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Firehouse Land Buy Overwhelmingly Rejected by Voters

Toms River fire referendum fails

A for a new firehouse on Hooper and Hadley was overwhelmingly voted down in Toms River Fire District 1.

The measure failed, 273 voting “yes” and 663 voting “no,” said Fire District 1 Administrator Brian Kubiel.

Voters were faced with a second question, on whether the district should  appropriate $48,750 for District 1's share of an emergency generator for the Toms River Fire Academy. It too failed, 450 to 480.

“Both projects failed,” Kubiel said. “We respect the voters’ decision.”

The land buy would have paved the way toward building a new firehouse, to be shared by the two downtown firehouses of and .

Why did the vote fail by a large margin? Kubiel said he believes voters were swayed by “misinformation” and referenced a series of flyers opponents to the project spread, that claimed the referendum was part of a plan to have a paid fire department working out of a “mega” three-story firehouse that could cost upward of $8 million.

Kubiel said previously that there were no plans to shift away from a volunteer force, and that plans or cost of the building were not established.

“You can’t estimate a cost if you’ve yet to approve where to build it,” he said.

But in addition to the “misinformation,” a variety of residents shared criticisms of the project, with neighbors and Toms River residents wondering if the parcel was the best place, and if there could be adverse effects on the neighborhood. Others said they were disapproving of the process behind the referendum, and wished more answers could be given.

The vote came as part of a special referendum, with residents critical of the timing of it.

“Unfortunately, it was a matter of timing,” Kubiel said. The referendum was needed before year’s end after the landowner agreed to negotiate on the land purchase, he said. The fire district needed a “yes” vote to add the appropriation to its 2012 budget, which would be before voters in February.

With 936 votes cast, the turnout was significantly higher for a district 1 vote than the entire town voted in the February 2011 regular election.

Today’s vote was open to residents of district 1. In February, 395 voters came out.

“I wasn’t administrator at the time, so I can’t speak to that (turnout),” Kubiel said.

The district and its commissioners will go back and evaluate the referendum, he said.

“People exercised their right to vote,” Kubiel said. “At the end of the day, the fire department will continue to provide excellent service.”

Pat S. December 16, 2011 at 05:53 PM
My father was a career fireman and I supported the department decisions as they were for the public good. But this election left too many important questions unanswered; and the way it was organized was questionable. The people have spoken!
Pat December 16, 2011 at 06:04 PM
Don't worry they are like spoiled children and will keep trying to pass this until like a parent wanting to be responsible you will finally give in because you are just too tired constantly saying no.
Carol Aller December 16, 2011 at 06:40 PM
Sneaky sneaky sneaky. This town just loves to spend spend spend even though the economy is in the dumper. Thank God the residents of Toms River are finally waking up. Now if they would only come to council meetings, maybe thing would change for the better!!
Martin December 16, 2011 at 07:52 PM
Don't despair, taxpayers: Even though the Kelaher Klan won in November, this sneaky project may have been the last straw for voters. For example, the newly elected Repub. Gov. in Wisc. is already facing recall for his over-reaching actions, Same here. Paid fire commissioners should be replaced in Feb. Ritacco friends on school board should be kicked off in spring. Kubiel and 3 of his cronies have to go next Nov. (4 council seats are at stake.) They all have to be stopped from spending our money like drunken sailors!
Todaynews December 16, 2011 at 08:08 PM
"Kubiel and 3 of his cronies have to go next Nov. (4 council seats are at stake" saod Martin. What is your deal. Only two seat are up in 12, Ward 3 and 4. No chance of any control till 13. For goodness sake the Kelahae just beat the pant's off Brush as did the council.
tomsriveast December 16, 2011 at 08:30 PM
Whoa there Nelli. There was a big election about four weeks ago. The Dem party had there fanny handed to them. Brush and his crew were not even on the radar. As far as next year. There are only two Council seats up in Ward 3 and Ward 4 that's is it. Even if the Dem party took a seat or two which in a National election in this town will be next to impossible, considering the hate for Obama. So. even if they took one saet, it will not amount to a hill of beans cause all four seats are NOT up till 2013. The Mayor is in till 2016.
Rojer Silvio December 16, 2011 at 08:37 PM
Thank you Patch for being a voice to stand up to the political machine in Toms River and defeating another one of their schemes. Today is a victory for Patch and common sense in Toms River! Job Well Done Ms. Galiotto! Keep up the pressure! With your help we can get these people off the school board and council in 2012!
Catherine Galioto (Editor) December 16, 2011 at 10:13 PM
Hi Rojer Silvio, I appreciate you reading Toms River Patch. But I just wanted to be clear. We're here to cover the vibrant community of Toms River thoroughly, and that's what we were working to make sure the fire referendum coverage was — thorough. Whatever issues Toms River has facing its residents, we hope to be there, letting you know all the information we find.
Catherine Galioto (Editor) December 16, 2011 at 10:43 PM
Hi Martin, that November info is from the town clerk's office. Two seats are up on the November ballot because terms will expire, and then the Republican club will nominate the seats vacated by McGuckin and Hill's election long before then as required by statute. Manforti is serving via a nomination, due to Donohue-Appleby's departure earlier this year. I will double check that the council members serving from their club nomination will be positions up for vote on the November ballot or if they stay the remainder of the term. A lot of this process will begin to proceed in January, in time for the town council reorganization meeting.
Martin December 16, 2011 at 10:47 PM
There will actually be five (5) council seats at stake in November: (1) the Ward 3 seat being vacated by Hill, (2) the at-large seat being vacated by McGuckin, (3) the seat vacated by Donohue-Appleby and temporarily filled by Manforti's appointment, (4) the seat of Maruca, and last but not least (5) the seat of KUBIEL, who was the ringleader of Thursday's botched referendum. (This number is according to the blue story link provided by the editor above. Please correct me if I interpreted it incorrectly.) So it sounds like we voters have an opportunity to really make a difference and a big change for the better. "No more jive from these 5!" After Thursday's sneaky, overpriced, underexplained and ultimately failed effort, we have to "Get Rid of Incumbent Politicians" (GRIP).
Mr. ? December 16, 2011 at 11:23 PM
We are a Faukner Act government with an elected mayor, 7 member council of 3 at large and four ward system of four year staggered terms. Sooo....Hill and McGuckin have vacated, resign, their seats with replacements to be appointed by the R committee. That term runs its 4 cycle. Donahue was council at large, replaced with Manforti, and since mayor and council at large were just elected, Mo Hill took one seat. My question is was Manforti left to then fill the ward seat given up by Hill? My other question is, now if the cycle is staggered, and it is, it is on the odd numbered year election years that Mayor and Council terms are electable. So no one is up for election in 2012? Wow! Mark Mutter where are you when we need you? The Faulkner Act, or Optional Municipal Charter Law, provides for New Jersey municipalities to adopt a Mayor-Council government. This form of government provides for election of a mayor and five, seven, or nine council members. All council members may be elected at large, or some may be elected by wards; they may be partisan or nonpartisan, and serve four-year concurrent or staggered terms. There may be up to ten administrative departments.[1]
Mr. ? December 16, 2011 at 11:59 PM
What is with the lag time on here? It seems "replies" and "leave comments" are posted on different time frames. It is difficult when you read a comment and make a comment and you lose substance or miss other info to better make a qualified statement
SystemIsBroken December 17, 2011 at 12:13 AM
1) The fact that this election was SNUCK IN just a month after the General Election has all the trappings of a WEASEL DEAL Bravo informed electorate of Toms River! Bravo! 2)The fact that ANY ADMINISTRATOR would do a SNEAKY ELECTION the WEEK before Christmas like this makes you want to question what other deals he is doing as an Administrator for the TRFD, never mind Councilman. It make you question their values and judgement 3)Have we found out WHO owns the existing property, When it was purchased, and how much would be the profit in a year or two?? Could this perhaps a New Episode of "Flip This Republican Property". 4) Nice touch... a Generator for a training facility... Bring the friggin truck with the emergency lighting stupid, thats why its a TRAINING FACILITY!!! Use what you got!!! To the Patch staff and Catherine THANK YOU for ENLIGHTENING the public as the APP is out of business as far as local news in concerned. Nice touch reminding us it was election day the WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS Does anyone have the number of the US ATTORNEYS OFFICE??? I think it may be time to put them on speed dial!
. December 17, 2011 at 12:57 AM
Smelt? Like the fish?
Chrisbooth December 17, 2011 at 01:08 AM
If anyone in this room had any wherewithall they would KNOW that the 4 wards are for a four year term. They won in 2009 they are up in 2013. THE only 2 that are up once again are in ward 3 and 4 in 2012 take that to the bank. Martin is a nut.
Chrisbooth December 17, 2011 at 01:10 AM
Also Matin stated that Mcguck was an At large councilman in TR. Since when? He has been the Ward 4 guy for years. LOL
Chrisbooth December 17, 2011 at 01:11 AM
There will actually be five (5) council seats at stake in November: (1) the Ward 3 seat being vacated by Hill, (2) the at-large seat being vacated by McGuckin( REALLY SINCE WHEN WAS MCGUCKIN AT LARGE?), (3) the seat vacated by Donohue-Appleby and temporarily filled by Manforti's appointment, (4) the seat of Maruca( WON IN 09 TO A FOUR YEAR TERM UP IN 13), and last but not least (5) the seat of KUBIEL( WON IN 09 TO A 4 YEAR TERM), who was the ringleader of Thursday's botched referendum.
Carol Aller December 17, 2011 at 01:38 AM
How can we get the terms changed from four years to two? Four years is way too long.
Mr. ? December 17, 2011 at 01:58 AM
Yikes! Wait a minute! Chrisbooth you just said five seats are at stake in November! Its post 2011 election and next is Nov. 2012. We are talking about next Nov. 2012! And you listed your five"council seats at stake in Nov." and Maruca "WON IN 09 TO A FOUR YEAR TERM UP IN 13)" GEEZ! Does anyone read and more importantly COMPREHEND any thing? "If anyone in this room had any wherewithall they would KNOW that the 4 wards are for a four year term". AGAIN, DID YOU SEE, DID YOU READ, MY LAST POST???????? My 6:23 pm post "and serve four-year concurrent or staggered term. GEEZ! Catherine, Please remove all these posts on the "who's who up for election" tonight and call Mark Mutter first thing Monday! Mark, heeellllppp!
Karolk December 17, 2011 at 04:11 AM
Go to the County Elections archives. You will see Maruca, Kubiel, Hill and McGuckin won in 2009 for a FOUR year term to expire in 2013. McGuckin and Hill are being replaced only in 2012. The at large and Mayor just won last month and have 4 long years. Also, this Martin poster is way wrong. McGuckin was never at large. Me thinks this 'Martin" poster has no clue.
Peter Hibbard December 17, 2011 at 04:40 AM
Tax and spend needs to be replaced with responsible government. Which party is in power in Ocean County & Toms River now? All they seem to know is tax & spend.
Joseph E. Haelig December 17, 2011 at 05:12 AM
There will be three seats up in November 2012!
Greg December 17, 2011 at 03:07 PM
Mr. ?, The seat that vacated by Donahue-Applebee was filled by Manforti. But, if you remember from the news paper Manforti is a Ward 4 member. So, here is a possible situation that many have found to be a majoe possibility now that McGuckin was elected to go off to Trenton. McGuckin was the Ward 4 person so now with him leaving that leaves the opening for Manforti to take over the remaining year of his term. Now, it is up to the Republican Club to vet a person from Ward 3 to take the seat that was vacated by Mo Hill. Now, I thought that with the next Ward election all 4 of the seat were up for grabs. Here is how I understood how the elecctions went. Mayor and 3 Council at Large seat went up at the sametime and then the 4 Ward seats went up a year later. Mr. Mutter am I wrong? If I am please correct me.
Rojer Silvio December 17, 2011 at 03:22 PM
Well, regardless, It's another great victory for democrats in Toms River and we could not have done it without your vigilant reporting! It's good to finally have somebody in the media helping us get the truth out there! Thank you AOL and Ariana Huffington for making this all possible! Viva la revolucion! Time to take down the 1% in Toms River!
Cragie December 17, 2011 at 03:35 PM
Nope, only two, Ward three and four. The At large just won. The Mayor just won. Thats a fact Jack. Marie Maruca's and Brian Kubiels Ward in 2013.
Ken G December 17, 2011 at 04:42 PM
In my opinion this wasn't a Republican or Democrat victory/loss. It was a victory for Toms River and it's Taxpayers.
riverfest December 17, 2011 at 05:17 PM
ken g - agreed. this was the " voters " of toms river . the party operatives wether repub's or dem's should take notice. the " voter" of toms river will do what's best when they are presented with valid issues and needs - not sneaky underhanded issues for someone{s} personnal gain. anyone claiming political defeat - victory - in regards to this election are ignorant and shallow- time for a true people's party in ocean county and toms river esp. -receiving a robo call in support of this boondagle from tom - see no evil, hear no evil - spend at will -i never saw ritacco do anything wrong - keleher - was the last straw.
Mr. ? December 17, 2011 at 11:49 PM
HEY GREG....REPLIED IN CAPS... Greg 10:07 am on Saturday, December 17 Mr. ?, The seat that vacated by Donahue-Applebee was filled by Manforti. I SAID THAT! But, if you remember from the news paper Manforti is a Ward 4 member. BUT HE WAS APPOINTED COUNCIL AT LARGE - WARD DOES NOT MATTER. So, here is a possible situation that many have found to be a majoe possibility now that McGuckin was elected to go off to Trenton. McGuckin was the Ward 4 person so now with him leaving that leaves the opening for Manforti WHY WOULD THEY TAKE MANFORTI AS DONAHUE INTERIM OUT? WOULDN'T THE R CLUB APPOINT SOMEONE ELSE UNTIL MCG (WARD 4) TERM IS UP. DONAHUE'S SEAT COULD HAVE BEEN UP FOR ELECTION THIS FALL. SHOWS THAT COUNCIL SEATS ARE STAGGERED, BOTH WARD AND AT LARGE? to take over the remaining year of his term. Now, it is up to the Republican Club to vet a person from Ward 3 to take the seat that was vacated by Mo Hill. AGREED!. Now, I thought that with the next Ward election all 4 of the seat were up for grabs.IN 2013, BUT ARE THEY ALSO STAGGERED? Here is how I understood how the elecctions went. Mayor and 3 Council at Large seat went up at the sametime and then the 4 Ward seats went up a year later. THAT IS WHAT I THOUGHT, BUT THAT IS THE QUESTION! Mr. Mutter am I wrong? If I am please correct me. AGREE AGAIN!I AM SURE THE PATCH WILL CATCH UP WITH THIS MONDAY!!!!!!!!!!!
Joseph E. Haelig December 18, 2011 at 12:27 AM
My bad, two seats are up in November 2012.
Mr. ? December 18, 2011 at 02:58 AM
Duh! My bad as well! Hey Greg, I think you may be mostly right. If all three council at large seats were elected this past November, then why wouldn't all the ward seats be elected at the same time? Mo Hill was elected to Donahue's spot, filled in by the appointment of Manforti, now making making Manforti a free agent to be moved to ward four ( in which you said he lives ) to fill McGuckin's vacancy when he was elected to the assembly. That would probably be the R club appointment ...makes sense, but they could pick someone else. Finally, we have the wards. If '09 was the last election of Maruca and... then I might go back to my original statement of "no TR council up and on the ballot in 2012" All four wards would be on the 2013 election. Joe Haelig, how do you figure 2 ward seats coming up in 2012...if all wards are elected at the same time, and appointments run the term? need ya bad Mark! Bye on this one, til Monday!

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