30 Mechanic Street
Freehold, NJ 07728
Thank you to everyone who submitted ideas and to all of you who voted!
What is Participatory Budgeting?
Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process that empowers community members through civic engagement to decide how to spend part of a public budget. In Freehold Borough, the intention is for Participatory Budgeting to directly involve residents in the budgeting and city-building process, foster civic engagement and community spirit, and help ensure that the town’s budget reflects the priorities of Freehold Borough's residents and local partners. It gives real people real power over real money: hometown voices speak.
What are the Goals of Participatory Budgeting in Freehold Borough?
The Borough hopes that Participatory Budgeting will directly involve residents in the budgeting and city-building process, foster civic engagement and community spirit, and help ensure that the Borough’s budget reflects the priorities of Freehold residents and local partners. The Participatory Budgeting Committee approved the following five goals for the Participatory Budgeting process:
1. Expand and Diversify Civic Engagement: Ensure that all community members have a voice in the development and improvement of their hometown, especially marginalized communities, reticent voters, and people with limited opportunities to engage in the political process.
2. Have Meaningful Social and Community Impact: Use Participatory Budgeting as a tool to effect meaningful social change in the community.
3. Promote Sustainable Public Good: Make sustainable decisions that promote the long-term future and wellbeing of Freehold Borough residents.
4. Create Easy and Seamless Civic Engagement: Enable the community to be involved without barriers or frictions. Create a welcoming space for residents to become engaged, fostering a "accessible" civic environment.
5. Promote Civic-mindedness: Help residents imagine themselves as civic actors and educate each other about their needs and lives. Provide youth with the opportunity and experience to become life-long voters and community leaders.
How to get a Participatory Budgeting Proposal on the Ballot for a Community Vote?
Anyone aged 14 or older is invited to come together to brainstorm ideas and then transform those ideas into full proposals that meet the needs of the town. To be considered for the ballot, all proposed projects must meet the following criteria:
• Must be capital projects which will serve the general public’s benefit.
• Must have an expected five-year life or more.
• Must have a low or relatively low maintenance cost.
• Must be on public property such as parks, borough buildings (not school property) streets and sidewalks.
What is a Capital Improvement Project?
Capital Improvement projects fund infrastructure improvements, typically things that are bought or built. Examples of previous Participatory Budgeting capital projects include park upgrades, bicycle infrastructure, basketball court upgrades, water bottle filling stations, and tree plantings.
Who is eligible to vote?
To vote for Participatory Budgeting projects you must be a Freehold Borough resident aged 14 or over or a Freehold Borough Business owner.
Participatory Budgeting Process
Anyone aged 14 or older is invited to come together to discuss local needs and the best ways to address them. Proposal forms will be available for community members to submit their ideas in English and Spanish on the Participatory Budgeting Website or at Borough Hall.
Residents will vote on up to 3 proposals either online or with a paper ballot in English or Spanish.
Fund Winning Projects!!!
Once a project is approved, it will be included in the funding for the Borough's annual budget.
Participatory Budgeting Timeline
January – April – Community Members brainstorm about how to spend $200,000 of the Borough’s Annual Budget on capital projects to improve Freehold Borough.
May – July – Community members submit formal proposals using the form on the Participatory Budgeting webpage, or by requesting a physical copy of the form at Borough Hall.
July – August – Borough Professionals vet proposals for criteria, feasibility, and final costs.
September – Town Hall presentation of all projects that will be on the ballot. Voting for 11 days done virtually or on paper immediately after Town Hall presentation.
October – Winning projects are announced at the Freehold Borough Council Meeting.
The Participatory Budgeting Committee meets on the first Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at Borough Hall, 30 Mechanic St., Freehold, N.J. 07728