BREAKING NEWS: Tax Assessor Linda Solakian Resigns

JUST IN: The tax assessor of the Lakewood township-Linda Solakian-has resigned. Linda, gave in her resignation letter today. Details of the resignation are still very sketchy, but TLS spoke with one Askan who said “I think she may have just had enough”. Linda has been on vacation for the last week and submitted her certified resignation upon her return. She has been with the township for close to 15 years. We will keep you updated with all further details as they emerge.

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  1. The pile is starting to fall. Lots of taxpayers money wasted and hopefully the future is brighter for Lakewood. She definitly did not have Lakewood high on her priority

  2. yeh- who put her there

    Her Uncle was the Tax Assesor and she was the Assitant. When he departed she took the job and then the Township Committee voted to give her the job with tenure. Bob Singer was her main backer.

  3. What will the Roshei Moisdos do now? Who will exempt`them now? Linda lives in a mansion in Toms River and has what to keep her busy, do not worry

  4. Tax appeal bankrupted this town. Over the past few years she spent hundreds of dollars on every appeal for the appraiser, attorney and Lakewood emplyess at the tax board and Tax Court and Lakewood lost most of the cases. So is that good business – Lakewood loses the cases and they spend hundreds trying to defend ludicrous assessments in a declining market. It would have been prudent to just settle like most municipalties do.

  5. “Dear Inessa, I have thoroughly enjoyed your course on Hypnosis. In just two classes, I was able to hypnotize three people into a deep relaxed state. I find your data to be very informative and think that you are an excellent instructor, one who teaches the classes with feelings. I am looking forward to continuing your educational program.“ Linda Solakian, Tax Assessor
    Google this lady's credentials as tax accessor, she hypnotizies the board and extracts all the money she can. What a great day for our town to be rid of this miscreant.

  6. I'm not lucky enough yet to pay property taxes, but was this lady really that bad? Are they going to get someone better than her?

    Is Yudel Shain in the running for this position? I remember hearing that he's got the right credentials..

  7. the whole tax thing is a huge mess the people who own single families are being burnt by the townhouses every one knows you cant buy a townhouse with separte basement in town for less than 410 – 420 but they are settling for 360 the single families are all paying 50-75 grand more than they can get for it its very unfair we all know camps can be found for anything that does

  8. Interestingly, you all assume that because the tax assessor was following the rules and regulations set forth by the State, she was somehow to blame. I always found her to be more than willing to sit down with anyone and try her best to compromise. Some people don't want compromise – they want everything. I wish Mrs. Solakian well and I will remind you that you know what you had – you don't know what you'll get.

  9. Linda Solakin worked hard for the Township for over 30 years. She was always polite when delaing with me and my family. She was always very helpful when I asked questions. She is not the person responsible for the assessments. That was done by an outside firm.

    I am sorry that she has retired. The Township is losing a loyal public servant. It is a shame that she has been abused because people are unhappy with assessments that she had no control over. The outside firm decided the assessments.

    Let's get real. Blame the outside firm. Many people who are against Mrs. Solakian need a reality check and should read the job description, noting the scope of the job as well as its limitations.

  10. Im sorry . I have had interactions with her aqnd her department and they were extremely nasty , in moat cases . Im tal\king about the attitude ,not the assesment .

  11. I was in the OC tax court when she was ripping into Benny Heineman. "You people" this and "you people" that. I later asked the Tax Office attorney (a pleasant fellow named Alfieri) about it, and he said that she tends to be exitable in general and the stress of multiple appleals pushed her over the edge.

  12. There is an unpleasntness about her and the office . Maybe she has too much stress but she certainly takes it out on her employers , the public at large . It shpid not be that way . If you work for the public you must treat them with respect . She did not .

  13. every dealing i've had with her and her office has been nothing but pleasant and professional. its a shame when a good person gets shoved out because of bad people.

  14. Linda has worked for Lakewood for closer to 40 years than 30. She earned her position by doing her job getting the education needed to advance and working hard for our community.Its a shame that these comments mostly attack when she was just doing her job.It seems that the loudest protesters are the ones who could not get her to bend the rules for them.We would all like to have our taxes lowered mine have gone up considerably over the past few years.That was not Lindas fault she had to follow the rules. In my dealings with her over the years she has always been courtious and respectful even though I didn't always get what I wanted. My feeling is if you treat someone with respect you will be treated with respect but as you know there are many among us who would not treat anyone with respect let alone a woman with some authority. SHAME ON ALL OF US.

  15. reply to August 31, 11:34
    Shameful you feel the need to add Charlie Cunliff in the mix. I'm sure Linda left for reasons that certainly won't be published. If one doesn't "play ball" with those who control the voting block; they all seem to get "pushed out". Tactics that are oh so familiar here in Lakewood.
    The taxpayers and voters who wish to have a better Lakewood should consider voting Charlie back IN.
    Maybe then the Inspections Dept., plagued with bribes and CO's being issued to slumlords that certainly don't deserve them, will change; or the "block busting" that continues when those "special" interest group members decide they want to purchase the entire neighborhood; so when folks won't sell, they stoop lower than dirt and use tactics to get rid of them; I could write a book on what goes on here that goes against many FEDERAL laws against "discrimination" – yet it continues as if it's okie dokie. "Private Practice" dentists and doctor's offices, etc., are you kidding us?!! Let us try and pull that and see how fast the reaction would be against us!
    I can't wait till the you know what hits the fan! Then maybe residents of Lakewood will have a fair shot at a normal existence against the "powers that be" and all their pull – illegal pull or not. Trust us, we are all very aware of what takes place here in Lakewood. It's only a matter of time…
    Charlie would, at least attempt, to clean up this township.

  16. We all know about the land for votes deal that has been going on in Lakewood for years. Instead of maligning a good and decent person, maybe some people should look at themselves. If I was a politician in Lakewood I would be very afraid…..

  17. Anon 7:45

    You are obviously not Jewish. But it's okay. I am Jewish, I'm Orthodox, I live in Lakewood, I moved on to a quiet non Jewish block, and I totally agree with everything else you said.

  18. FACT: Ms. Solakian was extremely unfair to real non-profit institutions. For instance, she would inspect or send an inspector when she knew the school was on vacation (submitting the calendar is part of the application) and accuse them of being a pseudo-school with no students.

    Another example: a school had several broken chairs in a storage room (after all, there was REAL wear-and-tear by REAL students!), and she accused them of running an upholstery business, thereby attempting to deny their tax exemption.

    She may have been nice to some people, but she forced legitimate schools and non-profit institutions to waste time and money fighting for their rightful exemptions. She wasted taxpayers money on appeals to Tax Court and repeated denial of exemptions after the Tax Commission ruled in favor of the institutions.

    The Tax Commissioner had upheld exemptions the previous year, and she was back the next year with the same denial.

    I believe it was last summer that the Commissioner said something to this effect: "We'd all have been able to leave long ago if you didn't make these people keep coming back with frivolous denials of their right to a tax exemption. Oh, but Ms. Solakian, you can always appeal to Trenton."

    That was when she yelled, "They don't let me appeal anymore" and stormed out in tears. The rumor was she would quit then.

    And now it has finally happened.

  19. in reply to September 1, 2009 10:16 PM;
    stop with the rumors and find out the facts!
    have you seen the letters detailing why the exemptions were denied? you dont know the exact reasons, you are just relying on what you've heard.
    were you even aware that the township has a separate law firm to review the cases and they determine if it should be denied?-not the assessor
    stop with the mudslinging people. doesnt lakewood have a bad enough rep without the "loyal" citizens slandering a woman whose loved this town for years and has done everything by the book?
    its disgusting.

  20. In response to the writer who said that I am obviously not Jewish. Wrong, I am Jewish and have lived in Lakewood for many years. I stand by my statement and I will also say that I have nothing but good things to say about Linda Solakian. She has been professional and courteous in all of her dealings with me. No one likes to pay taxes, myself included, but do not blame and castigate a person for doing her job according to law. Mrs. Solakian does not deserve the treatment she is getting. If there is a problem with the town, look to the politicians who run the town and give everything away for a vote. It really is disgusting.

  21. To all of you who claim biasness against her, are you really the biased ones? She has never shown any type of racism or antisemitism in her official capacity. I understand she has many Jewish friends she treats as family. Perhaps it is you who are the real bias ones. Is it because she is a gentile or a woman or is it because she is honest and does her job properly and legally and you just can't understand that? Is it because she doesn't play your kind of games and doesn't lie to get what she wants? She has been more than fair to every taxpayer in Lakewood regardless of race, color, or religious beleifs. Is that your problem that you didn't get preferential treatment and that she treats everyone the same? That's not bias nor antisemitism to me. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  22. I lived in Lakewood a great part of my life and I'm sorry for what it is becoming. It was once a beautiful town where there were minor upsets but all got along. Now with politics the way it is, it is becoming the lowest point on earth. There is only one thing that can help this town now and it is bigger than any of us. I wish Linda the best. She always treated me fairly and with courtesy. And if she had a bad day once in a while, why hold that against her. Most of you wouldn't have been able to survive what she went through and how many of us have lost our tempers once in a while. To do what you are doing and saying what you are saying is a shame to the human race.

  23. It truly does get old hearing over and over again that if something/someone happens to go against the "tides that be" it's automatically considered to be against the Jewish people. I have to be honest here with those who take time to read these comments; I have lived here in Lakewood for decades and I have seen a tide of change. Change is not necessarily a bad thing, we all know that. But when change comes at a price, a price that happens to effect the residents as a whole, than it should be deemed bad.
    Do those among us, who happen to have the "power" play, at this time, truly wish to continue to create such a wave of animosity towards their own people? Can you blame the residents of Lakewood for feeling this way after all we have been privy to? You must not continue to assume we are ignorant of what takes place here. You must not assume we are merely sitting back and nodding in disbelief and acceptance. We are not. When those in top positions do not do their job fairly; then naturally, you go elsewhere with your information stock pile. Seeking justice, fairness, balance, abidance of the laws that are in place to protect all people. A law breaker is just that; a law breaker. When prejudices take place, on a daily basis; when "some" feel themselves above the laws; when others are not protected and have no avenues to seek justice against abuses; exactly what do you think would happen? We will not roll over and play dead; those days are long gone. There is a silent war brewing and the battle will be fought. Closed neighborhoods; closed practices (private); abuse of social services; (HUD)private lists for section 8; landlord abuse; voting abuses; reverse discrimination; are all going to be dealt with and hopefully ended. And trust me, religious beliefs have much to do with it. You cannot continue to try and segregate yourselves and expect to live among the rest of us. You just can't have both – There are far too many examples of such here in Lakewood, and it needs to change. We all know that not all agree with the abuses taking place, and those folks need to step up to the plate and help to change it. How many more innocents will lose their jobs because they don't "go along" with the voting block? Evil may win for a time, but good always wins in the end because Someone greater than you is in charge. We are not so different; we also believe in the G-d of David, Abraham and Jacob…

  24. In the early 20th century banks gave out parcels of land in Lakewood to people who opened accounts. Our Township Committee has taken this to a new level – we give tracts of land worth millions away for free or for a dollar. Then those who get this gift, huff and puff because they are expected to pay taxes like us mere mortals. Do the math – if the Town had the money that the land was worth, we wouldn't have the tax rate that we endure in Lakewood. Linda Solakian did nothing wrong. In fact she has been more than fair – she is not responsible for the tax rate. Look in the mirror.

  25. As a young Jewish man who is proud of his religion, I find it disgusting that there are those who hide behind this religion in order to do harm to others. Hypocrisy is alive and well in Lakewood!!! Shame on all of you who ignore the righteous in place of greed.

  26. to all the people who want charlie back in i have one simple question. Why? HE is the one who gave away all the land. Cedarbridge, Pine River etc…. He was the biggest part of the problem. if not for him maybe the town would have gotten the 9 million and not the yeshiva. so please explain to me why we would want to vote him back in?

  27. It is a SHONDEH what a few people have done to destroy someone's good name and reputation. The tax assessor was always more than willing to help and compromise in all of my dealings with her. You bring shame to us all.

  28. To my anonymous friend, I assure you I am not hiding nor am I a “little man”. I have but one question for you: how do you think HASHEM feels about the uncontrolable corruption and tax evasion going on in the Town of Lakewood? I think there are many out there who should clear the week for Yom Kippur. You have a lot of atoning to do. Finally, I would like to add that there are no interpretations of the TEN COMMANDMENTS. Stealing is stealing and bearing false witness is bearing false witness. Have these COMMANDMENTS been dropped? If so, no one has informed me. Once again, shame on all of you who destroy the good to line your pockets.

  29. I had written earlier today regarding post 12:03 on Sept. 3rd, the one in which the writer questions WHY we should vote Mr. Cunliffe back into office. I guess with the change over to the new website my post got lost (the new site looks great by the way, and is much faster to load). Anyway, I attended the township meeting tonight and found out some information that changes the information in my original post. If you would be so kind as to instead post the following, that would be great.
    Thanks. Oh, I included my email so you know I have nothing to hide, but if you could not post it, but just my name, that would be appreciated.

    To Anonymous at 12:03 on the 3rd:

    I think you are forgetting that there are 4 other people who sit on the committee in town. I don’t know all the members of the committee in 2000, but rest assured Mr. Cunliffe wasn’t the only one there and certainly not the “biggest part of the problem” for the travesty to taxpayers that Cedarbridge turned into. CDC was the problem. It was a good deal, the contract they signed with the township. The township even bent over backwards to obtain grants for them. The benefit to township taxpayers for having a coporate park would have been enormous, but no, CDC breaks the contract (by lack of upholding the conditions therein) for whatever reasons only they know. So, the land should come back to the township as agreed in the contract . But no, your current committeemen, the majority by the way who are Frum (well, 3 of them, what is your term for Singer?) want to rewrite an over-expired contract as if nothing happened. What…to have them break it again…after defrauding the township of 9 million dollars? I should think not.

    The deal, for those (and maybe anonymous 12:03) who don’t know, was that CDC was to purchase the Pine River land, have it developed for profit, which was to be the seed money to get the corporate park started, Don’t know why they needed seed money when they got all kinds of grants, but I digress. The contract did not include Somerset anywhere. So why did the township sell the Pine River parcel to Somerset for $10, according to statements made this evening at the committee meeting and backed up by a deed filed with the county? At a previous meeting this summer seeking deed restriction lifting, Zucker said he paid BMG 9 million for the land and was “happy to do it.” Why did he have to pay for land he legally already owned? Why does BMG have 9 million? Shouldn’t that be taxpayer money? It doesn’t make sense and no one in power can explain it, or are willing. NO ONE even had the (insert your word of choice here) to even make one comment in response to the issues brought up this evening about CDC and Pine River. These are the kinds of questions taxpayers have a right to know the answers to. We got shafted. CDC did not uphold their end of the deal, so who, really, is the biggest problem with Cedarbridge? Now ask again why Mr. Cunliffe should be voted back in.

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