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South Orange Sets New Standard in Budget Transparency & Open Government in New Jersey

We announced an extremely innovative and exciting online budget transparency tool this week. Click below to check it out! Read the press release below.      South Orange launches most accessible municipal budget in New Jersey Cloud-Based Delphi Transparency Enables South Orange to Engage Residents By Inviting Them to Explore the Village’s Financial Data, Village hopes to set a new standard in NJ South Orange, NJ – The Township of South Orange Village and Delphi Solutions, a Silicon Valley software startup, today announced the deployment of a revolutionary tool that visualizes South Orange’s financial data.  South Orange now is able to provide its employees and citizens with an unprecedented ability to access, understand, and analyze the $32 million municipal budget. The tool can be accessed athttp://southorange.org/OpenBudget or by clicking below.   “With Delphi’s Transparency tool, our citizens can see where their money is going with the click of a button,” said President Torpey, a nationally recognized advocate and lecturer in the field of open government & technology. After his election in 2011, Torpey drew attention being sworn in as the youngest mayor in New Jersey and later by open government advocates for a number of initiatives, most notably a transparency initiative releasing South...


From the Village: South Orange is moving to the cloud

Check out the update I co-wrote with Trustee Howard Levison on new technology solutions the Village is rolling out, including a new website, Google Apps, new emergency notifications systems, upgraded IT infrastructure and more!

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From the Village: Village President Alex Torpey discusses technology, inclusiveness and budgets in 2013 annual address

I delivered the second annual State Of The Village address Monday night. Thanks to everyone who braved the weather to come out and be part of it. And if you missed it make sure to watch the video below!   South Orange, NJ – Monday, March 18, 2013, Village President Alex Torpey gave his second annual 2013 State of the Village address to a room full of residents, employees, community leaders and local organizations, giving a recap of the past years accomplishment and plans for the future.Among the initiatives mentioned, President Torpey highlighted a budget tool launching this week, putting all of the Village's budget data in an easy to read, visual format, that allows anyone to view and compare budget lines not just for this year, but going back to 2008. President Torpey noted that this was one of many open government initiatives the Village has undertaken and that with the launch of this tool,  "Without a doubt, this is the most transparent municipal budget in the state of New Jersey."President Torpey commended Village employees for their performance, two most recent examples being the recent delivery of a grant-funded $735,000 fire truck at only a $35,000 cost to South...


NJ Transit schedule updates for South Orange and more

Yesterday, NJ Transit announced that they are adjusting four Midtown Direct trains to reduce travel time for commuters to get to the South Orange station in the wake of schedule changes that negatively impacted the schedule last October.Read The Village's press release from yesterday by clicking below: We've had a lot of people work with us  - we couldn't have made it happen alone. From our state legislators, to county officials, to my fellow mayors in West Orange and Livingston, trustees and officials here in town, and of course the thousands of commuters who were impacted by this change and voiced their frustration directly to NJ Transit and to us. This is a big step, and we look forward to working with residents through our NJ Transit Advisory Committee to continue to work with NJ Transit to make improvements to the commuter experience in South Orange, such as continuing to improve the schedules, crowding and overall commute, making improvements Main Station on Sloan Street, working with NJ Transit on Transit Oriented Development projects and continued support of our jitney service.In other news: The 2013 State Of The Village is Monday, the 18th at 8pm in Village Hall. RSVP by emailing me...




Village Approves Scotland Road Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Plan

After much deliberations, many neighborhood meetings and a rising concern among residents regarding issues of speeding and pedestrian safety on Scotland Road, I put together the following plan, under consultation with village administration and staff as well as the South Orange Transportation Advisory Committee. This plan encompasses a number of short and long-term goals that will make a significant impact on the safety of the road. This is the first formal action the Board has taken to address these concerns, and I thank the five trustees (It passed 5-1) who voted for it. Read the full plan below:


Social Media Week 2013: How social media is innovating disaster response

On Friday, I joined Reshma Saujani and Winnie Wong to talk about how social media is innovating disaster response and recovery at the Centre for Social Innovation in New York City.  The panel was a great discussion of how the government responded (or didn't in some cases) to Hurricane Sandy and other disasters, and how community groups and activists were able to fill in the gaps and organize hugely valuable relief efforts outside of the traditional government response structure. We discussed how these different groups can partner better, and how technology and social media empower us to spread the message of what's happening in a different part of the country or world, as well as help be a platform to connect those who need resources to those who have them.  Some of the best live-tweets from the event: Thank you for the informative & inspiring panel tonight, @girlswhocode @occupysandy & @alextorpey! #SMW13 #SandyUnites #SMW13— NYC Food Truck Assoc (@nycfoodtruck) February 23, 2013 @chrisgee: .@alextorpey: I've gotten policy ideas from what other towns are doing by reading about it on social media. #smwsmsandy #smwnyc— Chris Gee (@chrisgee) February 23, 2013 In the past, people never had #gov reach out & reply to...