Red Bank city commissioners couldn't agree on two key items tonight — the appointment of a commissioner to the vacant District 3 seat and the first reading of the 2015 budget.
Four applicants were nominated by the commission, but when it came down to a vote, commissioners deadlocked each time. Mayor John Roberts and Commissioner Eddie Pierce voting on one side and Vice Mayor Floy Pierce and Commissioner Rick Causer on the other.
When they got to the first reading of the budget, Vice Mayor Pierce and Causer both had an issue with passing a budget that was not finalized.
Roberts said the commission must pass a budget by June 30. In previous years, he said commissioners have approved unfinished budgets on first reading as a formality, then have voted on the finished product on second reading.
Roberts pointed out that if commissioners tabled the budget, they would have to have a called budget meeting later this month.
The budget failed on first reading.
Vice Mayor Pierce made a motion to table the budget until June 17 to give more time to finalize the budge. Causer seconded the motion, which passed.
The next budget workshop is scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Red Bank City Hall.
Several Red Bank citizens then spoke up, suggesting that the inability of the commission to come to a consensus on the budget is a good reason for why they need to be quick about appointing someone to the vacant seat.
Because commissioners have been unable to fill the vacant seat, the city will hold a special election, which is expected to cost at least $10,000. A date has not yet been set.
Two of the applicants for the vacant commission seat announced at the end of the meeting their intent to run for the seat: Ed LeCompte and Jon Baker.