As he’s done for the past eight years on the Township Council, Joe, as your Mayor, will focus on increasing transparency, accountability and resident engagement in West Orange government: Joe believes strongly that residents should work together to create the communities they want. Too often, resident input and questions are ignored by the Administration and the Council majority. (One only has to watch a few Council meetings to see this dynamic play out.)
- Council meetings should expand resident participation to allow better engagement with elected officials and town managers about the issues facing us all. Joe plans to work with the Council to develop legislation to improve interaction. Administration decisions, policies and proposed legislation should be clear, straightforward and accessible to all residents – important proposals such as the budget, large contracts, and redevelopment milestones should be posted on the Township home page and social media. Joe pledges to attend most Council meetings as Mayor, to work with the Council and also continue to make himself accountable to residents.
- The town’s quasi-judicial bodies, the Planning Board and Zoning Board, should always follow best practices that fully exercise members’ statutory responsibilities. (In mid-2018, both bodies ignored their established practices to allow the Mayor to change the Essex Green Executive Drive Redevelopment planner and to appoint a consulting architect without Board members discussing and voting in a public meeting and sending a written communication of their action to the Council to request and explain these appropriations. This should never have happened.) Joe will make appointments to these boards of people committed to this principle of independence and seek appointees with backgrounds and expertise appropriate for consideration of land use, legal and zoning issues.
- In a Krakoviak administration, all information about residents’ government that can be shared in accordance with applicable law will be shared. Transparency –- which enables accountability -- will be paramount.
- Joe will not accept campaign contributions from any municipal contractor or from the owners or principals of any municipal contractor. Ending even the appearance of pay-to-play politics and increasing the Township’s reliance on truly competitive bidding will rebuild trust and confidence in our local government, while reducing costs.