Monthly Archives: May 2012

Local Gadfly Lewis Attacks Fire Company; Councilwoman Urges Discrimination Against Employee by Prohibiting Pay Raise

Tuesday, May 29 SLH Borough Council Meeting: attendance: Mayor Maccanico, Council President King, Council Members Cindea, Diver, McLean, Shuler, and Vorbach. All present.

Viewers will find several items of interest in the Tuesday, May 29 Council meeting. Councilwoman Patricia Cindea attempts to amend the agenda to include a discussion as to why one employee should be discriminated against and not receive a 2% raise, although all other employees are in line for the same amount. Note, too, that the raises are included in a budget which includes a decrease in taxation.

When this motion to amend is not carried, the Councilwoman then makes an effort to use her speaking time for Council Committee Reports to discuss it anyway. Councilman Richard Diver points out that had the Councilwoman read the 2012 Salary and Wage Ordinance prior to voting on it, she would have realized several weeks ago that the raise was proposed in the ordinance.

After railing against the same employee in the first voice of the public, local gadfly John Lewis, in the second voice of the public, decries the fact that the local Fire Department received their funding for 2012 through the now-dissolved Fire District. He demands the fire company return their funding, even though the State’s Department of Community Affairs made it clear that the Fire District was in full operation through Dec.31, 2011 and was required to fulfill their obligations to the volunteer fire company, including funding.

All this and more at the May 29th Council Meeting:

3rd District Republicans Need to Choose: Long-time Loyal Republican Supporters or Obama Supporter?

Republican voters in the 3rd District who received their sample ballots in the past few days need to take a close look at the contested race for Republican Committee.

The so-called County Comittee also functions as the local committee. Committee members run the local chapter of the party and are responsible for finding and supporting appropriate candidates, fundraising, and generally raising awareness of the party and its goals. Voters see only those candidates running in their district so, for example, voters in the 5th district will not see the candidates for 3rd and vice-versa.

For many years, the 3rd voting district has been represented by long-time residents Maureen and Raymond Miller. The Millers are ardent Republicans who are willing to listen to issues that residents in their district may have. They are active members of the County Committee and, with their leadership, have been instrumental in delivering Spring Lake Heights its first Republican mayor in almost 30 years.

A look at the ballot in the 3rd district shows that the Millers are being contested this year, contest by Katherine Kelsey along with local gadfly John Lewis. Both are newcomers without any known experience witht the Republican organization. Lewis, a retired fireman from Hoboken who pulls an annual pension of over $70,000, has run in the past for almost every other local elected post. Additionally, during the 2008 Presidental elections, he openly supported now-President Barack Obama, a rather odd choice for a supposed Republican.

Lewis is well-known to attendees of school board meetings, where he has argued incessantly against putting money towards education for years. He also led local efforts to bring down the fire district and the Board of Fire Commissioners, a move which removed the resident’s ability to vote directly on the fire budget.

What is particularly interesting about Lewis’ candidacy is his placement on the ballot on the Republican party line.

No one can be denied the ability to run for elected office. When two candidates petition to run for the same seat, the chairperson of the local committee and the chairperson of the County committee confer and choose the candidate they wish to list on the party line. A decision is then made to either include the other candidates on the same line, or push them to a separate line.

Conventional party wisdom assumes that loyal voters are also uneducated, and will simply go straight down the party’s column and click every candidate, regardless of record. In fact, locals in Spring Lake Heights report they are coached by phone every election season to “just go down the party line” and, in fact, have been lead to believe they CANNOT vote for anyone else.

In the case of Lewis and Kelsey vs. the Millers, no one appears to be quite sure how the Lewis/Kelsey slate was put on the party line and the Millers moved to the next column.

When asked, SLH Republican Chairwoman Sara King noted that she had never been contacted by the Monmouth County Republican Committee as to her choice for the positions. In fact, Chairwoman King reports that she only learned about the ballot positioning from Bertha Summick, the Monmouth County Clerk of Elections, when King called with other election business.

A call to Monmouth County Republican Committee headquarters was returned by Adam Majorie, executive director of the Committee. Majorie was unaware of the situation or of who at the County level had made the selection and indicated he would look into it. As of this posting, heightsonline has not yet received an answer.

County Chairman Joseph Oxley was unavailable for comment. Oxley recently received a Supreme Court nomination from Governor Chris Christie; Majorie indicated that due to this nomination, Oxley is no longer able to have any political involvement, even commenting on anything that occurred prior to his nomination.

heightsonline will continue to follow this story in the run-up to the June 5 primary. Any of our readers wishing to be interviewed as to their feelings on the 3rd District race are invited to e-mail us at: