Sunday, September 1, 2019

CRIME, CAMDEN AND COMMUNITY

From our Facebook Page's Wednesday Wisdom Series:

There is little dispute that one of the biggest ongoing factors negatively impacting life in Lindenwold, is our crime rate. This unfortunate truth affects more facets of our lives' than we can even imagine including our quality of life, safety, property values, mindset, outlook, school funding, outside investment, rateables, reputation, tenant base, etc, etc, etc.

It also causes many residents to offer Gibbsboro, Laurel Springs or Voorhees when asked where they live - too embarrassed to admit they live in Lindenwold. Sad but true.

For our #WednesdayWisdom series - each week we share a resource to help the greater good and future of Lindenwold. Today, we highlight the Camden County Police Department. Currently celebrating its lowest crime rates in 50 years, Camden has become a model for new police behavior being rolled out nationwide.
How best can Lindenwold leverage that National model to lower the crime rate and improve the quality of life for the 18,000 residents who live in Camden's high-crime, county cousin? #LoveLindenwold
One of the things we notice in looking at force.nj.com (first two pics), is that Camden employs one police officer per 220 residents while Lindenwold employs one officer per 474 residents (approx).
And as we've reported in the past, about 8,000 of our rental tenants, who live in our apartment complexes, are "filtered" through 23+/- property managers. What role do they play in contributing to our crime rate and quality of life? #ChamberofComplexes


 










Wednesday, August 7, 2019

CHAMBER OF COMPLEXES PART 2

#WednesdayWisdom this week is about crime in Lindenwold. Someone recently asked about a Youtube video that ranks Lindenwold as the 9th worst place to live in New Jersey. First of all, we disagree. But equally important is our response which offers informational resources on crime and more thoughts on the idea of a Lindenwold #ChamberofComplexes.
LoveLindenwold.org is a resident-run, community advocacy organization whose mission is to build programs and partnerships that bolster Lindenwold's assets and image.
As others have noted and as the YouTube video suggests, Lindenwold doesn't have the best reputation and crime continues to be an enormous influence and issue.
We've recently written about how crime is not so much a police issue as it is a community issue. Camden for example, in the midst of its rising, is experiencing its lowest crime rate in 50 years.  https://bit.ly/2YlCHU9
Lindenwold Police provide weekly reporting of borough crime using CrimeReports(TM) available for free at https://bit.ly/2KzbCK5. You may also learn more about the violence police experience and exhibit while on duty in Lindenwold at http://force.nj.com/
Most of Lindenwold's crime does occur within the complexes. The apartments themselves though, and the communities they encompass could be an enormous resource to Lindenwold, and to #CamdenCounty.
The prevailing trend in housing is denser, walkable communities that provide tremendous amenities. The 'leg up' Lindenwold has is that the bones of that desirable, dense infrastructure already exist here. Thousands of apartments, close to everything, award-winning public transportation, and choice schools.
The fact is, many other communities across the country have flipped the script on their burdensome, crime-ridden housing by turning it into the enormous asset it was built to be. Lindenwold could do the same thing. https://www.strongtowns.org/
Because the 23+ complexes make up so much of the Lindenwold community, investor owners need to be strongly encouraged to continually enhance their portfolio properties. There needs to be fierce competition among the complex owners as they fight to provide the best in amenities to the best of the South Jersey tenant pool.
Giving apartment complex owners and managers an opportunity to excel at the quality of life they provide is a huge part of it. These 23 figures 'filter' more than 8,000 people who live in Lindenwold's apartments. They also dictate the conditions of their communities, and provide either an overall resource or liability to Lindenwold and the rest of our residents.
This is one of the conceptual strategies behind our idea of creating a first-of-its-kind Chamber of Complexes. You may find Part 1 of this post below.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

CHAMBER OF COMPLEXES

#ThursdayThought is crime in Lindenwold.
Notoriously nick-named Little Camden, there is little dispute that one of Lindenwold's biggest challenges is its high crime rate. What may not be so clear is how to lower it. One thing is certain, high crime is not only a police issue, it is actually a community issue.
Statistics show that most of our crime occurs within our apartment communities. That being said, there are 23 property managers who are responsible for filtering more than 8,000 of Lindenwold's residents. What role do they play in helping control crime? How responsible are these managers for the 'quality of life' they provide within each of our apartment communities? How does that 'quality of life' affect the owners' investment viability?
We feel our unique infrastructure and density call for an equally unique approach. We will soon be publishing our plan for a first-of-its kind Chamber of Complexes.
Similar to a Chamber of Commerce, this Chamber would be made up of all of the Apartment Complex property managers and its mission would be to collaborate on recruiting the best of the tenant pool, create the best quality of life within each community and work to ensure that "bad" tenants don't move from one complex to another.
In the meantime, here's another take on how to help reduce crime in Lindenwold, written nearly 3 years ago by a long-time Lindenwold property owner. Courier-Post Letter to the Editor: https://bit.ly/2YdEriu.
As an ironic sidenote: we would be remiss in not acknowledging that Camden is currently experiencing its lowest crime rate in more than 50 years. It goes without saying that the model of success Camden County police have created on the other side of the County could be extracted and applied to our community. Stay tuned for more on crime in Lindenwold.








Wednesday, June 12, 2019

PEOPLE, POWER & PLACE

#WednesdayWisdom: Please play a part in this important community improvement endeavor and invite your friends, family and neighbors to do so as well.

Do you know how the people of Camden got new parks, recreation centers, community gardens and more? They did so by first mapping out their current assets to see where their community was abundant and where it was lacking. During a recent workshop, Hope Works and Rosy Arroyo of the Community Planning & Advocacy Council, brought the same technology to Lindenwold.




Please click here to answer a brief survey about Lindenwold. Enter all of the assets you believe our community already has. Be sure to include obvious resources like parks and libraries but also assets like neighborhood mentors, artists willing to share their talents, walking paths, fishing holes, food banks and others. #AssetMapping #CommunityVoice #LoveLindenwold

PS: We are working to get the survey made available in Spanish

Monday, May 20, 2019

ENCOURAGED BY LOCAL SUCCESSES

Very good article. Well worth a read. We are so happy for, and inspired by, Camden's successes! All of the metrics are very impressive! There is little doubt that the meaningful changes going on in Camden have positively affected thousands of people and families for years to come. Kudos to everyone!

As Camden's equally impoverished, high-crime County cousin, we find these to be some of the most encouraging and significant comments:

“Camden residents have not seen critical public and social health indicators like education, public safety, and public spaces, at levels this beneficial in a generation," stated Former Governor Jim Florio.



 “Everything is interrelated. When I look at Camden, I see an example of how a struggling community can be revitalized," said Former Governor, Jon Corzine. "The City of Camden may be on the rise, but the fact that peoples lives themselves are improving is most encouraging.”


"This is real progress, and these are real opportunities for Camden residents," said Mayor Francisco Moran. "As a lifelong resident, it makes me proud to say Camden has become a model for urban revitalization.”

“I’m proud to stand with the real leaders of New Jersey and declare that Camden is flourishing,” Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. said. “The tangible progress being made in this city is nothing short of amazing and we are not going to allow any roadblocks to slow our renaissance down.”

At roughly a quarter of Camden's size, we in Lindenwold, look forward to hopefully benefiting from a small part of Camden's momentum.

Click here to read the article on Camden County's site.

#ModayMotivation #CamdenCounty #LoveLindenwold

#revitalize #reducecrime #increasegraduationrates #createjobs #celebratecommunity #celebrateculture 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

LINDENWOLD LITTLE FREE LIBRARY MAKES NEWS NATIONWIDE

#ThursdayThought is thankful. Thankful to the students of Lindenwold Elementary School No. 4. Thankful to principal Dana Lawrence, teachers Nancy Bragg, Marie Aberant, and Larry "the book man" Abrams of BookSmiles and everyone else involved in the making of their Little Free Library.


Photo credit: Courier-Post (provided)

A special thank you to Sheri Berkery of the Courier-Post for telling their story, which has now spread a positive message about Lindenwold across the country.



Here is the original Courier-Post story (with video). If you're unable to view the link above, here is a link to the story on the AP Wire.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

DISTRACTED DRIVING=DEADLY DRIVING

April is Distracted Driving Awareness month so starting tomorrow, April 1st, Lindenwold Police will begin cracking down on people who text and drive.





Wednesday, March 20, 2019

GIVE OUR STUDENTS BACK THEIR MONEY

Last week, we reported on our Facebook page that Governor Murphy generously awarded the students of Lindenwold School District an additional $2.4 Million in state aid funding. Monday night however, the Lindenwold School Board voted (not unanimous) to take $120,000 of the students' money in the form of tax relief back to residents. What this boils down to is that the school board is stealing approximately $42 from each and every Lindenwold student in order to save each taxpayer approximately $24. Does this make sense?

It would be one thing if our school district was fully funded, but even with the $2.4 Million increase from Governor Murphy, our district still remains more than $12 Million in the whole. If, on the other hand, the school board kept our taxes flat and utilized that $120,000 to create distinguishable district programming, our potential property value increase could far offset the $24 shortsighted savings. Our taxes are already some of the lowest in Camden County. 

In a decade's long, severely under-funded, disadvantaged school district, our students deserve all the opportunity they can get. Give the students back their money! Feel free to share your thoughts with school board president, Cathy Moncrief. Her email address is cmoncrief@lindenwold.k12.nj.us  P.S. Thank you to the school board members who voted on the students' side of this issue!

Friday, March 8, 2019

GOV MURPHY HIGHLIGHTS LINDENWOLD GRADUATE, ENTREPRENEUR

ICYMI: Budget Address 2020: Worth a watch for every New Jersey resident but extra special for Aurelio Sotelo, a graduate of Lindenwold High School, whom Governor Murphy recognized for outstanding achievement. Thank you Governor Murphy! 

Congratulations to Aurelio, his family and the Lindenwold education system! #shoutouttoLindenwold #StrongerFairerNJ #LoveLindenwold


To hear the nod to Aurelio and Lindenwold, fast forward to 29:15.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

ONLY WAY IS UP!

Thank you to everyone who contacted us regarding last week's ABC News story. While embarrassing for the town as a whole, this incident provides an excellent opportunity for us to grow as a Borough and community. For those who aren't familiar, below is a link to Chad Pradelli's investigative piece.

Despite complaints, N.J. mayor refuses to move illegally parked RV 


Click the image to enlarge or the link above to watch the story.

We as the residents, the taxpayers - the ones who pay the bills - can harness this tremendous opportunity to generate growth for our beloved Borough of Lindenwold. 

To help answer the many questions we are getting, we offer a long-winded update. Feel free to share with other concerned citizens. The RV was moved.

As many of you noted, Lindenwold has a bit of history with Code Enforcement issues.  While many challenges still exist, we are happy to report, Mayor Roach announced at this year's Reorganization meeting, that our borough officials enforced 2700 Code Compliance issues in 2018.  It seems we may finally be on the right track. See video here.

Be that as it may, to help save taxpayers money and to ensure an unbiased operation, many surrounding towns now utilize PROCHAMPS to help with codes problems, handle foreclosures and fight blight. 


Click image to enlarge or zoom.

That being said, Lindenwold has an established set of Community Standards (Codes), and your property taxes pay the salaries of your Borough officials, who are tasked with upholding said standards. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions to help make your taxes work for you and the greater good of Lindenwold.

First, compile a list of the offending properties. Include pictures* and the code violation** if you can (see below). Then, email that list and pictures to your Codes Official, Wayne Hans, at whans@lindenwold.net and "copy" the following people: your Mayor, Richard Roach, at rroach@lindenwold.net, your Codes Councilman Liaison, Justin Jackson, at jjackson@lindenwold.net, your Borough Administrator, Dawn Thompson, at dthompson@lindenwold.net and your Borough Solicitor, Dave Capozzi, at david@daclaw.net. This process will document your request and ensure that it doesn't fall through the cracks. If there's no improvement after 30 days, forward a copy of the email to your Camden County Board of Freeholders at: freeholders@camdencounty.com and ask that they look into the matter.

*Images of properties that have been non-compliant for more than 2 years are freely available via Google Maps using the "satellite" or "street" view. Dates in the upper left corner will indicate when the picture was taken and also provide evidence of how long the property has been non-compliant.

**Borough of Lindenwold Codes can be found here

Second, consider a tax appeal, which are heard at the county level. According to research, between 30 and 60 percent of taxable property has an inflated assessment. Any financial advisor worth their weight, recommends that homeowners appeal their tax assessment annually. The strategy being, that for a little bit of time and effort you just might get an assessment reduction, which will lower your taxes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. In addition to appropriate "comps," in the evidence section, be sure to include pictures of all of the offending properties and argue that your property (and everybody else's) aren't worth what they're assessed because our Borough officials aren't upholding our Community Standards. The deadline for appeals is April 1st. For more information, click here

Good luck! Here's to a Better Borough!


Sunday, February 3, 2019

A ROAD DIET?

A Road Diet - "almost always slowing traffic and improving safety and economic vitality alike." Sounds like the perfect prescription for Gibbsboro Road and the White Horse Pike. #strongtowns #roaddiet #slowthecars #lovelindenwold

We bring this up for a few reasons. Lindenwold could certainly benefit from improved safety and economic vitality, and because the New Jersey DOT is currently re-designing one of the Most Dangerous Intersections in the state, which happens to be in Lindenwold at the crossroads of Gibbsboro Road and the White Horse Pike. We wrote about their Information Session a few months back.

Check out this article from Strong Towns about how the forward-thinking Iowa DOT is helping educate people about the benefits of Road Diets.






Friday, January 25, 2019

VISIT AREA'S BEST ATTRACTIONS FOR FREE

Did you know that as a resident of #Lindenwold, you and your family are able to visit some of the area's best attractions for FREE?? Grounds For Sculpture, the National Constitution Center, Battleship New Jersey, the Mutter Museum of Medical Oddities and all New Jersey State Parks...these are just a few of the many places you and your family or friends can explore for free. To learn more, click here.

#DYK #FridayFinds #LoveLindenwold #CamdenCounty #PublicLibraries 

#StateParks #MuseumPass




Thursday, January 24, 2019

NOT EVERY TOWN HAS ITS OWN BOOK

Did you know that both Carlton Street and Carlton Ball Fields are named after Carlton Rouh, a Lindenwold native who was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor, two Purple Hearts and a Silver Star between 1942 and 1944 for his service in the USMCR. Here he is with President Truman.

Did you also know that you can read about Carlton and all of the History of Lindenwold in our very own, namesake book. Not every town has a book written about it. Published in 1979, The History of Lindenwold was written by life-long Lindenwold resident, Charles Shaylor and covers hundreds of stories about Lindenwold and its people. 

Want your own copy of The History of Lindenwold? Borough Hall has them available for $15.

Currently, the Lindenwold Public Library shows 5 of 6 copies available. Here are the call numbers. Or if you need help finding it, ask Library Supervisor and Mayor's wife, Mrs. Brenda Roach. Click here to check its current status.