The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Council's school election date vote evokes recrimination from Board members, supporters


...you'd think a stake was being driven through the heart of a Vampire...
 
For all the gnashing and gnarling, you'd think a stake was being driven through the heart of a vampire at last night's special meeting of the Plainfield City Council to consider moving the school board election date to November.

The gnashing and gnarling in question came from current members of the Board of Education who marshaled a series of arguments against moving the election date from April to November.

While Council President Adrian Mapp pointed out that the move had the support of both NJEA, the statewide teachers union, and the NJ School Boards Association, board members were not mollified.

Board of Ed President Renata Hernandez excoriated Mapp and the City Council for having the temerity to act on its own initiative, despite the clear language of the law allowing it to do so, ending her remarks by saying 'the Board of Education will not be ignored...It looks like I might need to run for a public office...'

She was joined by BOE members Wilma Campbell (who said she had reached out to all but Councilor Reid), Dr. Susan Phifer (appointed to fill Rasheed Abdul-Haqq's seat), and Alex Edache, as well as 'king maker' John Campbell and BOE attorney Charles Craig.

John Campbell's remarks were the low point of the evening, in which he alleged the decision would somehow deprive 'these young kids', slurred Councilor Mapp's heritage and said he 'should never salute the American flag anymore'. He also threatened to campaign against Mapp in this year's Ward 3 race, in which Assemblyman Green publicly announced at a recent event that he was supporting Mapp for the seat.

Those speaking in favor of the resolution included Assemblyman Jerry Green, who was a sponsor of the bill and Marie Davis, a former Board of Ed member.

Davis pointed out that when she was on the Board, it was not unusual for candidates to poll 1,000 or more votes each, while in recent years the total vote had often fallen below 1,000.

Green, noting that both house of the Legislature and the Governor had signed off on the bill and that it was designed to address the needs of NJ's eight million residents, apologized 'for the way you guys have been talked to tonight...This is totally embarrassing'.

After the public spoke, Councilors responded.

Councilor Williams took after John Campbell over his reference to Council President  Mapp's heritage. She noted that the League of Women Voters had studied the issue and considered it genuine.

Councilors Rivers, Storch, Greaves, and McWilliams spoke to the measure, citing concerns about voter turnout and the cost to taxpayers for funding two separate elections.

Councilors Williams and McWilliams, as well as Corporation Counsel Dan Williamson all pointed out that
the move was for four years, at the end of which period the Board of Ed could vote to move back to April election if it thought them better.

Council President Mapp concluded the discussion by noting that it was clear from the comments by members of the Board of Ed that there was no desire on the part of the Board to move the election date, and that that the suggestion that a 'conversation' between the two bodies would have been helpful was not realistic.

Once moved and seconded, the resolution was adopted by a UNANIMOUS roll-call vote at 8:27 PM (scheduled for 7:00 PM, the special meeting never got under way until 7:50 PM, owing to an overlong Executive Session).


-- Dan Damon [follow]

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18 comments:

Bob said...

Who cares about these bigoted, power hungry BOE members. Let's vote them all out and give someone else a chance. They are a joke if they think anyone in this town, except friends and relatives, would vote them into any public office. Our BOE and our superintendent are a joke.

Bob Bolmer

Anonymous said...

This decision made was one of which makes sense financially and it give the citizens of Plainfield a chance to learn more about the candidates they will be voting on. One of the things Plainfield needs is to consolidate as many things as they can to save money. With the economy the way it right now the decision is sound.

Anonymous said...

John Campbell lives in the 2nd Ward - Mapp in the 3rd. Could be the reason why the BOE is such a mess - NO CLUE.

Anonymous said...

The chicken and fish frying Campbells are another leaf that have fallen from the tree of politics, let's see how this SCHOOL board election turn out. PLAINFIELD there are 4 seats up let's grab them all.

Anonymous said...

Plainfield BOE to spend $63,200 to send high school students and six adults to Disney World

From tonight's BOE Agenda:

RESOLUTION

The Plainfield Board of Education is committed to ensuring that all students succeed academically
and reach their full potential in life. In doing so, it is also committed to providing opportunities for and
ensuring that all students (inclusive of English Language learners and Special Education Students)
meet the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and achieve academic and life-long
success.

The Plainfield High School Senior Class has been going on senior trips since 1990. This field trip will expand the students’ learning beyond the walls of the classroom into the vast community outside.
This field trip is an integral part of school instruction. The senior trip will provide students with experiences that cannot be duplicated in school. The students will participate in the Yes Educational Program. The workshops include: character building, anti-bullying, self-esteem awareness, web design, acting/commercials and music designs. The Coordinator of Educational Activities has invited
the Class of 2012 to attend their 2012 Disney World Educational Group Activities in Lake Buena
Vista, Florida. Eighty (80) students and six (6) chaperones will attend this special event.
Eighty (80) seniors and six (6) chaperones will attend the 2012 Disney World Educational Group
Activities from Friday, May 18, 2012 to Wednesday, May 23, 2012. Departure is scheduled from
Plainfield High School parking lot on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. The return is scheduled for
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 11:35 p.m. The cost for transportation (airfare) and lodging per student
and per chaperone is $750.00. Transportation to the Philadelphia Airport will be provided by an
Queen City Bus Tours.
RESOLVED, that the Plainfield Board of Education approve for eighty (80) seniors and six (6)
chaperones to attend the 2012 Disney World Educational Activities from Friday, May 18, 2012 to
Wednesday, May 23, 2012, not to exceed $60,000.00. Transportation to Philadelphia Airport will be
provided by Queen City Bus Tours, at a rate not to exceed $3,200.00 and charged to account 15-190-
100018-500A-25-0000 (PHS Principal Field Trip). The cost of transportation (airfare) and lodging will be charged to Plainfield High School General Fund. The availability of funds for this item have been
verified.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dan. . . did you just say Jerry Green was heard in public saying that he would support Mapp? (not that we all didn't figure that out already). And/But as Rebecca would say at the Democratic Committee meetings "are we gonna vote on it".

And now that Adrian may no longer be on the New Dems line, does that mean no more New Dems?

HEY NEW DEMS, if your defecting and aren't going to be using your name, CAN WE HAVE IT?

Jim Spear
Independent Plainfield Democrats

Rebecca Williams said...

To Jim Spear,

Your continuing snide comments are really disrespectful to me. I don't know where you got the idea that I am not deserving of respect as a resident and neighbor (I only live a few blocks from you), but it's really insulting and lacking in common decency. If you would like to have a sincere conversation about local politics, you certainly know how to reach me--I am very accessible.

Unfortunately, you choose to continue to deride me and make cheap insinuations through blog comments, rather than speaking to me directly and in a way that shows respect for the woman that I am. I am in regular contact with my constituents in the 2nd and 3rd wards, and am doing my best to address their issues.

If you have an issue with the representation I am providing as one of your councilors, you can certainly contact me to let me know what areas of concern to our city I should be addressing--the derisive comments, though, clearly illustrate that you are only interested in attempting to belittle me.

Finally, regarding the New Democrats for Plainfield, our group is a political club, as you surely must know by now (much like the variety of Democratic political clubs in the state and nation--there are LGBT clubs, senior citizen clubs, youth clubs, African American, etc.) When we decide to run a candidate in a primary, we use the slogan, "New Democrats for Plainfield" on the slogan line. We don't have a "line"--the columns are decided by the county clerk. When you ran, you created a slogan and ran on it--keep your own name and establish your own identity. And, yes, as always, I think it should be voted on. Your friend, Rashid Burney, was given the RDO line without a vote, and he didn't ask for a vote. Your friend, Rashid Burney, took thousands and thousands of dollars from vendors when he ran against me--money from vendors whose contracts he voted on. I mention him because it seems, of late, that you both have an issue with me as a Democrat. You have said nothing substantive, ever, about how I am serving you as a council representative.

If you want to have a respectful conversation with me about issues facing our city or about local politics, feel free to contact me.

Rebecca

Anonymous said...

Rebecca-he is doing to you as you do to others. Karma is not convenient but it is an eye opener. You don't even look people in the eyes when you spew your lies about them and your faux misguided sense of importance.

Anonymous said...

OMG Jim Spear - you failed to show respect to Rebecca for the woman she is.
Rebecca - civics lesson: you represent us; we get to criticize you. If you're not getting enough strokes maybe its because you fight with everybody all the damn time.

Anonymous said...

Oh my Rebecca. Where did that come from?

I was complementing you, at least that was my intention. For those of you that are not aware, members of the Democratic Committee usually do not get to vote on who runs on the line. At the meeting when this happens, Rebecca usually calls a point of order and asks the Chairman "are we going to vote?". I think it's great, even if it's mute, as we were elected to vote on these matters.

As far as your comments that I "deride (you) and make cheap insinuations on blog comments", that is a complete falsehood. You are totally and blatantly WRONG about that! Show me, and I will publicly apologize if any my comments fall in that category.

And saying that I am lacking in common decency is over the top and unfitting of a Council Person, especially since your claims are unwarranted and unsubstantiated. These accusations you rant against me are so far over the top I feel you now owe me an apology.

As far as your Representation on the Council, I have not commented on that in private or in public. I want you to be successful, and I don't feel serving on the Council for one year is enough time to judge the job someone is doing. And I, as one, have NOT. Though I will say that I have been pleased with the votes you have cast. And I have witnessed you vote against your side and even cast the lone opposing vote on an issue. That takes guts, but just voting yes or no without forming consensus can also be mute.

As far as the political party labels you all use, I do enjoy teasing at them. And when I see hypocrisies I will continue to speak out on them. The Blogs here in the City are our "free Press", and the true role of the press in our society is to keep all you Politicians on the up and up.

Rebecca, it is unfortunate that you didn't take more time to thoroughly think about whether you should have written such an unwarranted attack against me. Your bullying will not stop me from speaking out, or from signing my name, but I am sure it does stop others, and that's a shame.

We can't be so tempered that we are forced to standby.

Jim Spear

Anonymous said...

Baseless criticism is petty. Justifiable criticism moves a true dialogue forward.

Anonymous said...

To Jim Spear: I am not a bully, and I am not thoughtless, as you patronizingly suggest. I resent that, although you clearly don't care what I think. I have asked for an end to what I view as belittling comments from you and your misrepresentation of the club I belong to. I find your way of offering a compliment quite odd.

Rebecca

Anonymous said...

Rebecca, your tone does sound like your bullying. Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca's not a bully so you better shut up Jim Spear.

Anonymous said...

Wait - Rebecca - are the New Democrats a private club? But their name appears on the ballot. (Isn't "private club" how Southern Democrats tried to justify Whites Only primaries during Jim Crow days?) So if I'm not a member of your private club does that mean you don't need or want my vote? I guess it doesn't matter now since all the New Dems are working with/for Jerry and now there will only be one monolithic party in Plainfield - at least until future Mayor Mapp asserts independence and the Machine throws him over for Sharon, version 2.0. History repeating itself can be so tiresome.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry folks that you must to continue to bear witness to my dust-up with our City Councilwomen. Her comments leave me no other choice but to respond.

Rebecca, I'm sorry you found my comment and tone to be patronizing and belittling toward you personally, (and I never said you were thoughtless). All I said was that you always call for a vote when Jerry announces his decisions and that I admire it. I don't see how you can conflate that to my patronizing and belittling to you.

On the other hand I am patronizing, belittling and taunting your political club. The New Dems are now working with Jerry after a decade of villanizing him. Your candidacy and defeat of Burney was based on his doing what your political club is now doing - working with Jerry. I find it hipocritical. I know that the New Dems explain this as Rashid left his team behind. I don't buy that explanation and I don't think anyone else does either. I think your working with Jerry is good for Plainfield, but your club's treatment of Rashid for doing the same thing was mere political expediency.

On a personal note, I think that, as with your response to my comment shows, at least in writing, you take offense as a default position. My unsolicited advice as your constiuent is that you would be a more effective council person if you would pause before you hit send.

jim spear

YEP I SAID IT!!! said...

Jim -

in all fairness -you started this nonsense. This blog posting is about school elections ... correct? Why bring up Councilwoman Williams name? Why speak of the New Dems?

It is obvious you do not know the true history of Rashid Burney's relationship with the New Dems. Perhaps Rashid Burney needs to come clean with Plainfield's blog readers.

Stop the pettiness by piggy backing on the most popular and reliable blog representing Plainfield today.

YEP I SAID IT!!!

Anonymous said...

Yep, you said it ...WRONG. The original post offhandedly stated that Green would be supporting Mapp in the upcoming election - the first that we have heard about this new alliance - this info is a press stopper, but was glossed over. Jim Spear has brought attention to this shift and the question of whether this alliance constitutes NEW DEM hypocrisy. True, this BIG NEWS deserves its own posting - but its not getting it. So, YEP I SAID IT, why do you want to suppress discussion of this major revelation?
And as for Burney, the New Dems suffer from Sore Winner Syndrome.