Essex County News

Press Releases

A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out for Women, Minorities, and Veterans


On June 7, 2017, Essex County Freeholder President Britnee N. Timberlake, together with Freeholders Lebby C. Jones and Rufus I. Johnson, introduced a law establishing a set-aside and joint venture program to increase economic opportunity for women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, and veteran-owned businesses. The law is expected to pass unanimously at the Freeholder Board meeting on July 19, 2017, and has the support of the County Executive. 

A review of the County’s 2014, 2015, and 2016 reports from the Office of Small Business Development and Affirmative Action revealed the County’s total average “spend” on contracts was 33% for Small Business Enterprises (SBE), but only 6% for Minority Business Enterprises (MBE), 9% for Women Business Enterprises (WBE) and .16% for Veteran Owned Business Enterprises (VOBE). The Freeholder Board commends the County of Essex for having such a strong showing in the area of SBE but concludes that the total average “spend” on MBE, WBE, and VOBE contracts should be greater.

As a solution, the ordinance proposes an affirmative action set-aside program established with quantifiable goals of increasing the MBE, WBE, and VOBE contracts “spend” and therefore, increase contract participation too. The law further creates a “Joint Venture” program with an emphasis on large construction contracts; this means for major construction jobs, large firms will partner with MBE, WBE, or VOBE firms to bid on contracts. 

Sign Up for E-News

The Joint Venture method has been successful in other places in the United States such as the City of Atlanta. The result is removing historical blockades preventing MBE, WBE, and VOBE businesses from being competitive in the bid process. For example, it is difficult for many of these companies to obtain “bonding” as it involves having large amounts of cash on hand not committed to use. This Freeholder Ordinance states that the bond must be assigned to the joint venture formed and thus open access to major construction contract participation for MBE, WBE, and VOBE businesses.

“By leveling the playing field to increase opportunities and economic growth for companies who have throughout the nation historically been marginalized, this is a hand up, not a handout.” Said, President Timberlake.

Timberlake went on to say, “This legislation is needed because, on average, women in the USA make twenty cents less on the dollar than men; contracting more women-owned businesses can help close that gap. There are plenty of qualified, ready, and able minority-owned companies who can do the work but face passive discriminatory policies limiting access to capital.  This legislation can improve such conditions and offer economic opportunity. Furthermore, our veterans had our back, and now this law mandates we have theirs by making an effort to support their businesses.” 

Freeholder At-Large Lebby Jones stated,“The need for this ordinance has been a long time coming. I am honored to participate in this effort to increase contract participation for women-owned, minority-owned, and veteran-owned businesses who have long been at a disadvantage.” 

Freeholder At-Large Rufus Johnson commented, “This ordinance will open access to economic development opportunities for companies that have been historically overlooked,  disregarded, and systematically abused nationwide.” 

The skill and success of effective elected officials can be measured by how they can pull together the community and work across the aisle to achieve a collective good. This law has been endorsed by the following: New Jersey State NAACP, local Essex NAACP chapters, Essex County Latino Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey African American Chamber of Commerce, National Organization for Women Essex-NJ, Guyana American Heritage, Sandji CDC, People’s Organization for Progress, clergy throughout the County, Community Leader Rebecca Dogget, veteran organizations and many more. Endorsements from the past and present electeds include: Congressman Donald Payne, Jr., State Senator Ronald L. Rice, Assembly Speaker Emeritus Sheila Y. Oliver, Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin, Assemblywoman Cleopatra G. Tucker, former Assemblyman/Freeholder and current Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr., former Assemblyman Willam Payne, East Orange Council President (Mayor-elect) Ted R. Green, South Orange Village Trustee (Councilwoman) Deborah Davis Ford, and former Essex County Freeholder Carol Y. Clark.

President Timberlake said, “Everything is a team effort. Thank you to the endorsing community groups, electeds and leaders, Freeholder Counsels Michael Parlavecchio and Evans Anyanwu, Esq., Freeholders Lebby C. Jones, Rufus I. Johnson, the entire Freeholder Board and staff including Debra Marvel and Chris Taylor, County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., and his Administration including Robert Jackson, Chief of Staffs, Counsels, and Julius Coltre.” 

The public hearing on this ordinance will be held on July 19, 2017, at 7:00 PM, in Room 506, at the Hall of Records, located at 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., in Newark, New Jersey, and is expected to pass unanimously.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Spring is (Almost) Here

Get ready for farmers markets and outdoor events, spring is bound to come at some point! To help you get ready Sadie's has lots of new spring products including this great Market Tote by Feed- the purchase of this cute everyday bag will donate 50 school meals. While stopping in for this tote check out some of the other great spring items just in. Don't forget the charity of the month is ...

Feeling Lucky

Shop of the morning to you! It’s that time of year when everyone’s color is green! Stop by Sadie's to get your St. Patty’s shirt before the big day. While your here and feeling lucky check out our latest Spring styles for Men and Women. You may make your friends green with envy.

Horoscope: Have a birthday between 3/13 and 3/24? If you stumble into a ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


South Orange Police Blotter - Adult Arrests for Shoplifting and DWI Reported

March 16, 2018

South Orange Police Blotter as of March 16

Adult Arrest/Shoplifting - William Minitee, a 45 year old Irvington resident was arrested on Thursday, March 8, at approximately 12:40 p.m. for shoplifting. Security officers at the Stop & Shop on Valley Street observed Minitee conceal several items on his person and then flee the store without paying for the items. Officers stopped a subject ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Home Burglary, Burglary at DeHart Community Center Reported

March 4 - Burglary; At approximately 1:20 a.m., officers observed a male removing several items from inside DeHart Community Center. The male was identified as 22 year old Joe Carr of Irvington. He was arrested and charged with burglary.

March 6 - Burglary; At approximately 11:30 a.m., officers responded to a home on Broadview Avenue on a report of a ...

Maplewood Senior Center Holds Grand Opening on St. Patrick's Day

March 21, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The Maplewood Senior Center has been open on Burnett Avenue for several months and this past Saturday, Maplewood Township officials, many seniors and community members held a grand opening celebration with a ribbon cutting officially dedicating the center.

As Saturday was the St. Patrick's Day holiday, the Senior Center celebration included green bagels ...

Maplewood to Hold Spring Egg Hunt on Sunday, March 25

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Hop on down to Maplewood's Spring Egg Hunt! Maplewood will hold its 34th annual hunt on Sunday, March 25, from noon to 2 p.m. in Memorial Park.

An email from the Maplewood Recreation Department states to "please arrive promptly at noon with a basket or bag to make sure you don’t miss anything."

At last year's event, hundreds of kids ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, March 22, 7:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

My Clutter is Taking Over! with Jamie Novak at ...

Education Home & Garden

Thu, March 22, 7:00 PM

Columbia High School Black Box Theatre, Maplewood

Janet Mandel: Vincent Van Gogh: After Arles

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, March 22, 7:00 PM

Bow Tie South Orange Cinemas, South Orange

18th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment Religions And Spirituality

Fri, March 23, 7:00 PM

Bow Tie South Orange Cinemas, South Orange

18th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment Religions And Spirituality

Hundreds Cheer on Marchers and Bands at 67th West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Even a week’s delay caused by a massive snowstorm couldn’t dampen the spirits of the large crowd of spectators who cheered on the marchers and bands who participated in West Orange’s 67th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday.

Wending their way up Main Street were more than 25 bands, including marching bands from northern New Jersey high ...

Members of Brick City Brims Charged for Alleged Roles in Drug Trafficking Organization

NEWARK, NJ – Six members of the Brick City Brims set of the Bloods street gang were arrested last week for their alleged roles in a major drug trafficking organization that dealt heroin in and around Newark.

Tyrone Brown, 34, Lamarr Burwell, 22, and Miles McCloud, 37, all of Newark, and Martin Pettiford, 23, of Irvington, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to ...

Renovation Complete, Winberie's Restaurant Reopens

March 22, 2018

SUMMIT, NJ - After a more than two months-long renovation -- an initiative which focused on updating the entire dining room, revamping the floor plan, and expanding the bar -- Winberie’s Restaurant & Bar has reopened in Summit.

The restaurant had been closed since New Year's Eve.

“Our guests will immediately see the physical changes we’ve made ...

Commemoration of Jay Kielwasser, Union Animal Control Officer

UNION, NJ – A commemoration of the late Jay Kielwasser's work as Union’s Animal Control Officer took place at Wednesday evening’s Board of Health meeting.

Board President Jackie Carter said Kielwasser, who passed away in April, was the first Animal Control officer appointed by the Board of Health. 

“You really don’t know how someone ...

Check Out BCB Community Bank's High Rate CDs

March 22, 2018

Get the most out of your savings with BCB Community Bank's high rate CD.

Check out BCB's 18-month CD interest rate of 1.76%.  Invest early and watch your money soar.  For more information, just visit or call your local BCB branch today in Union, Maplewood or South Orange:

Union Branch

2000 Morris Avenue
Union, NJ 07083

Maplewood Branch

156 ...

Winter Storm Update from South Orange

New Jersey and Essex County has announced Emergency Declarations which South Orange will also have in affected March 21, 2018, 9 :00 a.m. Please move all vehicles from the road way to allow for the Department of Public Works (DPW) to clear the roads.

Village Municipal Offices, Library and the Baird Community Center will be closed.
Please see a detailed forecast and more information ...

Storm Advisory from Maplewood

Winter Storm Information – Tuesday, March 20, 2018 – 4:00pm

1) Emergencies – Please call 911 if you have an emergency. You can also call 973-762-1234 for a direct connection to a police dispatcher. Do not call the Fire Department or Public Works. Call the police at 911 or 973-1234.

2) Jitneys – The Maplewood Jitneys will operate ...