WEST ORANGE, NJ — Councilwoman Susan McCartney was unanimously elected president of the West Orange Township Council for the 2018 calendar year at the Dec. 5 meeting at which current Council President Joe Krakoviak passed the gavel to her. McCartney has served on the council since 2002, and last served as president in 2013.
“Though we have not always seen eye to eye, I do appreciate and I promise to emulate how you preserved order and decorum,” McCartney said to Krakoviak after accepting the nomination. McCartney presented Krakoviak with a plaque thanking him for his service on behalf of the council.
Krakoviak expressed his appreciation to the council and administration for his year as president.
“I wanted to say thank you to allow me to further serve the council and the township of West Orange as council president this year,” he said. “I want to thank my colleagues, the clerk and her staff, and the administration for not only their help but also their patience as I got up to speed.”
Councilwoman Michelle Casalino also expressed her thanks to Krakoviak, saying the council has accomplished a lot over the last year.
“You did a nice job,” she said. “We do a lot here. Folks come up and they’re passionate about giving us information and asking us a lot of questions, and we try to get everybody answers. I think that’s been done this year, so thank you.”
Mayor Robert Parisi was at the meeting to reflect on the year as well, saying that West Orange should be a positive example of government to the rest of the country.
“It’s not hard to be disheartened when we look at the nature of our political discord in this country,” he said. “I don’t think any of us exaggerate when we say it certainly seems a lot worse than it maybe ever has. We often like to talk about West Orange as a microcosm for this country and sometimes I wish that the country took us as an example in their political discord.”
Parisi then thanked Krakoviak and offered his support to McCartney in the coming year.
“We don’t always agree on process, but I’ll say it’s been a pleasure to work with you this year and any of those disagreements were always put aside … for the good of the community,” he told Krakoviak. “As always the administration is here to support the council in our combined efforts to support the community.”
The council liaison positions for 2018 were also approved at the meeting. McCartney will be the liaison to the West Orange Planning Board and the West Orange Arts Council, and Krakoviak will remain the liaison to the Open Space and Recreation Committee. Casalino will serve as liaison to the Local Assistance Board, the Municipal Alliance Committee and the Public Relations Commission, while Councilman Victor Cirilo will be the liaison to the Degnan House. Councilman Jerry Guarino will remain the liaison to the John. P. Renna House and the Downtown West Orange Alliance.