LDC BUSTED TRYING TO HIDE CALL LOGS - WHICH JUST SO HAPPEN TO BE WORTHLESS

As previously reported here on FAA News, (https://www.faanews.com/2022/08/township-creates-75000-shuttle-bus.html), Lakewood Township officials are in the process of hiring a dedicated Shuttle Bus Liasion.


For the past few years, Lakewood Township has been operating buses to shuttle members of the Hassidic Belz and Satmar communities from their neighborhoods in South Lakewood to CHEMED and other businesses in Downtown Lakewood.


The buses are operated in-house by Lakewood's Department of Public Works, and their office staff is supposed to be able to provide phone support to community members who need information on the bus routes.


Lipa Klein, an Askan (community activist) in the Hassidic Belz community in South Lakewood, is well known for lobbying for these busses. Since the buses have begun running, Lipa has become the "go-to guy" to call with any questions or comments regarding the buses, and Lipa has unofficially served as liasion to the Township regarding the buses.


Lipa is now requesting a modest salary for his services, in a new position of Shuttle Bus Liasion, separate from the Department of Public Works.


Lipa has requested the Lakewood Development Corporation (LDC) to use $75,000 of UEZ funds (a sales tax supported grant which they administer) to make him an official Shuttle Bus Liasion. Of this money, $55,000 would be used for his salary and taxes, $15,000 would be used for spending on public relations marketing for the buses and $5,000 would be available for him to spend on a phone and computer.


At the LDC meetings in March, Lipa said that he provided to the LDC members his phone call log from the past year. He claimed that he received "over 1,200 phone calls monthly" from community members regarding the buses.


At the LDC meetings in April, Committeeman and LDC Member Albert Akerman confirmed that he received Lipa's email with the call logs and he said will forward it to LDC Executive Director David Klein to forward it to the rest of the LDC members.


Legally, spending this amount of money requires the Township to offer the position in an open bid known as a Request for Proposals. 


The LDC agreed to tentatively spend this money, and they published a Request for Proposals for a Shuttle Bus Liasion.


The Request for Proposals seeks as follows:


LAKEWOOD SHUTTLE BUSING LIAISON


A. Planning and organizing Shuttle schedule, routes and timing of the buses. 


B. Assessing route efficiencies, and modifying routes, stops and hours.


C. Assessing route efficiencies for holiday periods.


D. Shuttle schedule publicity: Responsible to provide schedule accessibility to the Lakewood community such as recording messages on the Shuttle hotline, etc.


E. Communal feedback: communicate with the community members regarding system upgrades, such as routes, hours, lost and found on buses, sanitization during pandemic, music choices on buses, carriages, masks etc. and directing comments and concerns to the Township.


F. Corresponding with business owners and high traffic offices that need additional shuttle services. 


G. Relaying comments and concerns of the Public Works director and/or managers and/or drivers to the community members. 


H. Holidays: Coordinate with the Public Works director, managers and drivers to arrange holiday schedules on *New Year’s Day, *MLK’s Birthday, *Lincoln’s Birthday, *President’s Day, *Good Friday, *Memorial Day, *Independence Day, *Labor Day, *Columbus Day, *Election Day, *Veteran’s Day, *Thanksgiving Day, *Day after Thanksgiving, *Christmas Day, *Schools off.


I. Changes in Shuttle busing schedule: Broadcasting to the community via multiple media channels of changes in schedule due to holidays, bus repairs or an emergency change in schedule due to driver calling in sick or accident, snow storms etc. 


J. Hold meetings and keep township committee members, manager, Public Works employees/drivers abreast of important current events regarding the Lakewood Shuttle Service.


K. Bus tracking: Adding live bus tracking capabilities.


As previously reported here on FAA News, the LDC recently held a special meeting to adopt a resolution creating the Shuttle Bus Liasion, for $75,000 in UEZ funds for a one year commitment from October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023. It is not the final step as the LDC also needs to award the contract and that will likely take place at their September 6 meeting. Additionally, under State law, the Lakewood Township Committee must also adopt a resolution authorizing use of UEZ funds for this project, and the LDC has now forwarded that proposed resolution to the Township Committee for their adoption.


According to additional emails obtained by FAA News, we have busted the LDC trying very hard to keep the public from seeing the "call logs" provided by Lipa Klein - and possibly because they had a really good reason for not wanting any eyes on these "call logs".


As previously explained here on FAA News, while the Lakewood Township clerk accepts and processes OPRA for requests for all municipal departments and Boards, the LDC processes their own OPRA requests.


The LDC has their own OPRA form which is, oddly, not posted on their website page. In fact, on the bottom of their page at https://www.lakewoodnj.gov/department/uez, it has a contact box and on top it states that "OPRA requests must be sent to the Township Clerk". This is in fact incorrect, as the Township Clerk had responded saying "The township doesn't maintain Lakewood Developement Council records. Please submit your request for LDC records by clicking the link provided http://bit.ly/LDC_OPRA_Request_Form".


Either way, according to emails obtained by FAA, 2 OPRA's for the call logs were submitted to different township departments.


One member of the public submitted an OPRA request to the Township Clerk seeking the call logs submitted by Lipa Klein regarding the Shuttle Bus Liasion position.


Another member of the public submitted an OPRA request to the LDC seeking the call logs.


In this particular case, because emails had been sent to and from Albert Akerman who is both a Township Committeeman and an LDC member, both the Township Clerk and the LDC were able to receive - and should have been able to fulfill - the OPRA request.


The Township Clerk had no issues with this request, and responded on schedule with the documents.


At the LDC, however, things got way more complicated.


-----

Email from David Klein 

Aug 22, 11:39am


I have a few questions to get clarification about your request. 

Please call me at my direct line 732.364.2500 ext. 5976.

Thank you!


---------


Email response from member of the public

August 23, 12:58am


The New Jersey Government Records Council recommends that all correspondence regarding OPRA requests, including requests for clarification, be in writing only.


Therefore, in lieu of a phone call kindly send your request for clarification to me in writing via email.


-------


Email from David Klein 

Aug 23, 12:12pm


You made the OPRA request below on August 19th, 2022. 

You requested call logs for Mr. Lipa Klein. We are not in possession of his proprietary information.


---------

Email response from member of the public

August 24th, 1:24am


At the LDC meeting in April, Committeeman and LDC member Albert Akerman stated that he received an email from Lipa Klein regarding the Shuttle Bus Liasion position, and the email contained an attachment containing his call logs. Mr. Akerman stated that he forwarded the email to David Klein.


The email should have been sent from Albert Akerman to David Klein sometime between March 1 and April 15.


This is the email and attachment that my OPRA request is seeking.


--------


There has been no response at all from David Klein since this last email.


It's quite concerning that David Klein claimed that the LDC is "not in possession of [Lipa's] proprietary information, because, as we stated earlier, the Township Clerk had no issues providing the documents.


It is also odd that David Klein originally requested that the requestor call him because he "questions to get clarification about your request", yet he then stated that he did not have the call logs. If he did indeed not have the call logs, then he could not have had any relevant "questions for clarifications", and if he did have the call logs and he also had "questions for clarifications", he should have responded in writing with his "questions for clarifications".


The documents fulfilled by the Township Clerk which were provided by Lipa, cover January 1, 2022 to March 2, 2022 and list 2,373 calls during this time.


However, these do not appear to be actual "call logs" as they do not include the phone numbers, only the amount of calls and total duration of all calls per day.


Lipa writes in his email to Mr. Akerman that he received 1,213 "unique number call-ins" from November 2, 2021 until March 2, 2022. This would average over 300 unique number call-ins per month - however it is not possible to substantite this claim as the call logs as submitted do not prove this.


The call logs do not even prove that all of these calls were related to the shuttle buses, they could have been any personal phone calls.


Hmm...


Perhaps the LDC has good reason to hide this email - they do not have much pride in the public seeing the basis for them to vote to use $75,000 in UEZ funds for a Shuttle Bus Liasion...




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9 comments:

  1. How many of those calls were from Lipa's shvogger or shvigger or kids or etc.. to pick up an extra bottle of milk from the supermarket?

    ReplyDelete
  2. David Klein works for the people of Lakewood. His obvious lack of transparency related to his government position should be of great concern to all.
    How did he get hired? What's the real story with this newly created position? Is it payback for something we don't know about?
    Whenever government officials are found to be hiding their activities, it draws even bigger questions...

    ReplyDelete
  3. What could possibly be proprietary about the requested call log document?? It's laughable excuses like this that give good reason for the residents to suspect a cover up of another shenanigan taking place right under our noses.

    Lakewood officials should be required to pass a course on "Government Transparency 101". They clearly are unaware of their responsibilities.

    ReplyDelete
  4. David Klein also works for Mr. Weisberg. so he is just a pawn to do what Weisberg wants.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Is this the David Klein who is a banker? Wow, he used to be straight as an arrow. People, if you have any dignity, stay away from Lakewood Township jobs! Find me one person who took a job for the township and left with his reputation intact.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes, this is the David Klein who used to work at Wachovia Bank. He's a great and honest guy. This is terrible terrible LOSHON HARA about my friend. David is the Director of the LDC now and he is doing a really great job helping soo many Lakewood residents. I know businesses in town that he helped many times and he gives of himself selflessly at all hours of the day. I guarantee you that if there was a mishap in the OPRA process he for sure tried to do it correctly. Because of your slandering of him, I personally called the township clerk to ascertain myself what's going on with the OPRA process and they told me the LDC is a separate entity from the township and the LDC must do their own OPRA's by hand, not using the townships SDL system.
    There is no reason not to provide the stupid call logs, big deal. FAA was able to get them from the township, they obviously were able to provide them, and obviously David knew the OPRA and call logs could be provided from Isaac Akerman's emails which in the end they did provide, why would David lie that he couldn't find them?? The LDC doesn't have the advanced OPRA system at their disposal like the township does. What you FAA are doing, and these other LOSHON HARA commenters are doing is evil, assur and appalling, you need to email David and ask Mechilah immediately right before Rosh Hashana. But people like you dont care about your neshamos any way, and you probably don't even have neshamos. You people are sick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why hasn’t Mr. Klein worked on making the LDC’s OPRA system accessible to the residents? Why is there still no direct link to file an OPRA on the LDC webpage, just like every other government agency in NJ??

      In fact, the current information on the page is misleading and makes the unknowing residents waste their time trying to get access to public documents. If the LDC has plenty of money to throw around and throw 75K for a newly created bus liaison, they can also place minimal effort at being transparent with the Lakewood taxpayers.

      What they’ve been doing - and have not been doing - is totally unacceptable!

      Delete
    2. 1. The LDC does not need what you call an "advanced" OPRA system to follow the rules and not give the run around to a member of the public. The township clerk also just recently obtained the not-so-advanced OPRA system you refer to, but still managed to fulfil requests beforehand too.
      2. If the document-production responsibility is too much to handle, the LDC may wish to ask the clerk's office to share their system to make it easier for them to be organized and compliant with the law.
      3. Your bitter tone is off. Government officials are held to higher standards than just plain bankers. They are accountable to every member of the public, and when they fail that responsibility while serving in that capacity, they should expect to be called out.

      Delete
    3. Well, it looks like because of your abuse, the LDC updated their OPRA process, Congratulations, you've accomplished something with your life. Looks like your hounding, abuse and harassment of good people paid off. I'm sure your public humiliation of Mr. Klein was worth it. https://www.lakewoodnj.gov/department/uez. Happy Rosh Hashana.

      Delete