I write this to Matzav.com from my home as I peer out on to the street here in Lakewood, NJ. We have just received some two feet of snow…and the streets in my area have not been plowed. Every winter, we hear the same thing: “We have dozens of trucks out there… We can’t get to all the streets at once… We’re doing our best… They are working so hard… 20-hour shifts…”
And then we hear the best line: “Even the mayor’s and committeemen’s streets haven’t been plowed…” As if that is somehow supposed to make us feel better. Can I ask you something? The fact that Mayor Bob Singer is stuck at home…how exactly does that help me here?
It’s always the same thing. Somehow, Lakewood has already become known for not plowing its streets.
Lakewood is no longer a sleepy little town. It is a city. In Brooklyn, the streets get plowed rather quickly. In the Five Towns, no one stand for what goes on in Lakewood. In Monsey, things are a bit worse, but nothing like what goes on in Lakewood, where dozens of streets remain unplowed many hours into the storm. In Queens, the streets are plowed.
Lakewood hasn’t figured it out yet.
We, in Lakewood, have often been told, “You have to make a choice between tax cuts and services,” meaning that if we would cut back on services – extra police, extra garbage pickups (such as pre-Yom Tov), etc., the Township would be able to cut property taxes. Between me and you, that is rubbish. Our taxes will be lowered when the sky falls in. But, at the same time, there are some elementary services that the Township has not been able to provide efficiently. Most notable amongst them is snow plowing.
We know all the standard answers we are given in the regard. We’re tired of the same empty answers. We don’t want answers. We want action. Just plow the streets in a timely manner!
And let me add that it is about time that we stop treating all Township employees, including those in the Police and Public Works Departments, with kid gloves. We act as if they are national heroes who cannot be criticized or penalized. John Franklin is the head of the Public Works Department, not the president of the United States! Just because he has been around for years doesn’t mean he is beyond reproof.
Meanwhile, I’ll climb back under my blanket while I wait for a snow plow to come down my street so that I can actually get my car out. Until then, I’ll ponder the pathetic state of affairs here.
A Matzav Reader Who Is Snowed In