Lakehurst voters have elected Republican Harry Robbins as their new mayor, as the current President defeated Democratic newcomer Leroy Smith Jr. on Tuesday.
Robbins took nearly 70 percent of the vote, totalling 288 ballots, compared to Smith's 126 votes.
"It's time to move forward," Robbins said at a gathering following the closing of the polls at in Lakehurst.
Robbins, who ran after current Mayor Timothy Borsetti decided not to seek a second term, noted that the council will have two new elected members — Republicans Robin Busch and Ed Seaman Jr. were elected to the borough's council — as well as another member who will take the mayor-elect's vacated seat.
Seaman, who serves as the borough's fire department chief, received 274 votes, compared to 215 for Busch. They edged out independent Gary Lowe, a former borough police sergeant who received 181 votes, for the two available seats.
Robbins said that he plans to work with the council to stabilize borough taxes, which steadily have been climbing.
"That's something we've got to work on as a group," he said. "You can't do it without the support of the governing body."
The newly elected council members, Robbins said, already have some familiarity with the council since they attend meetings regularly.
"I'm looking forward to the meetings prior to being sworn in and doing my best for the town," Busch said.
The body will have a different makeup once the new members begin their terms in January — council members Sid Hooper and Patricia Ford will leave. James Davis and Steven Oglesby, two members Robbins called "experienced and extremely good," will remain.
Robbins has said that he plans to keep borough services intact despite the economic downturn. Seaman, who as fire chief is familiar with public safety, said that he wants to bolster Lakehurst's emergency services.
"We need more bang for the buck in the hard economic times," he said. "We don't want to lose services. We need people to think outside the box."
Seaman said that he has already saved the borough money as fire chief by removing unneeded phone lines and is looking into having solar panels installed. With the police department short officers and the fire department needing new equipment, Seaman is ready to look for ways to run Lakehurst more efficiently.
"People in Lakehurst pay for full service and that's what they need," he said.