Budget, Business, Ethics & Participatory Government - community leaders are lining up behind South Orange 2013

The following are letters reprinted from the News Record (5/2/13):


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Douglas Newman, Village President 2007-2011

On Tuesday, May 14th, I urge all South Orange residents to vote for Sheena Collum, Steve Schnall, and Walter Clarke, united as South Orange 2013, to serve our community as Village Trustees.  

This team of truly qualified candidates brings a wealth of professional experience and a strong record of local, civic volunteerism, which clearly will benefit our Board of Trustees’ work and our Village’s future. 

Having recently served as Village President, I know firsthand the challenges our local government routinely encounters and what's required to get the job done.  And, I appreciate the deep understanding and commitment to our community, the planning skills, fiscal discipline, and time commitment that’s required for Trustees to contribute and succeed on behalf of their fellow residents. 

Sheena, Steve, and Walter have what it takes.  They’re knowledgeable about the issues and challenges facing our town and governing body; they’re solution-oriented; and, they’re ready to give it their all.  And, most important, they are committed to serving residents with the highest ethics, level of transparency, and always focusing on serving the public good. 

Please learn more about them at www.southorange2013.com. And, please join me to elect these outstanding candidates for Village Trustee on Tuesday, May 14th, by voting for Row B - South Orange 2013.


The Reverend Canon Sandye Wilson

With a municipal election right around the corner, I’m asking you to join me in supporting Sheena Collum, Steve Schnall and Walter Clarke.  I have been so impressed with these candidates and their passion for this town, that I joined them as their Campaign Manager a couple months ago.

They have been working nonstop since their announcement to build support for their platform that outlines the direction this community needs to move in.  They have created a vision, entitled “Destination South Orange”, identifying seven foundational pillars to success ranging from property tax relief to becoming more business friendly, from building town-and-gown partnerships to sustainability issues.

But what has stood out to me the most is their willingness to work directly with residents and other stakeholders to achieve their goals.  As I have watched these candidates going door-to-door and speaking in front of groups, they are always recruiting people to get involved and become active participants in town affairs.

They have built solid support from community leaders from various backgrounds and I believe that is a testament to the type of leaders they will be.

I’m also excited about their commitment to muli-culturalism that marks the identity of the radical hospitality of this community.  Sheena is an Asian-American, Steve is married to an Asian-American with biracial children, and Walter is married to a African-American with biracial children.  Don’t only judge this book by its cover, but by its strong commitment to inclusion on all levels in our community.

I believe the next four years with Sheena Collum, Steve Schnall, and Walter Clarke will yield impressive results for our town and I’m asking you to join me in supporting them on May 14.


Michael Auer, Co-Chair, Citizens Budget Advisory Committee

As co-chair of the South Orange Citizens Budget Advisory Committee, I give the strongest endorsement to the slate of Sheena Collum, Steve Schnall, and Walter Clarke who I believe will represent the Village for the next 4 years with concern for expenses. 

While our budget issues in the Village are more manageable than previously, the need for strong candidates with fiscal discipline at the forefront of their campaign is more necessary then before because of state imposed caps.

Roughly 70% of our municipal budget relates to personnel expenses (salaries, pensions, healthcare) and these rising costs exceed at a rate that is faster than the 2% cap imposed by state.

We need leaders who are going to aggressively pursue shared services and explore all of our financial options including outsourcing, insourcing, regionalization, inter-local agreements, etc.

As a local realtor in town, I understand how the property tax burden often stops people from moving to our town.  We need to better manage this situation and ensure that South Orange remains an affordable destination for all families.


Adena Traub, Past-President, Main Street South Orange

I am writing to encourage all residents of South Orange to vote for Row B - South Orange 2013 for village trustees on May 14.  The combined talent and knowledge of Sheena Collum, Steve Schnall and Walter Clarke are the right team for South Orange.  

As past president of Main Street South Orange, I am impressed and encouraged with their vision for our downtown business recruitment and retention.  Their levelheaded approach to public and private partnerships is exactly what we need to make South Orange a desirable location for retail, commercial and professional businesses to make an investment.  A strong and vibrant downtown creates an appealing South Orange for visitors, residents and potential residents, which translates into a better quality of life and higher property values.

Collum, Schnall and Clarke have the commitment and experience to lead South Orange in a direction we can all be proud.  Remember:  Vote Row B on May 14.



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