Recently in South Orange, we have been discussing a number of issues that both have historical contexts and broad implications for the future of the town, and I’d like to provide a few updates here on those issues, and a couple other quick hits of what has been happening lately.
- Village Hall renovation plans are moving forward, and we nearing figuring out where we will be relocated while the building is worked on (between being in trailers in a parking lot downtown or part of a building owned by SHU that they may allow us to use). We hope to move out by the fall and get to work on finally restoring our historic downtown municipal landmark.
- The Board is getting closer to making a decision about our charter updates, with the second reading of the charter scheduled for June 11th. Although most of the trustees don’t appear to want to move forward with implementing some of the changes the voters asked for last November (like changing our titles and instituting small stipends for future Boards), we will be making a number of generally smaller, but important updates that our Charter Review Committee investigated and recommended to the Board.
- The Board has yet to make a decision about whether to move the election to November or not, and considering there are many pros/cons to either choice and a number of complications we are only just learning of, I expect we will spend some time studying the issue before making any decisions, with the next deadline to make any decisions about nine months away. If anyone is interested in being part of that, or has any ideas on this issue please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Board passed an ordinance on first reading creating a Historic Preservation Commission, which will help empower the village and our residents to ensure we can preserve the historic nature of many of our neighborhoods.
- We are moving to single-stream recycling starting July 1st, with pickups scheduled for the 2nd and 4th Wednesday’s of the month. Visit the website to learn more.
- I delivered the 2012 State Of The Village address on April 30th to a packed house in Village Hall to most of our trustees, residents, volunteers, employees, colleagues from the state legislature, Essex County, Seton Hall, Maplewood, Board of Education and more. To watch the video or read a summary visit southorange.org/SOTV. Thanks everyone for helping make that such a successful kickoff to a new tradition.
- The official South Orange Twitter is activate, and we are working on developing a comprehensive social media strategy. But in the meantime, follow SouthOrangeNJ for some quick updates and information.
- If you haven’t yet heard, in a move that garnered praise from the NJ ACLU, we have posted our 2012 budget online in a totally transparent format, that you can download as a spreadsheet, allowing you to manipulate the numbers yourself. Find this at southorange.org/budget
- South Orange’s 2012 River Day was a great success with hundreds of people in attendance and a ton of debris pulled from our river. We thank the volunteers and residents who helped make that happen!
- The Special Improvement District, which has been created to assist in further improving and marketing our downtown, is being organized. By the time this prints, members should be appointed, and the organization will soon begin meeting to help organize for it’s first year.
- Speaking of the downtown, the Downtown After Sundown concerts have started up for this year, and we encourage everyone to come downtown 730pm Friday and Saturday nights (weather permitting) to enjoy some free live music. Bring a friend from out of town! And don’t forget that Celebrate South Orange is June 16th!
To learn more visit southorange.org or stop by my office hours Tuesday afternoons starting at 3pm.