Most residents agree that 40 foot high LED signs that are 30 feet wide dispersed throughout Lakewood are a bad idea. We established that no other town in NJ allows signs of that magnitude. We know that there is strong evidence that they can cause accidents, they are an eyesore, and will surely be another point of contention from surrounding towns already looking at Lakewood in a negative light.
So the big question is of course, why would the Township allow this? And furthermore who is benefitting from these signs, and how was the permission given to one specific individual?
As we now know, the individual benefitting from the revenue of these signs will be Lazer Hasenfeld, owner of The Lakewood Scoop. This of course explains why our committee would even consider such a ridiculous idea. If the person asking for approvals for LED signs is the person you need when you want to promote an agenda, you try to oblige. If you want to make sure he will get video of you painting over graffiti with the police, even though you were only there for two minutes, if you want him to post an article about how you saved the town money, no matter how negligible, or what a true patriotic mayor you seem to be, you will trade the safety and beauty of your town for that benefit.
So now we know why they listened to the owner of The Lakewood Scoop. How did they make sure he was the only one able to get the approvals for all ten signs?
The ordinance was read as usual with no publicity and very few people knew about it. By the time the second reading was approved on July 25th, Mr. Hasenfeld already had all the engineering plans and sites ready along with the approval forms to be submitted the next morning. At 8:01 am on July 26th ten forms were submitted to the inspection Department.
This latest little seemingly insignificant matter is a perfect example of how everything gets done in Lakewood to benefit a specific individual at the expense of what is best for Lakewood. We have allowed our indifference to give Carte Blanche reckless behavior to a few individuals that weigh their own needs above the needs of our town. Their concern for self promotion and constant bargaining to ensure that they get the votes they need to remain on the Committee is a detriment to our town. The Zoning and Planning of Lakewood has become one big joke, where it doesn't matter what you are proposing but who you know and what you have to hold against them.