Fire Commissioner & Budget Elections Taking Place This Weekend

Firhouse_lakewood tls[PROPOSED BUDGET DOCUMENT] This coming Saturday, Shabbos, will be the elections for the 2011 Proposed Fire District budget. Also voted on, is the positions of Fire Commissioners. The elections, which is held on the third Saturday of February each year, usually draws a very small crowd. The elections usually draw about 2% of registered votes. However, these voters are voting on the spending of millions of tax dollars, and many residents of towns with fire districts are not even aware they pay fire taxes. About 95 percent of the budgets are approved, according to state’s records.

This year’s Fire Commissioners are Mike D’lea, Mike Dennis, Tom Manick, Vince Lobello and Juan Ortiz. Up for re-election this weekend, is Mike Dennis and Tom Manick, both who are on the ballot as incumbents. The position of Fire Commissioner is a three year term.

The voting takes place at the Reliance Hose Company Fire Station # 4, which is located at the intersection of Route 9 and James Street. The voting hours are from 2PM-9PM. TLS.

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  1. This is such a great idea. They should make all elections (township committee and school board included) on Shabbos. This way unzer oilam will have no vote, no controversy, no surprises at the polls, no embarrassment for unwanted politicians and their backers.

  2. 2% vote!!! Well, it’s held on Shabbos, duh! I don’t think this is fair dealing. Where is Nathan Lewin when we need him. Saturday night I have to go the other way to get Pizza!

  3. The fire dept is run by 5 people who have no accountability for our tax dollars! They were not voted in by most of town! We need to push this election to November on a regular day! And let everyone get a fair chance to vote on this budget that I suspect is full of waste and the response time is horrible to fires I remember when the house on seventh street burnt down after a small fire in the backyard and no fire dept response so the whole house burnt down or I. Remember when some jewish guys wanted to join and were told no because they are jewish! Or how about the threat in a recent email that they will not put out fires if they don’t get voted in!!
    Enough is enough! Put in new people who will fix the fire dept!!

  4. Your taxes won’t go up down if the fire budget it approved or not. It is already taken out of your property taxes. You want to lower your taxes, then either move out of Lakewood or have your elected officials lower your property taxes.

  5. to rockhoundz:

    Thank you so much for another great idea. This Shabbos (with 72 min) I should be home by 7pm. So, thanks to your excellent suggestion, I can skip Havdola, AvosUbonim, and everything we do after Shabbos and just rush there in this two hour window. A lazy fellow like me could not think of better excuses than fullfilling my civic duty when I am needed the most at home!

  6. Dear Bubbie,

    In this years cencus lakewood has grown by 25000 people(sorry documented people). The way the lfd is set up is that there was one paid ff on duty 24/7/365. The rest of the department are VOLUNTEERS. and there are a number of FRUM jews that are ff.

    These are members of your community that when you are running out they are running in to YOUR BURNING HOUSE to save your life and property.

    it was getting to a point that 1 full time FF was not enough to cover all of lakewood and they put on a second FF.

    The building that was re done on monmouth and 8th was in such bad shape and almost nothing was up to code and also since it was used for a volunteer station before it had to be re furbished to code and to accomidate a full time FF who will be living there.

    Give these brave men a women a chance to help save you G-D forbid and don’t cut there budget. the money spent now (which is not a lot) might be used for you.

  7. To #10
    My suggestion was to those who might care enough AND have a few minutes to spare in order to vote. If you have other obligations, by all means, take care of them. It was only a suggestions. Easy does it.

  8. To #10 please get your facts straight before you start spreading your gossip. I am a vol. firefighter there are several Jewish members in the Dept. It is people like you that spread stories that some people believe is truth.

  9. to #10

    before you tell stories you should GET the FACTS!!! You have nothing correct in your post. All you are doing is spreading false rumours and making false statements.

  10. #10,

    1. To be a commissioner your must be a lakewood resident. All 5 commissioners live in lakewood and pay taxes here.

    2. The elections are always the 3rd saturday in feb. that is the state. If you have a problem with that call your gov. not the lakewood fire dept or township officials

    3. The house on the 7th st (not the one that had a fire on saturday. From what i was told the owners of that house had to go find a non jew to make the phone call in stead of them calling 911.) the one that had the fire on friday. the fire dept was on scene with 3 – 5 min from the time they got the call. be fore your spread rumors get your fact straight.

    4. No jews in the Fire department! thats funny because I spoke to 2 (two) of them yesterday.

    5. Email i know nothing about

    6. Who are you going to get to be a commissioner? someone who knows nothing about fire fighting, what a fire fighter needs. How would you like to run into a burning building with some who know nothing about fighting a fire backing you.

    I understand everyone is on this anti tax bandwagon, so am I but there is somethings you just don’t fool around with. Your life safty and the safty of our volunteers are one of them.

    Think about that when its your house on fire and your family is stuck inside G-D forbid.

  11. part of the salary is a secretary that makes 129,000. A secretary who is called an administrative assistant. now talk about others in emergency services being paid a lot – lets rethink this.

  12. I was just wondering,

    Everyone is out bashing the Fire department, and there budget that gets paid for by taxes. Not everyone owns homes here and therefore not everyone pays for the fire department yet uses them.

    We as a community have a volunteer organazation that asks EVERY FAMILY (and we all know not every family pays) to pay $104.00 a years yet has anyone ever asked to see there budget.

    Yes i am talking about hatzalah. This is by far the most amazing oraganazation around. They have volunteers that when ever day or night are going to help.

    but, does anyone question what they spend. they build new garages with heated driveways. they make arrangments with monoc that uses one of lakewoods ambulances and uses it for that. We as a community paid for that ambulance and they are using it for monoc, does anyone question this????

    They ask us for money (taxes) and make decisions that effect us and now one asks questions.

    The Fire Department is funded by taxes but all there books are open to whom ever wants to look.

    Before we go and bash one organization we should look at some of our own.

  13. I and Dov,

    what do you accomplish by having someone who knows nothing about fire fighting or running a fire department.

    there are regulations (osha, piosh, nfa…) that have to be followed. Learning on the job does not help a FF when he needs water to put out a fire and the new commissioners decided that they could get another year out of a hose that only has a five year life and now it bursts.

    What are they going to tell this FF parents, wife, children when they get injured, oops sorry we will know better next time…

  14. There is to much wasted money there. Vote a frum in vote no to that multi millien doller budgget.. why is not city hall in charge? I am so ill of being robed of taxes. Vote no

  15. Hey #10- FYI some of your facts are wrong. I know for a fact there was a large presences on 7th st when that house had a fire. My question is HOW long did it take someone to call that fire in? It was mid day on a friday afternoon around 1230p, How come it took so long to call? It was not shabbos yet. And some of those firefighters were from out of town because of the low daytime membership in this town..If you know so much about firefighting come join. I will be happy to have you try to do what we do every day
    –How do you fix a Volunteer Fire Department that works off a budget that is less than the operating budget to the township by like half?
    to #18 Thank you for that rebuttal to #10

  16. # 18 a few questions.
    1) Is the 600,000 pumper a fire truck? Do we really need a new fire truck???
    2)Why do we pay 475,000 for hydrant rentals? Is that normal ? If it is I think we have to crack down statewide on whoever is stealing that money from us(presumably the water co.)
    3)I live right near the 8th & monmouth fire station and I don’t know what the inside off the building looked like,but the outside was in very decent shape. It did not need fancy landscaping(carpet grass, fancy shrubs and plants, a sprinkler system for the landscaping, a new flag pole[unless the old one wasn’t up to code] etc.), nor did it look like the massive parking lot behind it,to be repaved( I was on it numerous times including the fire dept annual fare). enough said-do you agree?
    4)For the record I think assemblyman Gary Schaer past legislation that makes it illegal to have elections on a holiday of any sort(religious or not). I have contacted his office and am waiting for a response. I hope they’ll change it statewide.

  17. You obviously have no idea or knowledge about the FD!!! When will you be happy? When there is a fire and someone dies Gd forbid? The FD is mostly volunteers who put their lives on the line every day and you have no appreciation. Instead of complaining, why dont you go volunteer??? Are you ready to put your life on the line for the sake of your community or is your blood more important than our Firefighters?
    Do you know how old some of the firetrucks are? Lakewood is growing by leaps and bounds, the FD has to keep up with the population and construction growth.
    Show some respect.

  18. All the current fire commissioners(besides for Vince Lobello who is not up for re-election this year) Are super capable, experienced and devoted guys. It will be a disaster if some frum guy in town wins commissioner because he wants to play fireman! It is not like joining the board of ed, it is a serious position that warrants a tremendous amount of experience and can directly save or C’V cause to loose lives.

  19. #25.

    Yes a pumper is a fire truck

    In the lakewood VOLUNTEER Department there are stations located in diff. sections of town. Your next question is why does lkw need so many Fire House?

    If there was only one fire house lets say in the center of town, how long do you think it will take to get to, lets say raintree or leisure village east at 3:00pm or friday afternoon at 2:00pm when sundown is at 4:30pm. that is why there is more than one fire house.

    Each fire has at least 2 trucks. some are specialty trucks some are engine/pumpers. Some of the trucks date back to the early 80s and some older.

    so to answer your question yes there are trucks that need to be replaced. you might not like it now, but g-d forbid if it was your house and family in trouble you would want a working truck responding.

    The fire hydrants are rented from NJAW. Why do they charge so much? Because they could. and there is nothing that we can do. Was tried and failed.

    The renivations with 8th and monmouth was put to bid and was open records for all to see. the entire inside had to be redone. you had to take a shell that was falling apart and build a working fire house and living quarters with specilized equipment and communication.

    when you buy a house do you just leave the outside looking like garbage. NO you fix up the property, so yes you put in grass and nice trees, and yes you fix the parking lot that was falling apart. a simple pot hole when a fire truck carrying 800 gallons of water can do a lot of damage.

    Like I said before, the election are a state issue, and what is wrong with having it on saturday. in lkw they had it extended for the orthodox community. you only need 5 min or less to vote.

    To end with, I think our taxes are being wasted, but this is not something you fight with. These are brave men and women, husbands, wives, parents, brothers & sisters who VOLUNTEER to come to your house in your time of need and risk there lives to help you.

    Help them help you.

  20. “If a community organizer can become President of the United States and the most powerful man in the world, anyone can be a fire commissioner”

    That’s a insult to the fire commissioners.

    Like clock work, this time of the year everyone grips about the board yet how many folks actually bother to find out facts about where their money goes? Folks your getting off very cheap for a town with a 90K population. The day of the fully paid department is coming. enjoy what you have now and how little it cost you . Look up the surrounding towns budgets and see what a Fire Officer and fire fighters are paid plus their benefits look it up on APP

    Thank that Volunteer, they save you about $70k per man – times that by 45 to 50 men for a paid department =$3.5MILLIONl and thats not including their benifits

    As for the shrubs I agree that they look nice but not needed IMO But firefighters alway seen to take pride in their stations and equipment

    Too bad others in town dont take as much pride in keeping their properties half as neat as the local fire stations


  22. #35
    the louder you screem the more people don’t listen. Never right in caps..

    When the Hook and Ladder was built on ceder bridge with the PAID Fire Fighter (7401) it was stationed there because that was concidered a central location fro ALL of lkw. Rt 9 and James covers rt9 and south plus industrial park on james, hospital, now all the development on pine & vine. thats about a 4 – 5 square mile.

    Monmouth and 1st covers ALL of downtown, to coventry, parts of 14thst shoprite, countyline, wohr ave & east 4th st.also about a 4 – 5 square mile maybe more.

    The New paid FF 7411 (remember that lakewood has grown by more that 25,000 documented people in the last 10yrs) ( oh and by the way the budget has not risen in those 10 yrs) is now located on 8th and monmouth. he covers ALL of the north side of the lake from westgate to jackson boarder on countyline to raintree …

    As a number of people have said before, say what you want now, when its your family stuck in a burning building the Lakewood VOLUNTEER Fire Fighters will not hesitate to help, but if they don’t have the equipment that is needed to help you than you will understand. WHEN IT IS TO LATE.

    Lets hope it does not come to that. Sleep well tonight knowing Lakewood Bravest are there in case you need them

  23. To FF friend says:
    thank you for setting the facts straight here for those who like to complain and have no clue as to what really takes place

  24. The day is soon coming when the few volunteers left in this fire

    department of ours will have had enough of this town and their inability

    to appreciate the service that we provide freely. We will all leave this

    calling as freely as we joined; dedicating our lives to communities that

    can appreciate our protection of life and property. We don’t ask for

    much, as a matter of fact we ask for nothing for ourselves only that

    you donate to our cause but you don’t do that either because if you did

    we wouldn’t need a fire tax. Bravery is not the same as stupidity, I am

    not going to risk my life more than it already is because all of you don’t

    want to pay your share of taxes. If you think your taxes are high now

    wait until the volunteers quit and you require a fully staffed, fully PAID

    fire department, then you will all be sorry.

    I’m truly sick of this town!

  25. The 2011 budget is lower than 2010 by $143,000. And the tax is less from .057 to .053. A house assessed at $200,000 costs only $106.00 in fire tax for the year.

    The budget doesn’t have any bonds or loans so construction and purchasing fire trucks never had interest piled on top for the taxpayer to pay. The Fire Commissioners saved each year until a project could be paid for. Buildings and trucks are maintained to keep up with standards, requirements and codes for safety, protection and efficiency and to meet ISO requirements which are used to price house insurance rates.
    There are almost 100 volunteer firefighters still in the Lakewood Fire Department. A volunteer firefighter takes hundreds of hours from his or her life and family to jeopardize his own to either continue training on how to better save your life, your home, your property or actually run into your burning home and save you. The reward for this to a volunteer is the pride, the heartfelt thanks and gratitude from those served. No matter the weather he is there, bitter cold and freezing rain or wicked hot and humid. Regardless of the day; a child’s first birthday, Christmas Day, or an anniversary; the volunteer firefighter is there. From these ranks come the brave, caring, courageous firefighters who the Commissioners are part of and for the past 115 years in Lakewood have served honorably, faithfully and dutifully to all of Lakewood and kept the fire tax down. To a comment earlier, there are “Jewish guys” and a gal in the fire department, many of whom are orthodox.
    People should try to do some good for Lakewood. Volunteer!

  26. As a Orthodox vol FF in monsey, it pains me to read all the comments from lakewood.

    We are talking about your life. we are not talking about garbage pickup, or snow plowing, or bussing. We are taliking about something that could happen a fire that could happen in a flash.

    FF need equipment that works & up to certain standards that we don’t regulate. When responding to call every second counts. having a truck that is 20yrs old and might not start on cold days might be the few seconds thatwas need to save your life.

    You pay more for your cell phone bill in one month than the tax for the fire department for A WHOLE YEAR.

    Don’t be fools. Help them help you in your time of need.

  27. No 46 – Well said! Nothing but the facts

    Your fire Tax is going to be LOWER in 2011 even after hiring personnel to staff the north side paid station 24/7 recently to answer the 2000+ calls for help.

    The budget provides for the essential, no frills.

  28. To lkwd4ever says:
    Well said ! there are so many comments that have no factual basis its good to see your posting as it really sets the record straight

  29. Its going to be a sad day when all the volunteers have sad thats it no more , take this (volunteer) job and shove it . There seems to be a real lack of understanding from many who think it cost nothing to run this town ,especially the services of the LPD & Fire Dept.
    Its sickening to read some of the comments here , I must ask why did any of those who habitually complain move here in the first place if you think its so bad?
    If you think things are bad now just wait until there are no volunteers and you have to have a fully paid Fire Dept

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