LAC To The Community: Don’t Be Hypocrites

LAC with lichtenstien[File photo of LAC members speaking with Committeeman Meir Lichtenstein] First I want to start off that I am not a board of education member, nor a twp committee member. I am a member of the LAC, and am in close contact with some BOE members. I have been watching this tiny tots debate very closely and have real issues how hypocritical some in our community have turned out to be. Does anyone think we can get a zero increase without sacrifices to all factions in Town? Does anyone think we can get a 10% decrease next year, without affecting some of our programs or services? Or do they think the cuts will come from places other than themselves? If we are going to get serious about tax relief, and we are, then there will be painful cuts.

Lakewood is comprised of 50% orthodox, 35% seniors, 15% minorities.  The entire community for the past 2 years has been screaming bloody murder over the local tax rate rightfully so in my opinion, and the opinion of the vast majority of voters.

So we voted in, individuals both for the BOE (and soon the TWP) who ran on the platform to reduce our property taxes.

Now the question that comes to mind is how will they reduce the taxes?

I think we all agree that the first thing they needed to do is cut out all back room deals. Next, they need to purchase better, and get better pricing. Next they need to make government more efficient.
If anyone ever looked at the BOE, or TWP budget you will understand that doing these steps is only a start. The only way to stop the tax increase or to have a decrease is to look very hard at each program and make real cuts.

So, let’s deal with the BOE budget today;

The board has already eliminated about 35 teachers for the PS, and made overall changes to how money is spent. They gave no raises to all employees. They took a lot of heat on these issues. Yet these changes won’t even get a zero increase tax rate. Obviously, with the town make up, and the fact that we are at least 50% of the town this is going to have some sort of effect on us. We would hope that our elected officials would have the sense to only cut or reduce things that we can handle as a community and do it with their Daas Torah. Now let’s begin to look at TT; there are three parts to tiny tots. One is 4 self contained classes, costing tax payers 1 million dollars. They are culturally diverse classes, and will be of the same make-up and teachers on the Linden Ave site. Most parents have already expressed their satisfaction and are enrolling in the new program. There are 50 inclusion children (inclusion is a child that needs a hour or two of speech or PT,OT a week), costing tax payers about 700k including their bussing . Many of these children are able to be serviced in regular play groups, and receive their therapies twice a week. Many children turned down by TT due to profit concerns, are forced to use this option. 4 years ago, before the TT idea, everyone sufficed with this arrangement. Lastly, there are about 50 privately paid children in TT. Their cost is offset by the owner of TT through the profits gained from the contract with the BOE.  The board of education received a 4 million dollar grant from the state for preschool. First they tried giving the entire program to tiny tots which would have allowed them to save 1.5 million or so off the local tax levy. That got struck down by the state. They tried cutting it in half, and that also got TURNED DOWN BY TT DUE TO PROFIT CONCERNS! They have therefore created a program on a separate location, where all TT children would have the same or similar Morahs, would have the SAME curriculum, there would NOT be any other children on this campus if all the TT kids would join, and the 50 children would have free preschool. This would also save the local tax payer 1.5 million EACH year!  What we see now happening,  is some people allowed their emotions to rise and create a mess. Many of the ring leaders in this debate are those that the taxpayer suffers the most from. People who make huge profits from capitalizing on special needs children to milk the taxpayers for every dime they have. People who claim to have righteous motives, but whose real objective is to secure the yearly 20 million we all pay each year toward their programs. We have, as a community, stand to lose a lot more. Our elected officials need to see that the community really wants change and really want lower taxes. They will not make that effort to reduce things in town, if all they see is anything that slightly effects the frum, we scream and yell. You can’t just lower the tax rate. It will require some very difficult decisions. I think we as a community cannot afford to allow a few people with personal agendas to highjack our taxes.  Personally I think the BOE decision in regard to TT is a great step, it is similar for those that know to the BI-Y program in Brooklyn and the parents are very happy there. Government’s job is not to take care of every last person for everything that everyone needs. We live in a country that has a separation of church and state and this cost’s us a lot in our daily lives (tuition and so on).
All I am saying is we need to come together and show our officials that these people do not represent the Town. I spoke with Chesky Seitler who had this to say. “I am steadfast in my conviction that taxpayer money is not free. I will not allow any individual or entity, no matter how connected they are, to continue to bilk the Oilam in the name of Special needs. While I understand that I will be the target of vicious personal attacks, I am not doing this for myself but for the Tzibbur at large. This is something I have taken on myself and the Ribono She’ll Oilam has given me the fortitude and presence of mind to withstand any attempts at intimidation. I know many people would think I would give up, but the people who cry out that they can’t pay their groceries yet are FORCED to pay exorbitant amounts of money to satisfy the whims of a few, will never let me stop”.

If anyone would like more info they should please email their name and phone number to the LAC at [email protected] and I will call you.

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 20,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


  1. To LAC Member,

    When you campaign and lobby for MY vote for YOUR guy, you sure do have to tell me who you are! So come out of your hiding place already..

  2. “””Lakewood is comprised of 50% orthodox, 35% seniors, 15% minorities”””

    – that equals 100% – so that means there is not a single white, non senior, non orthodox living in the entire twp of lakewood? these numbers are way off and I have a hard time giving anyone any serious consideration if they make such a blunder about the population of this town, correct me if I am wrong

  3. The LAC is made up of different members and I don’t publicly campaign, I assist the group in other ways. Just send me an email and I will call you.

  4. Very well said. I myself was a Tiny Tots parent and extremely happy with the program (even though I paid a fortune out of my pocket) but do understand well the standpoint of the Board of Ed. I just hope we yidden act appropriately and not cause a chillul Hashem.

  5. I feel NOW is the time and place to THANK all members of the BOE (especially the newly elected members) for KEEPING their PROMISE to the KLAL. In a situation like THIS, most people would have folded under pressure – but B”H these guys (who don’t get paid, and volunteer so much time on OUR behalf) are doing their job, by saving us from additional tax burdens.


  6. Your letter shows that you are a real friend to chesky in hard times u come up to help but without signing your name shows that your letter is worthless!!

  7. The Special Ed part is not closing, just moving. The BOE didn’t close the private part, TT decided they can’t make money any more so they closed. If that’s how we run Lakewood then every Mosod would close.

  8. i agree that if we want tax cuts their will loss of funding etc.. but why drop this on the teachers and parents a day before school. If it wasnt garenteed why shouldnt the parents and teachers know that they might need a new school or a new job? It seems to me that somehow someone wanted to get the town riled up against the boe. Also why close the reg ed? dont the parents pay full? I think we r missing some info!

  9. ok well said number 6, I was fuming as well. I have lived here for 50 years, am white, and work in this town, went to school in this town, wait I was born in this town, and I was also excluded from this. I guess I must either convert, or die my skin darker, or wait until I am 65.

  10. Why is my commment awaiting moderation??
    Thank you for addressing this issue, however some of you facts are not correct. Their are about 210 children private paying children in TT including day care and pre-school. I appreciate that the new board members want to save money but this should have been taken care of 3 months ago when the original negotiantiona were taking place, not the NIGHT before school was supposed to start. When things happen in a normal process, I (speaking for myself) think people would have been more understanding. I want to add one more thing that most of the parents sending their pre- school children (private pay) to TT need full time school on all days of the year that they work, so in reality this is not a real solution for alot of parents. Thank you for you service

  11. Yesterday the boe admited that cutting tt only saves them 500k a year. thats less then twenty cents a household. look at what cost to the children and families. would anyone of their own free choice send a yiddish kind to ps? certainly not. so why should we the parents of these special needs be forced to?!

  12. We need more LAC guys to get into office. These guys are real and are demonstrating their ability to stick to their campaign promises even though its unpopular etc. Thanks LAC for being what I call the “whistle blower” the “little tax paying guy”, you guy really do make a big difference! Please keep up the great and REAL askunis that you do for the us little (unconnected)Lakewood taxpayers!

  13. So the truth finally comes out. By nj law you the boe is required to educate any child 3 and up that’s special needs to same way you are required to educate all public children, so our lac board members decided by pushing these kids into public school and knowing that they will not go, they will save tax dollars. That’s a denial of services and a sick way of saving tax dollars by in essence holding back services to special needs kids. For the 10 dollars of my property taxes they screwed 100 kids.

  14. It’s not a denial of service- it’s your choice to send your child to the public schools or not. They offered an alternative that would be free thru the public schools and if people are not happy with it they need to go elsewhere. You wanted lower taxes? you’re getting them.

    I do feel sorry for the teachers hardship but if my employer was going to lay me off I wouldn’t have prior notice either, it happens all the time.

  15. Hey Mr. Huh:

    I’m afraid the “huh” is on you. don’t show everyone how ignorant you are. You don’t seem to know what a minority group is!! Go back to elementary school! Look for a good one though,one that gets paid for by someone else!

  16. Chesky keep it up! You could not have said it better. We appreciate everything you are doing. I promise I will say the same even if I am hurt. I’m already hurting. There’s only one way out of this mess. That’s as Governor Christie said awhile ago,that EVERY class of citizens in this state will have to share in the burden if we are to ever come out of this mess. That includes all you people who think you have special privelages at the expense of the rest of us! It’s pure selfishness and a chutzpah to expect the members to reject budgets….all in the name of cutting out wasteful spending but not a dime should they dare take from you!!

  17. As a general rule when people write in blogs, they write quickly and post. many times they don’t think over every point they write about. One shouldn’t get offended too easily about a word or inference that is written, becuase the author probably didnt mean to slight.

    However in the blogesphere it seems that this nit picking tactic ends up creating30 posts off topic in too many different blogs.

  18. To Emes: Read your own words : By nj law you the boe is required to educate any child 3 and up that’s special needs to same way you are required to educate all public children” That is exzcrly correct… and the way the BOE educates all special needs children is in a public school setting… what’s your point?

  19. To Our Dear New Board Members
    Please dont get discouraged to do the right thing by 75 people protesting there are thousands in town cheering you guys on KEEP ON GOING AND BE STRONG CHAZAK!!!

  20. To #27: I think you are anything but emes. I dont think this is a massive conspiracy to keep all special ed frum kids home. I happen to be a tt parent. I was with tt from the first day they opened. I loved their program and paid a fortune for their services. Please stop making it sound like it was a thing of today. As parents we knew there was a good chance they wouldn’t reopen at last a week ago. It is sad and unfortunate for me personally and I am stuck trying to place my 4 yr old in a group all of which are full but we DID KNOW a little bit ago that this might happen.
    After all said and done I still approve of what the Board did. On one hand I am stuck with my son home and on the other THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BOARD. The people who made a financial decision not to open are at fault for my predicament as the told me on Friday that I had nothing to worry about not the BOE!! Stop blaming them. They did the responsible thing. To the members as a local yokel who is stuck with a kid home YASHER KOCHACHEM! You made a Klal decision not a personal one.

  21. Dear Mr. LAC member, can you please tell me how to get my 3 year old therapy in the playgroup she attends? If you could post it, it would help a lot of people.

  22. Let’s all look at the bigger picture, Chesky and his team are setting the rules. No more scamming the tax payer so one connected person makes big bucks.

    All deals need to bid. No rigging bids by setting conditions that only one company fits the rules.

    Following this method we will discover our taxes really going down.

    Case in point is the new management in Coventry monthly dues went down from $130 to $80 and that is as inflation was going up.

  23. Gee, maybe the therapist can take your kid into a side room by his or her playgroup and work with him there. But what if it’s too noisy or there’s no other room or what if etc…..
    Thousands of dollars are wasted with the TT arrangement. Why don’t you the parent try to come up with a solution and stop making the taxpayer solve all your problems.

  24. Thank u lac for saving the taxpayer on average over $7!!! We now all have more money to buy nosh for our kids that don’t have a school next year. You guys kept to your promise. Who cares about the 400 families that r displaced and don’t have a place to send their kids other than with other public school kids

  25. I am hopeful the district will review the success of this program to include a program for 3 year old children in the future.

    This is a move in the right direction

Comments are closed.