Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Only in New Jersey

When I was down at Transparency Camp the other weekend, I tried to explain to folks the types of shenanigans that go on at the local level here. With that in mind, I'm going to try and give readers regular examples of this. This first edition deals with "non-partisan" school boards, in two BCDO dominated towns.

First, on the nepotism front, in Palisades Park the school board had a resignation this week. The reason, Board Member Yungoo B. Woo couldn't legally serve on the Board, because he hadn't lived in town for more than a year.

After being in a town of 17,000 for less than a year, Woo was appointed to the Board in February. Woo is a cousin of current Democratic Councilman, and former School Board Member, Jason Kim. Claiming he moved into Kim's house last March, Woo will be able to run for his seat on the school board this spring.

Second, on the suppression of descent front, the Closter School Board voted unanimously to not allow Steve Issacson, who regularly roasts Closter's Democrats at unofficialwebsiteofclosternj, to run for a seat on the school board. They reached this decision prior to Mr. Issacson's deadline from the state to select whether he wanted to run for Closter Board of Education or the Northern Valley Regional High School District. Issacson had filed papers to run for both, but now will only be able to run for Northern Valley.

As one of his fellow Closter folks found, there seems to be some question as to whether the Board missed the deadline to invalidate Issacson's petition. From the State's website:
Objections or Challenges to a Nominating Petition ***
Monday, March 9, 2009 (46th day prior to election)
No later than the 46th day before the election objections or challenges to a nominating petition must be filed in writing with the secretary of the school board. The school board must immediately notify the challenged candidate. (19:60-7)
At issue may be when the objection was filed. From the Record, on Tuesday, March 10, or after the deadline to file a complaint:

Closter schools Business Administrator Peter Iappelli said he plans to formally object to Isaacson's nomination if one of the petitions is not withdrawn.

"I'm aware of [his nomination] being defective, and I'm just doing what my responsibilities require me to do," Iappelli said. "He sees it as something different. Everything's fine if he withdraws from Northern Valley and lets us know in writing.
Granted, Iappelli may have filed his objection later in the day, but it doesn't change the fact Issacson had until today to decide.

It should be interesting to see how this all plays out. Get your popcorn.

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