Lakewood Board Ousts Longtime Attorney, Will Stay On As $100,000 Consultant

20

michael-inzelbuchLakewood, NJ – It is the end of an era on the township’s school board.

The Lakewood Board of Education swore in newly elected members Monday, and one of its first official actions was to oust longtime attorney Michael Inzelbuch, whose forte is special education.

Inzelbuch served as board attorney and was a district employee as the special education consultant.

Though  Inzelbuch was replaced as Board of Education attorney at Monday’s board meeting, he continues to collect a salary of $122,655 for his position as a special education consultant.

The contract period ends June 30, said Carl Fink, the newly appointed board president. “Any cases between now and June 30 will be reviewed” with Inzelbuch and the new attorney prior to going into court, Fink said.

The attorney switch saves the district $50 per billing hour because Inzelbuch charged $250 per hour, and the firm that replaces him — Schwartz, Simon, Edelstein and Celso, with offices in Red Bank, Whippany and New York — charges $200 per hour.

In 2011, Inzelbuch was paid $387,965 for legal services billed at $250 per hour in addition to his $122,655 consultant salary.

Sworn in Monday were newly elected members Joel Schwartz and Lee Mund. Incumbent Jonathan Silver also began his second term as of Monday.

Fink,  chosen as new board president, replaces Meir Grunhut, who was defeated along with Irene Miccio in the April 17 election. Miccio and Grunhut were the longest seated members of the township Board of Education.

Mund and Schwartz also serve on the Lakewood Township Zoning Board. The meeting was held at the Lakewood High School. About 100 people attended.

The board said it planned to continue the meeting on May 1 at the board offices, 1771 Route 9. Public meetings would begin at 8 p.m. Executive sessions would begin at 6 p.m.

Fink said that there would be committees set up that included board members, parents, students and educators.

Among a list of priorities, board member Tracey Tift said settling the teacher’s contract is most important next to finding a replacement for Superintendent Lydia Silva who announced March 10 she was retiring effective June 30 when her contract ends.

The board also plans to hire a full-time grant writer, and open vocational classes in the high school to help more students graduate through alternative means.

Janice Boski, president of the Lakewood Education Association, said she was “in shock” with the positive direction of the board.

The union has been without a contract for two years and there has been a mass exodus of staff leaving for other districts with higher pay and fewer problems. The union and the school board are currently working with a mediator on the negotiations.

Hearing the board say that settling the contract is a priority is like “seeing a light at the end of the tunnel,” Boski said.

“It has been my privilege to serve all the children of Lakewood over the last 12-plus years,” Inzelbuch said when reached after the meeting. “As a professional I will do anything to make the transition seamless” for the district.

{APP/Matzav.com Newscenter}

20 COMMENTS

  1. absolutely is MY business as I was paying him and so was every other taxpayer in town.
    the woman quoted as being “in shock” at the positive direction of the school board has me seconding her shock!!

  2. “why do we need to know how much money this person was paid? Is it anyone’s business?”

    If they are on the public payroll, then YES, it is EVERYONE’S business.

  3. IN RESPONSE TO #1
    YES. A HALF MILLION DOLLARS. I’M SORRY BUT THAT DOES SEEM LIKE A LOT OF MONEY WHEN MY TAXES KEEP ON GOING UP AND UP.

  4. YES OY VEY!!!!!! IT IS MY BUSINESS TO KNOW HOW MUCH HE IS PAID. I PAY THE SALERY TOGETHER WITH MANY OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE PAYING TAXES THRU THE ROOF IN THIS TOWN!!!!!
    MAYBE YOU DON’T PAY TAXES BUT I DO AND THAT MEANS HE IS SUPPOSED TO BE WORKING FOR ME AND I SURE WANT TO KNOW WHAT I PAY MY EMPLOYEES

  5. Mr. Oy Vey of comment #1. You bet it is my buissness! I paid him that salary, I work two jobs from morning until night to feed my family and I am popping mad that I didn’t know this a few years ago. I am thrilled that the three people that I voted for, finally are doing all Lakewood families a service. This can not have been to soon.

  6. To all of you who hold that it is your buisness to know his salary because you pay taxes – fine. Do you know your children’s Rebbe/Morah’s salary? Maybe you should because you pay tuition? What about the Menahel’s salary? Maybe you should know that too?

  7. People could learn from Michael a thing or two
    a brilliant lawyer, a brilliant educational mumcha, and a baal chesed behind the scenes
    chaval al deavdin

  8. michael was an incredible advocate for my childs special needs and i hope he can still continue to help parents like me who turned to him for his help in our most trying times.

  9. Sholom Al Yisroel.
    I give credit to anyone who works for the tzibbur, paid or unpaid. Umatzdikei horbaim kakochavim leolam voed. Michael Inzelbuch falls into that special category of devoted people
    who help the tzibbur

    We’ve lost a good, good, man.

  10. We will miss Mr. Inzelbuch, who, it is well known, is actually one of the biggest special-ed experts in the entire state.
    I also wish good luck too all the new members. I hope you are successfull in your work on behalf of the public.

  11. Michael is a tremendous ish hachesed

    We wish him well in whatever he does. He will surely be helping people as he always does, following does Torah. He is a good good man.

    Hazlocha Michoel

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here