Back in December 2023, Lakewood Fire Chief Jonathan Yahr got a salary increase from $191,732 to $240,000, with annual increases of $10,000 for each of the next two years.

At the time, Chief Yahr vowed that "we submit reports back for every Site Plan application that we receive."

Just in case his salary wasn't enough to get the job done, the Board of Fire Commissioners also gave their clerk Erin Belfingo a raise, and they also hired Sima Clapman at a starting salary of $55,000. Her title is Fire Prevention Specialist, however, the Commissioners claimed that she will be assisting with the Site Plan reviews.

Well.... it's just 7 months later and we have clearly on the record the fire district admitting to not submitting reviews for major site plan applications!

As previously reported here on FAA News, just last week, Lakewood Township's Planning Board approved a new 64 duplex unit development off of the New Hampshire Avenue and Locust street intersection.

This new duplex development will be located just to the south of where construction is currently ongoing for 130 duplex homes, an office building, a retail building, and a community shul, and adjacent to where a shopping center was approved last year. 


One of the roadways in the development is proposed to be only 18 wide, whereas all new roadways in Lakewood are required to be 32 feet wide.

Curious as to why the fire district did not recommend to the Planning Board that this road be widened to the Lakewood standard of 32 feet wide, FAA News went digging.

The Board of Fire Commissioners today confirmed to FAA News that they did not submit a review letter to the Planning Board for this application. They did not give any explanation as to why not.

This means that we will have a 18 foot wide road serving 194 duplex homes (plus basement apartments, close to 400 families and 800 cars), 2 shuls, an office building, a retail building, and a shopping center - all because our fire officials simply aren't doing the job they vowed just months ago that they are doing.

Attorney Adam Pfeffer represented the application before the Planning Board. His partner, Ian Goldman, serves as Counsel to the Board of Fire Commissioners. Additionally, Adam's brother Harrison is a member of the Board...

Chief Yahr and the rest of the pretty boys at the fire department can continue to claim all day long "there is no point in us giving any reviews to the Planning Board as they won't listen to us anyways." Blah blah blah.

It cost them nothing at all to try.

Yet, they didn't even bother trying one single bit.

And they gave zero explanation as to why not.

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Anonymous said...

Sadom & Gemorrah

Common sense said...

Wow!!!! Just awful.

Of course Pfeffer gets special treatment with his partner being the fire attorney. How continent for him. This duo is part of the swamp which is destroying our town.

Why is the planning board even hearing any applications before they have all of the reviews and comments from the appropriate agencies & boards?

I don't think that their even allowed to hear any applications which don't have all of their completed paperwork.

Anonymous said...

Boys club of lakewood.
And we keep voting the same people in over and over and over.
They have done nothing to help the people of lakewood.
Why do they deserve our votes???

The only people they help are themselves and developers.