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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2016 6 years ago

MY VIEW: Oakland honors three town leaders

The Town of Oakland has a rich history and is a place that many of us in West Orange County are proud to call home.
by: Michael Eng Editor and Publisher

By Kathy Stark,
Mayor, Town of Oakland

The Town of Oakland has a rich history and is a place that many of us in West Orange County are proud to call home. We value our identity and our history. We have been lucky to have had wonderful citizens who through the years made many contributions to our little town and helped shape it in positive ways. 

Recently, we formed a Naming Committee to take the lead on considering how we make decisions to honor some of these citizens. Over the past few months and very soon, we will have named three places here after these citizens.  

 Willie Welch, our longtime town commissioner and former police officer, passed away in October 2015. He was instrumental in making sure we had a park with a pavilion, basketball court and playground for the residents and their families. A perfect place to name in his honor.

 Bob Montgomery, a former mayor and a major influence in the shaping of Speer Park, was always watching over the park and making sure the things were taken care of. We lost Bob a little while ago, and we named the gazebo for him in the park in December.

 Jake Voss, a former mayor and part of a generational family that continues to reside in Oakland, was a high-school principal and made many contributions to the town during his tenure as mayor and quietly supported many efforts in town, including the Oakland Nature Preserve. We miss him here. He loved to fish, and shortly, we will be naming the town dock for him.

 I knew all of these men and appreciate everything they brought to the town and their efforts will live on. So thank you to the Naming Committee who took the time to consider how to appropriately honor them and make sure their legacies live on.

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