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Special Township Council meeting called for Friday, February 5, 6 p.m. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joe Krakoviak   
Friday, 05 February 2010 13:08

[Clarified in the headline and first sentence to make the terminology consistent that the meeting is "Special," not "Emergency." Updated to add title of the resolution from the meeting agenda. Updated February 7 to add link to the notice of special meeting and agenda.] The Township has posted notice of an special Town Council meeting tonight, Friday, February 5, at 6 p.m., "for the purpose of introducing and adopting a resolution regarding township health benefits."

Talk around Town Hall in recent weeks has included discussion of changes to employee benefits [Corrected to delete reference to possibly pulling out of state employee pension plan.]. A copy of the resolution was not available from the Town Clerk's office at 3 p.m. today. The meeting agenda lists the resolution's title as: "Resolution Authorizing the Business Administrator to Execute Any and All Necessary Documents To Retain Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey as the Township's Medical Provider As Of May 1, 2020."

The announcement of the meeting comes as the state is bracing for a potentially major snowfall and as some Jewish residents begin Shabbat.

I'll post additional information as I obtain it. The notice on the township website is below:


Notice of Special Meeting

48 Hour Notice – Special Meeting


Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 10:4-8(d), notice is hereby given that a special meeting will take place in the Council Chambers, 66 Main Street, West Orange, NJ.  on Friday, February 5, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. for the purpose of introducing and adopting a resolution regarding township health benefits. 


The agenda, resolutions, and ordinances will be posted on the bulletin board in the hallway by the clerk’s office prior to the meeting for review by the public. 

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 February 2010 20:09
2010 Temporary Township Budget PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joe Krakoviak   
Thursday, 14 January 2010 16:11

The Town Council approved the township's temporary 2010 budget for $21.9 million at its January 5, 2010, meeting. Under state law, the town can operate under the temporary budget while it develops its actual budget. This spending is designed to cover much less than the full budget year, which in 2009 totaled $71.5 million. Town council approved last year's budget on March 24, 2009.

Because this budget is much briefer than the full budget, you may find the document helpful in getting a better idea of the relative spending among functions and departments.


For reference, here's last year's budget as approved West Orange 2009 Budget (as adopted).

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 January 2010 16:38
Township Business Administrator not commenting on potential budget revenue shortfall PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joe Krakoviak   
Thursday, 14 January 2010 16:39

After Councilman Rob Parisi estimated the 2010 budget shortfall at $4 million at the January 5, 2010, council meeting, I sought the town administration's view on the shortfall as well as when the 2010 draft budget would be made public. I also asked what steps the administration had taken over the past year that it considered significant to lower operating expenses in light of the severe decline in tax revenue anticipated in the 2009 budget. Despite repeated efforts to get information from the town business administrator, I received no reply. Following is the most recent e-mail in the thread, which also includes the town's chief financial officer.

From: Joe Krakoviak < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
To: Jack Sayers < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Cc: Edward J. Coleman < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Sent: Thu, January 14, 2010 1:44:32 PM
Subject: Re: Questions related to Councilman Parisi's 2010 budget deficit estimate

Mr. Sayers,


It's been more than a week and several e-mails ago that I asked for some simple information relating to Councilman Parisi's estimate of a $4 million revenue shortfall facing the town for the 2010 budget.  I'm certainly not the only resident who is interested in this information. Here are the questions again for reference:


1. Is that also the administration's estimate of the revenue shortfall (or budget deficit, if that's a more accurate term) the town faces for the 2010 budget? If not, what is the estimate?

2. When does the administration plan to unveil its 2010 proposed budget to the council and/or public?

3. Has the township made what you would consider significant cuts in operating expenses in recent months in light of the declining revenues? If so, what are they and what is the estimated financial impact of the cuts?


If I don't hear back from you by end of business today, I'll assume you are not going to respond and will post the thread at www.westorangegrassroots.org for reference when residents ask me what's going with the budget.

Regards, Joe Krakoviak

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 January 2010 17:05
Councilman Parisi estimates township 2010 budget deficit of $4 million PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joe Krakoviak   
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 16:55

Councilman Rob Parisi estimated at the January 5 Town Council meeting that the township faces a 2010 budget deficit of about $4 million.


The township’s 2009 budget was $71.5 million, including $52.4 million in anticipated property taxes. But township property owners received roughly $3 million in tax reductions in 2009, reflecting declines in the market value of their property relative to the assessed values. The township issued debt to replace much of this lost 2009 revenue. However, it faces the lower tax-revenue base for the 2010 budget, in addition to expected continuing reductions from tax appeals. For example, the Council at its January 5 meeting approved payment of a tax appeal refund of $235,394 to the Eagle Rock Co-op at 45 Wilford St.


In addition, the township received $781,622 in taxes collected by the state in 2009 to partially offset the impact of high property taxes. West Orange also received $4.9 million in taxes collected from water and sewer companies. (You see them referenced in your bills, since essentially the companies fund these tax payments by charging customers.) Governor-elect Chris Christie has said he will review all state spending to try to fix an expected $8 billion state budget deficit, and this state funding is at risk this year to reductions. The township receives other funds from the state as well.


Council members indicated at the meeting that they were awaiting the administration’s budget proposal.


I’ve asked administration officials a few follow-up questions, which I’ll pass along.


Last Updated on Thursday, 07 January 2010 00:37
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