EAST ORANGE, NJ - The City of East Orange will be celebrating its employees during a press conference and recognition event for the city’s recent 2017 “City Livability” Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Tuesday, August 8, 2017, 1:00 PM at City Hall, 44 City Hall Plaza, East Orange, NJ.

East Orange was one of 10 cities in the nation to receive the award for its comprehensive “Don’t Dump On EO” Campaign, a collaborative community effort that engaged citizens of all ages in helping to keep East Orange clean and raise the standard of living in the city. The other winning cities included Los Angeles (CA), Hattiesburg (MS), Mississippi Irvine (CA), Gresham (OR), Phoenix (AZ), Pembroke Pines (FL), Port St. Lucie (FL) Aguadilla (PR), Doral (FL), Dubuque (IA), and Greenville (MS).

In attendance at the event will be Jocelyn Bogen, U.S. Conference of Mayors, John Wohlrab, Director of Government Relations, Waste Management (Greater Mid Atlantic), Bill Lehman, Business Development Manager, Waste Management (Greater Mid Atlantic) and employees from the Departments of Property Maintenance and Public Works

Sign Up for E-News

Mayor Lester E. Taylor III and Director of Property Maintenance Dwight Saunders accepted the award during the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 85th Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, FL held last June, however Mayor Taylor wanted to recognize the hard work and commitment of the employees who made this award possible.

“We always say that a clean city is a safe city and a safe city is a profitable city. When I took office in 2014, we established a Quality of Life Task Force to tackle the issues that commonly arise as a result of decades of blight,” said Taylor. “The leadership and dedication of our employees, especially those from the Departments of Property Maintenance and Public Works, were key to transforming our community and helping us to achieve our vision to set the standard for urban excellence and become a destination city.”

The Division of Vacant and Abandoned Properties was established in 2014 under a bill sponsored by Senator Ronald L. Rice that allows cities to help local officials keep their municipalities free of blight caused by abandoned, foreclosed properties has been signed into law.

“When a home in foreclosure sits vacant, it can become a magnet for criminal activity and can deteriorate to cause an economic blight on the remaining homes within the community,” said Senator Rice, D-Essex, said at the time.  “When these abandoned homes fall into disrepair, the creditors who are legally responsible for them should step up to clean up the property. This law will ensure that if they fail to do this in a timely manner, they will be held accountable.”

The law authorizes municipalities to adopt ordinances to regulate the care, maintenance, security and upkeep of a vacant and abandoned property in foreclosure. It will allow municipal code enforcement officials to issue a citation against creditors who are in the process of foreclosing on residential property if the condition of the property is found to be in violation of the municipal ordinance.