Blog

Here keep up to date with all sorts of recent news, important information, events and more. For information specific to updates from the Village of South Orange, visit the South Orange website latest news section.

Alternate water source selection, lots of fun in South Orange, and more

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...


Seton Hall Professor Partners with South Orange Mayor to Offer Innovative Course in Public Administration

 SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. — Seton Hall University and South Orange Village officials announced today that this fall, Seton Hall will be offering a unique public administration course focused on transparency, data use and collaboration. Pairing an experienced professor and a young mayor, the university is poised to offer students a chance to tie academic work and learning to the real-world impact possible from that.  The graduate course, Strategic Management for Collaborative Governance, will be co-taught by Political Science and Public Affairs Professor Matt Hale and South Orange Village President Alex Torpey. The Master of Public Administration program course will be a pilot this fall, with plans to expand it in the future. The course will bring in leading public, private and nonprofit sector experts from the open governance movement for a series of guest lectures and discussions on specific ways that local government can be more transparent and open.  Students will then conduct local research projects and community outreach in Essex County with a goal of implementing the actions recommended by open government experts. Through the course, students will focus on applying newer concepts of open government to managing, overseeing and working in a public agency.  “This is such an...


July - 2014 budget and some publicity for South Orange

At the June 23rd meeting of the Board of Trustees, we approved a budget with the lowest tax rate increase since the 1990s (graph below). This is no small feat, and major credit goes to our administrator Barry Lewis, our administration and department heads and all staff and the entire Board of Trustees for continuing their work to control costs without cutting essential services. In fact, as we've managed to stabilize the budget for the first time in over a decade, we've also managed to find ways to expand the services, events, outreach and work that we do in the Village. (P.S., we know there's always more we could be doing... Let us know what you'd like to see!) What this budget partially shows is what reasoned thinking, extreme diligence in leaving no stone unturned to both cut costs and find ways to bring in more revenue can accomplish. And it can't be done without a group of people dedicated towards the common goal of trying to reduce the cost of living in South Orange. If you're interested in more, you can find the user-friendly presentation and summary of the budget, as well as the municipal budget in an interactive Microsoft...


Alex Torpey reflects on tenure with the Village Green

After announcing last week that I wasn't planning on seeking another term next year, I spent a little time on the phone with the Village Green, answering some questions about some thoughts on the past few years, and a few things we hope to do in the next year and beyond. Click below to read the full article.   


Next year's election

It is with mixed emotion, but also great excitement, that I’m writing to you today.This morning, I am formally announcing that I will not be seeking another term as Village President next May.I understand that it may be unusual to announce one’s intentions not to run again this far in advance, but because of the tremendous support I have received from so many of you, and because we've all been in this together from the beginning, I’d like to share my decision and thought process with you as early as possible.I decided to run for office not much more than a year out of college. Starting at my first library board meeting the first month after getting home from Hampshire in 2009 with a Bachelors Degree and a pile of student debt, I went to work to find the best way for me to give back to a community that’s given so much to me. And it’s been a nonstop roller coaster ride ever since.The past three years have truly been a once in a lifetime experience. The town that I grew up in, evangelize for and firmly believe in has given me the unbelievable fortune, opportunity and privilege to...



Alex appointed to serve on Newark’s Information Technology Transition Team

I was excited and humbled to be asked to help provide Newark with guidance, ideas and energy to help them plan for future IT innovations. It's a great opportunity to help a great city, and a chance to help create meaningful connections between Newark and South Orange. You can read the press release from the Village below: On Wednesday, Newark Mayor-elect Ras Baraka announced his transition team for the City. Village President Alex Torpey was asked to serve on the mayor-elect’s Information Technology transition subcommittee, bringing to the table his range of experience with technology deployments in South Orange as well his private sector experience as a partner of Veracity Media, the digital consulting firm he founded.   “I’m humbled to be asked to join so many other local leaders in helping continue to move Newark forward. I think we all know that the future of any of our communities in New Jersey is reliant on more cooperation and collaboration across municipal boundaries. We all have a lot to learn from each other, and I’m excited for the opportunity to be part of that process for the City of Newark. And strengtheningSouth Orange's relationship with Newark, especially from an IT...



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