Political Change in Lakewood?

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avi-solomonBy Avi Solomon

Yoni Silver, one of the victor’s in Lakewood, NJ’s Board of Education election yesterday should have run on the theme of change. Granted, he might not have been running for president of the United States or a prestigious political office, but his victory in the election sent a strong message of change to the politicians of Lakewood.

Yoni Silver ran without an endorsement from the Lakewood Vaad. Granted, the Vaad did not specifically tell Lakewood voters not to vote for Silver, but sources have revealed that certain members on the Vaad did not want to see Silver emerge victorious. Silver did have the endorsement of the LAC, a fairly new interest group within Lakewood. Interestingly, the LAC was created as a reaction to certain Lakewood residents of the frum community who didn’t feel the Vaad was representing their interests.

Ten years ago in Lakewood, the Vaad’s authority in local politics was unchallenged. A candidate couldn’t win without their endorsement. A perfect example of this would be Steve Langert. Steve Langert first ran for the position of Township Committeeman in 2002 without an endorsement from the Vaad and suffered a huge defeat despite the fact that he was a qualified candidate.

In 2005 Langert ran once again without an endorsement from the Vaad and only lost by a few hundred votes to Charlie Cunliffe.

In 2008, Langert ran with the endorsement of the Vaad and won by a landslide. At first glance it seems that Langert only won because he had the Vaad’s endorsement. In reality, it is fair to speculate that the Vaad only gave Langert the endorsement because they feared he would win without the endorsement of the Vaad. If a candidate were ever to run for office without a Vaad endorsement and win, it would send a crippling message to politicians in Trenton and Washington. Therefore, the Vaad has created a defense mechanism of not coming into direct confrontation with any candidate that they fear could emerge victorious. They refrain from this confrontation by either granting a begrudged endorsement or by not directly endorsing any candidate. This does not imply that the Vaad isn’t a powerful political force in Lakewood, but they aren’t as powerful as they were ten years ago.

In short, the Lakewood Vaad no longer controls the complete frum voting-block.

In politics, interest groups come and go, which is a lesson the Vaad might have to learn in the near future.

Avi Solomon can be contacted at Sanhedrin90a@aol.com with comments or questions on this article.

{The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and may not represent those of Matzav.com.}

{Matzav.com Newscenter}

 

 

20 COMMENTS

  1. I may follow the comments here but don’t plan on reading the article (I skimmed it). I think when it comes to Lakewood politics my new policy will be the same I have towards E”Y’s. It’s very painful, I’ll say a perek Tehillim, but at this point, being out of town, for me it’s lashon hara with no to’eles.

  2. Mazel-Tov
    Finally some is saying bluntly.

    You forgot completlely about the defeat of the VAAD’s Gonzalles.

    The defeat of the School budget by a whopping 85.5% is justice to the VAAD’s backed budget.

  3. It is very easy for Yudel Shain to talk big when it is obvious that he hs no clue to what is in the school budget. Why doesn’t he find out what the Kehilla gets from the 35-40% of the tax levy?

  4. i am very surprised that the Matzav printed this letter. It doesn’t bring any “achdus” – just fans the flames and causes more “perud”.

    It doesn’t help to write “The views expressed in this article… may not represent those of Matzav.com”.

  5. QUESTIONS: Do the people on the VAAD have their own interests in mind? Like getting building contracts from the township or being able to purchase township owned property well bellow property value. Does anybody know the answers to these questions? Just asking

  6. THE LAC WAS FORMED BY A GROUP OF DEVELOPEMENTS TRYING TO GET THE SERVICES THAT THE REST OF THE TOWN GETS BUT THEY DON’T BECAUSE OF BACKROOM DEALS THAT THE BUILDERS MAKE. IT HAS MORPHED INTO SOMETHING BIGGER BUT THEY WERE NOT FORMED “BECAUSE THEY FELT THE VAAD WAS NOT REPRESENTING THEIR INTERESTS”. THEY WILL HOWEVER WORK FOR THE KLAL WITH NO PERSONAL GAIN OR DEALS.

  7. The 30-40% bluff that they were trying to pull the wool over the Tzibur’s eyes? Well it isn’t even wool, it’s a synthetic copy cat.

  8. The solution is simple! Do not endorse anyone and kick out every candidate who does not lower the taxes! Let them fight for our votes! The day the Vaad loses an election will be the day the taxes go down !

  9. A Federal Judge told me the the to control coruption is never to elect an incumbent, One term is enough time to fix problems.

    The LAC’s intentions were great, but their bottom line results is nothing to write home about.

  10. I lived in Lakewood for the past 20+ years.I went from always voting to not voting at all for local candidates because I don’t feel they are sufficiently concerned about being Misgarah B’Umas.I will note however that VAAD is (1)the least standoffish of voter groups(2)at least pays lip service to serving everyone(3)has tangible accomplishments they gained on behalf of Moisdes and Yechidim. I can’t say that for any other group.

  11. Hello All,

    We are in golus and it is very wrong for frumer menshin to hold public office. We are totally being misgarah beumos. One of the gedolei yisroel told me that because of this if there ever will be chas vesholom a pogrom the first place would be in Lakewood r’l

  12. att: FROM LAKEWOOD,

    Anyone that claims to know where a pogrom will start r”l is obviously not a godol b’yisroel. You happen to be right about so called “frum yidden” holding office for many other reasons as well as misgarah beumos.

  13. Yodea Sefer,

    What do you base “Anyone that claims to know where a pogrom will start r”l is obviously not a godol b’yisroel” on?

  14. From Lakewood,

    First tell me what constitutes a Gadol in your books and I will be able to explain to you my basis.

  15. “No personal gain or deals”??? The whole concept of the LAC is for personal gain. Those “backroom deals that the builders make” is why these guys could afford their houses in the first place. If the builders were forced to provide “the services that the rest of the town gets”, this would be factored into the purchase price and passed on to the buyer. Now they want to have their cake and eat it too by having the city (i.e. the other taxpayers) help them foot the bill for services that they essentially agreed to pay for themselves by purchasing a house in such a development. Now they’ve extended beyond what limited mandate they may have had by portraying themselves as a new “Vaad” – attending the rabbonim/askanim maleva malka, taking a highly publicized pre-dinner tour of SCHI (there’s some irony there – one self-serving entity scratching the backs of another), endorsing candidates for public office, etc. No thanks.

  16. The Mesech Chocma was definitly a Gadol and it is wellknown that he talks about “A wind from Berlin etc…” And I have a hard time believing that the feeling of German Jews that “Berlin is Yerushalyim” was stronger then the feelings of certain elements in Lakewood that Lakewood is (1)Yerushalyim or (2)not a place where we must act like Yidin is Golus.

    This comment isn’t CH”V meant as a kitrug or a desription of the typical person in Lakewood.Rather it is a request for people (NO ONE SPECIFIC) to rethink their actions and attitudes.VDai L’Maven.V’ain Kan Mokom L’haarich.

    Please do not bring up specific people/politics in response to this post.

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