TLS EXCLUSIVE: In Lakewood, one person has filed to run for the one-year unexpired term and five people have filed for the three full seats on the school board. Ada I. Gonzalez, 58, is the incumbent running for the unexpired term. Yisroel Friedman, 27, Carl Fink, 60,Yechezkel Seitler, 31, Yitzchok Zlatkin, 30, are all challenging Tracey Tift, 43, for the full terms. TLS had the opportunity to speak with some of the candidates. Some of you may remember Mr. Seitler from his recent efforts on behalf of the Lakewood Cheder/ Bais Faiga Dinner. He is someone who will do whatever he can to help out the Mosdos Hachinuch in our town. Here is his statement: “I have been involved to some degree with the Board of Education of Lakewood for a little over a year. I served on the transportation committee, the superintendent search committee, and on the “almost” formed budget committee. What I have learned is that there is a very limited amount that one can get done from the outside. All your opinions remain just that – opinions – and if we are going to really try and change the way things are run, we will need the votes on the inside. If we can come with a group, I believe we can get things done. I have been part of a group of 4 that did this in Coventry over the past 3 years. We lowered fees from 150.00 a month to 90.00! (and there is still record surpluses and the ability to go to 75.00). All that is needed is a change in attitude, and that must start at the top, with the Board members themselves. There must be a determined, focused and sustained effort on their part. It is for this reason that I am running together with 2 other well suited candidates”.
“Yitzchok Zlatkin, an actuarial analyst who currently attends Fox School of Business at Temple University. With his background in budgets and numbers he will be able to guide the administration on effective cost saving measures.”
“Carl Fink, is a respected member of the senior community as well as the co-chairman of the planning board. He has effectively run a successful sporting goods “sales agency” for 30 years and is well versed in budgeting and cost saving measures. All 3 of us are aware of the needs of our community and will work hard to make sure those needs are met. The three of us, together with one or two same minded current members, will be able to create the environment needed to change the attitude in the Dept. of Education.”
Candidate Carl Fink while currently out of town, did add this to the above statement: “The main goal is to make the Lakewood school district comparable to all other districts in New Jersey while cutting cost’s at the same time. We will not cut costs at a child expense, this we promise the public.”
Another candidate, Mr. Zlatkin, who has been involved with numerous developements around town, and is involved tirelessly on behalf of his daughter’s school, has given us this statement:
“As someone who has managed the Presidential Estates Association for the last few years, I have come to know the dire financial situation of many people. It pains me every time someone walks up to me and says ” I know I have to pay you, I am just overwhelmed with all the expenses, can I just have another two week extension”. The Lakewood Board of Education is going to be facing many challenges in the coming year. With the possible state aid cuts and ever growing budget, many important decisions will need to be made. If elected to Lakewood Board of Education, I intend to work with other members on the Board to come up with ways to reduce the budget while at the same time providing opportunity to all students of the Lakewood district, to excel in their studies.” “I have teamed up with Yechezkel Seitler, who has done a great job of reducing the budget in Coventry Square and Carl Fink who not only sits on the planning board, but is also known around Lakewood as a man of great integrity and problem solver. He brings many years of experience in dealing with budgets, to the Board of Education.”
TLS will continue to bring you the latest on the Board Of Education Elections.