Township Proposes Layoff Of 13 Public Workers, Including 5 Police Officers

lakewood township municipal building tlsFIRST REPORT: TLS received information today of the Township’s intention to lay off thirteen public workers, five of those, police officers. The reason for the layoffs – reportedly spearheaded by Mayor Steven Langert – says the Township Manager Michael F. Muscillo, “For reasons of economy and efficiency”. The Manager, in documents submitted to the New Jersey Civil Service Commission says, “There has been an increase in the Township Pension contributions in excess of $850,000. Extreme measures must be taken to address the Township’s budget shortfall, declining revenues and contractual obligation that will dramatically impact the Township’s 2011 budget. The layoff is part of the Township’s plan to reduce its annual operating budget while maintaining efficient Township operations. The affected positions can be eliminated without detriment to the services provided by the Police Department. Additionally, over 4 consecutive years, the Township has been hit with thousands of tax appeals with refunds in excess of $2.8 million.

After the police department lost over a dozen high ranking officers just in the recent months, Police Chief Rob Lawson disagrees with the above which states, “the affected positions can be eliminated without detriment to the services provided by the Police Department”, and says, this decision will “severely affect police services”.

Other positions for the proposed layoffs include employees of the Department of Public Works, as well as from the Township’s Inspection Department.

However, this decision has not yet been finalized, but does strongly suggest that it be followed through.

“Pursuant to NJAC, the Township will continue to explore all alternatives during the time period from the date of this letter up until the proposed date of layoff”, the letter states.

“For the foregoing reasons, the Township of Lakewood requests that the CSC approve the Township’s layoff plan”.

Should the layoffs go through, they will be effective at the close of the working day on Tuesday January 18, 2011.

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  1. the cops we need to protect us and our children from the amount of crime we have in this town!!!! its the public works we can do without such as to stop using nine ppl to clean up leaves E.G. garbage truck, tractor. vacuum, and god knows what else!!!!! get a dumb truck that sucks up the leaves all in one like a million other cities have and stop wasting our money!!!!!!!

  2. Once again our leaders are not leading. We have gangs,break-ins, vandalism, and real crime taking place in our city and they want to take away the people who are understaffed as it is. There are so many places that can be cut but take take it from anything 911 related. Security and safety should be increased. We as yiddin should not feel safe because we run the town. Their are criminals out there and we need to deter them from coming here.

  3. Why do you feel you can have it both ways??

    If you want these township personnel to stay, then your taxes will INCREASE.

    If, On the other hand, you want taxes to DECREASE then you will be forced to make do with less personnel.

    So.. which way do you want it?

  4. the first question to all these posters is:
    Do you actually live and pay taxes in Lakewood?
    then we can debate the value of services vs. tax savings.

  5. I agree that there should be layoffs in the inspection department. There are too many complaints against it. I think that these layoffs will be a wake up call to them that their actions will not be tolerated!!

  6. If this comes close to being a reality, all citizens of Lakewood must stand up for what is right and protest the lay offs. Let us all rally behind the Police Department and save these wonderful people’s jobs.
    (#5 the CSC is the Civil Service Commission, they set the guidelines for hiring and firing police, sheriff and other forms of law enforcement)

  7. come on ppl, our township is (moderated). NOW they want to get rid of the cops?? so they look better? im arming myself! my friends are armed! god willing ill be fine. what about you? first thing is first! we need to stop lieing and start saving not spending it on light post for blue claws, and throwing away our money! I pay 8000.00 for property taxes, for ppl like ………. to throw it away for there personal gain? GOD will be the final judge, then we will see…..

  8. A ticket blitz will just prove that they have to many officers sitting around.A blitz will only do them harm.A few more more arrests will help there cause.GO LPD!!

  9. Sure go ahead and cut police officers just a week after announcing a new position of assistant manager! Protect those that protect us- not only your buddy!!

  10. We have a Mayor who goes to Bnei Brak, a deputy Mayor who goes to Iraq, and in the meantime, we lose the protectors who help keep our city safe. Go figure.

  11. How much is the TwP saving by not replacing those high ranking officals who recently left? two captains? each making prob around 150k a year? plus all the others!?!

  12. Stop disseminating more lies!

    The Twp clearly stated that the new responsibility of assistant manager will go to an employee already on the payroll..

    Also, it seems to me that you’re yelling at the wrong people.. You should be contacting the CDC instead and explain to them why the layoffs are so dangerous. After all, the buck stops with them. If they give the approvals then you have no argument.

    And btw, can you please pay my tax bill this year..

  13. To Number 6. Start with public works, inspection dept, and all non emergency departments. In today’s times there are to many desperate people who have nothing and are willing to commit crimes to get it. PUBLIC SAFETY is and should be our PRIORITY.

  14. Stop disseminating more lies!

    The Twp clearly stated that the new responsibility of assistant manager will go to an employee already on the payroll..

    Also, it seems to me that you’re yelling at the wrong people.. You should be contacting the CSC instead and explain to them why the layoffs are so dangerous. After all, the buck stops with them. If they give the approvals then you have no argument.

    And by the way, can you please pay my tax bill this year..

  15. Why can’t the Twp buy a ticket for tonight’s RCCS Miracles Chinese Auction Split-the-pot. It only costs $18

    If they win, they can probably save two jobs 🙂

  16. Is this that same old “close the Washington Monument” kinda reaction we usually get from government. Open the books and lets look where we can save for real. This town waste millions.

  17. To nmber 1 ur right 100 percent about the leaf pick ups it will save a lot of money to switch to vacuum leaf cleaners and to nmber 7 why can’t we keep the police dept and still lower taxes by redoing the inspection and public works dept lAkewood police officers know that we residents r with u no matter what happens keep up the good work I love seeing the the tls designed ARRESTED BY LPD keep them coming

  18. this is not smart gov.

    cutting more police from a force that is already on a shoestring budget.

    its time to renegotiate contracts and freeze any increase in salary. that would be a first start. how about taking 2-5 non piad days off per employee to save the current 13 jobs on the line.

    we need more police officers – not less. crime is skyrocketing.

  19. cuts to any dept. are going to take a toll on services. Losing 9 dpw workers is going to cause a disruption to trash, recycling and snow removal, parks and recreation, etc. You may think you don’t need us, but when you need something done you want someone there. Also we are the lowest paid Municipal employees. U should be screaming about the aid to the mayor, assistant to the manager and all the other jobs for “friends” that have been created – you want to talk about wasted $. You want to eliminate trash and recycling pick up and go private, talk to the surrounding towns that did it. Their taxes didn’t go down and they pay the hauler directly by the can. With the average house having 4 cans (+) you will be paying $600+ a year. Just another tax increase hidden under a different name. Your taxes aren’t high because of DPW, Police or the Building Dept. You want to operate a school or be a landlord, there are costs involved in running a business. It’s time to pay up your share. With that said I liked working for the Town but now I have to find a job somewhere to feed my family and pay my taxes in Lakewood, That’s right I pay taxes too.

  20. I hope this isn’t just a bargaining tactic on the part of the town. We cannot afford to lose more police! Of all things to sacrifice, you choose safety??

  21. I would bag my own leaves.The current leaf pick up system is outdated and a waste of tax money.besides it creates a mess and a saftey hazard with the leaves blown into the street (ie. Miller road) and the DPW won’t tell you the exact day of pickup.Instead of paying the whole cleanup crew tractor drivers, rakers, street cleaners, dump truck drivers ,traffic officers, it would be cheaper to bag our own leaves and have a truck pick it up curbside.

  22. How about increasing the rent for the Blue Claws stadium? What is being paid per month would be the equivalent of rent on two homes in Lakewood per month. The stadium is much bigger than two homes. And do not replace the lights there. The present ones are fine. The only reason the lights were to be replaced, I believe, was to make some money for some “connected” people.

  23. Can we get comments from the town council on this? Will this be on their agenda for their next meeting? If the residents do not want these layoffs and service cuts they must make it known!!

  24. It is 100% a scare/ bargaining tactic by Mayor Langert!!! The township committee should take pay cuts and benefit cuts!!! They are PART time employees yet the. Get medical coverage and pensions paid as if they are full time employees!!

  25. Can someone explain why the Twp has to shell out another EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS this year towards retirement benefits!!??

    These Pensions are KILLING us!!

  26. Hey #5 y pik on the misfortuned. Im real sure u once collected from the state in some capacity. In fact I know u have. Besides those of ur buds may b needing some of those free monies soon. Have a heart or go back for sensitivity refresher…..GO CHRISTY/LANGERT

  27. Mr Langert what a nice gift for Hanakah to offer those who serve the township. Im sure the goys will love to smile through there holidays with this great present.

  28. To #30 whether you know the history on the n.j. pention system or not just know that the pention system was well in the black and paying for itself to the ex gov. Christy Witman tapped into the cash cow to pay off all other debts the state was in with broken promises to replace the borrowed monies. Ever since its been thestates piggy bank until there was no more monies to borrow/steal. Now everyone in the capital and the media is blaming the pentions for suking the state dry… Do your homework its all facts I am stating

  29. #37 It’s probably part of their agreed upon payments towards the retirement system that they have not had to pay into for years. I forget the specifics but the towns were allowed to skip payments knowing that they would eventually have to make them up, 20% on year, then increasing. These are things that were known ahead of time- and the towns are crying foul and playing to people’s anger by complaining about it.

  30. The reason u can’t bag your leaves is the landfill will not except them. The bags don’t breakdown fast enough to create mulch. If you do bag them they have to be removed from the bags before the county will take them. Same amount of labor either way. Most towns in Ocean county have the residents rake to the curb and pick up with claw loaders. The vaccums are being phased out due to noise issues and unhealthy dust that is generated. The residents should be more worried about the leaf dust then cell tower electro emissions. Miller road would be safer if the drivers would obey the speed limit. Curbside leaves are not the safety issue, speeding is.

  31. #26 if you don’t respect the LPD don’t make it look like the whole town feels the same way. You don’t have to respect them, but don’t drag the rest of us into it.


  33. #26 there are no quotas for writing tickets. stop drinking the kool aid. or is it the tea??

    besides that, if you’re so upset about tickets don’t break the law.

  34. This is the same thing and same time as last year that was done to the EMS Dept. Only difference is this time it’s not shutting down a whole department. Pressure!!!

  35. I asked in another sto Scoop story, “why are there no frum on the police force?” Someone was kind enough to answer that yiden would like to be except that the police are on duty 24/7 including Shabbos.” Thank you for the answer. But now my next question is, how do they work it in Israel? Is the police force, army and so on not on duty 24/7?
    And btw, our town cannot do with a reduced police force. What is Langert thinking, or is he? Or is he playing a game with the LPD and the rest of the town?

  36. Laying off Police officers means you now have 5 fewer officers to patrol your streets, search for criminals, talk care of all those reports you need done. It also shorts each shift of valuable manpower that they require to patrol this town. What is next..oh wait I know ’bout No Benefits or Pensions for the Part time township committee members..It is a Part time job..just like any other you should not be allowed to collect benefits or pensions from it.


    While this town spends funds on non essential services these areas should be the very last to touched!
    With the growth this town has experienced in the last few years ,if anything these departments should be expanded not reduced.

  39. Enough about how we can’t lay off any police officers. The Police Department has me respect and admiration, but there is no way to justify salaries and benefits that are obscenely higher that what NYPD officers get. No justification whatsoever. There is a limit to how much taxpayers can be squeezed to cover these benefits. If the powerful police union hadn’t negotiated such outrageous compensation there would probably be no need for layoffs. You can’t have it both ways! Itls kind of like what happened with General Motors and the union. How about we pay NYPD salaries and higher MORE officers for our money! Its time that the union had a reality check.

  40. Cutting Police will mean;
    More Crime, longer responce times, less police to control trafffice at special events. The police department is at its lowest manpower levels in almost 10 years because of retiements. Now is the time to hire and promote. You may save a little money now but in the long run laying off officers will cost more money. Property value will continue to decline because of crime which means less taxables. How did the Mayor come up with five officers. Were is his economic impact study? Why not 4 or 6 officers to lay off. The fact is simple the Mayor didn’t do a study and like every other political leaders they always go with an even number to remeber. Isn’t it odd that other Towns have also gone to their unions with threats to lay off 5 or 10 officers? Then the Mayor trys to play it off as if the township manager requested it. Some one should ask the mayor what is the true cost per household and business. I don’t think you will see your property tax rate go down after layoffs.

  41. Stop picking the garbage in town and all the
    schools church the only ppl how benefit is the store
    Owners they make money not the township.
    The township losses money everyday they
    pickup garbage the owners don’t pay nothing at all

  42. the police shouldn’t be immune- but this dept is grossly understaffed already. The population calls for many more police than we have. Now add in retirements, promotions to fill some of those positions and now layoffs!? Do you want anyone to respond when your home gets broken into or you have a car accident? We’re not talking about pencil pushing administrators- public safety is at stake!!

  43. ToAbout Time says
    What has Lakewood have to do with how NY pays its employees .This is not NY if you think its so much better there then by all means move there.
    The LPD officers deserve every penny they earn , how soon we forget the tough job they have ,remember it was not that long ago when an officer got shot in the face .How many who complain here are willing to put their lives on the line, work midnight hours away from their families and during holidays ??????????????
    It appears that we have some who are jealous of the “money” but would never do the work these men & women officers are asked to do every day to serve the citizens of this township .

  44. great idea lets cut the salary of the volunteer fire fighters …. oh wait they don’t get paid!!!!! But it is OK to give benefits and pensions for PART TIME work!!! How about the township committee show some leadership…. GIVE BACK the pension and benefits!!!!

  45. #43
    they can use Bio degradable Eco friendly bags its done in many other townships. and speeding is not the issue its the leaves sitting on the roadway for weeks not getting picked up which forces drivers over the yellow lines into oncoming traffic.

  46. Tell the commitee members and mayor to give up their benefits- that they pay nothing for- and their salary for their part time jobs!! You want to talk about shared sacrifice? Put your money where your mouth is!!

  47. A few have complained about the leaf pick up and the amount of help needed to complete the job. I have some news for you in the old days it took a vacuum truck and a few men a week to complete a given area. Today the same area is completed in two days with the Backhoe, garbage truck or the tractor trailer with the container that the leaves are dumped in and a street sweeper. The public works has the collection down to a well run operation. The collections on the west side of town started this morning for the third time in less then 45 days. In the old days my leafs were only collected twice over the Fall/Winter period. Hats off to the Public works for a JOB WELL Done.

  48. to 64 – u have know idea what u are talking about. The landfill does not except leaves in any type of bag, period. Towns that use bags take the bagged leaves back to their yard and empty the bags into trucks to be dumped at the recycling center and all the bags go to the landfill (which u pay to dump).

  49. To # 59 you are right if the twp stop picking up
    Downtown garbage they will save a lot of money
    The landlord of this stores make money This business
    Should get a private company to pickup they’re garbage.
    It a wast of money.

  50. Sorry DPW guy but you don’t get it.A eco friendly bag is used by many townships and municipalities no need to dump the leaves out. do your home work.

  51. Looks like the ticket blitz is on.people getting ticketed for stoping to drop off or pick up passengers where there isn’t any no standing sign.common courtesy would be to tell drivers to pull into a lot or not to ticket at all.these are women picking up their husbands and etc.. yet there are shootings in other areas and nothing is done.

  52. “Additionally, over 4 consecutive years, the Township has been hit with thousands of tax appeals with refunds in excess of $2.8 million.”

    Why is the township giving back tax appeals? What are these appeals for? Who is getting this 2.8 Million?

  53. #55 What price do you put on a man or woman to put their life on the line for YOU! How much is too much for someone willing to take a bullet for YOU! Please #55 put on a police uniform and make yourself a target for any nut job running around town. Then come back to this site, after you put your life in jeopardy and write the same letter. Make a traffic stop, walk over to a car with an unknown person in it, not knowing if he has a gun or is going to run you down. Be brave and do this a few times and come back and write the same letter.

    It’s easy to be brave when you can hide behind the knowledge that you can get away with not serving the public in such a dangerous way, using any excuse you can not to serve.,

  54. Save more money and sell off public works and go with a private trash company. The baseball stadium is also worth over $30,000,000.00 sell that since it only brings in $25,000 a year.

  55. You can rant and rave about police officers taking a bullet all you want. Everyone agrees that the police do an incredible job. That’s not the point! The point is how much the taxpayers can reasonably be expected to pay. Is it 1 million per officer? 500,000 per officer? So we look at the NYPD where officers face in many cases an even more dangerous job and a higher cost of living and we find that salaries are way lower. Simple. No one is saying the police don’t risk their lives. No one is telling anyone to move to NY. We are simple saying that the tax burden the salaries put on our townships taxpayers is outrageous and unreasonable. I think that is a fair conclusion. Saying that the police officer is laying his life on the line is true, but irrelevant.

  56. to Dov says:
    This is not a solution, look at what is happening with the school busing, the schools used to have their own bus service and now look at what it cost each year that its done by outside companies ~ No savings there!
    As far as the stadium why is it always a financial thing and not just a benifit for the families who would like to have a family day out that does not cost a fortune. Its one of the very few things in this town that is a benifit to those who live close by to take advantage of for a day of entertainment that this town has.At least it does make something unlike many of the other things that “costing” the taxpayers of this town

  57. So why not pay them $1M a year? Or what about $1M a DAY? I know they are very brave and they have a very risky job, but New Jersey Police are the highest paid in the country. You’re right, you can’t put a price on someone’s life, but they shouldn’t get paid more than a soldier in the army, front-line troops have a much higher mortality rate and get paid less.

  58. #1 cut the police’s pay, they are in one highest paid forces almost$92,000 plus benifits compared to other dept.why so high?
    #2 lakewood has one of the highest per capita police force we should cut them

  59. #72 you compare it to other police dept. LAKEWOOD IS ONE OF THE HIGHEST if you want to pay for giving life pay10 million but you compare to other dep.

  60. #54 Anonymous says:
    NOVEMBER 30, 2010 AT 5:05 PM

    Please do get a 3rd party to investigate the fire dept. It was done last year when the town voted down the budget at what point it was reviewed and they came back and said that there was no where to cut on spending and approved the original amount asked for.

    The paid and vol. Fire department’s are separate organization and are required to be this way by OSHA, NIOSH, NFSA insurance, ect. A paid Fire fighter is not allowed to drive a Volunteer fire department’s. truck and a volunteer fire fighter is not allowed to drive the paid mans truck.

  61. Ok rocket scientests read the real NYPD salary facts:
    The contract, which runs from August 1, 2006 to July 31, 2010, gives police officers a 17 percent pay raise over its four-year life, and raises starting pay from $35,881 to $41,975, and top pay from $65,382 to approximately $76,000 annually. With longevity pay, holiday pay, night shift differential and other additions, the total annual compensation for officers receiving top pay will be approximately $91,823, not including overtime. It should also be noted that this is the first contract since 1994 the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the City of New York mutually agreed on without involving a mediator.[8][9]
    A little more than 56k, no ?

  62. You guys should just keep bashing the cops. They are some of the most respectful men and women around. Try getting away with half the shenanigans our residents do in other towns… you wouldn’t. Everyone should keep in mind that LPD reads this sight. I’m sure after reading some of the comments it will make them more eager to run into your burning house after you left your oven on or to confront a knife wielding suspect like they did one one terrorized the west side of town.

  63. If people would stop building these mini mansions in this town and pay their taxes on their homes you might save a little money. Why is it every new development has homes that are 3x as big as the ones in the surrounding neighborhoods and yet they complain their taxes are sky high.

    #54 Anonymous says:
    NOVEMBER 30, 2010 AT 5:05 PM

    I think you are someone that has to have something to complain about. You are never happy…Did you see how much the Fire Dept budget was for last year? Do you think it’s vital to have all the members in up to date equipment or should they run around in Old gear. These guys (volunteers & Paid) have to adhere to certain standards set forth by local, state and federal regulations..that is right FEDERAL regulations. Firefighting is not something everyone can do..if you can and want to ..fine come join a company. If not ..please support us. Why is it every time there is a problem in this town everyone starts in with EMS, FIRE & LPD. We are here to protect you. Why?

  64. The officers in Lakewood are not overpaid. We are not talking about some sleepy town with no crime. They respond to real, often violent crimes and deal with a very complex public that no other town around can compare to. They do a lot and they do it well.

    They deserve our respect and support.
    When your husband/wife/son/daughter/mother/father goes to work do you tell them to be careful?
    Do you always make sure your kids hug/kiss their dad and tell him they love him as he leaves?
    Do you worry that they will be attacked or injured while just trying to do their job?
    Do you worry when you hear sirens or read about an incident on the scoop??

  65. The city of Newark laid off 167 cops yesterday. Crime there is high.but there is no money and people are being taxed out forclosing on homes because of the unions.

  66. Did you ever talk to cops from neighboring towns? I have spoken to cops in Jackson, Howell and B-town. Would they want to be a cop in Lakewood, NO THEY WOULD NOT!!! Not for all the kosher pizza in Lakewood or all the tea in China. Do you think we’ll keep cops working in Lakewood because of our good looks? Our engaging personalities? Our way of making them feel respected? My friends, they need more then that to risk their lives here. They need to know that for all their trouble, all the risk they take, all the grief they take, that they will be compensated and their families will be provided for. If Lkwd does pay the cops more then you feel they deserve, then one day you might find yourselves during Shabbos with no police force. Because the Yidden will be the only ones willing to patrol the streets and of course, they can’t do that on Shabbos! Pay them $1 million? No, but at least make it worth their while to take the grief they get…and that goes for the fire dept. also. Take the benefits and pay from the Township Committee and other drains on the community. Do they need benefits? They are most likely getting benefits from other places besides. What do they do when they lose an election and are off the committee? Come on town folk, let’s cut the pork (so to speak).

  67. Do you have to worry about the “knock” in the middle of the night on your door? A few years ago a wife had to be notified that her husband was killed in an automobile accident in the line of duty. 14 months ago 4 wives had to be notified that their husbands had been shot, 8 others had found out there husbands were ok. 1 week ago a wife in another town, in Point had to be notified that her husband wasn’t coming home. He was buried today. Did any of you narrow minded people know about that? Keep posting away, bashing us if you must, but we are a strong force, the LPD and like a giant family that will weather this too and prevail in the end.
    May 270 and 271 Rest in Peace.

  68. Before laying anyone off, it would be smart to see just where the salaries are going. What about part time positions? No full time person should be let go before part timers – including the heretofore unseen “Mayors Aide”. What about reducing overtime. Overtime should only be earned by Police Officers. Public Works personnel should earn overtime only in case of inclement weather. All other overtime should be eliminated before any layoffs are proposed. What about the full time teacher who works doing a portion of Mike Matta’s old job at the Community School? He is paid on voucher by the Township – upwards of $60,000 per year (part time). Nice if you can get it!! All in all, put down the latkas people and start asking for a roster of personnel, salaries, overtime and those who are paid on voucher. Then you will be able to have an informed opinion! Happy Chanukah.

  69. Its not a new bill, its a pension that the town was supposed to be paying into the last ten years and had failed to do and now the hog Christie is knocking on the door to collect…. Quick to blame without all the facts like most of the people on here.

  70. To # 89 A Wife says:
    Well said , No one other than those close to the fallen officers has any idea what their job entails,
    the tragedy of 270 should be an everlasting reminder of how dangerous a job it is
    I personally know what those families had to endure ,no one should have to ever expeience the pain & suffering they went through. The officers of the LPD earn every penny they get, unlike some who live in this town

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