Anarchists are on the loose in Toms River according to statements made by Toms River GOP leaders after voters turned down a $14 million firehouse in a special election on Saturday.
According to a story in PoliticsOc today, Toms River Republican school board member Christopher Raimann, still recovering from a black eye after losing a critical political appointment vote earlier this year condemned the taxpayers of Toms River for voting down a new, lavish $14 million firehouse project.
The Toms River Republicans privately blamed conservative challenger Justin Lamb for their defeat, but their memo, like so many before were leaked to the local news media.
According to the report, Raimann, who sits on the supposed non-partisan Toms River Regional School District Board of Education, fired off a memo to the Toms River Republican Club warning them not to take Lamb’s campaign lightly, blaming Lamb for lying to voters about the costs of the firehouse.
After looking over Lamb’s social media and campaign statements, Lamb was an advocate for the defeat of the referendum, but did not appear to publish any statements that were not consistent with the facts released by the township and fire district pertaining to the project. Lamb offered sharp criticism over the costs, size of the building and clarification of the use of the word “average” when used by township officials in the expected tax increase.
“This memo is one of many I have received and agree with since the Fire House vote,” DiBiase was quoted as writing by Politics OC. “We will continue to expose them as the anarchists they are!”
“While we could only speculate over the TR GOP’s silence over this backdoor tax increase prior to the Saturday’s vote, this latest revelation from this surrogate shows they have been in full support of a huge tax increase all along,” Lamb said in a statement.
Lamb said his opponent, incumbent Maria Maruca had a chance to speak out against the referendum, but chose not to when the matter was discussed before the council.
Lamb is a police officer and volunteer firefighter himself and said the cost of the new facility was excessive at $14 million and would have impacted ward 1 residents more than others in town due to higher property values along the bay front and oceanfront.
Prior to the claim of anarchy in Toms River, Republicans have sharply criticized Lamb, leading to what could be a situation of strange bedfellows throughout the general election should Lamb defeat Maruca in the June 6th primary elections where he would run with those he criticized and those who have criticized him.
He would run as part of the Republican ticket in November.
Lamb fired off a final salvo in the back and forth exchange in heated contest which has had its share of mudslinging prior to the firehouse election.
“Are we taxpayers anarchists?” Lamb asked. “I believe we are called Conservative Republicans, an informed electorate is the establishment’s biggest fear…the TR GOP and WARD 1 has no leadership and my opponent sits silent as usual.”