BREAKING – FIRST REPORT: Lakewood DPW Director Out

al burdge tlsThe Lakewood Township Committee has moments ago accepted the resignation of Alvin Burdge, the Director of Lakewood’s Department of Public Works, Township manager Tom Henshaw confirms to TLS.

The resignation comes amid mounting pressure from officials and residents outraged over the apparent failed and uncoordinated plowing following a storm of historic proportions.

As earlier reported, Committeeman Lichtenstein said an investigation was being conducted into the planning of the storm and as to why the large percentage of DPW employees failed to show up for work, and their equipment just sat idly in the lots.

Burdge took over as Director of DPW after longtime director John Franklin, who retired in 2010.

Tony Arrechi, the current supervisor, will be taking over as acting director “until we decide what direction we’re going to take,” the Township Manager told TLS. As for Burdge, “we wish him well in his retirement,” Henshaw says.

TLS spoke with acting director Arrechi who says the department for future storms will be looking to bid out some of the plowing to outside vendors – as they are doing currently after Committee intervention – and will seek input from property owners for recommendations.

As for this storm, Arrechi says he’s looking to clean up as best as possible and move past this.

dpw“We have a lot of dedicated employees, and we’re trying to do the best we can,” Arrechi told TLS. “We appreciate the patience and hopefully we’ll do better.”

Arrechi added, “We need to change the way we operate. Lakewood is not a town, it’s a city, and we have to start treating it that way.”


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There are 30 Comments to "BREAKING – FIRST REPORT: Lakewood DPW Director Out"

  • Eli says:

    Btw if you send out a truck to salt don’t forget to tell him to put down his plow because they only do what they are told …

  • Dovid says:

    Mr Arrechi we will know you mean business when you fire every single employee that didn’t show up to work on the weekend.

  • gimmie a break says:

    Dovid…get over yourself

  • A. Nonymous says:

    And we’ll know you guys mean business if the plows are out trying to widen the snake paths on most of the streets. Create some parking, curb space and driving space. Just act like it actually makes a difference.

  • @dovid says:

    TOTALLY agree.

  • A parent says:

    Good luck to the new supervisor. Hope you do well.tnx

  • jerry says:

    They need to record the calls.I called today and the lady that answered the phone was extremely nasty. Iasked her for her name and she refused to give it to me…this should be changed.

  • Neighbor says:

    What was Mr. Arrechi’s role in this fiasco? What was his position until now???

  • Luz Ferrer says:

    About time

  • Ruthy Creed says:

    They MUST hire outside contractors for any snow storm or we dont pay our hight taxes ! cirtizens of this community we must gather and protest “no taxes without SERVICEs “

  • Chana Lewin says:

    Thank you Alvin for your years of dedicated service.

  • 1256 says:

    No need to ask residents recommendation how to plow just call every other twp in NJ and ask them how they do it, Oh and actually spreading salt during the storm works wonders

  • baily smidt says:

    people need to go outside the town and look at the roads they are just as bad or worse. it was a blizzard look it up in the dictionary!!!!!

  • not me says:

    Rechnitz should take over!

  • time for a change says:

    OH everyone relax, dont worry he will be back as a consultant or something like that and start working again at the DPW

  • Snow balabusta says:

    After shoveling 12′ from the curb into the street so that I can get out, I was plowed in overnight. Blocking my driveway was a compacted 3′ high by 5′ block of snow/ice after shoveling for 30 min and not getting anywhere
    I called DPW to see if a plow can help me out the woman tells me” why don’t you do what I did, what is that? I asked, I shoveled myself out and went to work. Wow, that certainly was polite and helpful

  • Excited says:

    Hire the head of the county public works. Their road are always black.

  • Ralph says:

    People this was an epic storm. You all should have stayed off the roads Saturday and Sunday so it could have been cleared properly as in other towns. It’s not als or Tony’s fault

  • Achshell says:

    To baily Smidth, for your info, the Lakewood fiasco made it to the headlines way beyond TLS, it is recognized by all major NJ news agencies.

  • Feter zich mich says:


  • Dan lkaf zechus says:

    Why is he out? Is the snowy mess his fault? Or maybe it’s the lazy workers that are at fault for not doing their job? I feel bad that bosses tend to get the blame for issues not always in their control. We need to investigate before fingers are pointed with blame. All the best Mr. Burdge.

  • R says:

    Dear Ralph I believe you missed the point . 90% of Lakewood residents were off the roads Saturday which should have made it much easier to plow all the streets

  • WW says:

    Thank you, Mr. Burge, for your service to Lakewood these past 5 years. We wish you well and regret that your resignation was under unpleasant circumstances. This does not negate your dedication to us during your tenure. All the best to you.

  • still bad says:

    Monmouth ave, Clifton ave by Bais Faiga and all side streets 10th, 11th are still horrible. If you can please send the plows down. Thanks.

  • Anon says:

    To ralph,
    Obviously you weren’t around lakewood bit there was not a car in sit on Saturday and very few on Sunday and the plows were still no where to be seen.
    And yes it’s the bosses fault when they fail to plan.
    What would any private company do to a hired supervisor that doesn’t do his job? !?

  • Mendy says:

    Al thanks not just for the last five years rather for the last few decades. Al was part of the fabric and the pillar at DPW for years and made many changes we all benefited from. He was a volunteer fire fighter for decades as well. His dedication to Lakewood can be seen in his working to the old age dedicating himself each day. Finally Al take a break and a breather! thank you so much!

  • Lakewooddriver says:

    If this whole mess was his fault, then the money used for to hire private contracts should come our of his pension, not the tax payers pockets.

  • me says:

    I’m I the only one who had a much easier time driving this morning? Looks like the plows were finally sent out to get the job done right! Not sure what happened yesterday … the roads were horrible! Same roads are much better today.

  • Laurie says:

    People need to get their cars off the roads and toys out of the street so when the plows do come down…they can plow properly..too much junk in the streets…

  • Toot101st says:

    People still aren’t realizing that if they couldn’t get to work the DPW workers couldn’t either. Who in the township authorizes the overtime in a situation like this? I doubt it’s the director, budget and all. Mr Burdge became the scapegoat. The blame is always passed from the top down.