Atlantic City, NJ, November 15, 2017: Mayor Lester E. Taylor III recently spoke with Comcast Newsmakers' Jill Horner during the New Jersey League of Municipalities (NJLOM) Annual Conference about the East Orange Water Commission and East Orange Golf Course in Short Hills, two failing assets that were transformed into revenue-generating assets under his leadership.
In a time when there are national crisis like Flint, MI, the East Orange Water Commission made a dramatic turnaround after years of mismanagement and misconduct, including indictments of two top leaders. Now, a national leader in municipal water management, Mayor Taylor has been frequently sought after to serve on panels and share best practices such as the effectiveness of long-term capital investment, comprehensive planning, public-private partnerships and employee training.
" People may not understand the domino effect the water issues had on our city as a whole. We literally had to stop redevelopment," said Mayor Taylor. "We went from losing money to a total revenue of $26,926,152 in 2017."
The East Orange Golf Course in Short Hills also experienced a phenomenal year in 2017, hitting the $1 million mark in total revenue in November and increasing rounds by 28 percent.
"We went from losing $300,000 annually for about five years to actually making that same amount the first year we re-opened in 2015," Taylor added. "The turnaround of the golf course has exceeded all expectations. The clubhouse and new restaurant, Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, is quickly becoming a draw for golfers and restaurant-goers throughout the region. Non-profit organizations and corporate foundations from throughout the Tri-State area are eager to host golf tournaments on our greens."
Originally built in 1926 by acclaimed golf architect Tom Bendelow, the golf course is a municipal course open and accessible to everyone. Discounts are available for seniors, long-time members and residents and a First Tee Programs runs in the summer through the Department of Recreation & Cultural Affairs.
"I am extremely proud that my administration was a pivotal part of the catalyst for making these projects become a reality," said Mayor Taylor. "Investing in our assets has been about simple common sense and legacy building. What we do today will impact generations to come and I am proud that these two revenue generating assets have been at the heart of my administration’s vision to set the standard for urban excellence and make East Orange a destination city."