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Fire Election Results: Challenger Wins District 1, Incumbents Win District 2

District 1 budget narrowly fails, District 2's budget overwhelmingly passed

A contentious fire election saw voters come out in numbers more than double last year’s annual election, but the results were a close race to pick the next fire commissioners and budget for Toms River in District 1, and an overwhelming approval of incumbents and budget questions in District 2.

District 1

Ray Latshaw won the three-year seat as a commissioner in Toms River Fire District 1, ousting incumbent Doug Foley by 18 votes. Latshaw garnered 413 votes to Foley’s 395.

District 1, which is served by East Dover, Ocean Beach, and Toms River Fire Co. 1 & 2, also asked voters to approve a $7.3 million budget, and failed by less than 10 votes.

There were 399 no votes, and 383 voted yes.

However, all three of the special appropriation votes passed in District 1.

  • A $450,000 apparatus purchase passed: 487 to 287.
  • A $60,000 purchase of a breathing air cascade system passed: 538 to 232.
  • A $48,750 appropriation for an emergency generator passed: 438 to 271.


District 2

The fire district that represents Silverton and Pleasant Plains had three races: two full terms and one unexpired term. There were five candidates running for the two seats, but all incumbents won.

Three year term, two seats:

  • Incumbent Joe "Roger" Brown 564
  • Incumbent Ken Taylor 543
  • Challenger Don Lombardi 242
  • Challenger Jason Wallace 220
  • Challenger Alexander Wyatt Earp 97

In the unexpired term, Incumbent Thomas McCann won over Rich Heroy, 573 to 139.

District 2’s budget passed, 547 to 321. The $3.127 million budget had $2.891 million to be raised through taxes.

Each of the four appropriations questions also passed.

A $289,583 purchase of apparatus passed: 578 to 278.

A $800,000 purchase of an aerial ladder truck passed: 586 to 269.

A $400,000 renovation to the commissioner's office passed: 526 to 329.

A $26,250 appropriation toward a generator passed: 606 to 241.

Voter Turnout

This year's turnout for each district was more than double the voter turnout of last year.

The voter turnout in District 1 was higher than last year, but not higher than a referendum vote held in December.

The December referendum, which was a vote for a District 1 $1 million land buy only open to voters in that district, had 273 voting “yes” and 663 voting “no” — a total 936 votes cast. In the District 1 commissioner race in today's election, 808 votes were cast. That means 128 fewer people came out to today's election than they did for the December referendum.

District 2 Commissioner Taylor said he credits the high turnout with increased visibility of the election.

"This was a very large voter turnout," Taylor said. "The fact of the matter is the  District 2 incumbents went out this year and educated the population on why they should vote for us, why they should pass the budget and questions."

This was different than previous years, when voters would often head to the voting booth seeing the names and monetary figures for the first time, Taylor said.

"A lot of people had no clue, but this year we were out there and got the word out," Taylor said.

Wallace, one of three challengers to incumbents Taylor and Brown, said earlier this week that his run for the commissioner's spot was a success even if he wasn't voted in.

"I think we're bringing up good points and shining a light on the inner workings of the fire district," Wallace said. "This is always a good thing."

Wallace said that as a result of the campaign the commissioners in district 2 reaffirmed they will not accept a $27,500 benefits package they are entitled.

"Savings of $27,000 here and there adds up for the taxpayer," Wallace said.

Taylor was grateful for voters and the hard work of his supporters.

"I'm proud of district 2," Taylor said. "They stepped up to the bat and did the right thing."

Bob February 19, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Oscar Wilde, we are done with your remarks. If you really want to make a difference, come join an organization that cares about helping someone other than their cronies and self. All your bashing has only wasted valuable time from good people. Countless hours have been spent countering a few bashers with a bloated sense of self worth. The election is over, the people spoke!!!!!!!! Can you please let the firefighters get back to their personal lives and firehouses to help our community! We will be there for regardless of your obvious hatred for us. That is what WE are all about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Chris Aldrich February 19, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Way to go district 2!!!!!! Keep up the good work
Oscar Wilde February 19, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Boy the public servants sure get angry at the people they "love to serve" and take it personal when they are found out to be takers
TR Bravest February 19, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Mapleleafnj have you looked into the Governor Christie law encouraging school boards and fire districts to move to Nov. election? When they move to the Nov. election you no longer get to vote on the budget as long as they keep it under the 2% cap so in other words you lose you right to vote. They could just keep raising the budget every year by 2% without you being able to do anything about it. And as far as the turnout goes this election was every well advertised and every resident in District 2 received a flyer about the election so the "1/10" turnout just shows that a majority of the public is satisfied the the fire districts.
Oscar Wilde February 19, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Part time workers do not get health benefits and volunteers do not get paid. Apparently this does not apply to public servants. All animals are created equal but some are more equal than others.
Bob February 19, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Animals? If it were truly survival of the fittest, as in nature, you and your boys would be well on your way to extinction!!!!!!!!!! (Can't even figure out why I let an ignorant basher suck me in! Addicting! Need Fire Election rehab!)
Lenny Yarot February 19, 2012 at 04:57 PM
I am a little confused about the health benefit situation. Back in early 2010 Gov.Christe signed into law no new members of any board, authority etc can recieve health benefits anymore going forward.Old members can, but when they leave , it's over. Is there different types of health benefits available besides the State program Christe stopped in 2010?
Lenny Yarot February 19, 2012 at 05:00 PM
One other observation. IMHO, I thinks its a disgrace that in a town of almost 100,000 people a few hundred come out and vote. That is really sad.
Spock's Brain February 19, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Geez Bob - He was quoting Animal Farm. Don't you remember Freshman English class.
Andy February 19, 2012 at 05:40 PM
........"No question now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."
Andrew D. February 19, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Actually Brain. Animal Farm is not a required high school reading. It is one of the suggest supplemental readings and is up to the teacher to select it. Freshman required readings are Romeo and Juliet, The Iliad, The Oddessey, and Night. So unless Bob's teacher selected Animal Farm or he personally felt the need to read the book he may know the the details of the book.
Andrew D. February 19, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Actually Lenny you should be disgraced at every election. Voter turn out in this county has been poor for decades. These elections are public knowledge it is not the job of the government to educate the voters it is the voters job to get educated. Imaging in the 1930's and 40's voter turn out was around 90 percent. After FDR was elected the last time voter turn out has gone down. There are studies that done on why this is (personally i have assisted in several of these published studies) and they almost all find that the reason for this is a lack of public interest in politics. THis lack of interest is believed to be because of a lack of proper education in the schools. Since standardized testing has been implemented in the 1960's there has been less of a focus on Civil Education (that would mean teaching about the government), in many cases high school students lack even a general idea of how the government functions. I have had high school students not know the 2 houses of congress. Do you want to fix the problem get standardized test out of the schools.
Bob February 19, 2012 at 06:41 PM
In my optimistic view on life, I would rather believe that the low voter turnout is because the people are satisfied. When they are upset they show up to vote! If you don't exercise your right to vote, don't complain!! Stand up and be counted or sit down and shut up! Have a great day! Glad to be an American!
Charlie Russell February 20, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Hey Oscar when was the last time you were at a Commissioners meeting crying about their benefits? How about actually getting involved and getting informed before you argue a point. You're embarrassing yourself with your ignorant comments.
Charlie Russell February 20, 2012 at 10:19 AM
Flyers were mailed to residents in District 2 by the fire departments (private money) indicating the endorsed candidates and the ballot questions. Even the challengers sent flyers and made robo-calls. Firefighters, their families and their friends 'walked and talked' to residents on Saturday. The election information was posted publicly. The decision to not turn out and vote lies with the individual. That is their prerogative. Last time I checked this is the United States of America, you can't drag people out of their house to the polls. Traditionally the voter turnout in a Presidential election is less than 50%, what do you expect in a fire commissioner election?
Tired of the status quo February 20, 2012 at 01:31 PM
JohnV, If you take a look at your geography you will see that Fire District 1 is HUGE compared to Lavallette! And here lies the problem the people on the "barrier island" as you call it want to divide the town. Lets see during the summer the "barrier island" gets twice a week garbage collection and you also get 1 a week recycling collection unlike the "mainland" where they get garbage collection once a week all year round and they also get recycling twice a month all year round except if you are lucky enough to been one of those areas that has to wait for three weeks!
Tired of the status quo February 20, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Make sure that if they move this election it is not going to have the same results as moving the BOE elections. Remember when the BOE voted to move the elections they also took away out rights to vote on the budget!!!!
Nelson Randolph Jr. February 20, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I still want to know about the $300.00 steak dinners.
Bob February 20, 2012 at 02:55 PM
There is a $65.00 a day food stipend. That receipt was misleading and taken out of context to go after an innocent man! This was typical of their campaign. Be assured that all the responsible parties will be held accountable for their actions! They too have to disclose their information. Looking forward to those morally bankrupt individuals paying for their misinformation campaign!!!!! Don't wake the sleeping dog, OOPS, TOO LATE!!!! We know who you are,B.H. & company! You have been outed, come out of the shadows, WE SEE YOU!
Ben G. February 20, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Yes you are correct it is only $65.00. If the bill is 300.00 that individual is responsible for the balance over 65.00. Lets not forget that Latshaw's handlers know that , BH and his crew never let the facts get in the way of there flyers. The sleepings giants have been awakended. The poster that just asked about the 300.00 is also one of the old Ocean County Pol. gang. They have SO many skeletons that will be brought out now that they opened the door. I have been in this town for 45 years and know BH tactics , whats good for the goose...............Don't know why Latshaw hooked up with the likes of the Dover RD gang but you sleep with dog's you wake up with flea's. Game on........
John V February 20, 2012 at 04:43 PM
So did Latshaw promise company 2 a new firetruck? That's the rumor to get them to vote for him. As usual company 3 is left out in the cold. The mainland gets all the expensive toys while we get nothing.
Andy February 20, 2012 at 05:00 PM
.......Bob you are 100% correct. A bunch of lies, distortions and half-truths were printed about an innocent man......and he lost. All his experience....all his knowledge....but more important ......his integrity.......right in the toilet. What did the taxpayer get????? Someone who authorized his name to go on this paper of shame.....not once but two times they published this crap. So congrats Mr & Mrs taxpayer.......all of you who did not find out if there was any truths to these lies........but more so those of you who stayed home and allow this to happen. I hope you all get what you deserve!!! ...........and Bob, although I hope you are correct that they will be held accountable..........I wouldn't count on it.
Andy February 20, 2012 at 05:19 PM
.....John V, that's really not true......Each firetruck is replaced according to several factors one of them being NFPA recommendations. They recommend 20 years for pumpers and 15 years for Ladders.....Commissioner Foley was really diligent about keeping track of the fleet this way. I believe that the Ocean Beach Fire Company just received a new truck either last year or in 2010. Did Latshaw promise a truck for votes? Who knows.....how can you believe anything he tells you based on his campaign literateure and the amount of half-truths contained in it......... If it does happen I will be on here in a second to tell you...........
Camdenyards February 20, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Latshaw seems like a nice guy. Can't understand why he got involved with those folk's that sent out that literature.
Project Bluebeam February 20, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Of course kids don't read "Animal farm" in school anymore. God forbid, the NJEA allows any literary works that paint socialism in a negative light.
Andy February 20, 2012 at 08:51 PM
.......Bluebeam...... actually Animal Farm is more anti-Stalinist than anti-Socialism. Orwell himself was a "Trotskyite"......which was an enemy of the "Salinist Communists" What he was trying to portray in no uncertain terms was that "absolute power corrupts absolutely" no matter what your "ism" is. Capatalism....Socialism in their purest forms work ......but leave it to man to muck it up and corrupt the process. Therefore in the end....."All animals are created equal....but some are more equal than others".......although I disagree how "Oscar Wilde" uses it!!
Andy February 20, 2012 at 09:04 PM
............what is that they say ....when you lay down with the pigs????? All you ever get is dirty!!!
Duggie Hoser February 20, 2012 at 09:07 PM
You got it, word is there was Helig and Latshaw sighting at a local diner. Maybe they were perusing the coloring book?
TRHSN February 21, 2012 at 03:37 AM
So Bob who will be paying for your health benefits now? Your employer perhaps?
Dick Hurtz February 25, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Dont you get health care already from your full time township T.R. job?


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