Government

West Orange Town Council Votes on West Orange First Aid Squad Contract and More

October 6, 2013 at 4:42 PM

WEST ORANGE, NJ - At the October 1 Town Council Meeting, the council voted to require the West Orange First Aid Squad to competitively bid for their contract with the township; clarified issues on the budget increase; and moved to transition the West Orange Energy Commission into the West Orange Environmental Commission.

In existence for 50 years, the West Orange First Aid Squad recently switched to third party billing to retain billing revenues.  The West Orange Fire Department, who works in concert with WOFAS to provide emergency services to the township, provides revenues directly to the township.  As a result of the switch, town administrators, after research and discussion, felt that it was necessary to ask WOFAS to competetively bid on the EMS contract. This means that other agencies will be able to bid as well.

However, Town administration made it clear that utilizing a competetive bid process was the best option for WOFAS, because factors like township experience could be factored into a final selection, even if their bid was not the lowest.  Had the township gone to a sealed bid process, they would be constrained to select the lowest bidder, regardless of who it was.

Sign Up for E-News

In a lengthy information session with James Troisi, President of WOFAS, Troisi and council, along with Town administrator Jack Sayers, Attorney Ken Kayser, and CFO John Gross, concerns and disagreements were discussed.  Troisi said WOFAS would agree to bid competitively if the council voted in favor of it.  The council voted  in favor of competetive bidding, Councilwoman Patty Spango abstaining. Councilman Krakoviak voted no, stating:

"I’m not convinced that we need to go to competitive contracting. I’m persuaded by the concern of Mr. Troisi and his opposition to this. The administration’s vision of EMS in town going forward is not clear enough to me to give me comfort that the (West Orange) First Aid Squad would continue its 50 years of service to the community."

Another lengthy discussion regarding clarifications for the figures in the municipal budget increase ensued between Councilman Krakoviak and town administration.  On September 17, the $73 million municipal budget was approved for 2013. The tax levy percentage is now 1.47% as compared to last year's 0%.  According to Gross, township calculates the levy by the assessed value of homeowners' property value.  With property tax appeals, some residents will see a reduction in their taxes and the rest will see an increase, with most increases in the general area of $61 per year. Gross continued by noting the new tax rate of 0.921% for 2013, up from last year's 0.899%

In an email to the Alternative Press, Councilman Krakoviak provided the following information as well:

"The municipal tax rate for virtually all West Orange property owners will go up 2.47% this year. This is the 2013 municipal tax increase. But the taxes for those property owners not benefiting from a successful tax appeal will go up more because our tax base continues to decline and thus produces less revenue at the same tax rate. Tax revenue, and thus the tax rate, must go up a full percentage point more to produce the needed increase in the tax levy this year. The 2013 total tax rate increase including county taxes and the two open space taxes is 2.89%."  

The township cited union settlements as the reason for the increase, but Councilman Krakoviak, who voted against the budget, cited the township's not reducing spending to reflect the decline in the tax base.

In other news, the council unanimously voted to provide special handicapped parking areas for certain town residents; and voted on First Reading to establish the Energy Commission as an Environmental Commission, allowing the commission to apply for environmental grant monies, among other duties

(Editor's Note: This article was updated on October 10 with additional information provided by Councilman Krakoviak.)

 

 

 

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Life-Saving Assistance Needed For Local East Orange Family

January 21, 2017

EAST ORANGE, NJ - Our community has been asked to mobilize behind an effort to provide assistance to East Orange residents Bert and Stacie Mentor in support of their brother who recently was in a terrible accident in Thailand. 

Stacie’s brother Amar Taborn was injured in a motorcycle accident while filming “The Love We World Tour” in Thailand due to a monsoon and flash ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_39f41190bb6dffdc4f57_meadowbrook_open_house

Sun, January 22, 11:00 AM

Meadowbrook Country Day Camp, Long Valley

Meadowbrook Country Day Camp Open House January ...

Education Sports

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

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 ...