“AG must take close look at Lakewood.” So reads the headline over a March 24 Asbury Park Press editorial. The “close look,” the editorial goes on to explain, is merited by “the encroachment of the Orthodox community” on neighboring areas, “school funding shortfalls,” school busing cutbacks, “building code issues,” flouting of zoning and construction rules, the number of tax-exempt properties in the township and activities of real estate brokers that “smack of classic blockbusting.”
Readers are warned about the dire situation, which “gets grimmer by the day,” and about that earlier-mentioned “encroachment,” how the Jewish community is… headed… their… way.
I think it’s time the Press got real – that is to say, truthful and objective (a good goal for a newspaper), about the black-hatted monster that seems to haunt its dreams.
There are indeed school and busing funding shortfalls in Lakewood. But the Board of Education, the presumed villain, can only work with the funds available to it, and all its decisions are currently overseen and approved by state monitors. And busing services for children are mandated by law.
What is more, the Toms River school district has a $7.4 million deficit; Freehold schools are underfunded by $7.1 million; Red Bank’s schools are $9.6 million in the red. Why is… read the rest of the article here.