Last year, Toms River moved its school board elections to November which I think does promote greater voter participation. Another reform that I think should take place is to eliminate the so called “non-partisan” school board elections, which is a total joke. The school board elections are and always were fiercely partisan behind the scenes. The pretense and charade that they are “non-partisan” reminds me of the story “the Emperor’s New Clothes” where the townspeople pretend the emperor is wearing invisible clothes when really he is parading through the town naked.
The recent appointment of school board attorney proves my point, where the previous Republican attorney was replaced by a new Democrat attorney in an overtly “partisan” maneuver. Let’s call a spade a spade, let the public know who is a Republican, Democrat or an independent. Last year the “Clean Slate” team claimed to be a bi-partisan “fusion ticket” which rode in on the post-Ritacco fervor. I did not see any evidence of bipartisan appointing amongst them. Why didn’t they appoint someone who is independent? The reason being, that regardless of any superficial voter registration, they were all shills for the Democrat Party.
Back in the 1980’s we saw many former “non-partisan” government towns, such as Brick Township reform back to regular elections which was a good thing. The reason for this is, because the public gets transparency, as far as a candidate ideologies and alliances instead of hiding behind some fake non-partisan façade. It seems to me the Liberals like to hide behind the “non-partisan” façade the most, especially if they are in a heavily Conservative area, this way they can blend in more and trick more independent people.
By Joseph A. Lypowy, Toms River, NJ