SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The South Orange Board of Trustees met on Monday, Jan. 23, to discuss community concerns such as budget spending and sanctuary city status.

During a public comment section at the start of the meeting, several South Orange residents voiced their concern over the Trustee’s lack of action on affirming a "minority rights oath," such as Maplewood did last week.

“The board just wants to be certain in the language used to draft the proclamation,” said South Orange Village President Sheena Collum. “We wouldn’t want to lose federal funding over a misunderstanding.”

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Collum added that drafting an equal treatment proclamation is already underway, and that the topic will be discussed at the start of the next trustees meeting. While discussing budget and redevelopment updates, Collum also remarked that spreading the funds and projects across the entire village is essential for a thriving community,

“I get worried when other areas of South Orange aren’t getting the funding or resources,” said Collum. “Just look at what Seton Village [Irvington Ave.] was able to accomplish with a few thousand dollars.”

Even at the end of the meeting, discussions about the national political climate emerged as a central topic.

“I just felt it was so wonderful to see the outpouring of support for the protests,” said Trustee Deborah Davis Ford. “Over 30 buses left from our two towns, and the South Orange Rescue Squad was nice enough to take many of us home after we returned.”

Other topics at the meeting included:

  • Appointment of Jessica Davis as a member of the South Orange Historic Preservation Commission.

  • Appointment of John Calhoon as a member of the South Orange Village Environmental Commission.

  • Awarding of contract for water meter replacements to American Water Operations and Maintenance, Inc.

  • Reminder that spring baseball and softball registration for children between the ages of 5 and 15 begins in January. Information can be found at

  • Reminder to remove cars from the street during snow storms. Piling snow in the street for removal will result in a fine.

The next South Orange Board of Trustees meeting is February 13 at 7:15 p.m. at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC).