Press Release, August 13, 2010

Krakoviak To Seek West Orange Town Council Seat for More Transparency, Accountability and Fiscal Responsibility

Says demonstrated independence and ‘hit the ground running’ knowledge of town challenges crucial in campaign

Joe Krakoviak, a communications consultant active in West Orange town affairs, announced today he will run for the town council seat in the November 2 election. Mr. Krakoviak, who made a strong initial run for a town council seat in the May campaign, is also publisher of  www.WestOrangeGrassroots.org, a website that provides transparency to town financial matters.

Mr. Krakoviak said that he’s running because he and many supporters among town residents continue to believe the council and town could benefit greatly from the independent, knowledgeable and articulate perspective he has shown he would bring.

“I believe more than ever that we need a truly independent voice on the council who can apply a demonstrated knowledge of issues facing our community — to challenge the status quo, help set priorities, and make sometimes difficult decisions to ensure we have an affordable government in the town we want to live in,” Mr. Krakoviak said. “Our challenges demand someone who has clearly shown the ability to ‘hit the ground running’ as well as the track record of working in town for the benefit of residents.”

Mr. Krakoviak, a former financial and investigative journalist with USA Today and other daily newspapers, started www.WestOrangeGrassroots.org last year to help residents more easily know and understand the administration’s planned financing of downtown redevelopment with millions of dollars in debt guaranteed by taxpayers. Mr. Krakoviak utilized his experience as a reporter covering municipal finance and real estate development, as well as his ability to effectively communicate complex issues, to contribute to widespread and successful opposition to the financing plan. He has continued and expanded efforts to help residents understand, and provide more input into, their government’s activities, including the posting of video recordings of council meetings at www.WestOrangeGrassroots.org.

“Rising spending and property taxes, and an eroding tax base, are the top issues facing West Orange today,” said Mr. Krakoviak. “The current Council does not include anyone with a professional background in municipal finance, and unfortunately it shows. As a member of the Council, I will bring my experience to bear to help address many of the problems that, as a private citizen, I have only been able to bring to light.”

In the past year, he successfully lobbied the council and administration to begin putting council meeting agendas and legislation on the town website, making it easier for residents to access the information. He urged the town to begin including “plain-language” summaries of important elements of proposed ordinances and resolutions, which it recently began doing. His efforts have included regular attendance and public comment at virtually all council meetings for more than a year.

Mr. Krakoviak is married to West Orange native Clare Silvestri, and they are raising three children. He is active in Boy Scouts, church and school activities, and youth athletic coaching, as well as in the new town administration’s recently formed marketing committee. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia, with concentrations in economics and finance. In addition to newspapers, Mr. Krakoviak has worked in marketing and communications for a municipal bond insurer and a global technology/management consulting firm.

For more information, please contact Joe Krakoviak at 201.452.7619 or Joe@JoeKrakoviak.com.