SOPAC obtains grant, lowest tax rate increase in years and more!

As the summer begins to wind down (a frightening thought!) I hope you'll take a moment to read about some very exciting updates in town. Budget & Taxes Our 2013 municipal budget has been adopted with the lowest tax rate increase in over 15 years. Our aim is to bring the budget in as low as possible while still providing the services that all of you expect in South Orange. Each year, we continue to make more progress towards yearly stabilization at the same time that we explore larger long-term ways to actually reduce taxes. You won't see the kinds of year to year increases that used to happen, even as we're being responsible about investing in long-ignored deferred maintenance projects and maintaing the quality of services everyone has come to expect in South Orange. Visit us online to download our budget or find more information. We have some very exciting transparency/participation tools in the pipeline for the 2014 budget building on our record of making our budget the most accessible in the state, so keep your eyes open!SOPAC & Grant FundingThe New Jersey State Council on the Arts awarded SOPAC with a three-year $30,000 per year grant. This grant represents a tremendous step forward...

Forgetting about Beifus and breaking ground on the Gateway!

On Wednesday morning, elected officials, Village staff, and most importantly, the team putting together the new Gateway projected, headed by Ed Ayusso, gathered to formally break ground on the Gateway project, which will bring 57 luxury apartments and 9,000 square feet of prime retail space into downtown South Orange, adjacent to the South Orange train station. The project is set to be completed in 2014. Read more:  

Valley and Third Street Redevelopment Plan

This is one of the most exciting projets in recent history of the Village. Along with the new Gateway project on South Orange Avenue, this will bring in much-needed dense residential, commercial space and structured parking, all while generating over a half million dollars a year in revenue to the Village, and providing the Rescue Squad with a new and upgraded facility. Check out the powerpoint below to learn a little more about the project. (some of the details in the presentation will change as the project moves along)

I support marriage equality

South Orange has long been a supporter of marriage equality, performing one of the, if not the first domestic partnership in New Jersey. Just adding my voice to many others in support of marriage equality! We have passed many resolutions in South Orange advocating for this, and will continue to do so until our laws are changed and equal rights are given to everyone.

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 at 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...