Still Waiting on Ward Redistricting As November Election Deadlines Approach
Town Clerk says Board of Ward Commissioners yet to reschedule meeting canceled in October
The lines that divide Toms River into wards need to be redrawn, but the board of ward commissioners has to reschedule an October meeting to continue the debate.
Originally scheduled for Oct. 10, then rescheduled for Oct. 17 before being canceled, a board meeting to further discuss where the new ward boundaries will be has yet to be rescheduled, said Toms River Township Clerk Mark Mutter.
"I am awaiting to hear from the Election Board," Mutter said. There's been some difficulty find a date that works for everyone on the board.
Each of the four wards of Toms River have a council member they elect to represent them. After a Census is completed, the ward lines must account for any population shifts, so that the township is divided evenly into four approximately equal populated areas. That way, each council representative is speaking for a fourth of the population of Toms River.
Two possibilities for what the ward map will look like are up for debate. [Note: they are attached to this article]
How the map is drawn will effect who will vote in the November election, officials said.
The first deadline for the election is the June primary. The deadline to file a petition in the primary is April 2, according to the county clerk's office.
Officials said both the primary voting day and the general election in November will operate under a new ward map.
This November, Toms River is holding a special election due to vacancies of two council seats, wards three and four.
The seats are currently filled by appointment: Alfonso Manforti will serve Ward 4 and Jeffrey Carr will serve Ward 3 through Dec. 31. The expired terms that will be decided by the November election end Dec. 31, 2013.
At its previous meeting, two scenarios for redrawing the map were discussed.
The scenario up for debate at the meeting shows the westernmost portion of ward 3 being included into ward 2: specifically, voter district 45.
Ward 3 would gain district 37 from ward 4.
And ward 2 would gain districts 50, 36 and 60, while giving up districts 41 and 7 to ward one.
Ward one would give up districts 35 and 5 to ward two.
You can also find previously considered scenarios on the township website.