“For Montclair” to “Real Progress Montclair”: Answer This

BY  |  Monday, Apr 09, 2012 12:05pm  |  COMMENTS (57)

For Montclair candidates Harvey Susswein and Tim Barr have put some questions about education to their opponents at Real Progress Montclair. And they’re making it known that they welcome questions from the other slates.

1. Educators know that a quality pre-K education is an important marker of a child’s future success in school. Do you support continuing our tradition that that any Montclair child, regardless of ability to pay, can get a quality Pre-K education?

2. Montclair’s Magnet School program, along with the bussing that makes it possible, was developed as a creative response to the Federal desegregation order Montclair is still subject to. Do you support the Magnet School program?

3. You’ve spoken of identifying all non-mandated programs currently funded by Montclair. Offering a full-day kindergarten is not required by the state–NJ mandates only a half-day. Are you in favor of retaining full-day kindergarten, even if the state does not require it?

4. A charter school has been proposed in Montclair, which would divert millions of dollars from an already strapped K-12 budget. Do you support or oppose establishment of a charter school in Montclair?

 

57 Comments

  1. POSTED BY cspn55  |  April 09, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

    Good questions.

    One for Harvey – why are you against having an elected board of education in Montclair?

    And for Turner/Jackson slates – are you for or against having an elected board of ed in Montclair?

  2. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 09, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

    The questions themselves are illuminating. It clarifies for me that “For Montclair” might just be the Teacher’s Union ticket.

    Here’s a question for “For Montclair” If the BOE is a sacred cow, how do you expect to keep the growth in property tax in check and pay down the debt? After all the Township municipal budget is only 25% of the tax levy.

  3. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 09, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

    i’d answer: no, yes, no, yes.

  4. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  April 09, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

    I would agree with ROC’s assessment of this slate.

  5. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 09, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

    You have to admire the thistley format of the questions! Sort of like asking:

    “Keeping one’s teenage children well-fed is the most important thing you can do to keep them from dying a slow and painful death due to starvation. With that in mind, do you support their free and unfettered access to your wallet?”

  6. POSTED BY cspn55  |  April 09, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

    the questions are loaded with “For Montclair’s” agenda which is fine – the schools are sacred cows. I have kids in our schools and appreciate that, although i think that throwing money at schools in and of itself won’t make them good – towns operate good systems with more reasonable budgets and we can too.

    ROC is correct though, how can you get real tax relief when 60% of the budget is untouchable and presumably will be ever increasing? Saving $1MM by outsourcing something is nice, but will make a very small dent in the problem.

  7. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 09, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

    “Saving $1MM by outsourcing…”

    No one’s made that claim. In fact no one has made much of a specific claim whatsoever.

  8. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 09, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

    Here’s an obvious follow up:

    1. The Pre-K. The scholarship money cut last year amounted to $125,000 which funded 20 poor children at the pre-K. If “For Montclair’s” position is “any Montclair child, regardless of ability to pay, can get a quality Pre-K education?” then we will need to provide much more than a restoration of the $125,000. There are certainly more than 20 children whose families can’t afford the Pre-K. How high would we need to go? $500,000 (80 kids)? $1,000,000 (100 kids?). Where will all this money come from?

  9. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 09, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

    2. The Magnet System.

    Bussing costs the township over a million per year. Isn’t it reasonable to look to other, less expensive ways to implement a desegregation order? Why does For Montclair consider the bussing system sacrosanct when there might be more cost effective ways to achieve the same result?

  10. POSTED BY dazedandconfused  |  April 09, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

    Are Harvey Susswein & Tim Barr for real? This is just so sad, really sad. If this is the best they can come up with to entice conversation, then this proves how radically out of touch they are. What an insult to everyone’s intelligence. I can’t decide if question # 1 or 3 is the best, I am leaning towards #3.

  11. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 09, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

    “4. A charter school has been proposed in Montclair, which would divert millions of dollars from an already strapped K-12 budget.”

    The “already strapped” budget that showed a 6 million dollar surplus? That budget?

  12. POSTED BY agideon  |  April 09, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

    Two aspects of the questions are telling.

    First: There’s no mention of how money will be found to pay for any of this. I’m might be in favor of a pony in every kid’s garage, but that doesn’t mean I can fund it. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t fund, for example, full-day-K. But it is telling how First Montclair wants to talk about wanting but doesn’t bother to bring up the issue of paying. One w/o the other is half a conversation.

    Second: I get a bit suspicious whenever someone describes the magnet system merely as a response to segregation. Yes, it is that. But it is quite a bit more. Even if the town were completely integrated, there would still be value to the existing system.

    Coming from people that prefer a BOE under exclusive control of one politician, that disconnect is worrisome. There are probably cheaper ways to deal with the segregation order (esp. with a GOP Governor). I worry about a mayor that might put into place a BOE that would look for such a thing, thereby giving up our magnet schools.

    …Andrew

  13. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 09, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

    From this:

    http://www.zillow.com/local-info/NJ-Montclair-people/r_39839/

    And this:

    http://www.city-data.com/poverty/poverty-Montclair-New-Jersey.html

    You can infer that there are about 100 kids aged 2.5 – 4.5 under the poverty line. So we are, in fact talking about adding a million dollars to the budget.

    So, For Montclair, where will the million dollars per year come from?

  14. POSTED BY dazedandconfused  |  April 09, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

    Jeff Jacobson must be mortified. He is no where to be found and we all know he is EVERYWHERE. There are so many under tones to these questions, they really are very irresponsible.

  15. POSTED BY nick danger  |  April 09, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

    It’s nice to know that if I run short of fear, uncertainty and doubt that the “For Montclair” slate has it in abundance.

  16. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 09, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

    My analysis is that For Montclair is in trouble and RPM is likely leading. So FM perceives vulnerability in Turner because of the “she sends her kids to MKA” so called, “issue”. So this is a ham-handed attempt to make some hay with the only chink they can find in her armour.

    Not that I’m overly impressed with Turner. I’m warming up to Carlson (on RPM ticket), but Turner has yet to really engage herself with anyone on the blogs. And there was that looney Trolley idea.

  17. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 09, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

    Was anyone else disappointed to read in the MC Times about the “private” (no press) audience each slate had with His Lordship Plofker and his court?

  18. POSTED BY dazedandconfused  |  April 09, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

    ROC you are correct and I think RPM has a very large base of support. Harvey Susswein & Tim Barr should issue an apology to the entire RPM slate. I really find the tone of these questions to be shameful.

    PS. You know I like the trolley idea ROC and I assure you I’m not looney

  19. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  April 09, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

    For Montclair, to me, seems to tranate into for the status quo. Plofker? Really?

  20. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 09, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

    The Trolley idea dazed is like the captain of the Titanic worrying about tomorrow night’s Captain’s Table Roster.

    I don’t think the questions are shameful, they’re fair enough questions. But, properly seen they clearly indicate where FM may be on the “pump money into the schools” spectrum.

  21. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 09, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

    Gurl, all the slates kissed the ring, according to the MC Times.

  22. POSTED BY paine  |  April 09, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

    ROC’s 100 estimate might be way too low. I have a child in one of Montclair’s elementary schools. I was told that 25 percent of the school’s students qualify and receive free lunch. The district’s free lunch statistic might be the best way to research the cost of what Mr. Susswein is proposing, which would put the number of Montclair pre-k aged students needing financial assistance to be greater than 260.

  23. POSTED BY townie  |  April 09, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

    I’ve never seen a candidate, or a slate of candidates, issue questions to their opponent in a public forum, at least not questions they ostensibly seem to expect answers to. If I were RPM I’d ignore this.

  24. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 09, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

    ” If I were RPM I’d ignore this.”

    I wouldn’t. I’d answer them and then ask some question of my own in return. You can tell as much by the questions asked and how they were asked as you can by the answers.

    We shouldn’t expect much from any of the slates, however. Being politicians they strive to “answer” without really answering questions.

  25. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 09, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    ” the cost of what Mr. Susswein is proposing, which would put the number of Montclair pre-k aged students needing financial assistance to be greater than 260.”

    Or adding $2.6 million to the township subsidy of the Pre-K.

    Mr. Susswein?

  26. POSTED BY cspn55  |  April 09, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    Fine to debate these issues. Instead of loading the questions they should be right up front and would be if they had any balls. If you win, you win and if you don’t, you don’t but run on your ideas and platform so we all know concretely where you stand. Nobody will blame you for that – it’s the vague garbage like the Fried group ran on that gets people angry when specific items are implmented later on. Susswein should just say….

    1- i am against an elected BOE, here’s why….. What is RPM’s position

    2- we are against a charter school for the following reasons, here’s why…. what is RPM’s position?

    3- we are for the bussing system to maintain the magnets even if the cost is high. We think it’s worth it because…… what does RPM think?

    4- we think haing full day kindergarten is worth the cost because…..what does RPM think?

    5- we think that the school budget is efficient and can instead achieve cost savings by doing…….. which will lower property tax increases.

  27. POSTED BY njgator  |  April 09, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

    ROC – The town subsidy does not cover all of the “scholarship aid” for the PreK. In addition to all of the fundraising the school does, they also charge a sliding scale tuition. So for middle to upper middle income families, you are paying a whole lot more for your child to attend the PreK in order for more kids to receive scholarships.

    The numbers are not insignificant. When it came time for our son to attend PreK, it would have cost us 25% more to send our son to MCPK than to the private PreK he wound up attending. Plus since the MCPK followed the Montclair Public School schedule, there were more days off than our private PreK (which for working parents would mean more child care expenses). The cost differential was significant enough to take MCPK off the table for us.

    But hey – it’s not chic to worry about the middle class being able to afford to stay here, right?

  28. POSTED BY agideon  |  April 09, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

    “Was anyone else disappointed to read in the MC Times about the “private” (no press) audience each slate had with His Lordship Plofker and his court?”

    Yes, but I wish I were more surprised.

    …Andrew

  29. POSTED BY jeffjacobson  |  April 09, 2012 @ 11:51 pm

    Not mortified, exactly, but not in favor of this particular approach, either, which is why only Harvey’s and Tim’s names appear on these questions.

    I have a lot of respect for all the candidates who are volunteering to serve, certainly including those on my own slate. There are differences among the candidates and those differences need to be debated. The Montclair Times put tough questions to the Mayoral candidates in a debate today, and I hope there will be a Third Ward debate, too. That, I think — along with the candidates continuing to speak their own minds here and elsewhere — is the best way for voters to get the answers they need to make the best choices.

    Meanwhile, I’m just back from the Planning Board hearing on the DCH development. Many candidates were there, and I don’t think any of us much liked what we heard. I’m sure there will be more about this tomorrow.

  30. POSTED BY jeffjacobson  |  April 10, 2012 @ 4:36 am

    My running-mates Harvey and Tim know where I stand on the issue of early education in Montclair. My position isn’t exactly shoulder-to-shoulder with them, as our slate usually stands (evidenced by the statements we’ve made as a full group about numerous important town issues), but on the basic question of whether to continue annual funding for the Community Pre-K’s scholarships for needy families, there’s not much distance between us, if any.

    One of the backdrops of the debate about funding Pre-K in Montclair is that, in my view, we’re currently under-resourcing critical aspects of K-12 education. At one end of the cycle, kindergarten classes in Montclair’s public schools have 27 or 28 kids in them (in Millburn, the target is 20), while the elementary schools have lost librarians and scaled back foreign language instruction. At the other end, guidance counseling in the high school, including college and career counseling, is just one of many areas that could benefit greatly from additional investment. And so, even assuming there’s a “spare” million-plus dollars to spend in education in Montclair, is Pre-K the place to spend it?

    I’m running for a seat on the Town Council, not the Board of Education. There’s a limit to what Councilors can do to affect education policy, but having spent a lot of time with Harvey, whose daughter is a Montclair teacher, and with Tim, Bill Hurlock and Walter Springer, who have kids older than mine and who have long been active in Montclair’s public schools, I know there is a great deal that our slate wants to do and can do on the Council to improve public education in Montclair. Through shared services with the BOE and, yes, some bully-pulpit encouragement to keep trimming administrative fat, we should be able to find more money for the classroom without more overall spending or yet-higher taxes.

  31. POSTED BY jeffjacobson  |  April 10, 2012 @ 4:37 am

    Which brings me back to the Pre-K. We don’t have a million more dollars right now to spend on early education, but the immediate question Council faces is only whether to continue spending $100,000-$200,000 per year to provide scholarships for needy families to send their kids to the Community Pre-K. When the question is framed that way, especially when one considers that candidates on two slates have said they won’t take the unjustified health insurance benefits that are costing taxpayers $24,000 per Council member this year, it’s much easier for me to get to yes.

    This annual funding dance isn’t a feasible long-term solution for the Pre-K, as the Council’s funding yo-yo over the past couple of years demonstrates. If I’m elected, I want to help find a long-term solution for the Pre-K – a goal I know the entire “For Montclair” slate shares. I personally hope that solution will involve many more private dollars than public ones. During the short term, however, modest grants from the Council can help ensure that the Pre-K need not turn kids away from a fantastic early education because their parents can’t afford full tuition.

    Based on past performance when Pre-K kids reach K-12, we have every reason to expect that this modest investment in early education will pay future dividends. We also know (and I can attest personally as a relatively recent transplant to Montclair, though my wife and I ended up sending our daughters to a synagogue pre-K) that the Community Pre-K is an attractor of young families to Montclair. For these reasons and others, if I’m on the Council and the Community Pre-K comes with a reasonable request that we can meet without need of tax increase – and if I know that the Pre-K has diligently pursued and exhausted private funding options – I will support that request.

    Yes, that ‘without need of a tax increase” line is an important caveat, but I have confidence we’ll get there. Our slate has proposed numerous money-saving ideas, and we know we don’t have the monopoly on them.

    That’s where I stand on this issue, and I’m asking for the votes of my neighbors in the Third Ward.

    Jeff Jacobson
    Third Ward Candidate
    For Montclair

  32. POSTED BY bigblue042  |  April 10, 2012 @ 6:48 am

    Jeff,

    Very good explanantion of your position on pre-k. Essentially you’ll study it. I don’t mean that as negative. No one has a solution to the pre-k mess because it was set up in such a convoluted, non-tranparent fashion largely by Mr.Susswein and some of the people who are running or supporting his campaign; a loan immediately reserved against, etc. You are smart to distance yourself. But there is something very troubling about this. Mt. Susswein and Mr. Barr seem like they are seeking to make pre-k (and the other issues) an emotional litmus test when 1) their own slate doesn’t even agree with them and 2) this is what they did in the debate over whether the BOE should be elected or appointed. Rather than have an honest debate on these topics, they start framing them as:if you are opposed to us you don’t care enough about the under-priviledged, not progressive enough and might even be racist. That will likely be the next step as it seemed to be in the elected BOE debate. Thank you for not going down that path.

    So I admire you for this, but other questions arise. Where else do you disagree with your slate mates? Magnet schools? Full day kindergarten? charter school? Busing more than 1 mile? Elected or appointed BOE? You’ve lived here 5 years. Have you ever been involved with a BOE committee or with the public schools in any way? The other thing that concerns me a little is that you seem to imply you are learning Montclair’s history from Harvey and the boys. That would seem to be fairly narrow.

    But again, kudos for distancing yourself from this Montclair politics as usual attempt by Susswein and Barr.

  33. POSTED BY Howard Beale  |  April 10, 2012 @ 8:01 am

    As a 3rd ward resident, I’d love to see a debate among the 3 candidates. If it can’t be arranged, perhaps the same set of questions can be answered by all 3 candidates, maybe through Baristanet.

  34. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 10, 2012 @ 9:12 am

    “Council faces is only whether to continue spending $100,000-$200,000 per year to provide scholarships for needy families to send their kids to the Community Pre-K. ”

    “Continue” spending?

    The current budget only has $12,500 allotted to the PreK. (Montclair Early Childhood Coorporation)

    http://montclairnjusa.org/dmdocuments/Introduced_Municipal_Budget_2012.pdf. sheet 15e

    What you are really talking about is restoring funding at higher levels than it has been in recent years. Substantially INCREASING the amount of support 10 to 15 times the current level. At least be honest in how you frame it, Mr. Jacobson.

  35. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 10, 2012 @ 9:16 am

    Somehow the increases in spending always come while we wait for “savings” and “efficiencies” with which to fund them? Ever notice that? Any question why taxes are out of control?

    Wouldn’t it be nice, just once, to see some actual, honest-to-goodness savings materialize BEFORE we spend them?

  36. POSTED BY dazedandconfused  |  April 10, 2012 @ 9:34 am

    ROC – it is no secret that Harvey & his crew are planning on spending. It is now set in stone from the questions listed above. I actually feel sort of bad for Jeff Jacobson. He seems to be a smart guy and a team player and from Jeff’s response above it seems that Harvey is running the ship alone. Hmmm, don’t we have a Mayor doing that now? I think Harvey & Tim Barr made a BIG mistake posing the questions above and whether they wrote them or somebody working on their campaign did, it is apparent to me that they are totally out of touch as to why people are so concerned about the towns financial situation and issues in general affecting our Town. It is no wonder why Jackson and Turner ran away and never looked back!

  37. POSTED BY jeffjacobson  |  April 10, 2012 @ 10:40 am

    It’s fair enough to point out that the amount allocated to the Pre-K *so far* in next year’s budget is $12,500. That’s not yet a final number; Council seems still to be debating it. As I said, I’d like to see the Pre-K get back at least to its prior-year funding so it can continue with its basic and important mission. I want a better solution than this for the long term, but for now, that’s where I stand. ROC, I’m running (as others are) to actually deliver real savings, and my slate-mates and I have said where we’ll start. We know we have to put savings “wins” on the board early in our term in order to gain the town’s support; that’s what we’re committed to doing.

    On the K-12 education questions, which I will answer in a moment, I think it bears repeating that I’m running for Council — a job for which I have relevant operations experience — not Board of Ed. Questions about Board of Ed appointments and policies are fairer game for the Mayoral candidates because the Mayor has the power to appoint a majority of BoE members. Obviously, however, voters can and should ask all the Council candidates any questions they wish.

    Since it’s been asked, I support continuation of full-day K. I support the magnet system, including its cross-town busing aspect. I’m in favor of the concept of charter schools where they’re needed, but I’m not convinced the proposal for a charter school in Montclair makes sense. Let’s see the new proposal first. I voted for an elected school board, not without some soul-searching about it, but those of us who favored that idea lost, and rather than relitigating the issue immediately, I like Harvey’s idea of at least letting the full Council advise and consent on the Mayor’s BoE nominees. I was disappointed to hear Robert Jackson criticize Harvey for that sensible proposal and Karen Turner, to my knowledge, hasn’t publicly discussed how she’ll handle BoE appointments.

  38. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 10, 2012 @ 10:51 am

    “It’s fair enough to point out that the amount allocated to the Pre-K *so far* in next year’s budget is $12,500. That’s not yet a final number; Council seems still to be debating it.”

    But it’s wholly inaccurate to describe increasing funding from $12,500 to $200,000 as “continue spending”. The previous level before this budget was $125,000.

    This is the kind of spin and distortion issuing from politicians with agendas that the citizens of Montclair are all to familiar with. We’re continually told pay now and the savings will come “we have confidence we’ll get there.” Or that projects will “pay for themselves” or increases are masked as the status quo.

    “more of the same” is how I would describe such statements.

  39. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 10, 2012 @ 10:53 am

    I will, however, second the notion that Turner seems absent from the race. Susswein, despite my disagreement with some of his policies, is revealing himself. He’s taking some stands. I appreciate that RPM’s Carlson has engaged in the conversation, but, so far, Turner is absent.

  40. POSTED BY frobnitz  |  April 10, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

    May I interrupt? I live just one town away from Montclair and therefore always interested in what’s going on in your Town. Who is this “His Lordship Plofler” that Right of Center refers to?

  41. POSTED BY frobnitz  |  April 10, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

    Plofker

  42. POSTED BY cgidebate  |  April 10, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

    SPEAKING OF EDUCATION…

    The Montclair High School Civics and Government Institute will be hosting a community-wide mayoral debate.
    The debate will take place April 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the school’s LGI room.
    The focus of the debate will be on education in Montclair.
    It will be moderated by two high school seniors, Chris Murphy and Gabriella Peterson.
    Residents can submit questions for the candidates via email at cgidebate@gmail.com or Twitter @CGIdebate.

  43. POSTED BY complainerpuss  |  April 10, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

    As a 3rd ward resident, I’d love to see a debate among the 3 candidates. If it can’t be arranged, perhaps the same set of questions can be answered by all 3 candidates, maybe through Baristanet.

    Mr. Beale has a very good idea, and I’d appreciate the chance to expand on it. As a 1st ward resident, I’d love to see a debate among all the 4th ward candidates. If it can’t be arranged, perhaps the same set of questions can be answered by all the candidates, maybe through Baristanet.

  44. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 11, 2012 @ 9:06 am

    I guess RPM isn’t going to answer. I’m not surprised, Turner’s not interested in questions she doesn’t ask herself to herself. Witness the RPM “interviews” which were in Q and A format. Both the Q and the A answered by the campaign. (Patch made that clear, don’t know why Baristanet didn’t).

    Anyway, sure makes one wonder why RPM is so reluctant to tell us much or answer those questions. They’re legitimate questions.

    I guess keeping voters in the dark is also “more of the same”.

    (or perhaps they’re waiting to catch a Trolley)

  45. POSTED BY dazedandconfused  |  April 11, 2012 @ 9:16 am

    Are you serious ROC? The questions are ridiculous and you know it. Funny, I think it’s more of the same from Harvey & his motley crew. Even Jeff Jacobson said above he was less than thrilled with these questions. You called it out, RPM is clearly the slate to beat, I am amazed at the number of signs & bumper stickers all over for RPM and Harvey now is getting out of the sandbox and into the mud pit. I am curious to know though how you know what questions Turner asks herself???

  46. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 11, 2012 @ 9:36 am

    “I am curious to know though how you know what questions Turner asks herself??”

    http://montclair.patch.com/articles/mayoral-candidate-karen-turner-why-i-am-running

    http://montclair.patch.com/articles/leeann-carlson-why-i

    Both “interviews” of the candidates were wholly written by the candidates. The only answers I’ve seen Turner answer are ones she asked herself.

    Carlson, did take some questions in comments, but started the same way.

    What does it tell you about a slate that wants to control both the answers AND the questions.

    Also, why didn’t Baristanet make that fact clear, I wonder?

  47. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 11, 2012 @ 9:37 am

    “The questions are ridiculous and you know it.”

    I disagree, I’d like to know the answers. And I’m wondering what RPM doesn’t want to share about their positions on those topics….

  48. POSTED BY cspn55  |  April 11, 2012 @ 9:50 am

    “Turner’s not interested in questions she doesn’t ask herself to herself” Keepong voters in the dark? Because the woman doesn’t blog answers rigth away this is what she’s thinking? The Patch allowed all of the slates to put out some basic positions in their own chosen Q and A format, For Montclair threw down the gauntlet but we need a real debate instead of blog sites to have candidates give real answers.

    Speaking of which, I read somewhere that The Montclair High School Civics and Government Institute will be hosting a community-wide mayoral debate on April 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the school’s LGI room. If you go to it, maybe you can hear the answers to those questions. There is no requirement that candidates participate with annonymous internet posters who may or may not have their own agendas. But they should participate with residents who make the effort to show up to understand what is happening in this election. On the web a candidate has no idea if you live in Montclair or if you are another candidate or a supporter of one who has an agenda to attack no matter what.

    While I appreciate those who do post on these sites (Cary Africk and Jeff Jacobsen and previously Harvey Susswein made his opinions known frequently) there is no requirement to do so and I understand why they wouldn’t. I have a feeling though that even if we got real change for the better, ROC would still need to find things to complain about in order to be able to post 100x per day and be a local internet personality.

  49. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 11, 2012 @ 9:54 am

    The blogs are read by more than just those who post.

    If RPM doesn’t answer legitimate questions about education policy, that’s telling. They obviously think it will harm their chances. Hint, that’s ALWAYS why politicians dodge questions. If they think it will help they’re chances they jump at answering, not matter who poses the questions.

    In fact, the silence will often tell you what the answers likely are…

  50. POSTED BY cspn55  |  April 11, 2012 @ 10:06 am

    Go listen to the debate and then make up your mind on what the candidates think.

    And while those basic questions can be legitimate, the printed ones from For Montclair are loaded with bias to start. If I ask “do you support the pre-k in town” that’s one thing. But this question starts by saying, “Educators know that a quality pre-K education is an important marker of a child’s future success in school”. If I ask, “do you support a charter school in Montclair” it’s different than saying “A charter school has been proposed in Montclair, which would divert millions of dollars from an already strapped K-12 budget”

    Susswein should have asked the basic questions, provided his positons clearly (then ROC can complain that he was answering his own questions) and then posed the same basic questions to both of the other slates, not just RPM. Instead this is a political maneuver which I would think RPM will want to pose a careful response to – online or at the debate.

  51. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 11, 2012 @ 10:10 am

    “And while those basic questions can be legitimate, the printed ones from For Montclair are loaded with bias to start.”

    They can ignore the bias and answer the “basic” questions. Almost 48 hours is sufficient time. They don’t want to answer them. That tells you something.

  52. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  April 11, 2012 @ 10:13 am

    If it helps they can answer “my” questions:

    1. Do you support township funding of the Pre-K so that any Montclair child, regardless of ability to pay can go to Montclair Pre-K?

    2. Do you support the Magnet School program?

    3. Are you in favor of retaining full-day kindergarten, even if the state does not require it?

    4. Do you support or oppose establishment of a charter school in Montclair?

  53. POSTED BY dazedandconfused  |  April 11, 2012 @ 11:47 am

    OH ROC, you are becoming so let’s say, predictable. Clearly your “new spin” is in response to something, let’s just say that I know that you know what I know. See you tomorrow, I’m sure you are furiously working to get ready. Good luck with that (haha.)

  54. POSTED BY darkprince  |  April 11, 2012 @ 11:49 am

    “They don’t want to answer them. That tells you something.”

    This is a political ploy (a good one) with racial undertones by Susswein/Barr and should not be taken seriously.

  55. POSTED BY helener  |  April 11, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

    please ask Susswein/Barr what their stance was on the handling of the Renaissance asbestos mess?

  56. POSTED BY cspn55  |  April 11, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

    montclair times mentioned a televised mayoral debate on TV 34 being aired on a delayed basis. Looks like it will air Thurs 4/12 at 8:30 pm and then a bunch of days after that at the same time.

  57. POSTED BY cgidebate  |  April 11, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

    We are reading some GREAT questions here that could and should be asked of the candidates. And you can do just that on April 26th at 6:30pm at Montclair High School.
    But of course, you should submit your questions (re: Education) to CGIDebate@gmail.com or tweet them to us @CGIDebate.
    Also, there will be time allotted for the audience to ask direct questions to the candidates.
    We hope to see you all there in person. But if you MUST miss it, you can see it aired on TV 34. So, send in those questions!
    Thank you.

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