The needler in the haystack.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Charter Study Issues: Nonpartisan elections

 
Former Plainfield elected officials Liz Urquhart and Harold Mitchell were interviewed by the Charter Study Commission last Thursday evening.

Among a list of questions asked of both was their opinion on having nonpartisan local elections (Plainfield's are partisan).

There are several differences: Partisan elections feature a primary in June where the political parties sort out who will run in the November general election; and the November general election itself. Nonpartisan elections are held in May, with no primary. If necessary, a runoff is held between the top vote-getters. Those elected take office on July 1. No local officeholders are on the November ballot, which then is for County, State and Federal officer.

But Ms. Urquhart made an important point: However one felt about nonpartisan elections, it must be remembered that the municipality shoulders the cost of holding them -- and she didn't think Plainfield taxpayers would like the added expense.

How much could it amount to?

I don't have figures, but Montclair, which is a similar community (though smaller) spent more than $71,000 in 2012.

Should such an expense be weighed by the Commission in its deliberations?


-- Dan Damon [follow]

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4 comments:

Pat Turner Kavanaugh said...

Dan: I covered Perth Amboy, which has non-partisan elections, when I worked for The Ledger. In my opinion, there is no such thing.

Anonymous said...

We have spent more that $72,000 on attorney fees for the mess created by our Democrat Mayor Sharron Briggs, If we were Nonpartisan we would be released from the powers of Jerry Green,and maybe get an honest person sitting in the Mayors office. The Mayor could then work for the people of Plainfield and not for the Gerry Green party!

Anonymous said...

Almost $71,000 could be saved each year by replacing the police sergeant behind the city hall reception desk (there on Friday) with a receptionist. What are they doing in City Hall that requires armed protection?

Anonymous said...

There is nothing non-partisan in Union County.