GOP Faces a Challenge in the Toms River Council Race
Incumbent Toms River Republican Councilman Brian Kubiel is not at all concerned that he’ll be facing former Democratic Mayor Paul Brush for a Ward 2 Council seat challenge this year.
Kubiel says they’ll both run on their records and he says the all-Republican Council has been more effective without Brush. Kubiel says it takes the efforts of the entire Council team to take on the significant issues facing Toms River. He says the Council members work as a team and there is no division.
However, other than responding to the criticism of his opponent, Kubiel barely gives this year’s election a passing shrug. That’s because his mind appears to be focused on Sandy recovery and he says that’s why he’s running for re-election. “I am running for re-election to continue with the quest to restore our community from Hurricane Sandy back to 100 percent.”
In fact, many of the challenges he’s hoping to address with fellow Council members this year are very much recovery-related. Kubiel says the Mayor and council plan to challenge FEMA’s flood elevation maps. “to insure that our residents are afforded the proper heights and not these flood elevation maps that have been increased with some discrepancy’s.” He also says the Township is going to have to cope with lost tax revenue and the possibility of property tax valuation appeals.
Another challenge is getting signed easements from beach front property owners so they can enter into an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restore the beaches and then provide the township with a 50 year insurance policy that they will come back every 5 years to restore the beaches to help prevent major beach erosion in the future. With regard to easements, Kubiel says there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
He says “we got some encouraging news that one of the associations that had drawn a line in the sand is coming forward and meeting with us and we’re trying to work out all the details.
He takes issue with Brush’s criticism over the Council’s decision to use AshBritt for Sandy Debris removal. Brush says the Council could have saved more than half the money they’ve put out by going to local contractors or putting the contract out to bid but Kubiel calls the Brush comments misleading. “The AshBritt contract is actually not a Toms River contract it’s a county contract for all of Ocean County in which we have all participated. The rates that are being used are governed by FEMA and it is a non-bid process.”
Kubiel this is his tenth year serving on the Toms River Council. In his professional life, Kubiel serves as the Administrator to Toms River Fire Department District 1 and has been working in Fire Service for over 30 years.
Kubiel is running with incumbent Republican Council Members Maria Maruca, Jeffrey Carr and Alfonso Manforti.