She’s the Mayor (Not the Village President)


Charter changes — finally approved by the state legislature — are now in effect in South Orange, altering the name of the township, elected officials and some staff, and allowing the town to move municipal elections from May to November, among other updates.

0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

South Orange officially changed its name, the name of its elected officers, some of its staff, and more at its March 11 Board of Trustees — er, Council — meeting.

Now, Sheena Collum will be known as “Mayor Collum”, instead of “Village President Collum.” The Board of Trustees is the Council, and the Village Treasurer is the Chief Financial Officer.

The official name of the town is now “South Orange Village,” instead of the “Township of South Orange Village.”

The ordinance also gives the township the ability to move elections (say, from May to November, for a significant cost savings), makes changes to pronouns in the charter document (which were previously only male), and allows the township to provide compensation — or stipends — to elected officials.

Sheena Collum is no longer South Orange Village President. She’s the Mayor.

“We understand that this is a large change … but very overdue,” said Trustee — now Council Member — Summer Jones last year.

South Orange tried to amend its charter in 2016. However, when the charter changes were sent to Trenton for approval, the state legislature failed to enact them. The changes were more controversial in 2016 when they were approved by the Trustees in a 4-3 vote (with Collum breaking the tie).

The only portion that provoked pushback this time around was the addition of the stipend. Read more here.

“This is the final leg of the charter changes which was passed by the NJ legislature and signed by the governor,” said Collum at the March 11 meeting. “Is there any member of the public that wishes to speak on the Village Charter changes?” Collum asked.

No hands were raised.

The ordinance, motioned by Summer Jones and seconded by Council Member Bill Haskins, passed by a vote of 4-0 (Jones, Haskins, Karen Hilton and Bobby Brown voting yes; Jennifer Greenberg and Olivia Lewis-Chang were absent).

Download (PDF, 132KB)

Download (PDF, 243KB)

Related Articles