Tag Archive: South Orange

Open Government isn’t just a talking point

Alex is the 24-year-old mayor (they call it Village President) of South Orange, one of the youngest mayors in the country. Last month, he was a presenter at PDF12, the Personal Democracy Forum, on the internet’s new political power. You can see that here. – promoted by Rosi


Everyone supports 'Open Government.' And it seems, these days, that most elected officials enjoy talking about how they support open government and transparency. But how many of us are really doing everything we can to do so?

Here are a couple of easy ways we are helping to bridge the gap between citizen and government in South Orange that I hope can serve as perhaps a starting point for others looking to do the same – as well as for citizens who want to push their local officials to embrace the benefits of new technology.

But before I get started, it's important to note that these ideas (and plenty more) for the most part save taxpayer money and make government more transparent at the same time. Using the right technological platforms, you don't need to sacrifice lots of money to be more transparent, and no longer do governments have to sacrifice transparency to save money.

Open Budget data. In South Orange this year, for the first time (and one of the only municipalities to even do so), we released our $32m municipal budget in a downloadable, editable Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, which allows the data to not only be understood and manipulated by anyone, but, being in a standard format, can be tied into other software or applications. We kept the formulas embedded in the spreadsheet so people could manipulate the numbers and see the impact on the total budget as well as each household. I joked at our 2012 State Of The Village that it allows someone to play Village administrator for a day, and it's really true.


Alex Torpey, 23, is now the youngest municipal chief in New Jersey

South Orange’s Village President (think: Mayor) election, among yesterday’s non-partisan elections, was a nail-biter. At one point in the counting, just one vote separated Torpey from his competitor, Board of Trustees (think: Council) member Janine Bauer. When all the machine votes were counted last night, Torpey was ahead 13 votes, with provisional votes still unopened and uncounted. The night for Torpey and his supporters was a mixture of celebration and shoes yet to fall. They didn’t know how many provisionals there would be, but they felt like they had it.

And now, it’s official: Alex Torpey, who introduced himself to Blue Jersey in March is now the youngest person in New Jersey running a municipality.

We expect to hear from Alex and his campaign a little later. Meanwhile, Blue Jersey says Welcome to a new generation of South Orange leadership, including many young people who joined Alex’s race. Congratulations to the team.  

South Orange: PP slate sweeps incumbants out

In South Orange, yesterdays town elections saw a stunning sweep by the insurgent Pure Progress slate. Long time incumbant Village President Bill Calabrese lost to Douglas Newman.


 South Orange Village President

Douglas C. Newman  2,516 
William R. Calabrese  1,427 

South Orange Board of Trustees – 4 year terms

Mark Rosner  2,409
Deborah Davis Ford  2,368 
Howard Levison  2,404 

Janine Bauer  1,599
Allan J. Rosen  1,372
Arthur Taylor  1,436
Write-In  8  

South Orange Board of Trustees – 2 year terms

Michael Goldberg  2,341 
Frank Rodino  1,508 
Write-In  2


Essex County Clerk results