Hawkins Pulls Away From The Pack

Photos taken at Mayoral debate. From left: Mayoral Robert D. Parisi, Joe Krakoviak, Eldridge Hawkins, Jr. and Rodolfo Rodriguez 

Last night the African American Heritage Organization and the Men Make a Difference organization sponsored a Mayoral Town Hall Debate at West Orange High School in the Media Center. In attendance were all four candidates; incumbent Robert D. Parisi, Joe Krakoviak, Rodolfo Rodriguez and Eldridge Hawkins, Jr.

The Media Center was packed with residents eager to hear from the four mayoral candidates and according to sources, Robert Parisi brought extra people to ensure that he padded the audience with supporters.

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Interview with West Orange Mayoral Candidate Joe Krakoviak

Friday, 10 October 2014 16:39 Local Talk News Editor


Last week, Local Talk began its series of interviews with West Orange’s mayoral candidates with Eldridge Hawkins, Jr. and Rodolfo Rodriguez. This week we interviewed current West Orange councilman Joe Krakoviak. We reached out to Mayor Robert Parisi for an interview, but he did not honor our request.

Dhiren Shah: Why have you decided to run for mayor of West Orange?

Joe Krakoviak: I’ve been on the council for four years, and I think I’ve driven a huge increase in transparency. So people know a lot more now about what their government is doing with their tax dollars. If you follow West Orange government, you know that on all of these, what I would call wasteful spending plans, I was regularly outvoted 4-1. I get up at the council meetings and explain to everyone why we shouldn’t be doing this, and yet I still lose 4-1. Even when I tried to introduce legislation that has been shown to reduce costs significantly in other municipalities and school districts, like for insurance procurement, I can’t even get a second to my motion to introduce. The other four councilpeople vote somewhere between 99 to 100 percent of the time with the mayor. I still vote with him on things that make sense, but I don’t vote with him on things that don’t make sense. But, being outvoted 4-1, is not why I’m in government. I’m here to make West Orange better for people, and the only way to do that from what I see is to become mayor and not propose the wasteful spending in the first place.

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Interview with West Orange Mayoral Candidate Rodolfo Rodriguez

Monday, 06 October 2014 14:33 Local Talk News Editor


West Orange has a heated battle going on to determine who will lead the city going forward. The four people vying to be the mayor once the November election is over are incumbent Robert Parisi, former Orange Mayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., current Councilman Joe Krakoviak, and interviewee Rodolfo Rodriguez, who ran for city council two years ago.

Dhiren Shah: In 2012, you unsuccessfully ran for city council. Why are you running for mayor this time?

Rodolfo Rodriguez: To be honest with you, we thought that the council position is not doing anything. We have Krakoviak there and he’s not doing anything. So I figure as mayor, I could definitely make a difference. The whole team decided that was the best thing to do, because we can definitely meet all our goals. Any candidate that runs in the state of New Jersey runs on taxes. We have the highest taxes in the nation. West Orange is #7 in the state. We have to find out why, what can we do, to change that. We know that the school system is taking 61.2 percent, and each student comes out to 21K. We have been suggesting for years to our town to stimulate businesses to come here.

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Interview with West Orange Mayoral Candidate Eldridge Hawkins, Jr.

Monday, 06 October 2014 14:37 Local Talk News Editor


Four people are seeking to be the mayor of West Orange in the township’s recently moved November election. This includes incumbent mayor Robert Parisi, current Councilman Joe Krakoviak, Rodolfo Rodriguez, and our interviewee Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., the former mayor of Orange.

Dhiren Shah: When you were last on the political scene, you lost the Orange municipal election. Now, you are running for mayor of West Orange. When did you change your residency, and why are you running for mayor in West Orange?

Eldridge Hawkins, Jr.: I changed my residency from the City of Orange Township to West Orange somewhere around December 2012. I’ve been back in my hometown of West Orange for almost two years. The reason I’m running is very simple. After I had been out of government for some time, I started missing being able to make a difference and having an impact in my local community. It was perfect timing, because residents approached me and asked me to consider running for mayor of West Orange. When I asked them why, they simply stated they were suffering the seventh highest taxes in the State of New Jersey. There were a lot of increases in crime, burglaries, car thefts, shootings, and an abandoned factory on Main Street. When I asked them why me, they stated that the best chance they have of getting change was someone with experience who’s done it before.

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Meet the Mayoral Candidates: Joe Krakoviak


 Credits: www.iq360inc.com

Dan Hooks

Sunday, October 5, 2014 • 8:56pm

WEST ORANGE, NJ— Councilman Joe Krakoviak said in a recent speech that prior to his run for township council in 2010 he had never intended to run for public office. In fact, he said that he’d “disliked politics and politicians.” Now, as he runs for mayor, he says he is still unhappy with how politics are run in West Orange and that “we can do better.”

Councilman Krakoviak’s said in a recent interview with TAP that his political beginnings—as well as his current political philosophy—are rooted in his quest for transparency. The founder of the West Orange Grassroots blog (westorangegrassroots.org), Krakoviak has consistently posted about the inner workings of the township council and expressed his displeasure with he perceives to be a lack of information from the mayor and council and also the spending projects they have chosen to support.

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Appellate Relief Sought for West Orange Voters

PHOTO: Stock

After allegations surfaced late last week that West Orange mayor Robert D. Parisi submitted fraudulent petitions, the Hawkins campaign sought emergency relief to ensure that voters rights were protected. When asked what the preferred outcome would be, Hawkins’ Campaign Manager, Neil Cohen said, “we’re hoping that the petitions be reviewed, thrown out or authenticated.  The voters deserve to know the truth about their candidates and who their candidates are, as soon as possible.” 

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WEST ORANGE — Mayoral race heats up with Fraud Allegations


PHOTO: The above are photos that show the actual signatures that appear on four petitions filed by mayor Rober D. Parisi that are allegedly signed by four different West Orange residents.

As the Mayoral race in West Orange heats up, allegations of fraud surfaced this week after the filing of nominating petitions.  City Clerk Karen Carnevale was unable to certify certain of the petitions filed by incumbent Robert Parisi, which prompted a challenge by Mayoral Candidate Eldridge Hawkins, Jr. after obtaining knowledge that 16 of Parisi’s petitions were not certified by his own city clerk.  “The clerk’s action became the catalyst for further scrutiny of Mayor Parisi’s petitions”, said Neil Cohen, Hawkins’ campaign manager.  Cohen noted that he felt sorry for the position in which Parisi’s actions placed his own city clerk who ultimately sought legal counsel.

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Gas station attendant shot in groin during armed robbery in West Orange

 — A West Orange gas station attendant was undergoing treatment at University Hospital in Newark tonight after he was shot in the groin during an armed robbery, police said.

The attendant, whose name was not released, was struck at least once during the robbery at a Delta station on Park Avenue between Spring Street and Ashland Avenue.

West Orange police Sgt. Charles Bryant said the unidentified male shooter was believed to have fled in a white convertible.

"He ran down the street, and we think he jumped in a car," Bryant said. A second person may also have been in the vehicle, Bryant said.

It was unclear what prompted the shooting or if the attacker made off with cash, the sergeant said. The vehicle was last seen on Park Avenue heading toward Orange.

The attack occurred just after 9:45 p.m. The shooter remained at large late tonight.

The victim’s condition was not immediately released.

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