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Law Allows District Elections To Move To November

first_imgBy John BurtonLawmakers hope a recently enacted law will do for fire district elections what a similar one did for school board elections a few years ago.Assembly Bill A-1690, which Gov. Chris Christie signed into law on Aug. 7, allows for local fire districts to move their elections to the date of the general election in November, if the district choses.State Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-11), who represents a portion of Monmouth County, was a co-sponsor of the bill. There are numerous reasons to allow districts to move their elections, including the probable increased participation by coordinating it with the higher attendance of a general election, Downey said.Fire district elections are traditionally held on the third Saturday in February and are often not particularly well advertised which means voter turnout can be particularly small.Downey said usually less than 2 percent of voters bother to go to the polls in February. “Sometimes it’s less than 1 percent,” she said.“This will promote transparency and awareness of district operations,” Downey said of the bill.This law will allow districts to move the election contingent on the approval of the county board of elections. Candidates for the fire district election would be nominated through the direct nomination by petition process set in state statute.The law would eliminate voter referenda for the district’s budget, as long as the budget is within the state 2 percent property tax levy cap; and would do away with voter approval on certain capital purchases, as long as it’s approved by at least a two-third majority vote of the district commissioners, according to the statute.Moving the election would save taxpayers money, as well, Downey said, pointing out it would do away with the cost of conducting a special election.Fire districts cover both paid and volunteer departments. And the elections tend not to be very competitive, observed Richard Kosmoski, president of the New Jersey Volunteer Fire Chiefs Association. In an email response, Kosmoski said, “A very minimum amount of voters turn out, so if you can muster enough support, you win the election.” Those who muster that support are usually members of that department.Despite the lack of attention on the part of voters, some fire districts oversee substantial budgets and award contracts and determine some salaries with little oversight, Downey said. “If fire districts can show they can work like other local governments,” she said, “they should be treated like other government units.”This would go into effect for the November 2019 elections, if the districts decide to move in that direction.Both the Asbury Park Press and the Star-Ledger of Newark have published editorials supporting the change, with the Ledger calling the off-time elections “the last bastion of balloting that escapes the eyes of higher authorities.”“I think it’ll be a good thing,” Downey maintained, “And hopefully people will take the time to see who the people are who are running.”In 2011, public school districts were permitted to move their board of education elections to November’s general election. “It was successful,” Downey said, noting by 2015 all but 17 boards around the state had moved their elections to the November general election.Kosmoski said for operation purposes, “I don’t see it having a major impact on the fire district.”The fire districts in Monmouth County are: Keansburg, Wall, Freehold Township, Tinton Falls, Ocean, Aberdeen, Neptune Township, Manalapan, Marlboro, Howell, Colts Neck, Hazlet Englishtown and Union Beach.last_img read more

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first_imgPeter Miller70103714%29%$370,510 INSIDE IS THE SHORTEST WAY AROUND FOR NYQUISTNyquist makes his much-anticipated three-year-old debut Monday in the Grade II SanVicente Stakes at seven furlongs, the first step on what Team O’Neill hopes will lead to the Kentucky Derby on May 7.Winner of all five career starts, his last three Grade I stakes including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Oct. 31, Nyquist drew the rail against five rivals, not necessarily any trainer’s favorite post position sprinting, but Doug O’Neill is taking it in stride.“I think with a good horse, it’s part of it,” he said. “You take what they give you, andsometimes the rail’s not a bad thing. It’s the shortest way around. You just have to break good. We’re pretty confident in Nyquist. He’s a good gate horse so we should be in good shape.”O’Neill’s “junior varsity,” meanwhile, came through at Golden Gate yesterday when Frank Conversation won the El Camino Real Derby, his second straight win over the synthetic Tapeta surface, having captured the Golden Gate Derby in his previous start.“He’s a nice horse, very honest, and very exciting,” O’Neill said. “If he can parlay that (form) to dirt, it could be a lot of fun.”The San Vicente, race five of nine: Nyquist, Mario Gutierrez, 4-5; Electrifying, Tyler Baze, 20-1; El Charro, Joe Talamo, 8-1; Denman’s Call, Flavien Prat, 6-1; Exaggerator, Kent Desormeaux, 5-2; and Sheikh of Sheikhs, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1.In addition to the attractive racing card, Santa Anita celebrates Presidents’ Day with another popular Dollar Day. Draft beers, hot dogs and sodas will be on sale for a buck apiece. First post time is 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. THE RAIL IS NO DETERRENT FOR UNBEATEN NYQUISTCHAMPION SONGBIRD DRILLS FOR SANTA ANITA OAKSBAFFERT MULLS HITHER OR YON FOR HOPPERTUNITYCALCULATOR VICTORIOUS IN COMEBACK FOR MILLER Mark Glatt5266212%27%$278,310 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Jeff Bonde2162329%52%$143,340 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Tyler Baze14815232210%41%$855,961 Richard Baltas62109616%40%$719,909 (Current Through Saturday, Feb. 13) Gary Stevens4376516%42%$885,058 Flavien Prat12723151818%44%$1,494,848 Joseph Talamo12915171612%37%$801,144 William Spawr2465325%58%$161,492 Edwin Maldonado103209919%37%$716,330 Doug O’Neill9613151714%47%$688,927 Drayden Van Dyke83881210%34%$516,939 Mike Smith62761011%37%$914,045 FINISH LINES: Agent J.R. Pegram reports David C. Lopez still sore from a riding mishap in Friday’s eighth race and remains “day-to-day” as to when he will return to the saddle. Lopez took off his scheduled four mounts today . . . Tiz a Billy, prepping for next Sunday’s $75,000 Baffle Stakes for three-year-olds at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf, worked four furlongs Sunday in a bullet 47.40 for trainer Brian Koriner. Tiz a Billy’s time was the fastest of 69 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 49.22 . . . Illuminant, ticketed for Saturday’s Grade II Buena Vista Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile on turf, worked four furlongs for trainer Mike McCarthy in 50.80. Flavien Prat, who won three races Saturday, rides both horses . . . Rafael Bejarano and Santiago Gonzalez remain tied for the riding lead with 29 wins each through 30 days, but Phil D’Amato, with two wins Saturday, has opened an 18-13 lead over runners-up Doug O’Neill and Bob Baffert among trainers . . . Legendary Hall of Fame jockey Johnny Longden would have been 109 years old today. Patrick Gallagher2363526%61%$464,488 Rafael Bejarano14029291321%51%$1,421,670 Kent Desormeaux52713613%50%$662,290 Mario Gutierrez11412201611%42%$789,056center_img Kristin Mulhall2552220%36%$218,990 Martin Pedroza5464311%24%$162,590 George Papaprodromou2552520%48%$120,730 CALCULATOR’S WIN COULD ADD UP TO SAN CARLOSCalculator, a well-regarded son of In Summation, returned after an absence of more than year to win Saturday’s seventh race by a neck for Peter Miller, who trains the gray Florida-bred for owner Richard Pell.Calculator hadn’t raced since winning the Grade III Sham Stakes at Santa Anita by 4 ¼ lengths on Jan. 23, 2015. Prior to that, he was second in two Grade I races behind eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, in the Del Mar Futurity and the FrontRunner Stakes.“He had a non-displaced condylar fracture on his right front,” Miller said in explaining the long layoff. “We planned to run him in the Breeders’ Cup, but he had a sore foot, so we had to scratch him.“He’s had some issues but he’s a tremendous talent and it’s really gratifying to get him back and to have him perform like this. For him to break bad, be five wide, run into the (speed) bias and hang tough was real gratifying.“When that horse (Fusaichi Samurai) came back on (along the rail), I thought, ‘Uh oh,’ but he showed his heart. If he stays healthy, we could think about the San Carlos, going seven-eighths (a Grade II, $300,000 race on March 12).“I don’t know how far he really wants to go, but I think a mile, a mile and a sixteenth is within his wheelhouse.” Fernando Perez1051091710%34%$555,354 Bob Baffert601381022%52%$1,049,575 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Jerry Hollendorfer83961211%33%$752,071 Peter Eurton54814915%57%$605,668 Agapito Delgadillo4885617%40%$198,557 Vladimir Cerin2582332%52%$251,780 BAFFERT MULLS PLANS FOR STAKES STARSBob Baffert remained non-committal Sunday morning on the next race for San Antonio Stakes winner Hoppertunity.“It will either be the Big Cap ($1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 12) or Dubai ($10 million World Cup on March 26),” Baffert said.There was little confirmation on the next races for Dortmund and Mor Spirit, as well.“Dortmund’s feet are good,” Baffert said of the Santa Anita Derby winner, who has not raced since winning the Grade III Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar last Nov. 28. “He just hasn’t shown the energy in his works that he has in the past. That’s the issue.”On Triple Crown contender Mor Spirit, Baffert said, “I’m still waiting on him. I’d like to give him a couple weeks before making a decision. His next work will tell me more.” Carla Gaines3152216%29%$412,105 Steven Miyadi3677519%53%$226,159 ‘NICE AND EASY’ BREEZE FOR SONGBIRDUndefeated and untested Songbird worked four furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track on a picturesque Sunday in 48.40, breezing, under exercise rider Edgar Rodriguez.The champion two-year-old female of 2015 is preparing for the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks at 1 1/16 miles on April 9.“Nice and easy,” is how trainer Jerry Hollendorfer described the move. “She’s coming along good.” John Sadler4576416%38%$350,715 David Lopez1132081618%39%$598,201 Martin Garcia70117816%37%$716,404 J. Keith Desormeaux2753619%52%$156,680 Philip D’Amato7318121225%58%$981,065 Santiago Gonzalez14429211520%45%$1,136,904last_img read more

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first_imgDOLLAR BEERS, SODAS & HOT DOGS OFFERED ALL DAY MONDAY FANS CAN ENTER TO WIN PRIZES, INCLUDING A 2016 MERCEDES-BENZ GLC & BREEDERS’ CUP SEATING AT SANTA ANITA ON FAN APPRECIATION DAY, MONDAY, JULY 4; FREE ADMISSION FOR VETS & ACTIVE MILITARY ALSO AVAILABLE ON INDEPENDENCE DAY Monday, July 4 is Fan Appreciation Day at Santa Anita Park.    Fans can enter to win a chance at a 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC, presented by Rusnak/Arcadia, reserved seating for the 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita on Nov. 4 & 5, VIP packages good for the track’s Autumn Meet which begins Sept. 30, and $500 betting vouchers.Veterans and active duty military will receive free General Admission this Monday at Santa Anita as well.  With a nine-race card on tap, Monday is also Dollar Day at Santa Anita, with one dollar beers, sodas and hot dogs available throughout the day.Details on Santa Anita’s Fan Appreciation Day offerings: Each fan (with paid admission) will receive a contest entry card as they enter Santa Anita on Monday. That card, once completed, can be placed in any number of designated contest locations or bins throughout the facility.All entries must be submitted by 3 p.m.The contest cards will be used to draw the winners, who will be announced throughout the day, from the Winner’s Circle.One lucky fan will become the final contestant entered into the drawing for the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC presented by Rusnak/Arcadia. All 10 qualifiers will be on-track and will be assigned to a specific horse in a designated race on July 4. The contestants will watch their race from the Winner’s Circle and the winning horse will determine the winner of the Mercedes-Benz GLC.$500 betting vouchers will be given away. Four 2016 Autumn Meet “VIP Day at the Races” packages will be given away.Two Breeders’ Cup Reserved Seating Packages, including a Four-Pack for Friday, Nov. 4, and a Four-Pack for Breeders’ Cup Classic Day, Saturday, Nov. 5, will be given away. PLEASE VISIT http://www.santaanita.com/events-and-tickets/ FOR CONTEST RULES PLUS ALL ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING GIVEAWAYS AND VIP PACKAGES.                First post time on Monday is at 1:30 p.m.  Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m.  In addition to santaanita.com, additional information regarding Fan Appreciation Day on Monday, July 4, can be obtained by calling (626) 574-RACE.last_img read more

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