PLUMSTED – Two Republican incumbents faced a write-in candidate on Election Day.
The unofficial vote count had GOP Committeeman Leonard Grilletto retain his seat for another three-year term on the dais. He faced write-in candidate John Neyenhouse, who is the chairman of the township’s Environmental Committee and who ran in the GOP primary last spring.
Grilleto received 1,207 votes on Election Day. There were 233 write in votes.
Neyenhouse said he ran because, “there are many people in this town that feel like we could use a change. There are many things that we can be doing to help improve the town, such as supporting our first responders, working towards improving our Main Street and our downtown.”
Republican Committeeman Mike Hammerstone received 1,227 votes for a one-year unexpired term that was created when a committeeman resigned in January.
Hammerstone was one of three candidates reviewed by the Plumsted Republican Club and GOP voting district committee earlier this year. He was approved by a vote of the all-Republican Township Committee in February.
Development was a top topic of campaign literature and social media posts during the election, particularly the approval of a warehouse earlier in the year on Route 539, revising township code and the revision of the community’s master plan.
Plumsted School Board
Three candidates sought two open Board of Education spots on this year’s ballot. School Board President Susan Potter and Vice Board President Justin Burnett didn’t run for re-election.
Running to fill their spots on the slogan of “Let’s Fix This” were Robert Stepnowski of Letitia Drive, who received 929 votes and Kathryn Kovacs of Long Swamp Road, who received 943 votes. Bernard Bahnam of East Millstream Road, Cream Ridge ran without a slogan and received 477 votes.
Issues voiced during this race included parental input in matters of LGBTQ+ policies in opposition to the State’s mandated guidelines. The guidelines concern student privacy and teachers not informing parents about sexual identity of students. Additionally, state aid fund reductions for the school district was also an issue.
Fire District Vote
A public hearing was held on November 6 at the New Egypt Firehouse on Main Street concerning a resolution for the purchase of a fire truck and equipment at a cost not exceeding $1,100,000. The fire district previously held a public hearing to approve the purchase of the fire truck and equipment at a cost not exceeding $900,000 and it was now necessary to conduct another hearing to approve the right to expend an additional $200,000. Following the hearing the Fire District adopted the resolution authorizing the purchase of the truck and equipment.
In the race for district fire commissioner, William Pippen Jr. received 1,207 votes for a full term on the board. There were 54 write-in votes.
There were 141 write-in votes for the district’s unexpired term. The names of the write-ins and the official numbers will be released after the County Board of Elections certifies the results, which takes a few weeks after election day.