(The following is the contents of the letter which was read at the UEZ reorganization meeting this past Tuesday). Mayor Langert & Township Committee members, The Lakewood Downtown Commission was established in order to bring suggestions to the Township Committee regarding what need to be done to revitalize our downtown area. We have been trying to work with the UEZ and LDC to fund projects that will help prevent the further deterioration of our city center. We have come to realize that there are currently some serious problems within the structure of the LDC and UEZ which are a major hindrance to our efforts, and to the well being of our town. First and foremost, there are members on the UEZ that are also members of Lakewood’s VAAD. The VAAD is a special interest group that wields influence on a large portion of Lakewood’s electorate. That being the case, we feel that it is highly unethical for any member of the VAAD, or any paid member associated with them to be on a commission that makes suggestions for public funding.
Previous cases of favoritism for projects that have no merit in regards to the needs of the public, for fellow VAAD members are just one example of the mismanagement that can occur in such a case.
Furthermore there are some serious issues in regards to the UEZ funding of the Lakewood Community Services Corp. and its Job Link programs. Many of the services the LCSC provides are redundant, and already provided by the LDC. The Job Link, and English language courses serve few individuals, if any, and can be provided elsewhere in our community free of charge.
The Downtown Commission, in its effort to be able to work with the LDC, and UEZ, must strongly suggest that Abraham Muller not be made chairman of the UEZ. We suggest that he resign immediately due to a conflict of interest. We furthermore suggest that the outgoing chairman, Moses Weinberg resign from the LDC, and his paid employee Ada Gonzalez resign as well for the same reason.
We also strongly suggest that no further UEZ funding be given to the LCSC or Job Link programs until there can be a proven need for such programs as a separate entity of the LDC.
We suggest that the LDC vote to have Dan Czermak made chairman, and that members of the Downtown Commission be appointed to the board as well. We hope that you will listen to our suggestions, for the good of your townspeople.
We look forward to working closely with the LDC on projects that will benefit the downtown redevelopment. We would like to be a part of bringing back a sense of pride to our downtown, and in turn to our town in toto.