Government

Mayor Parisi Meets with Community at Pleasantdale School

October 11, 2013 at 1:11 AM

WEST ORANGE, NJ - A 90-minute meeting with township residents and Mayor Robert Parisi at Pleasantdale School touched on a wide range of questions and topics. The meeting at Pleasantdale was the second of four community meetings set up by the mayor to encourage the community to discuss issues of concern or interest.

The issue of crime came up, and the mayor, along with Chief of Police James Abbott, reviewed current crime statistics and initiatives to address them. Crime has decreased, although armed armed robberies and burglaries have seen an uptick over the past months, and the mayor and police chief discussed directed patrols and the newly installed security cameras.  

At its peak, the WOPD had 119 officers; currently there are 96, with two in training in the Police Academy. Three new hires are now on the road.  The same number of officers are patrolling as before.

Sign Up for E-News

Parisi described factors to consider regarding crime.  One in particular  was the easy accessibility of the township via approximately 17 access ramps to 280.  The other was the increase of serious crime in other towns, like Livingston, and other surrounding Essex County towns in addition to West Orange.

Residents raised the question of Community Watches, and Abbott promised to work with them to set up meetings with Sgt. John Morella of the Community Services Unit to facilitate that. Parisi noted his start in politics began when the Eagle Rock Civic Association was formed as a response to concern over crime.

The question of Prism Capital Partners and the redevelopment of the Edison Battery Factory arose.  The Mayor reminded residents that Prism is the owner of the property, and though they pay their taxes late, they do pay them and pay interest on them as well.  He reminded residents that Prism has already invested 50 million dollars into the property.  He reiterated that the bond monies approved by the town council were "costs that any town would provide" for infrastructure improvements and support during a building project, and that the town would be paid back.  Parisi said he has been a supporter of downtown redevelopment, not only because it makes good business sense for the town, but because that is where he grew up. 

When questioned about the municipal tax increase, the mayor defended the increase by describing a few of the advantages of living in West Orange and what taxpayers get in value:

Five jitney buses that provide free assistance to seniors and transport commuters to and fro the train stations. South Orange charges $1 one way and Livingston has one senior bus run on a volunteer basis.

South Orange charges for trash removal quarterly and separate from the tax bill.  West Orange provides inclusive trash removal and single stream curbside recycling.

West Orange has a full time Fire Department that also provides 60 percent of township EMS Services.  Livingston has no fire department.  

West Orange has had a 1.5 percent municipal tax increase in the past four years.  Roseland, who has lost a lot of its commercial income over the past four years, has raised their taxes by 25 percent.

Though the township municipal budget and school district budget are separate, Parisi noted that state tax structure required property taxes to cover school district budgets, and with a student population of close to 6,900 students, an approximate 11 percent special education population and an extremely diverse, non-homogeneous population, costs would continue to rise.

Parents at Pleasantdale School thanked the Mayor for working with the school in the execution of the "Kiss and Go" lane for drop-offs but expressed their concerns that without a police presence there, not all parents were complying with the rules.  The Mayor said he would work with the school and the police department to have a presence there at least once a week and look into their concerns.

Lastly, a discussion of shared services ensued. Mayor Parisi detailed the township's efforts to look into shared fire department services with Orange.  It was determined that Orange would benefit, and West Orange would bear the brunt of the effort, ultimately costing West Orange fire and EMS coverage.

The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 24 at Gregory School, beginning at 7 p.m.

 

 

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Montclair Residents Fill Buses Bound for Women's March on Washington

January 22, 2017

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Hundreds of Montclair and surrounding areas residents loaded onto buses during the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, Jan. 21 headed for Washington, DC.

Buses chartered by several organizations and individuals, including Montclair-based Blue WaveNJ left from the campus of Montclair High School at about 4:00 a.m. There was an air of excitement as ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_0cebd162cc2d40edab37_screen_shot_2017-01-05_at_2.25.40_pm

Mon, January 23, 6:30 PM

West Orange Public Library, West Orange

West Orange Preschool Fair

Education

Carousel_image_f88e1e157ea7ade2425b_mini_magick20170115-8047-1b287c8

Mon, January 23, 6:30 PM

West Orange Public Library, West Orange

West Orange Preschool Fair 1/23

Community Calendar Education

Carousel_image_4d80854f4b5c252ca5b6_supernet

Wed, January 25, 6:30 PM

The Newark Club - Metropolitan Room, Newark

ACG NJ Joint Super Networking Party, January 25th ...

Arts & Entertainment Business & Finance Food & Drink

Women's March on Washington: Why, and Why Now

January 19, 2017

As Donald Trump’s inauguration draws near, a number of groups are planning various events and rallies – perhaps most notably, the Women’s March on Washington. I have read a number of opinion pieces and spoken to many people about the March, and several questions and criticisms seem to consistently arise. I would like to address some two of the major themes.

(Q) The election ...

Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills Presents: Murder Mystery Dinner in Livingston

January 21, 2017

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills (JLOSH), an organization of women developed as civic and community leaders creating lasting community impact, is hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. at Cedar Hill Country Club, 100 Walnut Street, in Livingston.

Event attire is cocktail and complimentary valet parking will be ...

Andy’s Family Music Showcases Shayne Apple on Guitar

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Andy’s Family Music Center of Livingston is proud to highlight Shayne Apple, a fifth grader at Riker Hill Elementary School with an aptitude for drums.

Shayne also plays trombone in the school band and participates in the school choir. According to his mother, Sharon, Shayne was inspired to pick up guitar not long after his father decided to learn the same ...

Step Right Up

Let’s make America the Greatest Show on Earth Again.

 

I was very sad to learn that after 146 years of big-top entertainment the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding its tent and leaving town.

 

This comes a year after the circus, due to mounting pressures from animal rights activists, got rid of the elephants.

 

It is not really ...