Posted on September 24, 2014 at 2:30 PM
The fall is off to a busy start in South Orange! Not only do I have the distinct privilege of having been appointed as an adjunct faculty at Seton Hall University, getting to co-teach master of public administration students about how to creatively think about ways they can approach governance from a more transparent and technology-focused perspective, but we've been very, very busy in town! Here are a few highlights.
Most importantly, an issue that many of us have been concerned about, and have been working on for a long time, is finally coming to some decision points. We've all been less than pleased, to put it lightly, with the performance of the East Orange Water Commission. As we near the end of our contract with them, we are now able to publicly pursue alternatives. We held a community meeting last week to discuss this, and you can find all the backup material, the memo our counsel has produced for us on the options, video of the meeting, and lots more information by clicking the image below:
On a completely different, and much more fun note, this past weekend in town was packed with amazing events. On Saturday, we started off with the Newstead 5k charity run, and held a "historic" baseball game to commemorate the amazing history - 100 years - of Cameron Field, a field where greats like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig have played.
We continued onward on Sunday with the Newcomer/Allcomer's day at the library, celebration of our public art and Play Day, in downtown South Orange, with a huge attendance of residents, neighbors and friends coming out to have fun, completely filling up our downtown!
Additionally, the Gateway on South Orange Ave is moving in its first residents now, and getting ready to open up it's retail storefronts over the next couple months (D&I Fitness and Mara's Cafe
so far confirmed), making a new name for itself under its new owner, after sitting as a vacant and blighted property for over a decade. Third and Valley is moving along at lightspeed. Conversations about redeveloping and improving Irvington Ave are continuing to make progress - we're exploring several other redevelopment opportunities there and downtown, all of which bring more foot traffic to our businesses and help stabilize the budget, and your taxes. And we'll be launching our new website and online citizen engagement platform, where you will be able to go to provide interactive feedback to the town on important issues very shortly. And if you missed any of our conversations about the 2014 budget - which has the lowest tax increase since the 90s - you can check it all out in our transparent online budget platform, by clicking below:
It's amazing how much we can accomplish (and how much fun we can have) when we're all working together towards common goals.
Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!