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Lakewood residents have begun to receive vote-by-mail ballots for the upcoming general election.

Keeping in mind that, as previously reported here on FAA News, Lakewood's Township Committee this year approved a $4 million tax increase - explaining it all in the name of the need "to meet the continued growth of the population," - this election has the ability to truly turn the tide in Lakewood!

This is truly a unique election season as a seat on the Township Committee is being vacated by Mike D'Elia.

As the news was very first broken here on FAA News, R' Hershel Herskowitz is running as an independent candidate for Township Committee.

R' Hershel emphasized to FAA News that originally he did not plan to run this year, however, he agreed to throw his hat into the ring because numerous community members highlighted to him that this year specifically there is an open seat being vacated by Mike D'Elia and therefore he would not be running against any incumbent, a factor that caused previous election runs to look like "fighting."

In other words, there are other candidates in this election, however all of the candidates are running equally to win Mike D'Elia's empty seat.

"The other candidates simply do not know the needs of our community," said Herskowitz, a veteran Downtown business owner.

"People say don't run because Lakewood is anyways a 'goner.' I feel that by saying that, the problems will only get worse," Herskowitz added. "I believe in Lakewood and I want to steer the town to fix whatever is left."

"Since I ran in 2010 our town has changed immensely. Although some changes can be looked at as psoitive ka"h, many expected problems have arisen. Usually traffic and accidents is the first thing that everyone thinks of. That is a big problem. But unfortunately there are many more. And there are many positive  changes we can bring to Lakewood for a better future. So much can change so fast. Let's make sure they are for the better," said R' Hershel.

Areas of specific focus for R' Hershel is his drive to ensure that infrastructure needs are properly reviewed for all new construction approvals, and that the Township runs a lot more transparently and is answerable to the public.

Currently, Lakewood's land use boards do not have their own traffic engineers to provide rebuttals to the developers who bring their own, non-local experts who simply testify that there are no traffic concerns. In contrast, Jackson's land use boards do have their own in-house planners and traffic engineers.

This is something which can change in Lakewood.

"It's one thing to develop land, but continuing to permit unabated land construction without consultation with our own in-house experts and with no associated traffic studies and infrastructure improvements is simply not the way," R' Hershel stated.

"Transparency is a major focus for me. The Township works for the people. Not the other way around," R' Hershel added.

Finally, R' Hershel noted that unlike any of the candidates, he is a long-time major supporter of R' Aron Lang and he wants to continue to openly work with R' Aron who is working tirelessly to prevent us from getting stuck with even worse school debt despite that no one else is helping him.

"We had the chance to have  responsible growth and transparency 13 years ago. 430 votes stopped us. Let's not let that happen again!," R' Hershel concluded.

Another important race is for the Lakewood Board of Education.

As previously reported here on FAA News, the incumbents who are seeking reelection are facing strong challenges from Avrohom Schubert, Eli Eisenbach, and Yori Morgenstern who are running together under the slogan "Fixing the Formula."

R' Aron Lang, a veteran teacher who has selflessly expended many efforts on behalf of funding for bussing for all of Lakewood's students - and whose efforts have, oddly, been rebuffed by the current Board of Education - had called for new candidates to run for the positions.

"The BOE is supposed to oversee those whom they pay. In Lakewood, someone they pay oversees the BOE," stated R' Lang.

As previously reported here on FAA News, the Acting Commissioner of Education has finally sent a formal response to R' Aron's requests for a timetable for the review that is required to be done pursuant to the Appellate Division’s specific remand instructions - namely that the School Funding Reform Act funding structure is unconstitutional as applied to Lakewood.

Their response highlights why it's so imperative to vote for new candidates to the Board of Education, urged R' Lang.

Finally, this years election for membership on the Lakewood Board of Fire Commissioners is absolutely critical!

As the news was very first broken here on FAA News, Aaron Hirsch is officially in the race, running against Harrison Pfeffer who is seeking reelection.

Aaron is currently very active at local land use boards, in support of safety, and in vehement opposition to overdevelopment which leads to traffic congestion and higher taxes.

If elected to the Board of Fire Commissioners, Mr. Hirsch will be granted the keys to ensure that the Planning Board has the legal wherewithal to restrain developers from cramming in too many houses with no cul-de-sac bulb and too narrow roadways.

More importantly, this election is essentially a referendum on the Pfeffer/Goldman free reign in our town.

If you are not yet registered to vote, you can take the first step now by registering here to vote. All it takes is one minute!

Once registered to vote, you can download your vote by mail ballot application here.

Tuesday October 31 is the last day for the County Clerk to receive by mail a Vote by Mail Application for the General Election.

If you do not vote by mail, you can also vote in person on Election day, which is on Tuesday, November 7. Polls open 6am - 8pm.

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