At a recent Council meeting, the issue was brought up that some areas in town do not have a representative on the council. In Brick, the Council is made up of seven members who are elected “at-large” or from any geographical area in town. There are some townships where they are voted “by ward” or voting district. This can be especially challenging when making decisions for the town because each area has different needs. Maple Leaf has a different set of issues than Princeton Ave. would, and both have different needs than Drum Point would. How can each of these areas be treated fairly in the decision-making process of the Council?
Why don’t we reshape the council to include 4 ‘By-ward’ Council people and 3 ‘at-large’? The idea seems simple enough, but how will it work?
The first step is to divide the town into 4 wards. Each ward will elect one council person from that ward. The other 3 members of the Council can be from any part of town.
There are many ways this can be done. Frequent the local coffee or pizza shops. Get a volunteer team together and do a service project once a quarter. Get the people in the community together for a block party or other event. Make yourself someone that the people can go to, to get things done. If I was not running for office, I would probably not know who the members of council were. I wouldn’t know them if they walked right past me at a store. The idea here would be that people know you, and know they have an advocate on the Township Council.
The purpose behind this is NOT that each and every issue that comes up will be brought up, but that the main issues of the area are addressed and people have more of a say in the decisions that will affect them. It will also help disseminate information more effectively and be one way that the township can be more transparent with the people of Brick. The four “by-ward” members will have more insight into the needs of their area, and the other three will be able to bring an “overall” view to the Council. These “at-large” will also help to keep a check on the “by-ward” so a person does not get elected and stay in the position for life.
More details will be worked out after election and after hearing more feedback from the people of Brick, but before this would be put into place. To implement this, it would take about two years.
Candidate for mayor