EXCLUSIVE: Committeeman Ray Coles on Recent Storm: We Won’t be Caught Unprepared Again

plow stuck in snow lkwdCommitteeman Ray Coles, the liaison to DPW, tells TLS the town will not be unprepared again when the next storm hits.

Coles says the Committee is taking many corrective actions to ensure the departments are much better prepared for a town the size of Lakewood.

“It’s not any one person’s fault what happened this weekend,” says Coles. “We recognize that there were a lot of things that could have been done differently and those decisions range from the Township Committee through the chain of command, as well as some of the workers.”

besides for looking for a new permanent and qualified director – which Arrechi can apply for, though there was indication that he would like to remain as supervisor – there are many corrective measures that will be implemented in the near future:

1) Beginning the process of bidding out the cleanup of some areas in town to outside contractors.

2) A plan is being put together of how to deal with large storms.

3) The Township Committee will work closer with the union to have  a better relationship

4) Adding a second shift at Public Works.

5) Hiring six more people to keep up with the growth.

6) Have phones staffed at DPW until 5:30 PM or 6:00 PM dealing with weather emergencies.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Coles, and “I’m really excited about some of the ideas kicked around the table this morning. People are going to see a lot of changes for the better.”

Coles also welcomes the input from the community, and says he’s reachable through Town Hall.

The Committeeman, on behalf of the Committee also thanked those workers who put in a tremendous amount of effort during the storm. Those workers go unrecognized, but they should be recognized for their efforts, Coles said.

With regards to Al Burdge’s retirement, says Coles, I want to thank Al for 34 years of dedicated service to the Township. I’m sorry to see him go. I wish him the best and look forward to keeping in touch with him.”



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  1. The township said many times we’re gonna get it right next and look at the results. I demand to see the results of the investigation and see what when wrone and how and let them hold accountable who’s responsible once and for all. Game over!

  2. By the time they put all of this together, the town will grow by another 30k people, so it won’t help.
    Though I am probably not the best for this position, if I was given the exact amount of resources that they had before the storm, I would have done a better job. Not perfect, but much better.

  3. Gps locations posted online of all garbage trucks and plows hired or township so you can see when they are coming to your block or if they have already been there
    You can also see when they are parked in the township lots and how many are disabled and when
    24 hour human answered hotline
    We are a city and many people work 9-5 and don’t get a chance to call during the day

  4. If you pay the workers of the dpw they’ll work. It’s that simple. No changes need to be made except for writing out some more checks. That’s probably what he means that the committee will have “a better relationship with the union”

  5. What I would like to know is what the OEM was doing when we saw videos of them meeting before the storm. Were they planning for a nuclear attack or something like that? They were planning for a blizzard and they didn’t have a plan for all workers to show up and work through the night? I don’t get it. That seems quite basic and has nothing to do with the fact that Lakewood has grown. That’s just getting to square one. Someone dropped the ball big time here.

  6. The phone calls to DPU should be recorded. Many people have complained about the attitude and rudeness. This should not be a big deal, lots of companies do this routinely. Also the person answering the phone should be required to give their name. I asked and was told that I cant have the name (and then hung up on).

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