Elections

Meet Monica Perkowski: West Orange Township Council Candidate

1bb1ced9395189e76887_Perkowski-5167-017-5_0x7_0-01-A-2.jpg
1bb1ced9395189e76887_Perkowski-5167-017-5_0x7_0-01-A-2.jpg

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Meet West Orange Township Council candidate Monica Perkowski.

Basic Background:

Monica Perkowski, a 41-year West Orange resident, attended Pleasantdale School, Roosevelt Middle School and Mt. St. Dominic Academy in the area and also earned her BS in Biology from the College of New Jersey and her MBA in Marketing/Finance from NYU Stern School of Business. Perkowski is the Principal, Marketing Leader, Mercer, a fully owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies. She is married to Jim Williamson and has two stepsons, Evan and Charles, who are students at Nutley High School, and a dog named Eli

Sign Up for E-News

Q: Why are you running for township council?

A: I believe we each have a responsibility to lend our unique skillsets to our community to keep it thriving.  For me, it has been a long time goal to serve the community through a seat on the council.  I hope to utilize my skills in marketing, project management, and negotiation to help create a holistic vision for West Orange, which addresses safety, commercial growth, and access to transportation for all residents.

Q: Why do you feel you deserve the job?  What qualifies you for it?

A: I am passionate about West Orange and our future. I have strong negotiation and project management skills—both required to arrive at a consensus and to oversee project completion. I am extremely patient, and highly detailed oriented, two characteristics I believe are essential for a position that demands collaboration from many interested parties. As an independent candidate, I believe I am well positioned to hear each point of view in order to make an educated, well-informed decision.

We’ve all witnessed the internal struggle of the current council, which often prevents candid discussion about the topic at hand.  Discussion and debate are critical components in making the proper decisions, and I know my presence could help us achieve that end.

I am driven to success and finish what I start. I was told from the beginning that you couldn’t win in this election unless the administration backs you OR you are anti administration. I don’t believe that. I believe that what West Orange needs is an independent ear to listen to resident concerns and the commitment to negotiate a favorable result.

Q: What do you believe is the most important issue in this local election? How would you change it?   

A: Today’s West Orange is very different from the West Orange I was introduced to as a child.  And while we’ve seen our overall commercial landscape change some, I think we can do better to keep us moving in the right direction.  I recommend we seek the services of a fulltime urban planner to ensure our long-term vision is sound-and consistent-and to identify opportunities to innovate and promote growth.

The Edison redevelopment project is only one piece of the puzzle. Our overall plan for that area, and the immediate surroundings, should be consistent with our development strategy in other regions of town. Seeking opportunities to drive commercial interest should not be limited to the downtown corridor-but should encompass the Northfield, Gregory & Eagle Rock areas as well. Parking enhancements and improvements to pedestrian safety should move beyond just Main Street-and should incorporate all areas of the community. With the services of a professional planner, we can ensure our strategic vision is comprehensive, innovative, and achievable. 

Q: What other issues are important?

A: Taxes continue to be an ongoing issue in West Orange. And while I don’t suggest there is a “magic bullet” to address the issue, I do believe fiscal responsibility is crucial to maintain our level of desirability. To me, this means close examination of the budget each year, always seeking opportunities to capture savings.  It is critical for us to make well-informed choices about our infrastructure improvements and other discretionary expenditure-but without compromising the safety and quality of life for our residents.

Transportation accessibility is another key issue in our community. Jitney service provided on the south side of town provides a great benefit for daily commuters, but is easily accessible only to a portion of the town. This feature has enhanced home values in these areas and has appealed to new buyers in new markets. But beyond commuters-senior transportation programs should be enhanced as well. Seniors who depend on these services should not be forced to cancel doctor appointments or skip social engagements due to increased demand.  

Finally, the “Complete Streets” concept, particularly as it relates to pedestrian safety, should become a higher priority in West Orange.  As the population grows-and as commercial areas of town draw more visitors-the negative impact of excessive speed, incomplete or absent sidewalks, and excessive traffic become more pronounced.  It’s critical for us to develop a successful working relationship with the Essex County, as well as prioritize the areas in town, which require upgrade and to start working to achieve realistic goals. 

Q: What should people know about you that they might not know already?

A: Living in West Orange for life has fostered so many wonderful memories. If I look familiar it may be from my years on the First Aid Squad or bartending at Rascal’s—where I had the opportunity to drink from the Stanley Cup three times. I’ve run three half-marathons and will run the NYC marathon in 2017.  I love to travel—and will shortly take my first flight lesson! 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Lola's Buy 1 Regular Soft Serve Cone or Cup, Get One 50% Off With Coupon

May 26, 2018

FAIRFIELD, NJ - Lola's Ice Cream and Sweet Shoppe is offering Buy One Regular Soft Serve Cone or Cup, Get One 50% Off with coupon. Lola's Sprinkles are always FREE! 

The coupon expires on June 18, 2018, and coupon offers cannot be combined. All guests must present this coupon to redeem.

Lola's Ice Cream and Sweet Shoppe is located at 244 Route 46 East ...

Free Flavors Soft Serve Ice Cream (Jr. Cup or Cone) With Coupon

Fairfield, NJ - Flavors Homemade Ice Cream is offering a FREE soft serve ice cream (jr. cup or cone) when you spend $10 or more with coupon.

Flavors Homemade Is located at 653 Rt 46 West (1.98 mi) in Fairfield, New Jersey 07004 next to Jose Tejas.

*Homemade Ice Cream

*Italian Ice

*Gelato 

*Fresh waffles 

*ice ...

Philip Roth's Childhood Home Still Stands in Newark

May 26, 2018

NEWARK, NJ — The house at 81 Summit Avenue in Newark's Weequahic neighborhood is otherwise unremarkable expect for a sign attached to its faux flagstone facade noting that the home has been designated a historic site—the childhood home of celebrated author Philip Roth, who died Tuesday at the age of 85.

There were no crowds outside the home to pay homage to ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ca99dbbe4665a685b474_screen_shot_2018-05-22_at_9.15.03_pm

Mon, May 28, 10:00 AM

Township Hall, West Orange

2018 Memorial Day Observance

Community Calendar

Carousel_image_3dd755d9dc476b5f4dc3_unnamed__4_

Mon, May 28, 8:00 PM

West Orange High School, West Orange

Board of Education Meeting

Community Calendar Education

Carousel_image_28c899d8572458eda4f7_mini_magick20180422-110109-8dtxfl

Tue, May 29

Essex County

Primary – Vote by Mail deadline

Clarifying Points Made in Article About WOHS Air Quality Issues

May 14, 2018

Dear Editor, 

I am the advisor to West Orange High School's student newspaper, The Pioneer. My Editor-in-Chief, Anna Favetta, is the student who researched the topic and wrote the article bringing this issue to light. She worked on the article for 4 months before she had adequate and proper information for it to go to print. 

An article on the BOE presentation of the ...

What It Means to Me - A Baseball Story

We are all in amazement of the dedication and talent of our young West Orange athletes. One of the goals of our youth sports programs is to develop our players so they are ready for high school and are prepared for success at that next level of play. Throughout the course of the year we will be featuring some of our talented young athletes and coaches. This week we have the perspective of ...

West Orange On Three!

The spring season is in full swing, and we are excited to debut this new column focusing on all things youth sports!  We thought we would kick things off with an overview of the programs West Orange has to offer, and then go behind the scenes to see what makes youth sports tick.

West Orange Police Athletic League (PAL) and Mountain Top League (MTL), together with the West Orange ...

Summer 2018 Events at the West Orange Public Library

May 15, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Beginning in June, the West Orange Public Library will offer the following events for area residents of all ages:

Dinosaurs’ Rock!                                             

Monday, June 11, 4:00 p.m.

Field Station Dinosaur visits with the ...

10-Year-Old Cancer Patient Receives Donation from Randolph Hockey Family

May 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ — While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real-life battles off the ice, there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the members of the Randolph varsity hockey team, when they came together to ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&M@royalwedbot.co.uk.  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...