South Orange Community Relations Committee

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CRC History

April/2014 Draft

  1. Entries of significant events/activities are made as documents are reviewed.
  2. Entered data will ultimately be arranged in a sequential format from the earliest to the most recently dated documents.
  3. To the greatest extent possible, primary sources of event/activity information will be cited at the end of each entry.

Purpose: This report is being prepared to make the history and significant contributions of the South Orange Community Relations Committee (CRC) accessible to all interested parties.

  • 1980 – July 21, Township of S.O. Resolution # 135-80: To Create a Community Relations Committee (CRC).
  •   Purpose:

    1. Welcome Newcomers to the community;
    2. Create liaison and ombudsman groups to handle citizen grievances of that aren’t addressed via other channels.
    3. Stimulate affirmative action by the village when needed.
    4. Determine methods to prepare
  • 1980 - Community Relations Committee (CRC) was created by the South Orange Village Board of Trustees (BOT) to serve a variety of functions (including Ombudsman role; Villager of the Month; addressing issues as directed by the BOT; stimulating diversity, etc.) (Mission Statement) (Resolution # 135-80)

    CRC By-Laws:     10 Articles identify the name, purposes & responsibilities, membership, officers, quorum, meeting time, place and guidelines, acceptance and ratification. (undated)

  • 1981 - February, 9 - Resolution #19-81: Members appointed to the CRC.
  • 1981 - June, 15 - Township of S.O. Village Resolution # 111-81: To Appoint Members To The CRC. Village President Bertrand Spiotta appointed new members to the CRC.
  • 1981 - June, 15 - Township of S.O. Resolution# 113-81: To Engage C. Gilbert-Neiss as Public Relations Consultant of S.O. Hired at the request of the CRC to promote positive image of Township of S.O. Village, at the salary of $4,000.00 per year.
  • 1982 - October, 25 - Villager of the Month Award(VOM) introduced by the CRC at the S.O. Board of Trustee meeting. First recipient, Mr. Sandy Oxfeld received VOM award at today's meeting.
  • 1983 - Spring/Summer – Volume 1, Number 1 of The South Orange Gaslight published by the Community Relations Committee (CRC). Articles or pieces on the biannual S.O. House Tour; support for various community events, including the CRC Villager of the Month Award, by the S.O. Chamber of Commerce; and improvements in Village parking were among the items featured.
  • 1985 - Oct. 3, Chairperson of South Orange Community Forums Task Force sent notices to various parties to meet with representatives of Seton Hall University, the S.O. Community Relations Committee and the S. O. /Maplewood Clergy Assoc., to brainstorm how the University and S.O. community can interact in ways that are mutually beneficial. (Letter from Scott Muldoon to Harriet [Connolly?] 10/3/85).

[ probably before 1985 - Village Aglow, may have been started in 1980]

  • 1989 - Fall- CRC held meetings to examine housing patterns in South Orange, to help determine whether racial steering exists.
  • 1990 - June 14 – CRC met with representatives from school district to address concerns regarding racial composition of both middle schools, overcrowding, full-day kindergarten, etc. (Minutes of 6/14/90 CRC meeting)
  • 1990 - September – CRC sponsored a very successful art show (Minutes of the 10/18/90 CRC Meeting)
  • 1990 - October – CRC composed a letter to Superintendent of Schools to express concern about race-related issues in the South Orange and Maplewood Middle Schools (Minutes of the 10/18/90 CRC Meeting)
  • 1990 - November – CRC wrote a letter to Dr. Lieber, Superintendent of S.O.- Maplewood School District about racial imbalance in the two middle schools and it’s perceived impact on prospective homebuyers in South Orange. (Correspondence, 11/9/90)
  • 1990 - December – 10th Annual Village Aglow organized by CRC (Minutes of the 10/18/90 CRC Meeting)
  • 1991 - CRC wrote a letter of support to Trustee Joyce Bryant for South Orange’s participation in the Main Street U.S.A. Program for economic revitalization (Minutes of the 1/17/91 CRC meeting).
  • 1991 – CRC donated $1000.00 to the Columbia H.S. Scholarship Fund, and $250.00 to the Art Department of the South Orange Middle School, from proceeds of the Art Show (Letter to The Rotary Club of South Orange 1/31/91).
  • 1991 - November 26 - Township of South Orange Village Resolution to re-establish the Community Relations Committee - to formally recognize the expanded role and functions of the CRC. (Resolution #238-91).
  • 1992 - June 13 - CRC sponsored Newcomer's Day at Meadowland Park. Provided opportunities for newcomers to the village to connect with village departments, and local organizations and institutions.
  • 1992 - June 24 - School Superintendent Dr. Ralph Lieber and Board of Education President John Bradley addressed the CRC about some of the accomplishments and plans of, and current challenges facing the South Orange - Maplewood School District (Minutes of the 6/24/92 CRC Meeting).
  • 1992 - Fall - CRC instrumental in the S.O. Village Art Show (more info needed.) Middle School (More data needed)
  • 1993 - May 11; 1992, June 15 – CRC made sizable donations to the Columbia High School Scholarship Fund (Written Correspondence)
  • 1993 - Nov. 22 - Resolution # 213-93 - Board of Trustees re-established the Community Relations Committee to have 6 public members appointed by Village President (w/BOTrustees), to serve for 3 years. ( 9/12/05 Resolution #)
  • 1994 - March 9 - Publication of The South Orange Gaslight newsletter has been increased to ten (10) times per y ear. Robin Patrick was hired to produce the newsletter. (Minutes of the 3/9/94 CRC Meeting).
  • 1994 - April 20 - Police Director Andrew Guglielmo addressed the CRC about the overall organization of the department and current efforts to increase public safety. (Minutes of the 4/20/94 CRC Meeting).
  • 1994 - May 9 - Superintendent Dr. Ralph Lieber, Mr. John Bradley and Ms. Judy Levy of the Board of Education addressed the CRC about efforts to resolve current challenges facing the South Orange - Maplewood School District. (Minutes of the 5/9/94 CRC Meeting)
  • 2004 - Feb. 24 - Volunteer Summit IV (Held at the Pierro Gallery, Agenda included open dialogue among volunteer groups and CRC about new, effective concepts in volunteering; a presentation; and a networking session.
  • 2005 – Feb. 27 - Hosted first summit for volunteer organizations at the Baird Community Center. (Jan./Feb., 2005 South Orange Gaslight; News-Record of Maplewood & South Orange, 2/24/05).
  • 2005 - Sept. 12, BOT Resolutions # 213-93, # 255-05 - re-established CRC to address: # and types of committee members; associated organizations; and various functions of the CRC.(South Orange BOT Resolution 255-05, 9/12/05)
  • 2006 – Jan/Feb Gaslight – Informal town meetings launched
  • 2006 - April, 23 – CRC Volunteer Summit II (Volunteer Summit document)
  • 2006 - May, 22 - CRC to appoint member to Sister City Committee, established by South Orange Board of Trustees (Resolution # 118-0)
  • 2007 - February 25 - CRC Volunteer Summit III (Volunteer Summit documents)
  • 2008 - February 24 – CRC Volunteer Summit IV (CRC documents)

Notable South Orange Activities, Publications or Events Created or Directly Supported by the CRC.

  1. Art Show – Created by CRC 119?, Taken over by the S.O. Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs - 1992 (Minutes of the 2/20/92, 4/9/92, 3/9/94 CRC Meetings)
  2. Villager of the Month (1982)
  3. Gaslight
  4. First Night (1991-
  5. House Tour
  6. Village Aglow (198? - (Minutes of the 2/16/89 CRC Meeting)
  7. Newcomer’s Night/Day
  8. Town Hall (Style?) Meetings
  9. Public discussions of community-wide concerns (e.g., regarding schools, public perceptions of the Village, real estate sales, relations with Seton Hall, public safety, etc.) not initially addressed through formal procedures. (Minutes of the 2/16/89; 6/17/93 and other CRC Meetings)
  10. Harmony Day (perhaps once; Minutes of the 2/20/92 CRC Meeting)
  11. Donations made to Columbia High School Scholarship Fund (Minutes of the 4/9/92 CRC Meeting)
  12. Beautification of, and significant upgrades to physical and landscapes throughout the Village (Minutes of the 5/20/93 CRC Meeting)
  13. South Orange village became 1 of 30 All-American City Finalists in 1994. Application process spearheaded by CRC in March, 1994 (Minutes of the 3/9/94; 4/20/94 and 5/9/94 CRC Meetings)