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Residents Take to the Polls in Manchester, Lakehurst

Polls are open until 8 p.m. Tuesday

Manchester and Lakehurst residents have been visiting the polls since 6 a.m. with little hassle. 

In , voters are selecting a new mayor, while residents are deciding when to hold municipal votes. Residents of both municipalities also are voting for Ocean County freeholder and state senate and general assembly candidates. 

In Manchester, the much-debated , while an important issue to voters, was not the sole reason they came out to the polls.

"I always come out to vote," said Maria Lychock, who has lived in the area for over 30 years and voted Tuesday afternoon at the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department headquarters on Route 571. 

Lychock said that she received a phone call urging her to vote in favor of the change. Other calls were placed by Mayor Michael Fressola, who asked voters to oppose the referendum. She decided to support moving the township's nonpartisan municipal election from May to November. 

"If it saves money, yes," she said. 

Adeline Costello, who has lived in Cedar Glen for the past five years, said that she mainly came to the polls to cast her votes on the ballot questions. 

"I came out for the two questions more than the candidates," she said.

Leading up to the vote, Costello said that she was familiar with the issue and had received a flier detailing the topic. As for moving the election date, she said that "there is not a problem with that."

Manchester's municipal clerk Sabina Skibo said that the referendum may be a draw to the polls for residents.

"Even though we don't have municipal candidates, we still have the question," she said. "With the state of the economy, people will voice their opinion. We may wind up with a better turnout for a November election."

If approved by voters, the terms of council members would be extended six months to bring them in line with a November vote. The township would be bound to hold its municipal elections in November for 10 years before the possibility of switching back to a May vote could be approved. 

Manchester residents once before had the opportunity to decide on moving municipal elections when in 1999 voters defeated a similar referendum. 

Many township leaders, such as Fressola and Council President Craig Wallis, are against the move, citing the desire to keep party politics out of Manchester. Though the township would retain its nonpartisanship, they fear that mixing a municipal vote with the partisan general election will begin to blur the lines of independence. 

Those surveyed at the polls, as well as Skibo, said that voting has been smooth throughout the morning and afternoon hours. A newly created 40th district in Manchester has not caused problems, Skibo said, and her office has not received calls from voters disapproving of the new polling location created around Roosevelt City. 

"Everybody has been receptive," she said. 

As Lakehurst voters took to the borough's community center on Center Street to and two council members, no delays or voting problems were reported.

Jim Bruni, a 60-year resident, said that he came out to vote Tuesday afternoon because rising taxes concern him.

"They have to cut out the unneeded spending," he said. 

Patricia Kelly, a payroll manager who moved to the borough in 2000, agreed. 

"They need to cap taxes," she said, adding that New Jersey's taxes could wind up causing her to move out of the state one day.

Skibo, who receives the ballots for Manchester and Lakehurst before sending tallies to the Ocean County clerk, said that she anticipates having the final results sometime around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, barring any problems. Manchester Patch will publish the tallies as they become available. 

walt tupycia November 08, 2011 at 09:52 PM
what ever happened to the mayor who thru his joint out his car?
walt tupycia November 08, 2011 at 09:54 PM
fire your whole ploice force and have manchester take over.Taxes should drop 90%.
Mark Morrison November 08, 2011 at 11:27 PM
90%? Police expenses only account for about 20% of the budget...how much would Manchester charge to police the borough?
Dan January 25, 2013 at 04:31 PM
STATE OF NEW JERSEY LOCAL FINANCE BOARD NOTICE OF VIOLATION In Re: [Michael Fressola, Mayor, Township of Manchester, Complaint This matter having come before the Local Finance Board (Board) pursuant to the Local Government Ethics Law, N.J.S.A. et seq., upon complaint that Mayor Michael Fressola used the address and telephone number of the Township of Manchester City Hall in a political mail piece, using the resources of the Township for his personal gain and securing unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself and his campaign in violation of N.J.S.A. and, WHEREAS, the Board determined that the allegations were within its jurisdiction, were not frivolous and were based upon a reasonable factual basis, authorized an investigation of this complaint; and WHEREAS, the Local Government Ethics Law states: N.J.S.A. 40A: No local government officers or employee shall use or attempt to use his official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself or others; and,
Dan January 25, 2013 at 04:31 PM
WHEREAS, the Board, having considered the matter and the relevant statements and presented and all documentation with the written response to the allegations submitted by Mayor Fressola, concluded that the use of the Municipal Building address and telephone number in the letterhead of a political mailer distributed in connection with the May 11, 2010 election constitutes the use or attempted use of Mayor Fressola's official position to secure an unwarranted privilege or advantage for himself or others in violation of N.J.S.A. It is therefore, DETERMINED that Mayor Michael Fressola shall be assessed a fine in the amount of $100.00 for the violation as related to his engaging in activities prohibited by the statute. Said fine shall be payable to: Treasurer, State of New Jersey, and be submitted to: Thomas H. Neff, Chair, Local Finance Board, P.O. Box 803, Trenton, New Jersey, 08625 immediately. If payment of said fine is not received within 10 days receipt of this NOTICE, Mayor Fressola is subject to additional fines as determined by the Board in accordance with its powers in N.J.S.A.40A:9- 22.10, Violations and Penalties.

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