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

Climate and Culture – One of the Key Issues I Will Focus on if Re-Elected to the Board of Ed

September 19, 2017

Addressing climate and culture in our school community - and broader community - is something that is a key focus for me for in my campaign.  Students, teachers, and parents have all expressed deep concerns with the climate and culture in our schools. We must work together to establish meaningful dialogue that allows all parties involved to feel trust and build understanding of all points of ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Two Home Burglaries Reported

September 19, 2017

South Orange Police Blotter as of September 19

Burglary - A Vose Ave resident reported that sometime before 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 13, an unknown actor entered her residence through a rear door, ransacked the master bedroom and stole jewelry and a silver coin collection. The Detective Bureau is investigating.

Burglary - A Wyoming Ave resident reported that sometime ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Four Adult Arrests Reported, One for Assault

South Orange Police Blotter as of September 14

Adult Arrest - David Boone, a 20 year old Newark resident was arrested on Saturday, September 2, at approximately 6:47 p.m. for assault and an active arrest warrant out of South Orange. Officers responded to Valley St and South Orange Ave for a reported assault that had just occurred and quickly located a subject (Boone) who ...

6th Annual Art Walk & Music Fest in Maplewood on Sunday, September 24

September 20, 2017

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The Maplewood Village Alliance (MVA) will host its 6th Annual Art Walk & Music Fest on Sunday, September 24, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Maplewood Village.

According to organizers,this year's event will feature over 40 artists, many new to the event, displaying and selling their original work, plus live music by local bands all day long.

Children attending the ...

South Orange Chamber of Commerce Holds Networking Event and Makes Donation to South Orange Lions Club

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ The South Orange Chamber of Commerce celebrated the start of the fall season with a Social and Business Networking event hosted by Bunny’s Sports Bar. In addition to enjoying time to network over food and drinks, the South Orange Chamber also made a donation of $1000 to the South Orange Lions Club. This donation was made specifically towards the South Orange Lions Club ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, September 21, 8:30 AM

Kol Rina, South Orange

High Holy Days at Kol Rina

Religions And Spirituality

Thu, September 21, 12:00 PM

Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University, South Orange

Rise

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_1643d2a8a911c4a14d33_every_brilliant_thing_graphic

Thu, September 21, 8:00 PM

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, Summit

Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan with ...

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, September 22, 8:30 AM

Kol Rina, South Orange

High Holy Days at Kol Rina

Religions And Spirituality

West Orange Chamber of Commerce Hosts Multi-Chamber Event at Thomas Edison Museum

September 19, 2017

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Members of the West Orange, Livingston, North Essex, Maplewood, Millburn/Short Hills and South Orange Chambers of Commerce mingled amongst each other at a multi-chamber networking event on Sept. 13, hosted by the West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC) at the Thomas Edison Museum.

Michael Daniels, president of the WOCC, said the event was extremely successful ...

SOFIA Walk Against Domestic Violence Draws Awareness and Support for Victims

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Hundreds gathered at Canterbury Park for a cause on Saturday, September 9. 

Families, friends and support organizations gathered together for the 7th annual S.O.F.I.A ( Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates) walk in remembrance of those who died and continue to walk in silence and a celebration of those who survived and are willing to share their stories in order to make ...

Hillsborough: Children's Singer/Songwriter Faces Child Pornography Charge

September 20, 2017

NEWARK, NJ – Eric. S. Komar a Hillsborough resident, music teacher and singer/songwriter who performs for children at synagogues, Jewish community centers, camps and conventions nationwide was arrested at his home Tuesday and charged with receiving and distributing images of child sexual abuse, according to Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick.

Komar, 46, was arrested by special ...

Holmdel High School Student Dies After Collapsing During Lacrosse Game

HOLMDEL, NJ — A GoFundMe page has been launched to support the family of Jack Dowd, the 16-year-old who died after collapsing at a lacrosse game at Rutgers University.

The Holmdel High School junior and varsity lacrosse player collapsed on Sept. 17 on the field during a scrimmage at the New Brunswick-based university. According to a Rutgers spokesperson, emergency services ...

AAA Reports Gas Prices Rise One Cent Over Last Week

September 12, 2017

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - AAA's weekly survey found that the average price for a gallon of gasoline in New Jersey is up one cent over last week.

On September 11, the average to be $2.78, up one cent from $2.77 last week. Today’s average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is 36 cents higher than a month ago ($2.42) and 80 cents higher than one year ago ($1.98).

Nationally, the ...

Rent Party Welcomes The Blasters

September 20, 2017

Rent Party kicks off their ninth season Friday night, September 22, with a show featuring the legendary LA band The Blasters.

From early days growing up in the southeast Los Angeles suburb of Downey, California under the tutelage of T-Bone Walker and Big Joe Turner to their emergence as central figures in the eclectic LA punk/rock scene of the early ‘80s to their current status as ...

Connect to Wellness: Free Family Wellness Festival by FAMILYConnections on September 24

Connect to Wellness is a free outdoor family wellness festival hosted by FAMILYConnections in honor of National Recovery Month (September) on Sunday, September 24, 2017 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the Clipper Pavilion, Cherry Lane, West Orange. 

FAMILYConnections has been providing effective treatment for recovery for decades helping people recover from mental illness and substance use ...

Lightbridge Academy to Support Children Affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma with 2,000-plus Backpacks Filled with Comfort and Care

The early education and child care brand will help provide needed supplies for the school year while teaching children empathy, community service, and how to be a leader

Lightbridge Academy, a leading early education and child care franchise system with almost 30 locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic is reaching across the country to support the children and families in Texas and Florida. The ...