SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Three trustees took the oath of office at Monday’s South Orange Board of Trustees annual organization meeting.
Trustees Walter Clarke, Stephen Schnall, and Karen Hilton won four-year seats on the board in the municipal election on May 9. This will join Village President Sheena Collum, and Trustees Deborah Davis Ford, Howard Levison and Mark Rosner, whose terms run through 2019.
Clarke and Schnall are current Board of Trustees members who were re-elected, and Hilton is new to the Board of Trustees.
Outgoing Trustee Jeff DuBowy filled Sheena Collum's unexpired term when she was elected South Orange Village President in May 2015. DuBowy did not seek re-election.
Collum thanked DuBowy for his service, sharing that it is with a heavy heart that she says goodbye. "He has earned the respect and love of so many residents," said Collum. "He's been a tremendous colleague."
Trustee Deborah Davis Ford thanked DuBowy as well. "I always respected you but now I admire you."
"Another way to spell integrity is J-E-F-squared," cheered Davis Ford to applause and laughter from the audience of about 50 people.
"It was a real pleasure working with you," added South Orange Village Clerk Shinell Smith.
"I would like to thank everyone who voted for me..." said DuBowy in his farewell speech, "...there were only five," he added, referring to the five Board of Trustee members. DuBowy thanked all those he worked with during his time as Trustee, and about Collum added, "you embody everything great in our town."
At the end of DuBowy's speech the audience stood and applauded.
The new trustees were sworn-in, and each spoke briefly. Hilton thanked her family and the Trustees who had come before her, as well as her running mates. "I really look forward to advancing South Orange," said Hilton.
Clarke also thanked his family and running mates and all the campaign volunteers. "I'm really glad to be back," said Clarke.
Schnall thanked family and running mates, sharing that there's a "special bond when you go through the rigors" of a campaign.
The final thank you of the night was to Nureed Saeed, who ran as an Independent in the municipal election. Collum thanked for her willingness to get involved, and said that she is planning to work together with Saeed on transparency issues.