West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi, speaking at the annual West Orange Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting Wednesday, told the group the township is in good hands.
At the breakfast, held at The Manor Restaurant, Parisi recognized the 150th anniversary of the township in 2012 and praised residents saying, “more than a number, it speaks to the tens of thousands of people who have contributed to our history and, maybe more than their sacrifice, it speaks to their example…we are brothers and sisters, sharing in that history, sharing in our address and in a common belief that we share too, in our towns promise.”
Parisi used his State of the Township address to recognize West Orange Council President Victor Cirilo and council members Patty Spango, Sue McCartney, Joe Krakoviak and Jerry Guarino. He also lauded members of the West Orange High School senior class – singling out two others for special recognition.
Employee of the Year, Nick Allegrino, was recognized for his work in, and dedication to, the township for his job in the township’s public works department.
Working for the township since 1996, Parisi noted Allegrino has overseen the township’s new radio tower site, the upgrades to township communication equipment, the upgrades to the police department’s internal network, the implementation of the state of the art E-ticketing system in patrol cars and “the seamless relocation of our Emergency 9-1-1 dispatch center." Allegrino has served the West Orange First Aid Squad for the last 14 years and has been the chief of the squad since 2006.
Parisi also honored West Orange’s Citizen of the Year Marie DeMaio, whom he called "the heart of Washington School." Parisi noted he knew DeMaio from his own school days; the teacher-turned-administrator has worked in the district for 51 years.
"Through changes in our society, changes in how we educate our children and even two renovations to the school, Marie DeMaio has been the steady hand that has guided the young life of thousands and thousands of children," said Parisi. "Her friendly smile and kind heart welcomes staff, parents and students alike."
■ For the complete text of Parisi's State of the Township address,
see the attached pdf file.
Parisi also spoke of the role of government in the community.
"As chamber members, as business owners, you appreciate, perhaps more than anyone, the importance of having support from your local community," he said. "[That means] your friends and neighbors, but also your local government. As a township we prioritize West Orange residents when we hire employees, we utilize West Orange vendors whenever possible."
He concluded saying, "We live as neighbors; we live as friends, we live as partners in this wonderful community of West Orange."
Patch will take a closer look at the chamber breakfast, and the mayor’s initiatives for 2013, in a future story.