Town Council Names Budget Review Group


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At Monday night’s meeting the Town Council revealed the membership of the long-awaited Citizen’s Budget Review Committee. The volunteer committee, which has existed previously in Verona, will work with the council and Town Manager Joe Martin to look for ways to keep the 2011 budget as flat as possible.

The group, which will serve through September 30, 2011, includes members from every neighborhood and demographic group in Verona. Some are newcomers to volunteer positions in town; others are veterans of multiple committees and activities. In alphabetical order, they are Michele Bernardino, Coleen D’Alessandro, Al DeOld,  Marion Gillespie, Emil Hartleb, Dan McGinley, Tara Popowich, Eckhart Richter, Mark Tosh, Denise Verzella, Rich Wertz and Rich Williamson.

Bernardino works for The Children’s House, the Montessori pre-school and kindergarten enrichment program housed at the Methodist Church. D’Alessandro, a realtor with Coldwell Banker whose family includes two children who have gone through Verona schools, is an alternate to the Board of Adjustment who also served on the Centennial Committee and on Project Graduation for the class of 2010. De Old is a retired Verona High School teacher.

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Gillespie served on at least one previous iteration of the budget review committee. A frequent letter writer to Verona newspapers on town governance issues, she currently is on the Pool Committee and the Senior Citizen Advisory Committee. McGinley is currently a member of the Board of Adjustment and the Spotlight Players Parents Association, which supports independent student productions at VHS and Verona’s annual talent night.

Tosh moved to Verona five years ago from Bloomfield and has served as a volunteer soccer coach. Wertz teaches math at VHS and was instrumental in the implementation of the school district’s new Web site. Williamson was a longtime volunteer with the Verona Baseball Softball League who is now an active member of the Verona Band Parents Association.

Town Manager Martin said at Monday’s meeting that he expected the group’s work will begin in earnest in November.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


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