It was a close election for three candidates vying for two, three-year terms on the five-member Ocean Grove Fire District Board of Commissioners in the Feb. 18 election while two unopposed candidates in the Neptune Fire District No. 1 easily won the two seats up for grabs.
In the Ocean Grove Fire District, challenger Paul Bagdanov was the highest vote getter with 50 votes, while incumbent William Ball received 49 votes. Incumbent Scott Jarmer came in a close third with 46 votes but did not garner enough votes to win a seat on the board.
The district’s $859,625 total budget, up $24,000 from last year, was approved by voters by a 79 to 6 margin. The budget has a $730,074 tax levy, or $6,000 more than last year. However, the district’s tax rate will not increase and remain at 7.7 cents for each $100 of assessed valuation.
Incumbent Todd Puryear and first-time candidate James Manning Jr., a former Township Committeeman, ran unopposed in the Neptune Fire District #1 election. Puryear received 246 votes while Manning garnered 211 votes. Manning will replace outgoing Fire Commissioner Frank Martuscelli.
The district’s total $3,752,685 budget, with a tax levy of $2,882,268 was approved by voters with a 195 to 115 margin. The budget has no effect on the tax rate for the fire district, which is just over 11 cents for each $100 of assessed valuation.