Councilman Joe Krakoviak has served the residents of West Orange as an elected official for nearly eight years – including one term as council president – consistently advocating for transparency, accountability and fiscal responsibility in our municipal government, with a commitment to making decisions in the best interest of all residents.
- Proposed creation of a Senior Citizens Advisory Board and better senior transportation and other services
- Actively worked for increased funding of the West Orange Public Library
- Pushed for expansion of competitive bidding to a greater number of town contracts
- Supported new jitney route, while looking for ways to reduce the service's more than $500,000 annual cost
- Called for increasing Open Space acquisition and enforcement of the tree-protection ordinance
- Advocated for giving residents the legally guaranteed opportunity to vote on school capital projects, as well holding referendums on moving local elections and on providing $6.3 million of taxpayer-guaranteed bonds for the Edison Redevelopment project
- Appointed the only current member of the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee (The Mayor and Council majority have not made their required appointments in years, severely handicapping the group’s ability to analyze and advise on budget matters.)
- Argued to competitively bid – for the first time since before the turn of the 21st century – the $400,00-$500,000 annual insurance consulting contract, and to change compensation from commissions based on the size of the insurance contract to fee-for-service – which has lowered costs significantly for other municipalities and school districts.
Joe has said yes to the vast majority of proposed legislation while in office. However, as the "taxpayer watchdog" (according to The Star-Ledger), he has voted scores of times against what he considers wasteful spending, excessive annual budgets, and legislation that he believed was not in the best interests of the community as a whole, including:
- Overly generous redevelopment proposals that would enrich wealthy developers through 30-year tax abatements and Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOTs) at the expense of taxpayers, and the Essex Green/Executive Drive Redevelopment Area, which does not meet statutory requirements for a “blighted” area
- The forced elimination of the West Orange First Aid Squad in its 50th year
- Spending $200,000 for a skate park that’s on a dead-end street near the Orange border
- The mayor’s proposed $110,000 “ice bumper car facility” at O’Connor Park
- A project to install a set of bleachers at the high school baseball field costing $85,000
- Giving the firm managing the recycling center two years of free rent worth more than $210,000 in settlement of a dispute
- Locking the town into a five-year 2018 garbage/recycling contract that raises taxpayer costs 61% -- more than $1 million per year.