Taking a look at the roles of local elected positions

November 2, 2020


Infographic by Emily Boyle and Tomer Goldfinger

The candidates for various local elections.

Although the term “election” is now often associated with Presidential or Gubernatorial candidates, recognizing its importance on the local level is vital as well. On today’s ballot, if you are a Cherry Hill resident, not only will you see a ballot for the Senate and House of Representatives, but also the Surrogate, three Members of Board of Chosen Freeholders, and a Member of Council. These terms might not seem as familiar as the others.
A Surrogate Court monitors disciplines related to wills, debilitated people, and the guardianship of minors. The court often oversees anything related to life and death, so they need to have a steady hand when addressing difficult topics. The current position holder is Surrogate Michelle Gentek-Mayer, who is seeking reelection this year. To add, the court addresses marital issues and handles public records.
Surrogate Gentek-Mayer, from the Democratic Party, is going up against Kimberley Stuart, from the Republican Party. Despite their political positions, each woman is ultimately going to have to watch over the personal lives of the residents of Camden County and help them remove their adversities.
Next on the ballot is a Member of the Board of Chosen Freeholder for an unexpired term. A Member of the Board of Chosen Freeholder has a duty to improve the quality of life in their respective counties, in this case, Camden County. The Members up for this election are Nicole Nance and Almar Dyer, who will attend monthly meetings discussing their responsibilities. The official Camden County website defines their responsibilities as discussing the distribution of their budget between “law enforcement, welfare, education, roads, and economic development.”
To add onto this, there is another ballot of two Members of the Board of Chosen Freeholder, with an expired term as opposed to the ones above. These two members will fulfill the same duties listed previously. The candidates up for election are Jennifer Moore vs. the current director of the board Louis Cappelli Jr. and Johanna Scheetss vs current member Jonathan L. Young Sr.
Next, the Member of Council is having an election. Like the first Member of the Board of Chosen Freeholder, there is an unexpired term between Nancy Feller O’Dowd and current councilman William A. Carter III. This only pertains to Cherry Hill residents. The duties of these people are to represent the citizens of Cherry Hill. They also manage the budget of the township and talk about the request of their residents.
To add, the ballot includes the roles of Members of the local Board of Education. There is another package pertaining to these candidates.
Finally on the ballot is the Fire District Annual Election. The candidates are different for every Fire District, but the office title is the Members of Board of Fire Commissioners. They will ensure that their district stays safe and monitor different problems which occur. Two people will be elected for each district.
With all of this in mind, please stay safe and vote in this election!

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