Letters to the Editor

Do Not Change South Orange Village Charter

Next Monday (December 9), the South Orange Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on Ordinance 2013-19 which will forever alter the rich culture and history of South Orange Village. For nearly 150 years, South Orange has been governed by a VOLUNTEER "Board of Trustees", which also includes a "Village President". The fact that these unpaid volunteer positions have had these unique and distinguished titles is part of the rich history and traditions of our Village that have made our town unique. Now in a single vote, the Board of Trustees is planning to propose revising our Village's Charter, changing their titles to Councilmember/Mayor plus allowing for these volunteer positions to be given monetary compensation, paid for by your property taxes.

This is wrong for so many reasons:

Serving as a volunteer is a longstanding Village Tradition
Since the Village was settled, serving as a member of the Board of Trustees has been an honor and a privilege for those who want to serve the community. In all that time, this honor has been done by VOLUNTEERS who were not paid for their service. People served the community because they wanted to do the right thing for the Village, not because they were looking to supplement their income. This tradition is an important part of the culture and history of South Orange and should not be changed.

Sign Up for E-News

Providing compensation is not necessary
Serving the Village on the Board of Trustees is a part-time position. The Village already has a large payroll of full-time paid staff that handle the day-to-day operations of the Village. As a former member of the Board of Trustees, I can say firsthand that serving on the Board of Trustees does not require a financial outlay for any mandatory expenses. I personally maintained an extensive email list and online blog to frequently communicate with residents - neither of which cost a single penny. In addition, the Board of Trustees already receives complimentary admission to many political fundraisers, a complimentary parking sticker to park in any permit space downtown, two free nights at the Borgata in Atlantic City for the annual League of Municipalities convention and other perks. No cash compensation is required for the Board of Trustees to complete their duties.

Changing the Charter opens a Pandora’s Box
Altering the Village Charter to provide monetary compensation to the Board of Trustees will open a Pandora’s Box that can never be closed. What begins as a modest “stipend” today, will inevitably grow over time. Simply do a search for Congressional salaries over time as an example of how, when given the opportunity, politicians love to pay themselves more and more money over time.


Our Taxes are already beyond excessive
In this time of flat incomes, reduced services, reduced staff, and skyrocketing property taxes, we simply cannot afford a new expense added to the budget. We simply cannot afford it. There are some that make the ridiculous claim that without payment, some people cannot afford to run for office. I think it is far more important that with our oppressive taxes, too many people can no longer afford to live in our town and this situation only reduces all of our property values. The taxes in South Orange are outrageous and we need our elected officials to find ways to REDUCE the budget, not INCREASE the budget by adding an additional expense to pay themselves.

I hope you will join me in expressing your opposition to these radical changes to almost 150 years of our Village's long proud history. 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Incidents of Teen Assault on Saturday Night

February 22, 2017

February 18 - Simple Assault, At approximately 10 p.m., officers responded to a report of an individual on the train tracks. Upon their arrival, they discovered several groups of juveniles in the area of the train station and Memorial Park.  A 17 year old was taken into custody for assaulting another juvenile.

February 18 - Simple Assault, At approximately 10:45 ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Car Stolen from Parking Deck at 3rd and Valley; Arrest for 'Defiant Trespass' on Seton Hall Campus

Auto Theft - A Valley Street resident reported that between 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5 and 3:21 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11, actor(s) unknown stole his vehicle (2011 Toyota) while it was parked in the residential parking deck located at 3rd and Valley.

Adult Arrest - Defiant Trespass - James Wise, a 19 year old South Orange resident was arrested on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at ...

Rep. Payne Addresses Local and National Issues at Town Hall Meeting in Maplewood

February 24, 2017

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Congressman Donald M. Payne Jr., the representative for District 10 in New Jersey, held a “Constituent Conversation” Town Hall meeting in Maplewood on Thursday evening to a standing room only audience of about 300 people.

Outside the Maplewood Municipal building there was an overflow crowd of about 100 people, who Payne addressed before heading inside for ...

South Orange Village Center Alliance Holds Annual Meeting

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA) held its 2017 annual public meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 6:30 p.m. at Boccone South in South Orange.

At this meeting, the SOVCA Board of Directors discussed the successful, and less successful, ventures of 2016, presented new event sponsorship opportunities for  2017, and opened the floor to residents and business ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_0b4c3592cfc3c560ce23_town_hall_logo

Sun, February 26, 8:00 AM

Town Hall Deli, South Orange

Town Hall Deli Celebrates 90 Years with Special ...

Sun, February 26, 11:00 AM

Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, Maplewood

Rana & Huda Shanawani, Hanna Cox, and Talia ...

Giving Back

Carousel_image_107d6e7423961d97c36c_choo3

Sun, February 26, 1:00 PM

South Orange Performing Arts Center, South Orange

Disney's Choo Choo Soul with Genevieve

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, February 26, 4:00 PM

Temple Sha'arey Shalom, Springfield

Temple Sha'arey Shalom Chamber Music Concert, ...

Arts & Entertainment

Five Everyday Objects That Could Set Your House on Fire

The most cost effective approach to managing risk is to be proactive about reducing hazards and preventing accidents. When it comes to home fires, the most common causes of loss might not be what you expect. Less obvious dangers like the five detailed below actually cause more losses than major events, both because small risks may go unnoticed and because they occur frequently.  

Laptops ...

Ten Steps to List Your Home

Once you make the major decision to sell your home, there are ten steps that you need to take to get your home on the market. 

Step 1: De-clutter and move a large portion of your belongings into storage.

Step 2: Close out any open permits.

Step 3: Fix any known issues. Make your home shine with a coat of fresh paint.

Step 4: Find a Realtor with whom you trust and will feel ...

Livingston's ARC of Essex County and National Council of Jewish Women Receive Nearly $40,000 Toward Government-Sponsored Projects

February 23, 2017

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Livingston-based non-profit organizations ARC of Essex County and the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) were among 36 non-profit community organizations and 13 Essex County municipalities that received part of a total of approximately $5 million from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program this ...

Montclair Drifters Women’s Organization Leave Coats on Parking Meters for Those in Need

EAST ORANGE/ORANGE, NJ - Anyone in need of a warm winter coat was in luck in East Orange and Orange this past weekend, thanks to the generosity of a few thoughtful women.

East Orange First Lady Bibi Taylor, Orange First Lady Dr. Karma B. Warren and members of the Montclair Chapter of Drifters, Inc. sponsored a unique coat giveaway program modeled after a program originated in Nova Scotia.

Union to Host 'Celebrating Women' Series, Speakers Include Former South Orange Village President

February 26, 2017

UNION, NJ - The Township of Union will be hosting a Women's History Month celebration with a series of "Celebrate Women, What to Know After the Women's March," events. This three-part series, focused on celebrating, informing and empowering women, will be held at Town Hall, 1976 Morris Avenue.

“Based on the thousands of women who assembled in New Jersey alone ...

Springfield’s West 22 Diner Closes – 'Thanks to Our Patrons for Eight and a Half Great Years'

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - West 22 Diner owner Alex Manolakis managed the diner for the last eight and a half years. It just closed.

In the past year, he was approached by Darden Foods, parent company to Longhorn Steak House. They told him they wanted to build a new restaurant on the diner’s location.  He believes a new restaurant with fresh landscaping will be betterment to the ...

Sneak Preview: Hilton Garden Inn Springfield to Open on Friday, Feb. 24

February 24, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, NJ – The Hilton Garden Inn in Springfield at 304 Rt. 22 West is expected to open at 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24.  Here are four pictures to give you a sneak preview of what to expect. 

There are over 686 Hilton Garden Inns worldwide. The website says it is “…the upscale, yet affordable hotel brand."  There are 21 new locations and 22 ...

An Evening With Kelli O'Hara at SOPAC

February 26, 2017

Friday, June 16 at 8 p.m.

Tickets: $58-$78 
Box Office: (973) 313-2787

Kelli O’Hara has unequivocally established herself as one of Broadway’s great leading ladies. Her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the critically acclaimed revival of The King and I recently garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Drama League ...

Two Heroin Suppliers Plead Guilty and Face Lengthy Prison Terms

TRENTON – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced that guilty pleas were taken on Feb. 23 from two suppliers for a major drug ring that trafficked heroin from Paterson into Atlantic and Ocean counties. The ring was dismantled in 2015 through an investigation by the Atlantic City Task Force.

The following men each pleaded guilty on Feb. 23 to possession of heroin with intent to ...

'Things That Matter' at the South Orange Public Library this Weekend

Join us at the South Orange Public Library February 24-25-26 for a weekend of events for teens, families and everyone else to listen and share thoughts and to talk about all that matters to us every day, like words and arts and information.

Arts will be the focus on Friday night starting at 6:30 p.m..  Arts Matter, an evening of Music, Drama, Dance, and More is especially designed for ...