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Lakewood Development Corporation Executive Director David Klein, who receives a salary of $122,400 plus benefits, is not acclaimed for transparency to the public.

Today, a member of the public requested that the LDC Board of Trustees reprimand Mr. Klein for ignoring his questions regarding matters discussed  at their last public meeting.

Mayor Ray Coles agreed and explained to Mr. Klein that his job does include answering questions from the public!

At their last regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, the LDC Board of Trustees discussed providing funding for ambulances for Hatzolah and Lakewood First Aid.

Shortly after the meeting, 7th Street resident Mordechai Schwartz sent the following email to Mr. Klein:


I was listening to the meeting live.

There was feedback on the audio on the entire time so I could barely hear anything.

How much money does Hatzolah and LSTA want? Are these loans or grants?


Mordechai Schwartz


Mr. Klein did not give any response to this email.

This afternoon, the LDC Board of Trustees held a special meeting to authorize a $2 million loan to LSTA (read more about that here on FAA News).

This meeting included a portion for public comment.

Prior to the meeting, Mr. Schwartz submitted the following email for public comment:

I am writing to report a complaint regarding David Klein.

I sent Mr. Klein the below email on August 1, 2023.

It has been 2 weeks since then and Mr. Klein has not answered my email.

I feel that this is unacceptable.

Mr. Klein is a public employee who should be answerable to the public.

Additionally, Mr. Klein is a representative of this Board of Trustees. The Board has a duty to ensure that its representatives are representing them accordingly, and this includes being responsive to the public.

I am asking this Board to reprimand Mr. Klein appropriately so he understands that ignoring the public is unacceptable.


During the public meeting, the Board almost ended the meeting without reading the public comment email. However, Board Attorney Sean Kean Esq. reminded them that they do need to open the meeting for public comments. At that point, Mr. Klein read both of Mr. Schwartz's emails.

Mr. Klein did not provide any reason why he completely ignored Mr. Schwartz's email for 2 weeks.

Mayor Coles agreed with Mr. Schwartz that public officials ignoring members of the public is unacceptable behavior, and he directed Mr. Klein to, in the future, respond to questions that he receives from the public.

"I answer questions that I receive by email from the public and so can you," stated Mayor Coles.

As previously reported here on FAA News, back in November 2022, the LDC approved their annual budget including Mr. Klein's salary of $122,400 plus benefits.

As previously reported here and here on FAA News, the LDC, which is an arm of the Township, has quite a shameful record of ignoring public comments and trying to hide public records.

Update: Following publication of this story, David Klein sent the following statement to FAA News:

Anyone who engages with our office at the UEZ and with myself and our staff will invariably laud that fact that we go above and beyond, and bend over backwards to help and accommodate all who seek our assistance. We are very proud of our record with the business community and Lakewood's residents. We are in communication and engage many many people on a weekly basis. The UEZ Authority openly touts Lakewood UEZ as a "Mini EDA" for our commitment to excellence and our dedication to serve the community as best we can. I personally engage with the public and Lakewood residents to the best of my ability.

As are the foibles of being human, some times we come up short.

Mordechai Schwartz sent me a direct email to my personal business email on August 1st during our board of Trustees meeting requesting some information regarding the meeting we were in the middle of. 

I interpreted their email to be related to the subject matter being discussed at the meeting. Per our protocol, these kind of emails are supposed to be sent to and I'm sure everyone can understand that once protocols are broken, the system breaks down and chaos can ensue. My intent was to preserve the process we have put in place that allows for a fair and even playing field for everyone, and that no special preference is given to anyone. In retrospect, it may have been more expedient to respond to their email, but I would not have been true to the process.

To clear up any future expectations, we are now instituting a new protocol as it relates to emails and/or messages that are sent to us during or post a meeting with comments that relate to the subject matter of the meeting:

Public Comment during the public portion of the meeting can be made by “raising your hand” by dialing *3 if by phone or clicking the “hand” icon if by internet and wait patiently to be called upon. Comments can also be emailed 8 hours prior to the meeting to: Comments by mail can be sent to: Lakewood Development Corporation, 231 3rd Street, Lakewood NJ 08701; written comments must be received by 12:00 PM a day before the meeting. Any public comments or questions during or post a meeting related to an LDC Board of Trustees meeting must also be sent to to receive a response. Our staff will endeavor to answer in a timely manner when at all possible.

I will do my best to answer questions that are sent to me directly. But we want to catalogue all comments in the uezcomments email, this allows us to keep an orderly record of the comments that related directly to our meetings. I respectfully ask you could please send us your comments via that email, it helps us and ultimately helps you get the answers you are looking for.

I would like to personally thank Mordechai Schwartz for being the catalyst that helped us create a clearer set of expectations pertaining to the public comments process for before, during and after a LDC Board of Trustees meeting.


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Anonymous said...

This David Klein guy gets paid well by Lakewood. He needs a serious readjustment of his attitude towards showing proper respect to the residents of this town. Sadly, this isn’t the first time we’ve been very disappointed with his bad attitude.

Anonymous said...

David Klein is a great guy and selflessly gives of himself to all Lakewood citizens... stop slandering and libeling and maligning him. I think he should sue FAA News for defamation and slander.