Is Lakewood A City?

clock lakewoodBecause of all the construction and development in Lakewood, a lot of people have asked Mayor Steven Langert if Lakewood is becoming a city. Many people think that if the official population of Lakewood reaches 100 thousand or more according to the 2010 Census, then Lakewood will automatically become a city.

Mayor Langert says, “There are 566 municipalities in the state of New Jersey.  Each one of these municipalities falls into one of five types or classifications—borough, township, city, town, village. Besides its classification, each municipality also has its own form of government.”

Lakewood has been classified as a township since its incorporation in 1892 by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature, and its current form of government is a township government.  (The township form of local government is used by 27 percent of New Jersey municipalities. –Wikipedia)

Other townships in Ocean County include Barnegat, Berkeley, Brick, Eagleswood, Jackson, Lacey, Little Egg Harbor, Long Beach, Manchester, Ocean, Plumsted, Stafford, and Toms River.

Mayor Langert says, “It is possible to keep our designation as a township, but change our form of government to one of 11 other types of government. We could switch to a Commission form of government; the Council-Manager Act of 1923 form of government; or a Mayor-Council plan form of government, among others. Until voted otherwise, however, Lakewood will remain a township.”

In a township form of government, voters elect a township committee, the legislative body of the municipality. At an annual reorganization meeting, the first week in January, the township committee selects one of its members to serve as mayor and another as deputy mayor. The other members of the township committee serve as commissioners of various township departments, overseeing the work of those areas.

“I want to thank the League of Municipalities and its Website for the information they have posted about the types of New Jersey municipal governments,” says Mayor Langert. Visit for more information.

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  1. I understand that, but does anything change or is there any benefit from changing classification on paper from Township to City? More aid, different requirements on how the town is run, etc.

  2. To jd Do you want to change Lakewood to a city and hope for more Federal Grants take a look at camden is that what you want? Lets bring in more gangs and change the signs that say welcome to the city of lakewood.

  3. Part of the downside of being a city is that if Lakewood does become a city they would have to hire more police officers, they will have to have a full time paid fire dept. and ems which now Lakewood has only a few paid and mostly volunteer firefighters and ems. If all that happens our taxes will for shore go up to fund all the new positions that Lakewood will have to hire.

  4. You can call Lakewood whatever you want, can’t we worry about the real issues ,like taxes that are to high, gangs, problems in the school system , traffic issues ,a government that can’t seen to function with the best interest of all its citizens and you are worrying about what we are called ? I can tell you that if you speak to anyone outside this town we are called many things and they are not good!!!

  5. why is anyone concerned about if we are called a city? with all the problems in this town this is not even close to what is really important. we should be concerned about the crime, gangs, shootings, taxes, poor performing school system just for beginners.
    I can tell you if you speak to anyone outside of this town we are called many things and none of them good!!!
    Lakewood has such a bad reputation for many reasons ,again this week we made the news and it had to do with another shooting and this town is now considering laying of police just plain insane!!!
    when will we get leadership that really cares about all the citizens of this TOWNSHIP and not put the almighty $$ above people

  6. Zydco- did I say anywhere in my post that I WANTED Lakewood classified as a city? No. I only asked if there were any benefits to a change in classification. All the problems we have aren’t going to get any worse or better based on what Lakewood is called. The people are already here- if you don’t want the population to be too high why don’t you move? Do your part to stop the growth.

    & thank you to Moe for answering my question, that’s the type of stuff I was wondering about.

  7. Yes with city status Lakewood could become eligible for many grants both state and federal as well as other aid that is saved for cities. The reason that Mr. Langert would not want to change our status because then Lakewood would possibly have to restructure its government, potentially threatening others positions. Let’s face it, Lakewood is a city, with city problems and that is not going to change anytime soon.

  8. jd-yes you did when Quote”are there any benefit to becoming a city in name?? any benefit from changing classification on paper from Township to City?”I asked if you wanted to change the “Town” to a “CITY” to BENEFIT from the Federal grands, etc. that are only available to “cities” .Do your part to stop the growth, stop being a slum lord looking for a gov. hand out from hard working tax payers.That to me is YOU would like to see the “TOWN” become a “CITY”

  9. Zydeco- I’m sorry I misunderstood. I read your comment as WHY do you want to change it to a city.

    Regardless, it seems to me that Lakewood is already a city in population, or atleast close to it. We need to deal with that reality and the problems that go with it. My question is about changing what we call ourselves and what it would mean. If federal grants will help improve our infrastructure, etc. to support this “city” Lakewood is becoming then by all means call it a city. If the issue is that politicians do not want to upset the system they have in place that’s a shame- seems to be only for their own benefit that they’d want to keep it a township.

    Also- NOT a slumlord. If you must know, I’m a taxpaying, self sufficient 20-something female. I have a job. I have a family and I’ve never been on public assistance- but I don’t judge those that are. I am a middle class working mom who is interested in what goes on in the town I live in. Not a slumlord.

  10. jd I agree with you on what you said ” changing what we call ourselves and what it would mean.” I also agree with you on”If the issue is that politicians do not want to upset the system they have in place that’s a shame- seems to be only for their own benefit. But I don’t agree on the idea that the Fedral Government would due any good I believe it will do more harm then good. Keep up the good work 20 something mom.

  11. Zydco- thank you! Let’s continue this conversation:

    Why not take govt’ grant money to fund projects? Projects that are one time purchases- i’m not saying taking federal money to fund things that we would eventually have to cover the expense of like jobs or longterm services. But infrastructure, parks projects, vehicles, technology, and things that would improve quality of life. Of course something to fight crime but I’m not familiar with what could be done with a one time shot of money. I don’t think grants typically have strings attached or would mean any oversight from the fed or state level- so they would not be interfering. I’d rather see this town take grants then bond or borrow- or do nothing to improve the town only to let it get worse. If it’s the case that we could qualify for more of this funding if we officially call ourselves a city then why not?

  12. special funding usually have strings attached. This country has problems because of the special funding that was made available and dried up and now you have to raise taxes to make up for what special funding you may not be getting now for the service you started with the grant. You can’t count on grants and special funding to last forever. Eventually they run out and you have to raise taxes to make up or not provide services. But they are good for the politicians who can say we got you this and that and didn’t raise the taxes the year that they did it.

  13. #17 I can’t agree with you any better, but I can say two words EAR MARKS… Big Gov. = less of the peoples voice’s being heard. What I think is start having more town hall meetings and let the people of lakewood start talking together,as towns people with no religions, race, or creed attached. We speak as one. United we Stand Divided we Fall.

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