SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – The vote on whether elected officials should receive stipends is too close to call, with the yes votes leading the no votes by a margin of nine, with all 12 precincts reporting.
The unofficial final results, provided by Village Clerk Robin Kline, do not include mail-in ballots and provisional ballots.
By a vote of 1,237 to 1,228, voters agreed that trustees for the Village Board should receive a yearly stipend of $1,800 and the president should receive a yearly stipend of $2,400.
Voters showed stronger support for the other two questions. Question 1, regarding dropping “township” from the village’s name, passed 1,938 to 548. Question 2 proposed changing the governing board’s name to the Village Council, changing the title of the village president to mayor, and changing the titles of village trustees to council members. That question passed 1,448 to 1,023.
All three referendum questions are nonbinding. While the trustees can use the results of the election in making a decision on these changes, they are not bound by the vote. Even if the trustees ultimately approve the changes, any amendment of the village’s charter must be approved by the state Legislature, which granted the charter.