Mayor Parisi Shares West Orange's Status Quo

West Orange Mayor Robert D. Parisi. Credits: Mayor Robert D. Parisi

WEST ORANGE, NJ - On Friday, TAP into West Orange sat down with West Orange’s Mayor Robert D. Parisi to discuss the current state of affairs in West Orange for the start of 2015. The Mayor was open, candid and positive and said that it has been quiet so far. He then shared some status updates regarding ongoing projects.

According to Mayor Parisi, the Township is in the process of developing the budget so he doesn’t yet have a full clear idea of this year’s specific projects.

“Every year we hope to improve some of our infrastructures,” said Mayor Parisi. “So every year, there are ongoing projects that relate to road resurfacing improvements, our parks and to some of the other public properties.”

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He added that there are a few projects that the Town is looking to put together for this year but said they are still in the early stages.

He also shared an update about the police substation in the valley.

“We are excited to be opening the new police substation in the valley—probably in the next month, which has been under construction for the last six or seven months,” he said.

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony and information will be provided notifying residents when the substation is open and police are operating in and serving in that facility.

In addition, the Mayor added that the Police Chief is currently working on the plan for occupying the substation and said that by the time it is ready to open “we will be comfortable that we have the manpower to serve the facility with existing personnel.”

Prism, which recently paid its taxes and late fees, was discussed next.

“Obviously redevelopment is another big issue for West Orange that I hope to have more information on by next month or so,” he said. “Hopefully, after years of delays and frustrations, we will be able to see Prism get started. We’re hoping to see construction started this year. That will go in front of the Council probably at the end of February, and some action will be required to move the project forward. We are excited about that.”

Mayor Parisi said that the Town isn’t looking at a number of large-scale projects this year.

“Last year we built the new park and we did some work on the pools, so right now there is nothing singularly that we’re focused on other than redevelopment,” he said.

Redevelopment will be key this year according to Mayor Parisi.

“Every year, the Township has a responsibility and obviously there's an expectation of the residents to make some improvements to the infrastructure of the community, whether it be roads or parks or any other town facilities and we're going to continue to do that,” he shared.

He cited potholes and broken tree limbs as the types of things that happen every day that will continue to be routinely handled. Residents can report these issues via the town website for assistance.

The Mayor also talked about the impending storm that was to hit this week, and said the Town was getting ready to handle the expected snow and damage. The Town proved they were ready for it and the ones to come via announcements on the website, the weather hotline and emails to the press.

He also mentioned that the Town works cooperatively with the schools and has some plans for the fields.

“Last year, we made some major renovations to the fields, which are part of the schools, but we use them equally—if not more than they do, so we are finishing up adding some additional bleachers to the baseball field. This should be done in the next couple weeks to a month or so depending on the winter weather.”

In addition, the Town will be looking to make some minor improvements to many of the athletic fields to keep things up to date, neat, clean and safe.

Regarding upcoming events, the Mayor said he is excited for the 64th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade taking place in March. West Orange Town Administrator Jack Sayer will be the Grand Marshal this year, and Director of Recreation Bill Kehoe and Assistant Supervisor/Public Works Inspector James Williams, will be the Deputy Marshals.

“Hopefully the weather will break,” he said. “It will be the first event where people will come out of their warm houses, get outside and see people again. It’s already in the planning stages.”

Mayor Parisi will be holding Open Office Hours on Jan. 29, between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in his office at Township Hall, where residents are invited to drop by and share concerns and ideas. No appointments are needed.

In addition, on Feb. 4, at 8:00 a.m., the Mayor will be providing the State of the Township Address at the Annual West Orange Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting, which is being held at the Wilshire Grand Hotel. Click HERE for ticket information.

This column is for interviews with West Orange Town leaders.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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