SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Three local residents have become the first to announce their candidacy for the Board of Trustees in the upcoming South Orange Municipal election on May 14. Sheena Collum, Stephen Schnall and Walter Clarke are running together under the banner of "South Orange 2013." The three hope to fill the Board of Trustees seats that will be vacated by outgoing Trustees Janine Bauer, Michael Goldberg, and Nancy Gould, who will not be seeking reelection.
“There’s much more we can do and must do to make South Orange a premier New Jersey town and that’s why we’re running,” said Collum, an 11-year resident who currently serves as the Chair of the Citizens Public Safety Committee and has served the town in a variety of committee and volunteer roles including the Charter Review Committee, the Public Information and Marketing Committee, and the Community Emergency Response Team.
Stephen Schnall, a 13-year resident, wants to improve government efficiency, minimize spending, and control taxes. “New Jersey’s ‘new normal’ agenda and its corresponding 2% municipal tax cap requires municipalities to be creative in how they deliver services,” said Schnall. “We have some of the highest property taxes in the nation and therefore, everything is on the table.” Schnall has had active roles with the South Orange/Seton Hall Partnership, the South Orange Community Garden, the Montrose Park Historic District Association Board of Directors and the PTA.
Walter Clarke, a 14-year resident, has led many Village sustainability initiatives, including the installation of electric vehicle chargers downtown, South Orange River Day where over 500 volunteers removed an estimated 2,000 pounds of debris from the Rahway River in 2012, and getting South Orange certified in the Sustainable Jersey program. “I look forward to expanding upon my experience as Chairperson of the Environmental Commission, Energy Policy, and Sustainable South Orange Committees,” said Clarke. “There’s a lot of money right now for municipalities who are going green and embracing sustainability, but you have to be in a position to take advantage of them. We can save money, make money and preserve the environment all at once. We have to take advantage of this window in time.”
“We’re excited to get going, share our ideas, and most importantly listen to the community,” said Collum. “South Orange 2013 can’t do it alone. We look forward to reaching and engaging with every household in South Orange, and over the next few weeks we’ll be traveling around town to your neighborhood asking for signatures on our petitions and listening to your thoughts and ideas about South Orange’s future.”
The deadline for filing petitions to run for the Board of Trustees is March 11.