Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles responds to your ‘Ask The Mayor’ questions: Oak Street School Park

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].


Hi. Thank you for everything you do for our community. We appreciate it. I am writing about a topic that has been written about and posted on the lakewood scoop 3 times so far. The topic is ensuring that the oak street school park for which me and my neighborhood pay lots of taxes for is open during non school hours for our kids to enjoy. This Shabbos we were relieved to see that one section of the park was open. However the second section which is appropriate for younger aged children was locked. Why?? What a shame. We were so disappointed to be so close yet so far from having a safe place for them to enjoy. We would really appreciate if both sections of the beautiful new park for which we waited for so long can be opened. Thank you.

Response from Mayor Coles:

Good afternoon,

We spoke with the Board of Education about this today. You may have seen the video they released and posted to the Scoop earlier today.

The main part of the playground will be open to the public every day. The smaller section is playground designed specifically for children with special needs. In order to make sure it is available to children who actually need it, the BOE will allow it to be used by appointment only.




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  1. Thank you @Mayer Rey Coles we appreciate all that you do!
    I wanted to bring to your attention two points.
    1) There is a boy in the neighborhood that is wheelchair bound for almost a year already and would greatly enjoy using this part of the park.
    2) I live right by the park and have been there during school days and this part of the park is open to all school kids during the school days. So why is Shabbos different?
    I look forward to your reply. Thank you! A grateful neighbor.

  2. I’ve never heard of such a thing. I live in a town that has several SN playgrounds. (So do neighboring towns.) Expecting the parents of these children to book apts to play is counter intuitive. This is an unreasonable expectation. After reading this article I reached out the parents of some SN children I know. Locally, none complained about other kids using the area. One pal explained if there are kids dominating the space for SN children, they merely ask the kids to understand that the space is designated SN kids. No big deal.

  3. Why is the entrance gate on Oak St. locked? If this is a public park payed for by hard working taxpayers it should have easy access!

  4. In this era with all the school shootings, the BOE has had a healthy obsession with security but I don’t know what the problem is with the special needs playground.
    The overriding problem remains the lack of parks and playgrounds in the township. There are more children here than anywhere else in the state and more children than there are voters.

Comments are closed.