Serving as a councilman not only requires you to watch the bottom line and the cost of goverment, but to recognize the civic responsibility to look out for our fellow residents.
My first year on the council enabled me to do just that. During Super Storm Sandy, I checked on our seniors regularly, bringing stranded seniors food, water and charged cell phones to
contact thier families. I spent two days at our Senior housing facilities, distributing food and blankets and making sure we went from apartment to apartment to check on the residents.
In May, I was given the honor of presenting the first community proclamation on behalf of
the Township of West Orange in support of the annual Susan G Komen Run/Walk for the Cure.
It was a very moving experience and allowed me to talk about the need to find a cure for breast cancer as well as alert our male residents that it is an issue for them as well.
West Orange is a giving and generous community that supports each other not only in words but in deeds. Several community foundations support the youth of West Orange, including the Mchael T. McCormick, Jr. Foundation. Michael passed away in a tragic car accident on August 2, 2009, the day after his nineteenth birthday. HIs parents, Karen and Michael, along with sister Meaghan and close family and friends, founded the MTM Foundation to provide scholarships to graduating high school students. You can find out more by visiting their website at www.mtmjr.com.
Another youth based community organization is the Nikhil Badlani Foundation. Nikhil was a sixth grade student at Edison Middle School when he passed away in a car accident on June 11, 2011, when a distracted driver ran a stop sign. NBF educates our youth on safe driving habits and the cost of not following the rules of the road. They also provide music instruction to talented students at reduced costs or on scholarships, and also provide scholarships to graduating high school seniors.More information can be found at nikhilbadlanifoundation.org.
These organizations represent only two of the amazing community groups that strive to make West Orange a vibrant and rich community, full of diversity and culture. It has been my great honor to work with organizations such as these, and to serve the residents of West Orange over the past year. I look forward to another year of opportunity to reach out to the citizens of West Orange.
Jerry Guarino was elected to the town council in May of 2012. He serves as council liaison to the Downtown West Orange Alliance and the Insurance Commission. He welcomes the input of West Orange residents and can be reached at email@example.com.