In Irvington, Residents Rally to Keep Veteran's Home From Bank Foreclosure

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Irvington residents seek to recall mayor over allegations he forced employee to have sex

By Bill Wichert | NJ Advance Media for
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on January 05, 2015

Four Irvington residents are seeking to recall Township Mayor Tony Vauss, pictured in this July file photo, over allegations that he forced a township employee to have sex with him in a municipal office


IRVINGTON — A group of four Irvington residents is looking to recall Township Mayor Tony Vauss over allegations that he forced a municipal employee to have sex with him in a township office.

But the mayor dismissed the recall bid as an act of political retaliation for him winning the mayoral race.

The residents last week filed a lawsuit against the township and Municipal Clerk Harold Wiener over his rejection of their “notice of intention” to recall the mayor. The group filed the notice with Weiner on Dec. 12.

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Interview with Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss

Friday, 05 September 2014 16:06 Local Talk News Editor


The city of Irvington has undergone a powerful transformation. For years, Wayne Smith was in charge. However, the voters have now put Tony Vauss at the helm to move Irvington in a new direction. Recently, Local Talk sat down with Irvington's new mayor.

Dhiren Shah: You have been in Irvington for little while now. What is the biggest adjustment you have made so far?

Tony Vauss: Trying to get our house in order. Getting everyone up to speed and at a level that our employees are feeling good about the town and direction we are going in, and trying to get our plans together. One of the things I like to say is, "It's best to plan, then prepare, then perform." We're in the planning stages.

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Vauss bests Smith in Irvington mayoral contest

By Richard Khavkine/The Star-Ledger
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on May 13, 2014

Anthony Vauss beat out a crowded field of seven other candidates, including three-time incumbent Wayne Smith, in Irvington's contest for mayor.


IRVINGTON — Mayor Wayne Smith was roundly beaten in his bid for a fourth consecutive term, losing to Anthony Vauss, the township board of education’s president, by about a 2-to-1 ratio, according to early results tonight.

Vauss, 43, beat out a competitive field of seven other candidates in his first bid for mayor, turning back challenges from several veteran campaigners, including Smith, a perennial political presence in the township.

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In Irvington, Smith burnishes backing of Crump, Johnson in mayor's contest

By Max Pizarro | April 14th, 2014


Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith received the endorsements of several unions and politicians in his bid for reelection on May 13th, including Newark Municipal Council President Mildred Crump, Essex County Freeholder Rufus Johnson and Maplewood Mayor Victor DeLuca. 

President of the New Jersey Conference of Mayors and the former President and Chairman of the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association, Smith has also received endorsements from the New Jersey Working Families Alliance, the Communication Workers of America (including its locals 1037 and 1039), RWDSU local 108, and New Jersey Citizen Action. 

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Irvington Gains Allies in Standoff with Bankers Over ‘Underwater’ Mortgages

Joe Tyrrell | April 2, 2014



A week after Irvington officials approved a novel effort to help residents get out from under burdensome mortgages, the township has gained allies among public officials and legal groups.

Yesterday, the Home Defenders League and the American Civil Liberties Union announced support for the concept, which relies on the potential use of the township’s power of eminent domain to relieve homeowners of “underwater” mortgages with debt higher than the value of their homes.

In a strike at the finance industry, which has opposed the approach, the two groups released a letter signed by more than two dozen local officials from around the nation asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate a leading trade group, the Securities Industries and Financial Markets Association.

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Irvington moves a step closer to using eminent domain to fight foreclosures

By Eunice Lee/The Star-Ledger
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on March 30, 2014

A Star-Ledger file photo of a boarded up home taken September of 2010.


IRVINGTON — It may seem like a small step, but town leaders say it’s a significant one.

Irvington council members approved a resolution last week that brings the town a step closer to using eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages, a controversial tactic that’s garnered national media attention in the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis.

Since last year, town attorneys have been conducting a study of the legal process, also known as “friendly condemnations,” that would allow the township to seize underwater mortgages and restructure them on behalf of homeowners to make payments more affordable.

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Interview with Irvington Mayoral Candidate John Sowell

Friday, 14 March 2014 19:52 Local Talk News Editor


Irvington's mayoral race is heating up. Those who were registered to run were contacted by Local Talk for an interview, and we are publishing the interviews of those who agreed to do so by our deadline. Here is our interview with candidate John Sowell.

Dhiren Shah: Welcome to this interview. What qualifies you to run for mayor of Irvington?

John Sowell: I have over 20 years of experience in local government. I served six years on the Zoning Board of Adjustments, eight years on the planning board, and 12 years on the Municipal Council. I earned the distinction of being the longest serving council president for 10 years. In addition, I also have 30 years of working as a manager, administrator, and director in various industries.

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Vauss looking to unseat Smith in Irvington Mayor's race

By Max Pizarro | March 11th, 2014

From left: Vauss, West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi, Bloomfield Mayor Mike Venezia, and Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley

Tony Vauss settled into an oaken office chair and told PolitickerNJ he wants to sit in the mayor’s chair in Irvington.

President of the School Board, Vauss is on leave from his job as assistant to the director of neighborhood services for the Township of Irvington while he continues to work as a public safety super for the local Housing Authority.

“Wayne’s a nice guy,” he said of veteran incumbent Mayor Wayne Smith. “But there are a lot of people who might be nice but that doesn’t mean I want to let them drive. Wayne can’t drive.”

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Challenged by School Board Prez Vauss, Mayor Smith vexed by Irvington schools performance

By Max Pizarro | February 25th, 2014


In pursuit of a fourth term, incumbent Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith has lost an ally this time in Freeholder Bilal Beasley, but he’s also confident of political moves that could frustrate the enemy in time for May’s nonpartisan election.

The veteran Smith (pictured) also rejoices in a field crammed with challengers, not all of whom have actually yet filed to run.

Unlike Newark, Irvington doesn’t have a runoff. A person can win the mayor’s race outright by one vote.

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