of your neighbors to sign, it will go a long way.



Download the Petition


The best way you can help Red Bank First is by being a petition circulator, gathering signatures of your friends and neighbors.

Petitions can be mailed or returned to 15 Hudson Ave or 159 Bridge Ave, Red Bank, NJ.


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Paid for by Residents for Non-Partisan Red Bank