Loigman Emerges Victorious in Lakewood Fire Elections


loigmanLakewood, NJ – Larry Loigman, a well-known Lakewood attorney, emerged victorious in elections held last night for two seats on the Lakewood Fire Commission. Incumbent Juan Ortiz was reelected, while incumbent Vincent S. LoBello was voted out.

Fire elections are usually sparsely attended events, but they have garnered far more attention in recent years, as citizens throughout the country have grown concerned over government spending. In 2010, the Lakewood fire budget was voted down for the first time in recent memory by a one-vote margin, 101-100. Last year, the budget was defeated by about 50 votes. With growing interest over the last few elections, this year’s balloting promised to be different, and indeed it was.

Loigman received 553 votes, while Ortiz garnered 729 votes. They will each serve one three-year term.

Lobello, the owner of Vince’s Auto Repair on Fourth Street and a lifelong Lakewood resident, received 320 votes. He has been a fire commissioner for the last 25 years and a firefighter for 31.

The fire budget was voted down, 601 to 205.

Loigman has sued the government multiple times, serving as something of a watchdog against government overreach. He has also taken on many cases for Jewish organizations pro bono, and assisted them in legal affairs. But his experience is not limited to law. As a college student, Loigman served as an auxiliary firefighter with the Baltimore City Fire Department and then, in Washington, D.C., as a member of the Friendship Fire Association and founder of the Concerned Citizens for Fire Protection. He is still involved with several fire organizations.

Ortiz, a Vietnam War veteran, has been a Lakewood resident since 1977 and has been a firefighter for 21 years. He currently serves as the vice chairman on the Commission and also has vast experience in the technology sector, having worked for many years with Verizon and Motorola.

Loigman has said that he will focus on the fire department’s fiscal policy to make sure it is as efficient as possible. They fire department has accumulated a surplus of about $2 million, which is essentially the amount they need for a full year of expenditures. While there is nothing wrong with having a small surplus for a rainy day, says Loigman, $2 million is “way too much money to just be sitting around.”

Loigman has emphasized that his interest lies only with improving the fiscal aspect of the fire department, not its day-to-day operations.

“I only intend to straighten out the department’s finances, to ensure that it runs as smoothly and cost-effectively as possible,” he said this past week.

This year, the Ocean County Board of Elections increased the ballot machines from two to six to shorten the wait time, and they also extended the polling time from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. to allow for those unable to vote on Shabbos to have ample time to vote without missing their Avos Ubonim seder.

{Dov Green-Matzav.com Newscenter}