Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles responds to your ‘Ask The Mayor’ questions: Downtown Lakewood

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


To the honorable Mayor of Lakewood,

It is no secret that Lakewood has flourished and grown over the past decade or so, and no doubt in recent years. Lakewood and it’s surrounding municipalities boast of some of the finest police in the state, but Lakewood alone can proudly say they have a mayor that has done so much for them and their town to promote growth and expansion, population-wise and economically. The honorable mayor works tirelessly, no doubt, yet still finds time to speedily address a specific need or request of a constituent, and does his best to accommodate them, reaching out to the relevant parties.

As such, I am now reaching out to you in the hope you will be able to help with my predicament.

I am not a resident of Lakewood; for over 15 years I have lived in a small town near Lakewood and have traveled in daily. I have recently noticed a problem and was wondering if it can be resolved. On Second Street, from the intersection of Second Street and Lexington and on there is a puzzling trend. Many Lakewood businesses on that block, including and not limited to Torah Treasures, Juvenile Planet, Daily Deals, JRP Outlet and many more are icons and beloved stores to many Lakewood residents. There has recently been a rise in people loitering outside the stores, or sitting down, and bothering any passersby, and taunting passing females.

I don’t know who these people are, I do know one thing. I am a proud U.S. Citizen, born and raised in the Star-Spangled Banner Land, and so have my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. I do not mean to G-d Forbid, put down any other persons who have legally entered and settled in the U.S., on the contrary, they have picked themselves up and settled in this great land of opportunity as well. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are open to all through hard work and devotion. I don’t know who these people sitting on Second Street and harassing innocent passersby are, they might be U.S. citizens or illegal immigrants and foreign nationals. I have been paying income tax on all my income from the age of 16, when I took my first real summer job. I contribute back to my country in salute for the safety and security they have provided. I am a proud law-abiding citizen, and have followed state laws, not buying or obtaining liquor, marijuana, drugs or medications illegally or underage, as do, most of my many counterparts.

I wonder then, how is it that I, and many others, all contributing members to society, and law-abiding citizens are allowed to be harassed and bothered by those who are not legally entitled to be here? Even a citizen should not be entitled to harass others. Many I know have started staying away from the area, causing the businesses to suffer.

I do notice a strong police presence, and nary a week goes by that I don’t notice an incident or something of the sort.

Perhaps the honorable mayor has a solution or idea, maybe to enforce a no loitering zone all along Second Street to help take care of this problem. I appreciate your speedy response.

With much thanks for all you do for the township of Lakewood and beyond,


S. F.


Response from Mayor Coles:

Good afternoon,

I have asked the chief to put additional resources along this area.



Have a question for the Mayor? Send it to [email protected]

Have a question for the Chief? Send it to [email protected]

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  1. Agreed. I avoid shopping in the stores on 2nd street due to the surroundings. The last time I shopped there there was a news story the next day that someone was stabbed to death on 2nd street. I cannot subject my children or myself to the constant harassment by the loitering individuals in the area. And it’s a real shame for the wonderful businesses located there that they have to lose out on income.

  2. That’s the flavor of a Downtown! Every downtown in the world has them no matter Paris, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Spring Valley, Woodbridge, Mountaindale, Lakewood; there is hardly a downtown in the world without a bar or two and without them.

  3. To sum it up, basically, let’s get rid of those idling around and harassing innocent people. Excellent question, and I have to agree. Walking on Second street, or Downtown for that matter can make you feel more than a little unsafe.

  4. @Mutty

    The downtowns you are talking about have sky scrappers as well. Can’t compare.

    But on the other hand check out surrounding townships for ex red bank or Norwood ave etc you will not see this type of chazerai.

    I propose a no loitering zone we’re the largest municipal parking lot in downtown is. If that’s parking lot is fear free it will definitely help.

  5. It is one thing to complain about being harassed which no one should have to endure. Another thing is to assume that anyone on second street is here illegally based on their skin tone, that is racism and should not be anywhere near this town.

    • Hi Michael, with all due respect, just saying that if you re-read the letter above, it does not discriminate in any way. If anything, it clearly states that it does not matter who they are or what nationality or skin color they may be, they are bothering people and that is it. The letter writer says they don’t know their legal status, however they are by default bothering American citizens who support their township through taxes, and their police officers and people in authority should prevent their constituents from being harassed.

  6. I agree that people shouldnt be harassed,but you cant blame it on a whole group.You are being prejudice and profiling people without any evidence.How do you know they are illegals?You could have kept that part out.

Comments are closed.