A coming referendum in the City of Bayonne could shake things up in the Borough of Oceanport.
NewJerseyGlobe reports that Bayonne residents will decide via referendum whether appointees of the mayor must live in the City. Oceanport Mayor Jay Coffey is the appointed Corporation Counsel of Bayonne. Should the referendum succeed, which we are told is likely, Coffey would have to choose between the lucrative job and serving as mayor.
How Coffey’s successor is chosen becomes an interesting question, should he resign. In towns with partisan elections, municipal vacancies are filled by the council or township committee choosing from three candidates submitted by the County Committee of the Party that ran the office holder. Coffey, a registered Democrat, was elected as a write-in candidate. The Oceanport Democrats did not have an candidate for mayor in 2015 when Coffey unseated Republican Michael Mahon, who was unopposed on the general election ballot.
In towns that have non-partisan municipal elections, vacancies are filled by the Council who selects from citizens who apply for the position. Likewise for Board of Education vacancies. That would be a sensible solution, should the situation arise in Oceanport, but a Judge in Freehold could very well decide the question—should it occur.