SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – The plan to improve the Irvington Avenue corridor took another step forward Monday night with the appointment of an advisory committee by the Board of Trustees.

However, Trustee Deborah Davis Ford was not included as a board liaison to the Irvington Avenue Corridor Advisory Committee, and she was upset about her exclusion. “I had requested to be a member of this committee, and so I want to know what happened,” she said.

Trustee Howard Levison suggested that the board go ahead with the appointments but vote at the next meeting to expand the membership. He said Davis Ford could be included as a second alternate. She agreed to Levison's proposal, and the committee membership was approved 5-0 (Trustee Sheena Collum was absent).

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Trustees Collum and Stephen Schnall will serve as board liaisons, and Rosner was appointed as an alternate. Village Administrator Barry Lewis Jr. will represent the village administration, and Joyce Strawser, dean of the business school, will represent Seton Hall University. Kim Peterson is the Development Committee representatives.

At-large members of the committee are as follows: Douglas Zacker, Tracy Randinelli, Michael Baldwin and Olivia Lewis-Chang.

Two additional members representing Irvington Avenue businesses will be voted on at the next board meeting on Jan. 27, according to Collum. She said she is putting forward Laura Nichols, of the Blue Plate Special, and Clarke McCarthy, of Two Great Kids.

Lewis noted that a number of people put in applications to serve on the committee. “There was more interest than there were spots,” he said. Speaking on behalf of Collum, he said the village wants to thank all interested residents who applied. “There’s plenty of participation to go around,” he said. “We certainly have your names, and we will keep you in mind.”

Seton Hall University marketing students conducted a study of residents, business owners and Seton Hall University faculty and students to discover what these groups through about Irvington Avenue (see story here). Suggestions included giving Irvington Avenue a facelift and attracting more businesses that appeal to college students. 

No date has been set for the first meeting of the advisory committee.

NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed statements that were made by Trustee Howard Levison to another trustee.

UPDATE: This version of the story adds the names of two business representatives.