Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles responds to your ‘Ask The Mayor’ questions: Be careful when accusing anyone of corruption

mayor ray coles tlsThe following is an ‘Ask The Mayor’ question submitted to TLS, and the Mayor’s response. Email your questions for the Mayor to [email protected].


Hi Mayor Coles,

I would like to know if any action is being taken to stop building or to widen the roads in this town? One of them has to happen or we will turn into NYC gridlock.

Also I would like to know why our property taxes are so high when new houses go up almost daily and there are more and more people paying property taxes. Where does all that money go?? There is deep corruption somewhere and I really hope you can get to the bottom of this so we can all pay less taxes!

Thank you

Response from Mayor Coles:

We are looking at many different ways to improve the traffic flow in Lakewood, including adding new roads and widening some existing roads. We are also looking at ways to make sure that traffic impact is taken into consideration when approvals are given.

A previous question had to do with property taxes and I think I answered your question there.

I would ask that you be careful when accusing anyone of corruption. Our finances are independently audited every year and every penny of every tax dollar is accounted for. As I previously stated, the township tax rate has been stable for many years. What we need is a complete overhaul of the State Education funding to shift the overwhelming burden from local property tax to a more equitable system

Take Care



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  1. The chutzpah of people to throw around the corruption word so freely. The school board budget is public information. Did the writer ,accuser , take out a few minutes to go study the budget and understand where the money is going ,before he threw out such accusations? How can people have such bad midos to accuse others when they don’t even take out the time to understand the facts of where the money is going?

  2. As tax payers we have a right to know where our money is going. Even if its stable – it should be going DOWN! If more people are chipping in, taxes go down. period.

  3. Period is incorrect. The school budget is going up faster than we are producing taxes. This us because of the school funding formula that does not work for a district where there are 30,000 non public school children. We are increasing special ed tuition and transportation costs by quite a few million per year. The increase in taxes will never cover the increase in costs because the state formula assumes that the State of Nj will fund the district a certain amount of money per pupil. The problem is that it only funds per public school pupil even though transportation and special ed come from the 30,000 non public polpulation. So we have huge additions to expenses that exceed the increased taxes. Its complicated,but it’s a political issue that is a State issue,not a local issue. It might be unfair State politics and stupidity ,but its not corruption. Before you accuse people,study the issues. You can’t be ignorant and expect people to take you seriously.

  4. The money that the board of Ed used for there own drivers and new buses comes from somewhere. So does the new police cars all around town. And oh what about the few million dollar roof on the public school building. Just to name a few. These are all open

  5. Yes, the school funding formula is a problem, but it is not the only problem.

    Commercial ratables have been proportianately shrinking. Many of the new commercial developments being built have long term abatements.

    This requires them to pay some taxes to the district, but tjey are completely exempt from school taxes.

    The planning is solely in the hands of the Township Committee, not the school board.

    So while the Township can claim they have not raised taxes, their policies have had an effect on the school district budget.

  6. If more houses is what is causing our tax rate to increase due to more educational funding. On behalf of all current taxpayers please stop building more houses

Comments are closed.