Incumbents unseated, budget defeated in fire district

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DENNIS TOWNSHIP – Write in candidates unseated incumbents in three out of four races in Dennis Township Fire District No. 1 Saturday, where voters also rejected the proposed budget.

The preliminary results were released by Cape May County Clerk’s Office Tuesday morning.

In Dennis Township Fire District No. 1, a $368,000 budget was defeated by voters, 80 to 52. That budget will now go to the Dennis Township Committee, Fire Commissioner Edward Guest said this week.

In the fire commissioners’ race, write-in candidates Michael Fry received 84 votes and Bryan Moran, 80, to be commissioners for three-year terms. Incumbent fire commissioners John Berg and Edward Guest Jr. received 43 votes and 30, respectively.

Neither Fry nor Moran could be contacted for this story.

Another incumbent, Thomas Carroll, received 102 votes for a one-year term. The county did not report any write in votes against Carroll. 

Another write-in candidate, Philip Brown, won a two-year term with 81 votes. He unseated incumbent fire commissioner Wayne Matthews, who received 43 votes for the two-year term.

Guest said fire district election results were not surprising and he called the race between the candidates cordial. He wanted to close out his time as a fire commissioner anyway; the three men expressed an interest in running as write-ins, and he said go for it.

There were fewer surprises in other fire district elections Feb. 16, which typically see the lowest turnout of any local election.

Michael Butterfield received 111 votes and Philip N. Winter, 101, in Middle Township Fire District No. 1. Both terms are for three years. Carl Chambers was a write-in with one vote.

The fire district’s budget will be supported by $1.168 million, approved by voters, 92 to 34.

At Middle Township Fire District No. 2, Jean M. Zimmerman took 33 votes and Salvatore J. De Simone, 34, for two three-year terms.

Voters approved, 34 to 7, being taxed $536,800 to fund the budget.

Edward J. Lord Jr. received 26 votes and Clay Simmons, 25 votes, in Middle Township Fire District No. 3 for two three-year terms. Shirley Hill garnered one write-in vote.

Also approved was a $439,326 budget, 19 to 10.

In Middle Township Fire District No. 4, David Ennis took 28 votes for one three-year term. Voters also approved, 25 to 4, being taxed $152,119 to cover the fire district’s operating budget.

Carla A. Coffey and Kyle Prosser both received 18 votes for Dennis Township Fire District No. 2, for two three-year terms.

Nineteen voters approved funding $246,025 of the budget and to purchase a new 1,200-gallon rescue pumper firefighting truck not to be more than $490,000. The approval means the fire district can incur debt, issue bonds or notes and spend money on a new fire truck.

In Dennis Township Fire District No. 3, William P. Hilton Jr. received 14 votes for a three-year term, and voters approved $157,905 to fund the budget 14 to 1.

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