EAST ORANGE, NJ - As part of his election promise to maintain transparency, East Orange Mayor Lester E. Taylor III addressed a sizable audience Tuesday night at the Main Library in East Orange to discuss the embattled Water Department amid indictments, rumors of contaminated water and privatization of the department.
The Mayor, with the assistance of the City Engineer and acting Water Department Director Christopher Coke, spoke candidly about the current state of affairs at the Water Department and the plans of the administration to remedy any outstanding issues. Because of pending litigation, the mayor could not address specific allegations or claims relating to misdeeds.
During the audience Q&A session, Mayor Taylor and Coke fielded questions from concerned residents. The concerns ranged from the rising costs of city water to fears of contamination. The primary message from the administration was, "East Orange Water is Safe." According to the mayor, not only is the drinking water safe, but the Water Department is also in safe hands.
The consensus of the attendees interviewed by TAP into East Orange seemed to suggest that the residents were inclined to give Taylor and his staff an opportunity to get things on track before passing judgement.