Full-time work and full-time grandparenting don’t leave a lot of room for the full-time job of being a South Orange Village Trustee.
That’s why Mark Rosner says he will not seek re-election this spring, after serving on the South Orange Board of Trustees for more than 20 years.
Rosner was first appointed to his post in November 1998 but won election in ’99 and again in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015. Although the position is volunteer and unpaid, Rosner has brought a strong work ethic to the role and felt that it was time to let another vie for his seat since he has been spending weekends caring for his three grandchildren instead of attending South Orange events.
In an interview four years ago, Rosner said his proudest accomplishments as Trustee included improving South Orange’s downtown, bringing “great developments to South Orange as well as a wonderful supermarket,” working on the River Corridor project “which has included seeing new bridges for pedestrians and bicycles,” the South Orange Vision Plan, and a plan for 3rd and Valley which included “75 additional parking spaces for our residents (commuters and shoppers),” plus the town pool — “a wonderful resource and we were able to expand the pool season by having it open on weekends starting on Memorial Day weekend.”
In an interview today, Rosner said he would add one more item to that list — the South Orange Performing Arts Center, or SOPAC. Rosner said that the arts center “has met every goal in terms of being a destination” and even exceeded the original numbers projected for attendance and out-of-town visitors.
With Rosner retiring from public life, don’t expect him to disappear. He will still live in South Orange as he commutes to work three days out of five via the South Orange Train Station. Indeed, Rosner has been enjoying the downtown he worked to improve ever since he converted from a single family home to apartment living in the Village Center some years ago.
South Orange’s Municipal Election will be held on May 14, 2019. Up for election: The offices of Village President and 3 or 6 Board of Trustees positions. Current Village President Sheena Collum reports that she is running for re-election. Rosner’s past running mates are Deborah Davis Ford and Howard Levison (Rosner reports that the three ran together and unopposed for the last two election cycles). Levison has not yet announced if he is running again. Davis Ford has invited the community to an announcement at Bunny’s Restaurant on Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. regarding her plans for public office.
Rosner said he hoped that by announcing his retirement from elected office now, others will feel inspired to run. Petitions for the South Orange Municipal Election are available for pick up in the Village Clerk’s Office on the 3rd floor of 76 South Orange Avenue. The deadline to file Petitions with the Village Clerk is February 25, 2019. Contact the Clerk’s Office at 973-378-7715 (x. 1).