Thursday, February 9, 2012

REFLECTION

As an afterthought from Monday’s Special meeting; I find that due to the self serving performance by members of the BOE followed by in the public comment period the chastising of the Council and Public by the interim Superintendent of schools for not participating with the PSS; I am caught between a rock and a hard place.
I revisited my often repeated suggestion that the BOE instead of being an elected representative of only a small percentage of the citizens, revert to an earlier status as an appointed body by the municipal administration.
John Campbell, having failed to have his SLAM members and himself to have Council defer any action used his time during the public comment session to dress down the Councilors among other things not be attending any of the Basketball team To illustrate that the team and the players represented a success of the PSS education system he remarked that one of the players was going to HARVARD on a full scholarship.
Yes there are occasional exceptional graduates of PHS that do receive scholarships to the Ivy league schools and other highly regarded educational institutions like UVA, and Duke. They are however the exception’
Unfortunately along with some of his other remarks Campbell did not have his facts right. The athlete, Justin Sears has been admitted to YALE. The Ivy League schools do not give pure athletic scholarships therefore his is at least partially academic based. The young man should be congratulated. Every few years the system does turn out an exceptional individual who is an excellent student as well as an outstanding athlete. That is a credit to the person not the system.
None the less the Hard Place is Plainfield’s Administration which has over the last 6 years been anything but stellar. Appointments when made have been based on patronage, friendship and nepotism. The recent recommended appointments to PMUA are characteristic not only in the choices but the petty cynical recommendation that PMUA Chairman Mitchell be reappointed as an alternate.
I cannot vision any BOE appointed by this administration as being an improvement over the present system.
There seems to be only two possible alternatives; One is for the State to take over operation of the System, or through the election process where there is a larger turnout individuals of have a better concept of fiduciary responsibility rather than personal agendas could be elected. Let us hope that is the answer. Our kids deserve better than they are getting.

13 comments:

  1. IF John Campbell was referring to Justin Sears, he did not attend Plainfield High School but The Academy for Information Technology, a branch of the Union County Vocational Technical Schools. Because that school has no sports the kids can try out and play for their home town high schools.

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  2. I still learn something new every day. Thank you 7:24 for the info. Interesting.

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  3. Superintendant John Campbell id known for coming to the mic and fabricating stories. His children never attended the Plainfield Public School District. The only reason why his wife serves on the Board is to get her kick backs. The Attorney that was addressing the council on Monday was fighting for his pockets not for our children. The ONLY reason why Wilma Campbell WON the election along with the other member's on her ticket was the fact that they LIED. they used this community and now it's time for them all to go. Mr. Mapp hold your head up high Renta Hernandez could not beat you out of a wet paper bag. Let her run against you i live on Stelle Ave and i will never VOTE for a person like that for Council.

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  4. Thank you for your well balanced report and we can hope that a November election will make BOE elections more about our children and Plainfield.

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  5. John Campbell represents the reason why Plainfield school system is in the toilet. No clue.

    Plainfield HS ranks 305 - out of 335. And 335 is not the best school.

    John, if you are going to make fun of people's speech, you should check your English as well.

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  6. If November is going to make that much of an improvement in voting outcome then why is it that 85% of the current seated council got their seat with less than 1000. Some don't even have 500 or 300!!!

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  7. Anonymous 4:46 you have to look at the overall VOTE turnout. Council people are voted in by their WARDS. so please do your homework before you make comments

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  8. 9:01AM -- so there are only 300 - 1000 per WARD. Come on now you do your homework. The POINT is Voter Turnout is it not? If this is the November norm what are the excuses for poor voter turnout? So...Do your homework!

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  9. To 4:46 pm,

    I think you may be mistaking the number of voters who come out for the spring PRIMARY elections (where voting is traditionally lighter) versus in the GENERAL election. For 2010 and 2009 (chosen because these were rather significantly contested races), the local GENERAL ELECTION results in Plainfield are as follows:

    NOVEMBER 2010 (Pallone at the top of the ticket, and Plainfield's Linda Carter on the ticket) had a total of 7,368 voters in the 1st ,2nd, and 3rd wards for local candidates--here's the breakdown:

    1st Ward
    Dem - William REID 1,803 93.42%
    Rep - Sean T. ALFRED 126 6.53%
    Personal Choice 1 0.05%
    Total 1,930 100.00%

    2nd and 3rd Ward At-large
    Dem - Rebecca WILLIAMS 4,590 84.41%
    Rep - James PIVNICHNY 842 15.48%
    Personal Choice 6 0.11%
    Total 5,438 100.00%

    NOVEMBER 2009 (Corzine at the top of the ticket) had a total of 7, 940voters in the Mayoral race--here's the breakdown:

    Dem - SHARON M ROBINSON BRIGGS 5,202 65.52%
    Rep - JAMES PIVNICHNY 2,277 28.68%
    ELE - DEBORAH JOYCE DOWE 457 5.76%
    Personal Choice 4 0.05%
    Total 7,940 100.00%

    That's an average of 7,600 voters in those two elections just for the local candidates. I think this helps make the point that more voters will come out in the fall. I think that the school board candidates, having a longer time to prepare for a campaign--gathering support through the spring and summer and working in the fall--would be able to meet many more voters, go door to door more effectively, and so on, with the change to November elections.

    Under the old dates, the very short campaign window from filing date (late February) to the spring election (mid-April) precluded having a fair amount of campaign time, in my opinion. The cold, the snow, daylight standard time, etc., make it difficult for candidates to really get in front of the voters. Also, the hours that the voting booths are open has changed from 2:00-9:00 pm to 6:00 am - 8:00 pm.

    I am convinced that there will be larger turnouts for the coming school board election years. It is up to the residents of Plainfield, though, to be vigilant about the corrupting influence of slates whose main reason for running candidates is to get what they perceive as control of the school budget dollars.

    Rebecca

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  10. Rebecca corrupt is correct nd you and your new democrat collegues should be at the top of that list. I understand you guys are going to pay a lawyer over $20,000.00 to investigate $5,000.00. I looked at previous agenda's and I only see approval from the 4 new Dems for $5000.00 on one agenda and $5000.0 on the other agenda. With that being said if it's true what I'm hearing about the $20,000.00 WHERE did the other $10,000.00 come from. TALKING about robbery that's robbing the TAXPAYER'S so Rebecca GO FIGURE.

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  11. I don't even know why the sham voting process occurs in Plainfield. You have countries where the people would die to have a choice and the mindless electorate walks in, shuts the curtain and hits every button in the dem column and walks out.
    Honestly..winning public office in Plainfield on the democratic line is akin to falling down...not much skill required.
    People complain about everything in Plainfield -- DAN DAMON, the New Dems etc...and what do they preach " VOTE DEM "... school election is and will remain a popularity contest and that is it.
    Until people can look past the party and at the person, nothing will change.
    Until organizations "like" the New Dems can see past the VERY party ideology which drags it into the stagnant quagmire of local politics and support or vote for someone who is more qualified REGARDLESS of their party affiliation things will never change.
    Plainfield is exactly the way the people who vote want it to be.
    I HOPE HOPE HOPE HOPE Sharon runs for Mayor again JUST to watch her be elected again..and everyone who voted the party line standing there with their jaw on the ground saying..."Duhhhhh how'd she win? She is such a bad Mayor".
    You've all gotten exactly what you requested of your school board and your city government.
    Everyone of you..start asking your friends and neighbors.."Who'd did you vote for??? Why did you vote for them?? Do you realize you are part of the problem??" Then and maybe then...when mindless people like Cory Storch, Adrian Mapp ( I can't speak for Rebecca or Annie as they weren't out pounding the bully pulpit ) who HAVE to vote one party are voted out of office then we may have change.
    As I've said from the last election...Mayor Sharon, Jerry Green and the gang of 3 on city council deserve FAR more respect. They don't represent themselves as something they are not. They have the guts to stand there and say" HEY..Like it or..this is how it's going down." I may not agree with them, but I have a lot more respect for people like that than those who are afraid to stand up for what they claim they believe.

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  12. It's time to get rid of political parties in Plainfield. The system is stifling us.

    Rob's comments continually touch on this, but without putting his finger on it. He says don't vote the party line, but the solution is not to have party lines at all.

    Many in the City have spoken out about this on blog comments. Most likely they have experienced it elsewhere in the country. If I recall one comment said that in Georgia they don't have party lines on the municipal level, individuals run.

    In New Jersey it would take an act of the State Legislation to accomplish this. Grrrr..... I guess that takes care of that.

    jim spear

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  13. Jim, Kenilworth tried that about 30years I believe and it turned out to be a disaster at the Council/Mayor level. One would have to have dedicated civic not political oriented individuals to make it work. Utopia is not here.

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