Wednesday, December 2, 2015

BOE ELECTION DATES




Since I was slightly under the weather yesterday evening I did not write or consider posting a blog today, Wednesday.

However when I open Dan’s Clips today and read William’s blog about the BOE’s decision to move their elections back to April despite the cost to us tax payers I was disturbed.

I then read David Rutherford’s blog in defense of that move. He remarked about the April 2010 “Grand Slam” victory of Renata Hernandez, Wilma Campbell, Rasheed Abdul-Haqq, and Keisha Edwards, which was supposed to open up the BOE to transparency, but solidified the Campbell control of the Board without any visible change.

I tried to look up when the BOE had taken up a change in election date as an agenda item but could not find any mention at the last three scheduled meetings including yesterday’s as well as the Oct 31 special meeting.

In addition when I tried to look up the minutes, knowing full well that they are often sanitized, the last one available was for the July 21st business meeting. So much for transparency.

I have never been in favor of an 100% elected BOE, preferring to have an appointed one either totally or partially by the Mayor with Council approval; even though there would be the usual political input.

BOE elections were designed to be nonpolitical and have public input. The truth is that there was always self-agenda focused candidates some time running as slates on the ballot. With the small electoral turnout at these elections such individuals to often became board members staying until their agenda was accomplished, This did happen in that 2010 election which was frankly a contest between the Green and Campbell factions although none bore any political label.

The sudden information about a desire to change the election date smacks of the conflict by the Campbell faction, part time Republicans, with the Mapp Administration.

The legality of the BOE acting unilaterally to change the election date is questionable. The voters and Taxpayers speak through the Council which authorized the BOE elections to be concurrent with the November General Election. The fact that candidates appear in columns designated for parties under the general election is a non sequitur since it is noted on the ballot that the BOE election is separate and candidates are not grouped as slates.

Rutherford did not post a single valid argument in favor of change, candidates can do their own electioneering no matter when the election takes place.

Yes the past practice by the JG controlled local party in posting a slate of “non-political” candidates along with those running for office should have been strongly condemned; perhaps by the State or in the Media.

1 comment:

  1. The 2010 school board election was a three-way affair. Mapp's New Democrats also ran a slate of candidates. Mr. Rutherford decries money in politics as one of the ills greater than low voter turnout. Maybe it is, maybe not, but it didn't stop each of the Campbell slate from taking money from the Taffets. They are Reliance Insurance which has a stranglehold, at top dollar nonetheless, for risk assessment at the City, PMUA, and the School Board. In the 2013 mayoral primary, Reliance funneled $1500, while City Engineer Remington & Vernick moved $8,000, through an East Orange joint candidates committee into the Mapp for Mayor campaign. I'd like to see the school board approve a pay-to-play policy as quickly as it approved a resolution moving the election back to April. If it's anything like the City's, it won't amount to much in any case.

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