Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Explosive Growth of Lakewood, NJ – What Does the Future Hold?

With primary elections coming up in lakewood its important to know what is going on and read about the candidates. 
Jewishvoiceny.com by Yitzchak Gershner
Explosive Growth
As has been widely reported in recent years, the Orthodox community of Lakewood has been experiencing tremendous growth. In order to serve the community, hundreds of communal institutions have been established, including synagogues, yeshivas, and kollels.
The community faces an enormous strain in accommodating the unceasing demand on resources, including new housing, schools, services etc. A short tour around town will confirm that the growth is continuing unabated. Housing development is continuing at an accelerated rate, with new neighborhoods constantly being built.
Over-development has placed a strain on already limited resources with skyrocketing property taxes and traffic nightmares among the most dire consequences.
Political Implications
In recent years, the political agenda has slowly evolved to align with the special interests of a select few, while ignoring the plight of the population at large. For many Lakewood residents, their quality of life has been significantly impacted. Roads that were built with several thousand people in mind must now accommodate close to one hundred thousand. Growth is possible but without responsibility and accountability, it will lead to chaos.
A recent proposal that came before the township to build a mall in a highly populated area led to a severe public backlash. Under this proposal, the township would have provided land worth a hundred million dollars to developers at absolutely no cost! This shopping center, complete with a theater, would have created a tremendous strain on the already beleaguered town. Traffic would have soared, competitors would have been destroyed and it would have created an unhealthy outlet for youth -weakening the moral fabric of Lakewood. Due to harsh criticism from the community, the project has been suspended. There is no reassurance that this plan could reappear at a future date.
Real Problems - Real Solutions
Avraham Sharaby and Dovid Gruman are running for the Lakewood committee. Sharaby is running on the Republican side and Gruman is running on the Democrat side.
Sharaby started out in Lakewood in his early twenties studying in Beth Medrash Govoha and is currently working as a real estate broker. He is married with three children and once he is elected committeeman, he has concrete plans to alleviate the financial suffering and improve the quality of life.
He has in the last few years, worked closely with politicians and other groups of interest to fight legislation that would harm the sanctity of marriage and permit assisted suicide. His efforts to protect traditional values have been highly successful and a have led to results.
Dovid Gruman is a third generation Lakewood resident. His grandfather was a talmid of Rav Aharon Kotler, ZT’L. Dovid was born in Lakewood and has been living in Lakewood his entire life. He studied in Beth Medrash Govoha for 9 years and is married with three children. Gruman is proud to have his business headquartered right here in Lakewood’s industrial park.

Growing up in Lakewood, Gruman has seen much change in this town. He remembers driving on Route 9, just 15 years ago in middle of the day with no traffic. Lakewood is a beautiful town with a lot to offer and is a great place to live and raise a family. Dovid would like to show our residents just how much better it can be.
It is easy to enumerate problems, but Mr. Sharaby & Mr. Gruman are ready to work with real solutions that would address some of the real issues Lakewood faces. There are no quick fixes but there are immediate steps that can be taken to alleviate the situation. Some of Mr. Sharaby & Mr. Grumans’ suggested proposals include:
*Increasing the township’s income.
*A full revamp of public works.
*Checks and balances on all purchasing decisions. Assessment of privatizing services with a tax credit for certain developments that are putting a strain on services throughout the town.
*Engineering and attorney services should be outsourced to lowest bidders, ensuring no conflict of interests in Lakewood.
*Blue Claws contract should be renegotiated. Stadium should be profitable for township not only for the Blue claws. The stadium can be used for more events off season that benefit Lakewood.
*The Strand Theater should be managed profitably.
*An end to all spot zoning and zoning variances that change the character of neighborhoods and lead to traffic nightmares.
*A self-audit to find all wasteful spending and non-essential services to save taxpayers money. Work with BOE members to identify waste in the educational system. No longer should the committee excuse itself from BOE matters that involve spending township tax dollars.
*Work with the league of municipalities to push Trenton to change the school funding formula which could grant Lakewood taxpayers a sizable savings on property taxes.
*Full transparency on all township activities.
*Focus on federal and state grants to repair infrastructure and areas in need of revitalization. Grant tax incentives to investors willing to fix blighted areas in town.
*A full revamp of the UEZ. Work with future NJ Governors on ideas to benefit the state while granting Lakewood a portion of sales taxes collected to be used for business development only, and not for special interest giveaways.
The Future
Both Sharaby and Gruman want a Township committee that has the best interests of ALL the people of Lakewood at heart. No longer can residents afford a system that favors the interests of a few without consideration for others. They want to create a system where we can address the issues of every area and make Lakewood even greater.

48 comments:

  1. If you are Republican vote Sharaby, Travis.
    If Democrat vote Gruman, Raitzik.

    The incumbents have to go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I say Hirsch over Travis.

      Delete
    2. Harold HerskowitzApril 30, 2017 at 9:01 PM

      If you say Hirsch over Travis, please tell us who we are supposed to be listening to. An anonymous endorsement holds no sway.
      Hirsh is not an option. I can't get into details publicly at this time.

      Delete
  2. I like their platform, but have a couple of questions " work with investors to fix the blighted areas of the town"

    That was the excuse that was used for giving tax abatements away like candy. What "blighted" areas of town are they referring to?

    I also don't fully understand the part about oversight of the BOE. Maybe I am missing something, but the BOE doesn't even have oversight of the BoE, it is in control of the state monitors. Perhaps they could help by not handing out tax abatements that cripple the BoE.

    No I am not on the BoE, but as an outsider looking in, those guys have a very thankless job, in a very difficult situation.

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    Replies
    1. Harold HerskowitzApril 30, 2017 at 8:25 PM

      There are still some awful areas in town. Hipoint,Golfview, parts of 88 and other areas. We need to give investors incentives to build responsible housing and rehab single family homes being used as multi family housing already. Many of these properties are rarely inspected, and are protected because they are managed by a member of our township committee. If a home is not habitable, we are not doing anyone a favor by letting tenants live that way. We need landlords to step up and take care of their properties or find another alternative . On the other side, we need to halt all large developments on empty land. Building new large developments is killing the taxpayer and causing a decay of our quality of life.

      Sharaby and Travis, Gruman and Raitzik, understand what needs to be done. And they will do it for the people of Lakewood.
      The solution is in our hands. We have the power to change everything. Let's not wake up on June 7th and find out there is no hope

      Delete
    2. Harold HerskowitzApril 30, 2017 at 8:32 PM

      We see that Meir Lichtenstein got involved when it came time to control the busing money. There are things a committee member can do if they want to. BOE Matters should be on a committee members agenda. As well as LIC,UEZ,MUA,LDC,and many other acronyms that have been operating with no oversight.

      Delete
    3. Those properties are privately owned and the township has no business in interfering with privately owned properties.

      They are subject to inspections CO's for new tenants and in the case of Highpoint, a yearly inspection by the state.

      When the economics make sense, they may be redeveloped, It is not an apartment complex that is individually owned and has violations. they are condos with many individual owners.

      I would like nothing more then for the area to improve, and eventually they will be, but what you are suggesting, that this can be forced on individual property owners is ridiculous.

      Using eminent domain, even if legal, would cost tens of millions of dollars. The change will happen eventually anyways, no sense wasting that kind of money on something that will eventually happen due to market conditions. Bad neighborhoods have been changing over gradually over the years, just let the process happen.

      Choosing winners and losers is what the current committee does, let the market take care of itself.

      Delete
    4. Harold, you are incorrect, the BOE is independent from the Township by State Statue. Aside for that, if you think the Boe is doing such a bad job, why don't you run for it, much easier then winning the Township Committee election.

      The reason is because it is a thankless horrible job. Show some appreciation for the people on it, and what they have to deal with.

      Delete
    5. Wrong the township does a horrible job of enforcing the Co rule. They let these slum led get away with everything.

      Delete
    6. Harold HerskowitzMay 1, 2017 at 7:14 AM

      There are things the committee can do to help the school system. Mayors in other towns do not just ignore the schools. As far as incentives for slumlords, nobody ever said anything about eminent domain or doing anything drastic. There are tax deductions and other incentives that can give slumlords a reason to repair their "situation".
      There is nothing wrong with a town expecting that all properties be aesthetically pleasing and clean. J Employing or being close with a certain connected property manager should not make you exempt from keeping your property clean.

      Delete
    7. Harold, if that is what you are referring to, it won't accomplish anything, but I have no problem with it other than it being a waste of energy.

      Most of the properties are up to code. I know Highpoint does require CO's and the Township is picky, it also gets inspected annually by the State. So you are barking up the wrong tree, but if it makes you happy...

      Delete
    8. For the average person in Lakewood, the inspectors don't let you get away with anything. I had an inspection and was in the middle of putting up a smoke alarm when the inspector came in. I passed on everything else, but he failed me for the smoke alarm (which would have been up if he waited a minute). I had to get it re-inspected and lost a months rent.

      I don't own a lot of property in town, maybe for those that own or manage a lot of properties, things are different.

      Delete
  3. The vaad has to give it up and let others take over.

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  4. Hey whats with hirsh? He backed out?

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  5. Eventually The Chasidim from Boro Park and Wiliamsburg will Take over the entire Lakewood they will purchase all the Town houses Duplexes and Developments as they prefer to Live that way and will even pay a Premium to live in such a Manner. All The Litvaks and Non Chasidim will move to Jackson, Toms River and Howell, New Jersey and Cleveland Ohio

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It should not be that way, where a new group moves in a pushes out another. We have started something here and can preserve the Lakewood we grew up with for generations if done right.

      Delete
    2. Yup. The litvishe from boro park circa 1965 wants their line back.

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    3. I agree with anonymous. Lakewood will be Borough Park, and the Litvish will move out.

      Delete
  6. *Increasing the township’s income.

    How? By raising taxes or "investments"?

    *A full revamp of public works.

    Can they identify what they are fully revamping, why and at what cost?

    *Engineering and attorney services should be outsourced to lowest bidders, ensuring no conflict of interests in Lakewood.

    For some htings you need competence not the guy who will do it for the least money

    *Blue Claws contract should be renegotiated. Stadium should be profitable for township not only for the Blue claws. The stadium can be used for more events off season that benefit Lakewood.

    Are there no current clauses in the contract that prevent them from doing this? What are they going do when everyone starts yelling at them for bringing traffic to town with off season events?

    The Strand Theater should be managed profitably.

    Who owns Strand? How do they expect to turn it into a profitable enterprise?Is it all an issue of mismanagement?

    Etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Berel, you can increase revenue by preserving and expanding commercial ratables while not handing out tax abatement's like candy on Simchas Torah.

      As far as public works, did you ever drop something off at the dump? I Occasionally drop off cardboard there, something the town makes money on, and EVERY time I am there, there are pickup trucks with trailers (sometimes box trucks) dumping construction material (something that is not permitted, and EXTREMELY costly to the Township)

      Have you driven on the roads? They are one big pothole.

      Regarding the attorneys, do you think there are only 2 or 3 attorneys in NJ that are competent? Apparently the committeemen and board members do.

      Delete
    2. Berel, do your homework about the Blue claws deal. The town has no right for any off season events. The very bad deal was not even signed by the township committee but by an unelected board of the LIC and some members ARE NOT LAKEWOOD RESIDENTS!!!!

      Delete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. The VAAD (& their cohorts)has been the root cause of the Lakewood problems.
    Any one that votes for a vaad endorsed candidate is just as guilty.

    Gov Christie is livid on the VAAD, they refused to even meet with him prior to election, which is unheard of.

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    Replies
    1. Big problem are clueless voters who are fooled by bad propaganda with slogans such as "Daas Torah" or "Hakoras Hatov" . These voters are hurting lakewood mishpachos and tax payers by voting bad backed candidates who only represent the interest of a few while hijacking the public block vote.

      Delete
  9. Cohorts means Rosh Yeshivah of BMG. They appoint the Vaad. So we see what your agenda is.

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  10. ive always said term limits should apply for any elected office case in point LAKEWOOD TOWNSHIP. people in power are put their by special interest groups,businesses or yes even schools which each have their own personal agenda and many times are at odds with whats really beneficial for the rest of the town as a whole.
    Gone are the days where the public must suffer for the benefit of the few
    its time for a change from top to bottom. i think both democrats and republicans would benefit if term limits were applied to LAKEWOOD as only those who sincerely want to help and serve the public would run being theirs no long term benefit of being a committee man . and it wouldnt benefit those who try to push certain candidates as they arent their long term to be used to benefit them not worth the investment
    it will also keep those elected honest as theirs no gain to them either

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  11. All for NAUGHT, Futility of Futilities,our town is not run by the various boards,bobbleheads and yes men. Lakewood is controlled by a shadow gov. that has never been elected or represented the TAXPAYERS. They control the large vote and sell us out to whoever PAYS off the most $$$$ and benefits to a few shadow leaders.The Corzine vote is a good example where are wise ones were getting a lot of CASH from a LOW LIFE and snubbed Christie. Maybe that's why we don't see Christie helping us at all in regards to Educational and transportation funding . Our wise ones sold us out to the highest bidder and WE all suffer from their decisions.The elections are a CHARADE until our shadow gov.is VOTED OUT

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  12. Hirsch is a dedicated person and will do what's best for lakewood.. what experience does Travis have? Does he own a home in lakewood?

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    Replies
    1. Harold HerskowitzMay 1, 2017 at 1:13 PM

      Hirsh is not an option. If you want to endorse him, please tell us your name. Otherwise your endorsement is worthless.

      Delete
    2. Harold HerskowitzMay 1, 2017 at 1:20 PM

      And before you endorse him, ask him how his meeting with the head of the VAAD and Aaron Kotler went. A person that just wants to get elected so he can have some power is exactly what is not needed. I do not want to get into any more detail.

      Delete
    3. If Harold is against Hirsch, I am for Hirsch. Enough said. I can't get into more detail in a public forum, but Harold is bad news. I just can't say. Trust me. Believe me.

      Delete
    4. Harold HerskowitzMay 1, 2017 at 8:13 PM

      Again you're anonymous and your anonymous opinion is meaningless. If anyone wants to know why Hirsh is not a good choice to be on the township committee , feel free to call me anytime at my store. Many people have my cell phone number, feel free to call me. Its nothing personal. Unlike what Mr anonymous just said.

      Delete
    5. If Harold is againstt Hirsch then I am against Hirsch. Harold is the one who, many years ago, first made me aware of the shenanigans that go on in this town. I trust Harold.

      Delete
    6. Harold HerskowitzMay 2, 2017 at 7:42 PM

      I'm not against Hirsh as much as I am for the others. If he wanted what was best for this town he never would have run. He brings nothing to the table that we couldn't already accomplish without him.

      Delete
  13. The Scoop is the mouthpiece of the VAAD...

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  14. Harold just because someone is anonymous doesn't mean he can't say he is for Hirsch. We all know u and know what ur cause is but the way u are acting going around like some kingpin and speaking in riddles isn't ur way...there are some concerns with the people that u are endorsing and we can't discuss it in public forum

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    Replies
    1. 4TH & MADISONMay 2, 2017 at 9:08 AM

      Harold doesn't see any problem with MESIRA .

      Delete
    2. Harold HerskowitzMay 2, 2017 at 11:01 PM

      I do have a problem with mesira. I also have a problem with calling someone a moiser without knowing the details,or if it even falls into the category of mesira. The person I will assume you speak of happens to do nothing without speaking to his Rabbi first.

      I have an even bigger problem of people that will put innocent lives in danger and steal from others for their personal profit. I don't prescribe to the tactics of TBL or FAA,or others, and I may wince at some of the things they say. But I would never condemn them and call people trying to stop thieves, moisrim.

      Delete
  15. 4TH & MADISONMay 2, 2017 at 9:09 AM

    HIRSCH TRAVIS

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  16. Harold HerskowitzMay 2, 2017 at 10:51 PM

    Hirsh is not and never will be an option. He is clueless to the political pecking order in our town. I would rather try to work with the status quo, than ever deal with him.
    He wants to be on the committee way too much and that is very scary. He asked Benny Heineman for a vaad endorsement. That not only shows how out of touch with reality he is ,but how desperate he is as well.
    Don't waste your votes on him.
    Vote!
    Gruman
    Raitzik
    Democrat

    Sharaby
    Travis
    Republican

    ReplyDelete
  17. Harold why cant you educate Hirsch. He definitely seems to be in the right mode for the job. There is nothing wrong with meeting with the VAAD if you are running. What you are inferring is that the proper way to run for office is NOT reach out to all parties in town?? That doesn't make sense! I think it shows political savvy and just proper due diligence to speak with AK Inc and hear what they have to say.. I don't see anything wrong I think it is proper to meet with all people in Lakewood.
    Please xp[lain why Sharabi warrants a vote. Have not heard one thing from him....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Harold herskowitzMay 3, 2017 at 1:09 PM

      Hirsh followed me after a town meeting one night asking me questions. I don't have time tonrela with educating him. Sharaby and Travis are both open minded and willing to listen and do what needs to get done. Hirsh thinks he knows it all already. Not an option.
      Democrat
      Gruman
      Raitzik
      Republican that refuses to vote for an incumbent
      Vote
      Sharaby
      Travis
      JUNE 6th you can make a difference

      Delete
  18. Harold "Republican that refuses to vote for an incumbent" does that imply you do cosider the incumbents an option?

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    Replies
    1. Harold HerskowitzMay 3, 2017 at 8:48 PM

      I consider that some people may consider that an option and I am not telling anyone what to do if they choose to vote for the status quo. Some people don't like change and that is their choice. But if you decided you want new people

      Democrat
      Gruman
      Raitzik

      Republican
      Sharaby
      Travis

      Delete
  19. Harold are you planning on running and are afraid that hirsch will actually be competent and take votes from you? Harold we are not that stupid...please say for all that you wil not run so we know you don't have any meat in play here...

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    Replies
    1. Harold HerskowitzMay 3, 2017 at 8:45 PM

      I don't want to run. I am too busy dealing with spinning toys. What is with everyone? All of a sudden everyone is fidgeting?

      Delete
  20. Harold please say I'm not running not I don't want to run (but I have no choice.....) you didn't say you are NOT running...if you say I will not run then u have credibility

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  21. Harold HerskowitzMay 5, 2017 at 2:45 PM

    I think that the past seven years, being that everything I warned everyone would happen is now happening, is all the credibility I need. But thank you for your concern. Watching someone show up at a meeting and start asking questions about the airport, blue claws and zoning density is laughable ,considering that we have already answered those questions many years ago. We have a job to do. So lets get it done. We have no time for someone that needs to learn the ropes.
    Democrats and independents can vote for
    Gruman and Raitzik
    Republicans that would never consider voting for the status quo can vote for
    Sharaby
    Travis

    ReplyDelete