By DON STINE
With the deadline for filing to run for Asbury Park mayor and City Council a month away only two residents so far – Council members John Moor and Amy Quinn have announced their intention to run.
The deadline to file a candidacy petition for the upcoming election is Sept. 2 and the election is Nov. 4. Under the city’s change of government, all five seats are up for grabs, including the first time the mayor will be elected directly by the people. The new City Council will be seated on Jan. 1, 2015. Under the current form of government five residents were elected to council and the council members choose the mayor from among them.
Mayor Myra Campbell said she has not yet made up her mind if she will run again or form a ticket.
“I will announce around the time the petitions needs to be in but I have not decided yet,” she said.
Councilman John Loffredo and Deputy Mayor Sue Henderson also said they have not yet made a decision about the upcoming election.
“We’ve been talking about it but we have not decided anything. We have had people approach us (to be on a ticket) but we will wait and see what happens,” Loffredo said.
Henderson said she believes there is a little apprehension among voters and potential candidates over the new form of city government.
“Some people are questioning what will happen in November. But we are working on a ticket,” she said.
Moor said that he and Quinn are definitely running on the same ticket but they are not ready to announce if they are running with others yet.
“Right now it is just Quinn and Moor but we will focus on getting a full ticket,” he said.
“We are working on putting a ticket together,” Quinn said.
Joe Woerner, who ran unsuccessfully with Moor, Quinn and Campbell in the last election, said he has made no official decision about his candidacy yet.
“I am hoping to run on a ticket with others who can represent the entire city,” he said.
A recent Facebook group, called “Uniting Asbury Park The A-Team,” listed five candidates but it was ordered to be taken down, potential candidate Duanne Small said.
The Facebook listing referred to Daniel Harris III, Small, Remond Palmer, current Asbury Park school board member Kenneth Saunders, and Rosetta Johnson as candidates.
However, Harris has already announced that he will not be candidate in the upcoming election. Harris ran with the original “A-Team” in the May 2013 election.
“We are trying to put a unified ticket together in the interest of all of Asbury Park residents. We want to have a unified, broad-based message that addresses the concerns of all Asbury Park residents,” Johnson said late last week.
She said that issues like employment, jobs, crime and drugs are at the top of the list.
“We can agree that we may have differences across our platform, but there will be zero tolerance on these issues across the board,” she said.
“We are not formally announcing a ticket right now and the information posted on the Internet has been taken down,” Small said.
He said that Harris not seeking office is not the reason a five-member ticket has not been announced.
“The fifth person is not the problem and we will make it official when we are ready, maybe in about two weeks,” he said.
Small said the campaign would seek, however, to run a full five-member ticket and that it would not be just representative of the city’s West Side.
“We feel it is important to move Asbury Park forward in the right direction for everybody who lives in the city and it’s important we get the right people on the council,” he said.
Small said that whatever ticket is put together, it will focus on fighting drugs and crime.
“This in not being addressed- I see it every day. And unemployment goes hand-in-hand with crime,” he said.
Last year, by a three-to-one margin, voters decided that they want to change the city’s form of government. They voted 1,204 to 403 to seek the change, or by about 75 percent to 25 percent.
The change of government was recommended by a special Charter Study Committee, (CSC) which studied the issue, made a recommendation, and had it placed on the ballot.
Under the new government, the mayor, for the first time, is directly elected along with the four council members to four-year terms but there will be staggered elections every two years that will force either two council members, or the mayor and two council members, to run again.
Elections will remain nonpartisan but be moved from May to the November general election. Lots will be drawn when the first new council is seated to determine which members will have to run again in two years.
FOLLOW The Coaster on FACEBOOK here.