Second Village President For A Day

A big congratulations to second-grader Aidan from Marshall School who not only was the second "Village President For A Day" today, getting a special tour of South Orange Police Headquarters, but also wins best face made in a photo ever! Check out more at the South Orange Village Facebook page. I spoke to Aidan's class a few months ago, and he will be reporting back to them with everything he learned. Watch the first VP For A Day. covers Third and Valley Groundbreaking in South Orange covered the historic groundbreaking of the Village's Third and Valley project.  In the article, I got a chance to talk about how helping provide resources that would allow residents to move to South Orange without a second, or even a first car, is one of the best ways that we can embody Think Global Act Local. Bringing development into a more denser residential pattern: Covers less ground with impervious surfaces, disturbing less soil and rainwater runoff patterns Lowers per-capita HVAC costs, reducing energy usage and carbon output  Encourages walkable lifestyles, leading to longer and happier lives When adjacent to transit resources, such as trains, buses, car-sharing and bike lanes, reducing need for a second, or first car, which can save a family $6,000-$8,000. Residents in South Orange can take advantage of new downtown ZipCar vehicles. Supports locally owned downtown businesses in South Orange, supports the arts, placing residents within walking distance to the South Orange Performing Arts Center Infuse much needed capital in the municipal budget, often converting under-utilized space into ratables.  Provides increased parking, allowing a long-term re-organization of downtown parking to help create and encourage pedestrian centers and walkable plaza space.  Lower our environmental impact by lessening...

South Orange Breaks Ground with Jonathan Rose Companies on Third and Valley Redevelopment

On Friday, I was thrilled to join dozens of community members, village staff, trustees and the Jonathan Rose redevelopment team to officially break ground on Third and Valley - our newest redevelopment project in South Orange.  The project, which will be (at least) LEED-silver certified, is replacing a surface parking lot, and vacant lot with 215 apartment units, 3,000 square feet of retail (with outdoor dining space), innovative live/work units and a 500+ space parking garage. The complex will bring in over a half a million dollars a year to the Village's budget, and provide vital foot traffic for our downtown businesses, to the South Orange Performing Arts Center, to our train station and to all of our events downtown.  It's a huge step for South Orange, and one more reason why South Orange is a great place for economic investment!

Alex Torpey launches first Village President for a Day in South Orange Board of Trustees Meeting

Last night, third grade South Mountain student Gunjan Jacinto presided over the beginning of our Board of Trustees meeting as the first "Village President For A Day." Gunjan embodies the curiosity and energy that we seek to encourage in our youngest, and we were proud to recognize her interest and involvement. Read more about her and the start of this program, which aims to inspire, educate and reward local students for civics interest. You can watch the video of her presiding over the meeting below. Show your support for young people (even younger than me!) getting involved and learning first-hand about their government. 

Introducing the lowest tax increase in South Orange since the 90s

Last night, my administration, thanks to the hard work of Village Administrator Barry Lewis introduced a "final" budget to the trustees that brings the tax increases  down to just a hair under 1% for 2014. This will be lowest tax increase since the 1990s - at least 15 years. A lot of hard work has gone into bringing tax increases down by everyone in South Orange, and this budget follows that same line fiscal responsibility. You can read coverage from the meeting in The Alternative Press.  And don't forget to check out our interactive budget tool to explore five years of budget data presented in a visual format.

Zipcar comes to South Orange!

Starting on Friday, November 1st, South Orange residents can take advantage of two Zipcars stationed in the downtown! We welcomed Zipcar to our community, cutting the ribbon officially on Friday.  Read the press release from the Village below with more information: Zipcar comes to South Orange Village! Beginning on Friday, November 1st, residents and community members will be able to take advantage of two Zipcars located conveniently in downtown South Orange, Village officials announced on Wednesday. Zipcar, which operates the largest car-sharing service in the world, will be placing two vehicles in downtown South Orange – a Toyota Prius named “Picabo” and a Ford Focus named “Slovak.” The cars can be found across the street from the highly trafficked NJ Transit station in the Firehouse Lot off of Sloan Street and First Street. South Orange has won numerous awards and certifications for its green initiatives, largely driven by the protection of local natural resources, use of alternative fuels and transportations, eco-friendly redevelopment projects and the promotion of a truly walkable transit-oriented urban suburb. Village President Alex Torpey, who connected with Zipcar President Mark Norman while both were participating in a panel in Washington, D.C. in September expressed excitement at the...