Why Doesn’t Lakewood Twp. Have In Person Meetings? Here’s Why

Many have been wondering why the Lakewood Township Committee continues to hold virtual-only meetings despite practically every other municipality across the state having gone back to in person meetings.

Local officials publicly state that community involvement in the meetings has actually gone up since they resorted to virtual meetings during the Covid pandemic, but that doesn’t explain why they don’t at least hold hybrid meetings in which residents could join in person or over Zoom.

Lakewood Alerts dug into this issue, speaking to multiple Township officials and requesting information about the phenomenon. What we have found is that the true reason for the virtual-only sessions is one that has yet to be publicly acknowledged.

That reason is that one committeeman – 83-year-old Mike D’Elia – is sick and unable to make it to in-person meetings. To assist him and deflect questions about his health, the Township committee has continued to hold virtual meetings, despite it being a net negative for Lakewood residents.

“Unfortunately, Mike is just not well enough to attend the meetings if they were held in person,” a township official who requested anonymity said. “We hope and pray he gets back to full strength soon.”

A Republican first elected in 2015, D’Elia has long been involved in Lakewood politics and community activism. He currently has liaison appointments to Lakewood’s Environmental Committee, Finance Department, Fire Department, Industrial Commission, Legal Department, Special Community Events, Tax Collector’s Office, and the Zoning Board.

We wish him a speedy recovery from his ailments and a complete and healthy return to public life and service.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Was his condition known 2 years ago when he got reelected?If he’s been sick for the past 2 years, shouldn’t he voluntary resign? Or is he too sick for that too? Does he know what he’s voting on? Is someone sitting next to him and telling him to say “Yes”? Is Coles committing a crime by chairing meetings where Delia is not accurately present? How can he legally be sworn in at next reorganizing meeting? What’s happening with all the departments he liaisons to?

    • Mike won a three year term and was sworn in for that in January of 2021. He doesn’t need to be sworn in again unless they appoint him Mayor or Deputy Mayor, which is not going to happen. He was healthy when he was reelected, but has since gotten severe side effects from the Covid vaccine. Everyone is praying that he has a quick recovery, but he already stated last time, in 2020 when he filed to run, while he was still gezunt un shtark, that he wasn’t going to seek reelection in 2023.

  2. Why can’t Mike D’Elia get video-conferenced into the meetings?? Why should the entire public of Lakewood get dissed because of this one problem?

    There’s zero reason why he can’t join the meeting via video conference?!

  3. The whole township is a scam.
    The zoning board is bunch of guys never finished high school with 0 experience on zoning.

    No traffic study by any developers.
    No master plan for lakewood.
    It’s a big joke

  4. He has no clue unfortunately what’s going on, he needs to resign immediately he is taking a salary and benefits from the taxpayers and not working for them. he is not a committeeman currently but tying up a seat!!! its illegal

  5. Yes its illegal to have a job and get paid for it 50 thousand dollars a year plus benefits and not show. Its fraud and stealing.

    Taking money for something your not doing

    And also there is a oath of officeand he is in violation of that too. Give back the past two years of salary and step down asap

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