Do you have a question? Better yet, do you have an answer?

There's a few questions you'll see on your ballots this election year, from the state for everyone and depending on where you live, you'll see a question or two from your municipality.

Here are the questions on the ballots in Ocean and Monmouth Counties for the 2021 General Election.

NEW JERSEY STATE BALLOT QUESTIONS

Constitutional Question 1: A constitutional amendment to permit wagering on all college sports or athletic events.

Do you approve amending the Constitution to permit wagering through casinos and current or former horse racetracks on all college sport or athletic events? Currently, wagering is prohibited on college sport or athletic events that take place in New Jersey. Wagering is also prohibited on an event in which a team from a New Jersey college participates.

Interpretive Statement: 

Currently, the State Constitution prohibits wagering on college sport or athletic events taking place in New Jersey. It also prohibits wagering on an event in which a New Jersey college team participates. This amendment would allow the Legislature to pass laws permitting wagering on any college sport or athletic event. It would permit wagering even if a New Jersey college team participates in the competition. Such wagering would be permitted only through casinos and current or former horse racetracks.

Constitutional Question 2: A constitutional amendment to allow certain organizations authorized to conduct games of chance to use proceeds from those games to support the organization.

Do you approve amending the Constitution to permit all groups that are allowed to conduct bingo or raffles to use the net proceeds from those games to support their groups? Currently, only veterans and senior citizen groups may use the net proceeds from those games to support their groups. All other groups that are permitted to conduct bingo or raffles may only use the proceeds from those games for certain purposes. They are not permitted to use those proceeds to support their groups. The amendment would allow the other groups that conduct bingo or raffles to use the proceeds to support their groups as well.

Interpretive Statement:

The Constitution permits certain groups to conduct games of chance such as bingo or raffles. Those groups are veterans, charitable, educational, religious, fraternal, civic, and senior citizen groups; volunteer fire companies; and first-aid or rescue squads. The net proceeds from those games of chance may only be used for educational, charitable, patriotic, religious or public-spirited uses. However, veterans and senior citizen groups may also use the proceeds from those games to support their groups. This amendment would permit all of the groups authorized to conduct games of chance to use the net proceeds from conducting bingo or raffles to support their groups.

OCEAN COUNTY ELECTION BALLOT QUESTIONS

Lacey Township - Local Question No.1:

Shall the township of Lacey permit recreational cannabis operations (cultivation, processing, wholesale, distribution, retail and delivery services) within the township?

Interpretive Statement: 

The State of New Jersey legalized recreational marijuana on February 22, 2021. The enabling legislation allows municipalities to decide whether they will allow cannabis operations within their borders. Lacey Township currently prohibits recreational cannabis operations. If the referendum question passes, Lacey Township may amend its Township Code to permit recreational cannabis operations to the extent allowed under state law.

Lakewood Township - Local Question No. 1 - Lakewood Fire District 1: 

Do you authorize the Board of Fire Commissioners to expend an amount not to exceed $1,600,000.00 for the purchase of one replacement tower fire apparatus and necessary equipment to make the emergency response vehicle functional, with funding through capital appropriations and/or financing of same by the issuance of notes, bonds or execution of leases with an option to purchase agreements?

Explanatory Statement:

The districts growth and expansion over the years, along with federal and state mandated upgrades, has created the need for more technologically advanced emergency response units. The proposed purchase shall meet the needs of the residences, business and property owners within the district and legislative mandates. The proposed tower ladder fire apparatus will replace a 12-year old tower ladder fire apparatus which has become obsolete. The one fire apparatus replaced will be sold or traded in to offset the cost of the proposed procurement. The project as proposed is anticipated to have a minimal impact on the tax rate.

A Yes vote will allow it, a No vote will prevent it from happening.

Toms River Township - Local Question No. 1: 

Shall the ordinance submitted by the township council of the township of Toms River providing for an increase, effective January 1, 2022, in the special open space tax of an additional $0.01 per $100.00 of total township equalized property real property valuation be adopted?

Interpretive Statement:

If approved, the ordinance submitted by the Toms River Township Council will increase the existing special open space tax by an additional 1-cent per $100 of total township equalized real property valuation, bringing the total special open space tax to 2.5-cents per $100 of total township equalized real property valuation, effective January 1, 2022. All revenue generated by the tax must be deposited into the township's open space trust fund and may only be used for authorized purposes, which include the acquisition of land for recreation, conservation, and preservation. As an example, if the ordinance is approved, an owner of real property assessed at $100,000 would annually pay $25 into the open space trust fund.

MONMOUTH COUNTY ELECTION BALLOT QUESTIONS

Bradley Beach - Public Question 1:

Should the Borough establish a Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) for volunteer firefighters and first aid squad members who serve Bradley Beach at a cost of $1,150 for each eligible volunteer member, at an initial cost of $17,250.00?

Interpretive Statement:

Voting YES means you want the Borough to implement a Length of Service Awards Program for Firefighters and First Aid Volunteers who serve Bradley Beach, at an annual cost of $1,150 for each eligible volunteer member and at an initial cost of $17,250.00.

Voting NO means you do not want the Borough to implement a Length of Service Awards Program for Firefighters and First Aid Volunteers who serve Bradley Beach, at an annual cost of $1,150 for each eligible volunteer member and at an initial cost of $17,250.00.

Holmdel - Public Question 1:

Should Holmdel increase the levy for the existing Holmdel Open Space, Recreation, Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund, from the currently approved and implemented annual levy of two-and-one half cents per $100 of equalized valuation to three-and- one-half cents per $100 of equalized valuation, for any or all of the statutory purposes set forth in N.J.S.A. 40:12-15.7(a)?

Explanatory Statement:

In 1998, Holmdel voters approved the establishment of a Township Open Space Trust Fund, with a dedicated tax levy of $.01 per $100 of equalized valuation. In 2000, voters approved an increase in the collection rate to $.025 per $100 in equalized valuation. This referendum seeks voter approval for an increase in the dedicated tax levy by one cent to $.035 per $100 in equalized valuation. The increase would fund various purposes such as additional acquisitions of open space and improvements to open space and parkland properties.

Holmdel - Public Question 2:

Should the Township of Holmdel increase the benefits under the Emergency Services Volunteer Length of Services Award Program Act from the currently authorized amount of $1,150 per volunteer to the current maximum allowable by law for Holmdel’s program, $1,580 per volunteer, and further authorize automatic cost of living adjustments in future years?

Explanatory Statement:

In 2002, Holmdel voters approved a Length of Services Award Program (“LOSAP”), which rewards volunteer first responders from the Holmdel Township Fire Department and First Aid Squad with fixed annual contributions into a tax deferred income account. If approved, this public question would authorize an increase in the benefit from $1,150 per volunteer to the maximum benefit allowable by law for Holmdel’s program, $1,580 per volunteer, as well as automatic cost of living adjustments to the benefit amount in future years without the need for voter approval. The LOSAP Program is currently established in Holmdel Township Ordinance § 2-33 and otherwise remains unchanged by this public question. LOSAP program documents may be reviewed in the Township Clerk’s office.

Holmdel - Public Question 3:

Shall a charter commission be elected to study the charter of the Township of Holmdel and to consider a new charter or improvements in the present charter and to make recommendations thereon?

Explanatory Statement:

If approved, this public question would establish a charter study commission comprised of five individuals elected at this election to study Holmdel’s current Township Committee form of government and consider a potential new charter pursuant to the Optional Municipal Charter Law, commonly known as the Faulkner Act. If the charter study commission recommends a change in the form of Holmdel’s government, the recommendation would be submitted to Holmdel voters in a public question at a future election.

Red Bank - Public Question 1:

Shall a charter commission be elected to study the charter of the Borough of Red Bank and to consider a new charter or improvements in the present charter and to make recommendations thereon?

Freehold Regional High School District Board of Education (Colts Neck, Englishtown, Farmingdale, Freehold Boro, Freehold Twp., Howell, Manalapan, Marlboro) - Bond Proposal Question:

The Board of Education of the Freehold Regional High School District in the County of Monmouth, New Jersey is authorized (a) to repair and to replace selected roofs and to repave and to repair selected drives and parking lots at Colts Neck High School, Freehold Borough High School, Freehold Township High School, Howell High School, Manalapan High School, and Marlboro High School, including any related site work; (b) to appropriate $14,460,000 for such improvements; and (c) to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $14,460,000.

The final eligible costs for the projects approved by the New Jersey Commissioner of Education are $14,460,000 (consisting of $4,352,000 for Colts Neck High School, $588,000 for Freehold Borough High School, $3,296,000 for Freehold Township High School, $2,055,000 for Howell High School, $1,631,000 for Manalapan High School, and $2,538,000 for Marlboro High School). The projects include $0 for school facility construction elements in addition to the facilities efficiency standards developed by the Commissioner of Education or not otherwise eligible for State support pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:7G-5(g). The State debt service aid percentage will equal 40% of the annual debt service due with respect to the final eligible costs of the projects. The Board of Education is authorized to transfer funds among the projects approved at this election.

Do you approve this bond proposal question?

(Information was gathered for this article from the Ocean and Monmouth County Clerks Offices)

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