Monthly Archives: April 2013

Candidates Withdraw from 2013 Primary

heightsonline has learned that two candidates who filed to run in the upcoming 2013 primary have withdrawn from the race.

Prospect Avenue residents Margaret Conrad and Anthony Tumminia, in an April 15 letter to Monmouth County Clerk of Elections Bertha Sumick, noted the lack of support by the County Republican party as their reason for withdrawing. “In light of Mr. Bennett’s overriding the Spring Lake Heights GOP Committee in it’s [sic] selection of Republican Candidates for Borough Council,” the brief letter reads, “we regretfully withdraw our names as Candidates for Borough Council in the upcoming June 4 primary.”

“Mr. Bennett” refers to John Bennett, the Chair of the Monmouth County Republican Party. The Chair has the ability to choose which candidates will receive the “party line”: this means they will be in the same column as any national, state, and county level party representatives running. Other candidates are not prevented from running; instead, they are assigned a separate column of their own.

Tumminia and Conrad’s letter indicates that Bennett has selected incumbent Republican Richard T. Diver and Raymond Miller to run on the Republican party line. Rather than run off the line, Tumminia and Conrad chose instead to bow out. They still may run as Independent candidates if they collect the necessary signatures on a new petition and file it with the County Board of Elections by the June 4 primary day.

Heightsonline looks at the 2013 Primary Candidates and their Petitions

Candidates filed their petitions to run in the June 2013 primary election, and heightsonline acquired copies through the Open Public Records Act (OPRA). Here is a rundown on who is running and who supported the petitions:

For the Democrats, incumbent Thomas Vorbach is running with former councilman Thomas O’Brien. The petition is signed by former mayor H. Frances Enright; planning board chairman Frank Russo-Alesi; the two candidates – Vorbach and O’Brien; and 1st District Democratic Committee representatives E. Jane and John E. Tully. The petition signatures were collected by E. Jane Tully and the Affidavit of circulation and the candidates’ oaths of allegiance are notarized by John E. Tully.

For the Republicans, four candidates have filed to run. Incumbent Councilman Richard T. Diver submitted a petition signed by 5th District Republican Committee representative, Patricia Van Ness; former 3rd District Republic Committee representatives Maureen and Raymond Miller; Republican Councilman James Shuler and wife, Mary Shuler; Mayor Gavino Maccanico and wife, Elaine; and Betty Rushton.

Also filing to run is Raymond F. Miller and his petition is signed by himself, Councilman Richard T. Diver; Maureen Miller; Councilman James Shuler and wife, Mary; Mayor Gavino Maccanico and wife, Elaine; Sean Reaney and wife, Tiffany.

Petitions for both candidates were circulated by Raymond F. Miller, and the Affidavits of circulation and the Oaths of Allegiance were all notarized by 4th District Republican Committeewoman Sara J. King.

Contesting the Diver/Miller slate are newcomers Anthony Tumminia and Margaret Conrad, both of Prospect Avenue. The Tumminia/Conrad petition is signed by Republican Committee Chair Patricia N. Cindea; Randy Weimer of Prospect Avenue; Jill Madonna of Prospect Avenue; Patricia Tummunia of Prospect Avenue; Margaret Conrad; 3rd District Republican Committee member and local gadfly John Lewis (Prospect Avenue); Robert Cindea; Clare Fallon and Deirdre Slattery Fallon, both 11th Avenue; Chris and Allison Tienken, Ocean Road; Lisa and William Britton of Ashford Court; and Anthony Tumminia.

The petition signatures were collected by John Lewis and the Affidavit of circulation notarized by Spring Lake Heights Borough Clerk Jay Delaney. The Oaths of Allegiance are both notarized by Patricia N. Cindea.

Those are the candidates and their supporters; heightsonline will be following the campaigns and bringing you updates as they happen.

BREAKING NEWS: Lake Avenue Fire Snarls Rt. 71 Traffic

Fire broke out in the rear of 612 Lake Avenue at approximately 12:15 this afternoon, snarling traffic along Route 71 and sending local firefighters into heavy brush to battle the blaze. The property, owned by Joan and Patrick McGuinness of Hillsdale, is 60 by 200 feet and heavily wooded along the northern portion facing Black Creek. Firefighters experienced difficulties in getting to the blaze and brought in a chainsaw to cut branches downed by last year’s hurricane. Flames could be seen along the bank of Black Creek and smoke belched into the air.

Loud, repeated explosions issued from the woods; it was uncertain what caused the explosions, whether paint cans or ammunition may have been stored on the property. The property, which is occupied by a renter, was recently put up for sale by the owners.

The SLH Volunteer Fire Company responded swiftly and, despite initial difficulties getting through the heavy undergrowth, appeared to have the fire contained within a half-hour. Their quick actions averted a potential tragedy given the high wind conditions, dry brush, and close proximity of neighboring houses. Firefighters remain on the scene to wet down the property.

BREAKING NEWS: 2013 Primary Candidates Announced

Monday, April 1 was the deadline for petitions to be filed for the upcoming June primary elections. In Spring Lake Heights, six petitions were filed to file to till two Council seats.

For the Democrats, current incumbent Thomas Vorbach filed to run along with former Council member, Thomas O’Brien.

The Republicans will have a contested election. Incumbent Richard T. Diver, who as finance chair introduced a zero-increase budget for 2012 and a budget that reduced property tax in 2013, filed to run with Planning Board member Raymond Miller.

Opposing Diver and Miller are neighbors of local gadfly John Lewis: Lewis is the elected Republican Committeeman for the 3rd District. Anthony Tumminia and Margaret Conrad, both of Prospect Avenue, have no experience in municipal government and have not volunteered to serve on any board or committee in town prior to this bid to be on Council.

Heightsonline will be reviewing the petitions of all the candidates in an upcoming post.

Council Debates Next Steps for Proposed Route 71 Rezoning

Following a well-attended public discussion session on March 11, the SLH Borough Council again took up the discussion of how best to deal with a request to rezone a strip of 12 lots along Route 71. The lots stretch along the west side of the highway, from Allaire Road to Pitney Avenue. The four lots closest to Allaire Road are owned by a single property owner; these lots are “split zoned” in that approximately the front half are zone B-2 commericial while the back section is R-5 residential. This makes it difficult for the owner to build these lots within zoning guidelines.

Instead of applying to the municipal Zoning Board of Adjustment for zoning relief in the form of a use variance, the property owner has instead equested relief through a zoning change for the entire strip. Discussion has taken place about removing the B-2 and R-5 zones and making the entire strip a B-3 commerical zone.

All residents in town were notified of the proposed zoning via a mailing and were asked to attend a March 11 Council meeting to air their thoughts. The video of this meeting, split into 3 sections due to its length, is available for viewing via the Heightsonline YouTube channel.

Taking suggestions from the March 11 meeting under consideration, the Council made several changes to a proposed ordinance that would govern the use of the B-3 zone. Freshman Councilman Chris Tienken, who has shown himself to be concerned over quality of life issues, asked if paskage goods and bars could be prevented in the new zone. A bried discussion ensued over how this would affect St. Stephen’s Green Publick House. When it was determined that St. Stephen’s would be grandfathered into any change, the Council consented to remove bars and package goods as an allowable use. Councilman Jim Shuler requestsd that hardware stores and garden centers also be removed.

The Council then agreed to send the amended proposed ordinance back to the Planning Board for their input. The Planning Board oversees development and adherance to the municipal Master Plan; they may make further changes to the proposed ordinance or refer it back to the Council with their approval to move forward on it.

You can watch the entire discussion by clicking through on the YouTube link below: