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UPDATE: Budgets Pass in All Four Districts

But voter turnouts remain low.

Update, Tuesday, 9 p.m.—A total of 159 ballots were cast in the Fire District No. 3 elections, with 104 being cast in favor of the budget, and 55 against.

In addition, a total of 97 votes were cast in favor of the new incident command vehicle for the Green Knoll Volunteer Fire Company, while 60 were cast against.

Commissioner Jeff Holtz received a total of 125 votes, with 8 write-ins presented on the ballot as well.

Update, Sunday, 9:20 a.m.—Fire District No. 3 reported that the proposed budget of $864,127, with $862,627 to be raised through taxation, passed in Saturday's election with a two-thirds majority vote.

In addition, the referendum question requesting a capital improvement appropriation of $45,000 for an incident command vehicle for the Green Knoll Volunteer Fire Company also passed by a two-thirds majority vote.

According to Jeffrey Holtz, who was voted in for his third three-year term as commissioner, a total of 117 votes were cast, in addition to 44 absentee ballots.

Saturday, 11:30 p.m.

Election results from Saturday's fire district elections are in, and three of the four districts are reporting a passed budget.

In District 1, which is the Martinsville Volunteer Fire Co., the proposed $471,770 budget, with $465,331 to be raised through taxation, passed by a vote of 53 approving and 10 voting against.

William Rose received 58 votes in his run for a three-year term as commissioner, and Howard van Nostrand earned 57 votes to fill the final three-year seat.

In District 2, out of 129 total votes, 73 were in favor of the proposed $439,318 budget—with $405,638 to be raised through taxation—and 42 voted against while 14 abstained.

Fire District No. 2's Debra Brown earned 59 votes to earn a three-year term on the commission, defeating Rob Hanlon, who earned 52 votes. Gloria Langon won a one-year term with 72 votes, defeating John Marsigliano, who earned 45 votes.

And in Fire District No. 4, where only 33 votes were cast, the proposed $546,890 budget, with $510,758 to be raised through taxation, passed by a vote of 31 to 2. Candidates Dave Bereheiko and Carl Spolarich earned 32 votes each to earn their spots on the commission.

Joseph Kirk February 19, 2012 at 09:33 PM
What's sad is the willingness to continue holding votes such as these on long holiday weekends nine months separated from the general election. Who can be content with a voter turn out of only 117? What I would be most interested in knowing is how many of the 117 District 3 voters were fire department personnel or family members. Votes like this aren't votes at all, they're just ways to satisfy the rules while making certain the result is pre-ordained.
Barry February 25, 2012 at 03:29 AM
This is why the NO ONE knows about the Fire Department elections. These are the best kept secrets. The Fire dept. doesn't want anyone to vote but fire department people. I'm curious to know, how many fire calls are made during the course of a year? Because, according to the budgets, we spend about $2 Million just on the fire departments. And yet, we're not allowed to see the break down budgets - only the summaries - unless the budget is rejected. It is my understanding that the township pays rent for those buildings? who really owns those fire department buildings? I'm curious to know what happens to the fire trucks as they are no longer used? Where does that money go? I'm also curious to know what happens to all of the money that is collected from their fund-raising efforts? If it's clear that they obtain all of their necessary essentials from tax dollars - then, where does the fundraising money go?
Safety First February 27, 2012 at 03:18 AM
First, I would like to remind you all that they are Volunteer fire fighters. This means that they get payed nothing yet have to train thousands of hours a year to make sure that YOU are safe. Please feel free to look into how much a paid fire department would be in the town. Trust me, I would be more than happy to get paid for what I do instead of VOLUNTEER hundreds of hours a month to help people like you who don't appreciate what we do. Yes, there may be some people that give fire fighters a bad name but every occupations has them. So please, all I ask is that next time you decide to rag on the fire departments just remember, you get to go to bed every night and sleep uninterrupted while myself and other fire fighters get woken up a few times a week to answer. Do you think it's about the money? Must not be considering we get payed $0. Everyone has a lot to say until their worst nightmare comes true and who is there to help out? That's right, a fire fighter.
Jeffrey Holtz March 02, 2012 at 04:36 AM
Sir, I would love to address your concerns with the fire district. But i would do it face to face not pen to pen. If you are looking for the real answers not just these wrongful facts lets meet some day. JEFFREY HOLTZ PRESIDENT, NORTH PLAINFIELD PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION TREASURER , PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION OF NEW JERSEY COMMISSIONER, BRIDGEWATER FIRE DISTRICT #3 IAFF LOCAL 2958 732-208-0910 jholtz@iafflocal2958.org
Barry March 02, 2012 at 05:21 AM
All well and good, Mr. Marshall. It still does not answer those questions. I served in the Armed Forces - I get it. However, I also believe in openness and transparency. I do appreciate the service that's offered. So, just because I'm curious as to where my tax dollars are going, doesn't mean that I'm against the system - unless it's a crony and corrupt system. Then, it should be transformed. And, does zero pay truly mean zero pay? That's not my understanding. I understand that there is compensation involved for being a part of the Fire Department. I do understand that there may be a probation time frame, but once that time frame has been met, there is compensation. Just because there is no actual earned income for many positions, doesn't mean that there is zero compensation - correct? The only way we can have a fruitful discussion, is to be overly open and not defensive. The Township taxpayers deserve to fully understand how their Fire Departments work. If it's fair and equitable - super, great and fantastic.


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