Election Day is less than three weeks away and there are plenty of races to watch all over the Garden State.  Yesterday we heard from the four Democrats who are eyeing up seats currently held by Republicans.  Today, we hear from them, who defend their records of service for the past few years.

Republican members of the Toms River Council (clockwise): Al Manforti, Maria Maruca, Brian Kubiel and Jeffrey Carr (Township of Toms River)

Maria Maruca, Brian Kubiel, Jeffrey Carr and Al Manforti are running against the slate of Democrats who feel spending is out of control.  However, Councilman Kubiel doesn't see it that way.  He feels Former Mayor Paul Brush, who is eyeing up his Ward 2 seat specifically, needs to remember his own tenure when his spending went up about 11.5 percent per year.

Kubiel explains "under Mayor Kelaher's tenure, with the Republican Council and cooperation, his spending has only gone up 3.1 percent per year."

The big key issues on the slate include reducing spending, trimming fat whenever possible, recovering fully from Superstorm Sandy and meeting the needs of all residents.

Kubiel says "We are trying to restore the beach communities the best we can.  We're trying to get all the ratables back on, inter-local agreements.  We need to look at ways to provide services at a reduced cost."

The Democrats want to see the Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) go away and be folded into public works.  They feel it will save money.  However, the Republicans feel adding an extra layer of work to their already stretched department is counterproductive.

One of the other issues raised by the Democrats was over health coverage and benefits for council members.  Kubiel doesn't take them nor do most of the council.  However, it is a statutory right for them to choose whether or not to take them.  He doesn't feel that should be changed.

Election Day is November 5th.