Skip to content

No More Appointed Incumbents, Please

With Jennifer Nicolay’s election this month to a full council term it occurs to me that two of our four councilmen, Ms. Nicolay, and Brian Magovern, (two of the three Democrats) were able to run in their first elections as appointed incumbents.  Considering the great advantage that incumbent candidates enjoy, it just seems to me to be sort of anti-democratic for someone who was not elected in their own right to enter into their first electoral contest as an incumbent.

Additionally, the ability to fill a vacancy by appointing a person who can then run for re-election as an incumbent gives too much power to the parties.  Theoretically, a party, once winning a seat, could make sure that every time that seat is up for a vote that a member of it’s party is the incumbent.  If an incumbent member of that party decides not to run for re-election, they could be asked to resign before their term ends.  Then the party could appoint an aspirant to the seat, and whala!, that coming election will still have an incumbent from that party, even though the actual incumbent declined to seek re-election.

Since I moved to Belmar nearly twenty years ago, no incumbent has ever been turned out of office.

I propose that in the future, nobody who is appointed to fill an unexpired term for any political post in Belmar be permitted to run for that post in the following election.  Anyone who is appointed should act in the role of a caretaker and not have ambitions to retain that post for a full term.

In the interest of fair elections here in Belmar, when an incumbent decides not to seek re-election, their seat should be wide open and not be considered the property of one party or the other.


One Comment

  1. Tom Burke wrote:

    Oh how timely this comment may be. My speculation would be that this is exactly what is, and now maybe was planned to occur in January. Maybe you are a visionary David. I agree that this type of activity just seems wrong. We in Belmar do need diversification.

    Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 6:39 am | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.