Reader Blasts LPPOA for Men Allegedly Yelling at Ice Skating Kids

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I am completely disgusted by the Lake Parsippany Property Owners Association and how it handles the issue of skating on the lake.

You have these older men who seem to have nothing better to do than drive around the lake and not ask people to leave the ice, not suggest it, but in an extremely rude manner scream at you to get off the ice. Most of us on the ice are above the age of 20 and are very approachable guys and easy to talk to, so I do not worry about the effect it has on us. But it's the kids who are under 18, as low as 6 years old, who have men well into their 60s yelling profanity at them—and these men really have no authority other than the phone they use to call the police.

And we wonder why kids do not always show their elders respect.

When we are skating on the ice, we are not bothering anyone. In fact most people walking around the lake will stop and watch for a while, even take pictures. We have some younger guys on the ice with us who are outside doing things—not sitting inside playing video games filled with guns and blood and gore. Not that those games are terrible, but you have to take a break.

Another thing: When these kids are on the ice with us, they aren't doing drugs or getting involved in any kind of mischief.

My family has been in this area over 80 years and have enjoyed using the lake for all the things it offers over that time. Especially skating. Most of the guys out on the lake also have families who have lived in the lake for a long time. We respect the lake. We make sure we clean up after ourselves. We are proud of the knowledge that our fathers passed down to us about when the ice is safe, and what to do in the case you do fall in, and what precautions to take to make sure it doesn't come to that. It puts a big smile on my face when I see my friends passing this down to their children.

This area has a storied history that we are all proud of. From skating on the lake in the winter to the 4th of July fireworks  at the Hills every summer. We are proud of this history, so who are these people who come into this town with no knowledge of it and call the police on us for healthy activities? We are not throwing parties, just having some good, old-fashioned fun.

Look at the photo to the right: That is beautiful. How is it not promoted? How can you try to take that beauty away from people who enjoy it and respect it so much?

I do not fault Parsippany Police. I fault the people who have forgotten what it is like to be a kid, what it is like to have fun.

I invite the men who call the police to come out there with us some time, even if it is just to watch and experience it. See why we love it so much. It is not something we do to bother you. It is something that is in our blood. Personally I have been skating on that lake for over 20 years and haven't fallen in once. You think I may be safe about it? Do you think I may know a little something about it? We all do, and would be happy to fill you in on some of that knowledge if it would make you feel better.

And we'll take respoonsibility for what happens: Give me a waiver to sign saying I will not sue anyone if I fall in. I would even go as far as to volunteer my time and check the ice and its safety for the LPPOA.

I just do not see where being outside playing a sport can be a bad thing for anyone. We even put in our own sweat to shovel out our rinks when there is snow. 

Eric Pfeiffer
Lake Parsippany 

Dan O'Connor February 09, 2013 at 08:35 PM
Ryan, There a different levels of membership for the lake and the information is on our website and it will be updated shortly for 2013. Basically a single membership will be $220, and a family membership $380 in 2013. There is a combination of about 500 memberships the past couple of years. We have an insurance agent that solicits quotes every year so the companies could change from year to year. The Board of Directors, which by the way currently only has 7 members when there should be 20, will make all of the decisions concerning the lake unless there is a quorum of members at the monthly lake meeting, but that has happened once in the 13 years I have been on the board. Our biggest issue is funding. Our funding comes from membership fees membership is voluntary, unlike some other lakes in Morris County. Some people think the lake is town owned, or funded by the town, but we receive no money from the town. So we have people whose properties are literally on the lake, or lake view, who don't join and support the lake, yet their properties are worth tens of thousands more because of their location. We are always looking for people willing to help and a lot do.
Ryan Pfeiffer February 09, 2013 at 08:39 PM
Thanks Edd- If this is true, I find it slightly misleading of Dan to express how all board members are volunteers. While this may be true, would it be fair to say the budget itself is much more complicated than a quote of "50k to 75k", and to only speak of volunteers while knowing there are those on salary seems conveniently selective, but innocent all the same. A 40% increase to current membership (we will use the # Edd provided for an individual membership of $225) would be $90 increase- so if Dans informationis correct, taking the basement price of the insurance @ $50k, that would insinuate LPPOA is generating 555 members a year (ceiling cost of $75k would imply a membership of roughly 835). It seems to me the estimated membership would be 600-700 memberships a yr with the rough information given...
Ryan Pfeiffer February 09, 2013 at 08:44 PM
So much for that Edd! Thanks for the quick response Dan- 500 is a easy, workable number! I am not trying to reduce your numbers for lies or holes... I am reducing your numbers so I can understand what a 10% increase in members would do to both the membership rate and the insurance rate. A 5%, 20% etc.
Edd Flammer February 09, 2013 at 08:45 PM
Note I accidently deleted the comment Ryan is referring to but the same details are below: The LLPOA is always quick to point out that the cost of insurance is the reason they cant do things.. If you look thier website http://www.lake-parsippany.org/membership.htm You will notice that more of their capital goes to payroll than insurance. Now to be fair i don't believe the any of the board members are compensated for their service. The payroll is for life guards, beach managers, a swim coach and maintenance. You can also add in that they take in about $30K from clubhouse rentals. The issues with Mirror pond i mentioned are a whole other can of worms..
Ryan Pfeiffer February 09, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Dan- I want to again thank you for caing the winds in here and settling the waters. The ice freezes better that way ; ) srry couldnt resist! Anyway, my next question is, what is the cost of swimming insurance, and what would the cost be had you not provided lifegaurds and it was deemed "swim at your own risk?" Is this question even a relevant thought if you know where I am going?
Ryan Pfeiffer February 09, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Dan O'Connor February 09, 2013 at 08:52 PM
Jay, If you are a member of the lake then you should know that skating is against LPPOA rules.
Dan O'Connor February 09, 2013 at 09:06 PM
Ryan, Insurance isn't broken by swimming, or boating, but in whole as a general liability, plus the biuldings, etc. This issue about ice skating has been brought up in the past and looked into by previous boards and found that the costs and risks far outweighed the benefits to All of the members. If it didn't there would be no reason to not allow it. You can reach me at my lake email address at lppres@hotmail.com if you would like to take this further. Dan
Ryan Pfeiffer February 09, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Thanks Dan- I'm off to the rink for the rest of the day, but I appreciate the extension of your email address and plan on responding to you this weekend. And thanks for valuable insight, Edd.
Edd Flammer February 09, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Dan you putting this on previous boards indicates the current board has not looked into it. Maybe its time to revisit it From the responses to this article it seems like there could be some potential members who could be swayed into joining if ice skating was available. Especially considering how the reduced beach hours and facilities has been hurting membership over the past few years. As long as the approach to change is "this is the way its been done, we will keep doing it this way. If you have a new idea then join the lake, become a board member and maybe we'll think about it" you are going to keep having a hard time building a larger membership base .
JayK February 09, 2013 at 09:32 PM
Dan, If u read prior comments I sate that we are all well aware that it is posted NO ICE SKATING...been doing it or 25 years...so I guess what I am sayin is it will never change, we will never stop so a chane has to be made on the LPPOA end
Eric Pfeiffer February 10, 2013 at 02:41 AM
Dan, I am happy that you responded to this. I was hoping you would. I am a little taken a back at the fact that you think I threatened you. I simply said I will see you tomorrow and when you responded that you would be there to call the police I assumed you knew I was referring to skating. I do not threaten folks and those five words were the only five I personally said to you. I cannot take responsibility for "John." The police officer and I ended up having a sensible conversation and I was able to let him know that I was not trying threaten you or disrespect the officer in any way. He was understanding of our point on the situation explained to us his side and also your side, and than asked us to please stay off lake property. I told him I would and haven't been back since. It was that easy. He talked to me as a human being and didn't look down on me because I was trying to have fun. I ended up not getting a trespassing ticket. One thing I can assure you, is you will see nothing but class and respect from the group of people who will be coming together to try to find a way to make everyone happy. I would only hope that if answers can be found to suit all, and find that middle ground that we should all be looking to achieve, that it will be listened to with open minds. Certain lakes allow ice skating some even promote it. If they can find a way I am sure that the resourceful and intelligent people of Parsippany can do the same.
Eric Pfeiffer February 10, 2013 at 02:55 AM
Also, the kids do not have to see us out there to become curious of the ice on the lake. Kids are naturally curious. Therefore you cannot blame any tragedies, god forbid, on the people who use the ice intelligently. I would blame them on lack of awareness. If we are going to have this in our town would it not make sense to have postings as to whether or not the ice is safe and where those spots are. I can assure you the day you saw us that ice was safe. It is a big lake and it can be perfectly safe in some areas and open in others. Different things cause openings in the ice, whether it be current, or wind, or simply geese who keep the water moving rarely will the entire lake have a full cover of ice. That day it happened to be a little warmer outside but it just caused the ice on top to soften up a little bit. The water temperature below the 4 inch thick ice was cold enough to keep the lake safely frozen where we were skating. We walked around on it shoveling for a good half an hour making sure it was safe, before putting our skates on and going out. When we get to the lake we do not just put our skates on and go. We walk around and survey the ice, looking for the best possible places to skate and making sure the ice is thick enough to be used for skating. We are very safe and careful and have been skating on open ice for a long time. Rinks do not provide the same enjoyment as a lake or pond. It is not something that can be explained it has to be experienced.
Eric Pfeiffer February 10, 2013 at 10:59 PM
Before venturing onto a frozen pond, please check if it's thick enough to skate on. If possible use an ice auger to drill a hole in the ice. If you don't have an ice auger and the ice is clear find an angle at which you can see where the ice ends and water begins. Here are the meanings of ice thickness: 3" (7cm) or less STAY OFF, 4" (10cm) ice skating, walking, cross country skiing, 5" (12cm) one snowmobile or ATV, 8"-12" (20-30cm) one car or small pickup, 12"-15" (30-38cm) one medium truck (pickup or van), If you can't see the depth of the ice, use the weather and color of the ice as a guide. If the ice is: Bluish white- safe to skate on, Black or clear-very thick and safe, Pitted and milky-very unstable
Chris February 11, 2013 at 04:52 PM
I totally agree with you. Kids can't do anything fun these days.
Bob Pfeiffer February 12, 2013 at 01:53 AM
Supprisingly I don't see any comments from life long residents of Lake Parsippany contributing to this commentary. Why is that?
Bob Pfeiffer February 12, 2013 at 02:04 AM
Where is the commentary on what winter weekends on the ice was like when we were kids? On any good weekend when the lake was frozen it would be packed with dozens, maybe on a good saturday a hundred or more, people skating...members and non members alike...playing hockey, 3 and 4 games at a time, ice boating, skatesailing, and just enjoying outdoor winter activities. My father, Vinnie Sapanor, Al Walthers, the Mulvanertons and others would make sure the ice was good, and they taught us kids how to read the ice, what was safe and what to stay away from. Those men, and others, made the lake what it was back then, because it was their home and the lake is why we lived there.
Bob Pfeiffer February 12, 2013 at 02:17 AM
In the summer all the beaches, there were 4 of them, were packed every day, life guards rotated around to every beach, there were movies on the beach at night, there were refreshment stands at every beach and juke boxes...and there weren't half as many residents as there are today. Almost every family had a membership. I'm not living in the past or being too nostalgic but what happened to the LPPOA? Lake Parsippany Property Owners Association. You own property, you pay. When you sell your house it gets listed as "Desirable Lake Parsippany". I would sue you on the grounds that although it be desirable, I can't use it without joining. Make it mandatory. A great many lake communities in New Jerseydo it, why not the LPPOA.? Insurance covered.
Bob Pfeiffer February 12, 2013 at 02:29 AM
One Autumn day, coming home from, I stopped by Leo's Tavern and walked up onto the path to watch a beautiful sunset over he lake...autumn colors, reflections on the water. A beautiful evening. I was chatting with a 92 year old man who was also enjoying the scene. An LPPOA "badgechecker" said we had to leave the property immediately because we didn't have our badges with us, and I was a member at the time...my last year being a member because of that type of attitude. How many more sunsets did that old guy have to look forward to, and I ofte wondered what he thought of the LPPOA after that. He certainly wasn't pleased that day. That, in a nutshell, is what happened to my beloved home of Lake Parsippany.
Par4theCourse February 12, 2013 at 02:41 AM
Mr Pfeiffer, I sympathize with you and your kids. However, your last post just bolstered the LPPOA's position.Though you didn't mean it literally, your comment "I would sue you on the grounds that although...." Is exactly what is wrong with society today AND the reason kids don't have the freedom we shared as kids. Too many people trigger happy to file lawsuits, too many attorneys waiting to make a score. Falling through ice (not even drowning) is actionable. Until we get out of lawsuit mode, we are a system beyond repair. Good luck in your plight for the kids (stated sincerely).
Bob Pfeiffer February 12, 2013 at 08:30 PM
To Par4theCourse. First, post your name, don't be affraid...my boys and I aren't. Second...my comment refering to 'sue the LPPOA' was about not letting us use the lake for what it was intended...swimming, fishing, sailing ...and ice skating, Not because of negligence on either the LPPOA's part or those who dictate it's use, or the incompetence of those who do use the lake. You taught your kids how to swim before you threw them in the water, I hope. I taught my kids to understand the potential hazzards of, and how to read, the ice. Open water when the lake is almost totally frozen? Perhaps you should ask the Army Corps of Engineers, the NJDOT, and the LPPOA management people from the 70's why they let the lake become one big catchbasin for the runoff of Rte. 80 and the upper neighborhoods of the lake...Allentown Rd. and Parsippany Rd. The only open ice is on the east side of the lake after a good freeze. Wonder why? It runs from Everett Rd. to the dam. If you can't figure it out yourself, let me know and I'll explain it to you. And as far as lawsuits for falling thru the ice, nobody I know, or their children, would sue the LPPOA for negligence... they would discipline their kids for not paying attention and say "be more careful" the next time.
William Paavola February 12, 2013 at 08:57 PM
I think the town should intiate imminet domain over the lake. It could be an asset for all of town of Parsippany to use. Why limit the use of the lake to a few fortunate owners around the lake. Would teach to old grouches a lesson about sharing and civility also. After all immient domain has been used to build big block malls and other commercial enterprise to the real detriment of a neighborhood. Maybe we could call it the "Lake of Dreams" for Jamie. Ha Ha
Bob Pfeiffer February 12, 2013 at 10:41 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong...doesn't the LPPOA now offer a membership of sorts to residents of outlaying communities...i.e. the apartments along Parsippany Rd. and Greenhill and this side of Littleton Rd.?
Ryan Pfeiffer February 13, 2013 at 10:07 PM
In addition to my fathers questions, can anyone answer this for me--- It has been said that LPPOA could potentially "fault" on payment- Well then who owns the property?? Better yet, if the LPPOA faults, what will current ownership decide to do with the Lake??? Man made the lake.... get my drift??
Harland February 13, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Anyone wanting to ice skate for free, there is a public outdoor skating rink on Parsippany Blvd (near the town engineering dept). The ice is only a few inches thick, so no concerns about falling through.
Edd Flammer February 13, 2013 at 10:34 PM
Bob: there is no residency requirement to join the LPPOA. Pay the fee get the badges. Ryan: not sure what you are asking. The lake is wholly owned by the LPPOA, there is no mortgage or payments to some other owner for the LPPOA to possibly default on.
Ryan Pfeiffer February 13, 2013 at 11:31 PM
Are you sure, Edd?
Edd Flammer February 13, 2013 at 11:35 PM
Yeah, first when they publish their budget in the newsletter there is no line item for that kind of payment. 2nd the history page lists who the lake and the association came to exist http://www.lake-parsippany.org/who-we-are.htm
Bob Pfeiffer February 14, 2013 at 10:46 PM
I lived there for 60 years, Edd. If you didn't live within the established confines of 'Lake Parsippany', and there were established boundries...roughly Alderney Dairies, Bates Farm, which was cut in half circa 1957 by 287, Parsippany Rd., Banjolies farm or 202 ( Littleton Rd.)...you didn't live in Lake Parsippany and could not become a member of the LAKE PARSIPPANY PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION. The key words being 'Property Owners'. It was a private community. And, as advertised, not a "natural beauty" but a manmade one. There were as many if not more summer residents than permanent ones, but they were property owners. And we all enjoyed the activities the lake provided, year round, even the summer residents and their family and friends from Jersey City and Brooklyn would come here in the winter to skate and enjoy the lake. So, look into the real history of the lake and the people who made it what it was, and not the propaganda the board, influenced by the realtors, lawyers and insurance companies,
Bob Pfeiffer February 14, 2013 at 10:52 PM
who made it what it is today...Desirable Lake Parsippany...where your property values increase...location, location, location...but freedom of use is limited by a few dictator llike individuals and not a community effort. It's the main, perhaps the only reason, why I moved away. Bob Pfeiffer


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