Letter: Vote "No" on December 15

Resident says project unclear

Letter to the editor as submitted by resident Nels Luthman:

The Toms River Fire District 1 is holding a on December 15th that they do not want the taxpayers to know about.  There will be no sample ballots, little public notice and only one polling place open (the Toms River Fire Company #2 on West Water St.).

The special election is to appropriate $1,022,000 in the 2012 budget for the purchase of two lots on the corner of Hadley and Hooper Ave.  This property will be used to build a new mega town owned fire house which will replace the two volunteer owned fire houses downtown.

Listed below are reasons why they are afraid to let the taxpayers of Toms River know about this special election:

1) The $1,022,000 in surplus needed to buy this property could be used to lower the fire tax in these economic hard times.

2) This is only the first of two special elections planned.  The second one is for the building.  The say they don't know what it will cost.  How do you start a project without knowing the total cost?  Either you know and do not want the public to know or you don't which is even worse.  Most modern fire houses cost at least $8 million to build.

3) Lastly the Fire Commissioners will own the building instead of the volunteer firefighters making it much easier to get rid of the volunteers and turn it into a paid fire company.

Nels W. Luthman Jr.

Murphdog20 December 13, 2011 at 12:48 PM
If for nothing else, there would be little - if none - change in the response times by moving the companies there, and the ABSOLUTE disaster in the Hooper Avene, Hadley Avenue, and surrounding area traffic, just like with the brilliant plans that were recently done with the new Shop-Rite plaza which is killing traffic, and costing big bucks to maintain a police presence doing traffic there. I don't know how the township planning and engineering departments could possibly propose something like this. With the new office complex nearing completion, the "normal" backlog of traffic on Hooper Avenue is going to be multiplied tenfold, and placing the new quarters adjacent to residences would be a nightmare. It's already hell getting out of the downtown area at any time of the day. Leave well enough alone.
STSV2010 December 13, 2011 at 12:52 PM
The fire commissioners, the town council, the board of education...they never seem to know what something is going to cost us. When asked at a meeting, the board of ed did not know what they were going to pay Pizza when they proposed bringing back their old crony who already was receiving a pension from the state. The town council did not know what they were going to pay to buy Camp Abocondo, nor did they know who owned it. When asked how that could be so, they just put their heads down. The council meetings are supposed to be televised. A person at the meeting suggested that the school owned and run television station could do this easily. That would give all the citizens who cannot attend the meetings a chance to see what goes on. The council then voted not to use the school to "save money." All it would involve are student volunteers and their teacher, who could be paid a small stipend once a month. However, the council DOES NOT WANT anyone to know what goes on.
Ken G December 13, 2011 at 12:56 PM
In regards to the BOE, I am a student, and i would do it for free. Do you know that if someone went in with their own camera and put it on a news website would it be allowed?
STSV2010 December 13, 2011 at 01:22 PM
That is a wonderful offer. I am not sure if the Board of Ed meetings are televised on the school channel, but the town council ones are not. Ask one of your teachers to find out. that would be a great civic lesson for your class and for the entire community.
1stcav December 13, 2011 at 02:12 PM
It's an open Public meeting and it cxan be videoed , this did/was challenged in AP BOE meetings when they didn't like an anti- Board person there with a camera to re-cord everything for future playback.It became a problem with certain BOE mambers having selective alzheimers and stating " I never said that, you mis-understood, your taking things out of context...ect.But in a formal letter to the BOE I would tell them your are /will record BOE meetings..They already have written text of EVERY meeting available to the public, as they are PUBLICLY funded ( we the tax payers ) by us....OPRA...
riverfest December 13, 2011 at 02:20 PM
this is the same " christmas surprise " special election ritacco generated when the " bubble " was a stealth election. - why do we need fire commissioners and why do we need more than one? check your tax bill - these guys think they have a blank check- no more spending- period!!! - get out and vote no !!!
Tired of the status quo December 13, 2011 at 07:33 PM
There was a gentleman who's name I think was Joe Lapowy, he came to a BOE meeting at Toms River South to record and was told by Michael J. Ritacco that he was not allowed to video these meetings. When Mr. Lapowy to him that this was an open meeting Ritacco told him that he was unable to record the meeting due to the fact that there were students receiving awards and the school district or Mr. Lapowy did not have the permission of the parents to video these kids. Mr. Lapowy stated to Mr. Ritacco that he would not video the children but, he had the right as a taxpayer to video the rest of the meeting. Just for everyone's information he did video that meeting. But, after that meeting NO ONE has every attempted to try and video another meeting. As for the Toms River Township Council meetings, they are now recording the meetings for the web. Hopefully they will move to allow someone to video the meetings also. But, I have to say one thing to everyone out here on the Patch. Where are all of you? Yes, I realize that there are some of you who may be working but, with only about 10 people out of a township of 92,000 bothering to come out twice a month to a council meeting and maybe those same 10 people showing up once a month to a BOE meeting not much can be accomplished. This is one of the MAIN reasons why things like this vote for the firehouse can be done in such secret.
Tired of the status quo December 13, 2011 at 09:50 PM
To everyone here on the patch. Please if it all possible come out and pack the council meetings, boe meeting and the freeloader meetings. This is the only way that they are going to find out that we the taxpayers of Toms River are done with them doing all of these shady deals behind closed doors with no resident input! I don't know how many of us hard working residents can afford any more of these deals i.e. girls softball fields, nice new computerized signs at Winding River Skating Center, turf fields on three elementary schools for the pop warner football. lawn mowers for little league and too many other things to list. Come on and lets show them that there is a Toms River Taxpayers Revolt!!!! This is the only other way that they are going to learn. The best way is to bounce out all of the incumbents but, as you look at the last election that didn't happen. Please tell these fire commissioners that this is not a good deal for the residents and under these horrible economic times there just isn't enough money to go around here!!! There are many of us who are finding it hard to hold on to our own homes and our jobs! Tell them that enough is enough!!! We are not going to take it anymore!!!! It is time that we the resident taxpayers stand up and have our voices heard./
walt tupycia December 13, 2011 at 10:00 PM
when major tv channels film people on the street kids walking by do they need permision.
walt tupycia December 13, 2011 at 10:02 PM
nobody knew about this election.Why were we not told about this until a few days ago?
walt tupycia December 13, 2011 at 10:02 PM
i feel like i live in iran.
Frankyandstien December 14, 2011 at 12:26 AM
Started to read the letter then saw who the author was. He is one of the very losing Paul Brushes close operatives. This guy took up, Camp Ambacando,Ciba Gigy the MUA, Open space tax and guess what happend? The Brush team got trounced last month. Now this guy has found another topic. So, how did all of your bell-aching on the former topics work out for you in last months election? The same as this topic is gonna I am sure, What a laugher.
Reynolds December 14, 2011 at 11:39 AM
To Frankyandstein...the laugher actually is that you have no concern for the legitimate issues posted here. Camp Albocondo was purchased by a mysterious corporation, Sandcastle, who used Gilmore as its attorney. It was purchased for $3 million. The following year, Ritacco proposed that the school district buy it for $7 million, with Gillmore's law partner, Monahan, the school attorney, handling the transaction. When that was exposed, the town council then proposed to buy it, but could not tell anyone how many millions it would cost the taxpayer. Sound like a "laugher" so far to you? Then how about this: the powers that be in Toms River gave Acropolis, the mayor of Bricktown, the position of director of the MUA in Toms River for a salary of almost $100,000 a year. When you stop laughing, consider this: the open space tax that was voted on several years ago cost the taxpayers $1.5 millin per year. It is now more that $4.5 million. The council can lower that anytime by putting it to a vote, but refuse to do so. And, after you stop laughing, for those who think that "open space" means that the council is using the money to buy more and more land for conservation and to stop overdevelopment, guess again. Now...Do you still think that all of these abuses are merely "bellyaching"?
Mattie December 14, 2011 at 12:13 PM
I can not believe they want to put a "mega firehouse" on HOOPER AVE and Hadley ave! The traffic along Hooper Ave is horrendous nearly all day every day and there's the school traffic too- TR South on one end, Mon Don on the other. What a bad, bad idea.
Tired of the status quo December 14, 2011 at 12:24 PM
Get out the vote and vote NO on building this mega firehouse not only the fact that this corner is a mega traffic jam at anytime of the day but, building this during these economic times. Just leave everything the way that it is. But, then when the Toms River BID has a personal interest in this leaves many of us with many questions and suspicion.
SB Girl December 14, 2011 at 01:45 PM
How did the barrier island get into Fire District 1 in the first place? I'll tell you how...the township thinks all the people on the barrier island are rich (not true) and have deep pockets!! The township has been raping the people on the island since the 50's and now it's time for all of us to gather together and vote this DOWN!!
John V December 14, 2011 at 03:40 PM
So True SB Girl....though I question that the residents of the barrier island are going to come and even vote though....After all, you guys sure didn't object when these same fire comisioners put up that HUGE firehouse in Ocean Beach...Now THAT was a waste of money just like this firehouse on the mainland is going to be... And why did Ocean Beach even need a new firehouse, its not like you even have any firefighters there for that huge house. Most of the time you'll get Seaside Heights to come out if your lucky and they're not busy and they might be able to save your foundation.
SB Girl December 14, 2011 at 03:54 PM
All that might be true...but the firehouse was there when I bought my house in the 80's...so don't blame me...and besides, we should get something for our tax $$...Just another reason the entire barrier island should become its own town and leave Toms River and Brick in the dust...they do NOTHING for us but pick up garbage and provide police protection...we could do that on our own for a LOT LESS $$
John V December 14, 2011 at 04:02 PM
That firehouse was not there in the 1980s ...Its very recent. In fact they used to keep the ladder truck in a garage in Ortley Beach since it couldn't fit in the old firehouse. But I agree that you don't get your $$ worth out there. Actually the Beach is the perfect place for a PAID fire department since with the exception of Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant the other small towns barely have fire protection. Toms River, Brick, Mantoloking, Bay Head, Seaside Park and Lavalette obviously do not care if every home on the island burned down since none of them have an adequate number of firemen for the firehouses out there. Time to have a PAID department at least for the Island.
Mr. ? December 14, 2011 at 04:20 PM
Right on Reynolds! So well said. Those are the issues whether stated by the democrats or whom ever, and I know of many R's who have "bellyached" about these issues. So I am laughing WITH you Reynolds and laughing AT Frankyandstein! As always "they"(the Repub operatives, ha!) turn it into a political spin and do not address the issues. As always "they" then want you to think those concerns are not valid since the D's lose the election. How sad and how.....fill in the blanks


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