Jackson Runs for Mayor as Head of “Montclair 2012”

Wednesday, Feb 29, 2012 8:44am  |  COMMENTS (74)

"Montclair 2012"

A new slate, led by former Mayor Robert Jackson, has emerged in the Montclair Township Council race. From a press release sent out yesterday:

Insisting the town’s sustainability is under threat from high property taxes, excessive debt, diminished services and an expectations/performance gap in public education, a group calling itself Montclair 2012 today announced its team of candidates for the May municipal election.

Comprised of tested and new leaders, Montclair 2012 team members include:

  • Robert Jackson, an experienced Montclair mayor and at-large councilor who is seeking the mayoralty;
  • Rich McMahon, candidate for at-large councilor;
  • Bob Russo, an experienced Montclair mayor and 1st Ward councilor, pursuing an at-large councilor seat;
  • Rich Murnick, the current 1st Ward councilor looking to return to that post;
  • Robin Schlager, an experienced 2nd Ward councilor, hoping to return as the ward’s representative; and
  • Sean Spiller, candidate for 3rd Ward councilor

Montclair 2012 is a team of experienced individuals who work well together, like each other and respect each other’s talents and opinions,” Jackson said. “We love this town, the traditions, the diversity, the million ways you can enjoy it.

“Whether multi-generational or newcomers,” Jackson added, “Montclair residents are very proud of our remarkable community, our traditions and national reputation as one of the foremost progressive American communities. We believe Montclair’s schools should be among the best, too.”

Montclair 2012 to focus on five areas in particular

With myriad challenges facing Montclair as it moves into the election season, Jackson said,  “Montclair 2012 has the cohesiveness, intellect and experience to address these issues effectively.”

The team’s particular focus, he said,  “will be financial management and debt reduction, economic development and ratable growth, the structure and performance of municipal services, educational excellence and communication with residents.”

Jackson addresses tax burden

“The tax burden on Montclair residents is out of control,” Jackson said. “Many residents have seen increases of nearly 60 percent over the last 10 years – well beyond the rate of inflation and well beyond what is sustainable for our future”.

“We look forward to a robust dialog and information exchange that will engage our constituents to work hard with us,” Jackson said.

“The decisions Montclair makes now will determine whether future generations inherit its legacy with gratitude or regret,” Jackson said. “We have no doubt our team has the capability, the vision and the focus to create a secure legacy.”

This is the third slate announced for the May elections; the other two are For Montclair, led by Harvey Susswein and Real Progress Montclair, headed by Karen Turner.




  1. POSTED BY redrum  |  February 29, 2012 @ 9:12 am

    Why is there never a challenging 4th ward councilor on these slates?

  2. POSTED BY Randel McMurphy  |  February 29, 2012 @ 9:23 am

    “Many residents have seen increases of nearly 60 percent over the last 10 years”

    More like 100% in 10 years!

  3. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  February 29, 2012 @ 9:23 am

    I wish them luck– BUT, to say he “addressed” the tax burden is very wrong. He simply said, we have a burden and we should talk about it.

    Is that a plan?

  4. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 29, 2012 @ 9:32 am

    Why elect anyone that was formerly involved in town government. Our major problems didn’t appear overnight. They grew from policies promulgated under prior administrations. What do these knuckleheads have on their resumes that tells us that they have ever solved the type of problems that we face now. All I’m hearing is that they get along with each other and value our uniqueness. That doesn’t cut it for me.

  5. POSTED BY Sandy  |  February 29, 2012 @ 10:23 am

    All taxes are very high in Essex County!! Check out Maplewood, South Orange, Livingston, Millburn, etc….. Union County is alot less, than Essex. What is Verona Like ? Good friend is looking to buy a home there. Inever hear much about Verona???

  6. POSTED BY nickcharles  |  February 29, 2012 @ 10:42 am

    Why is there never a challenging 4th ward councilor on these slates?

    For some 4th Ward candidates, being on a slate is the kiss of death. Renee, for example, can always claim she’s independent because she wasn’t on a slate in 2008.

  7. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 29, 2012 @ 10:50 am

    “Why elect anyone that was formerly involved in town government. Our major problems didn’t appear overnight.”

    Hear hear!

  8. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 29, 2012 @ 11:15 am

    A lot of empty rhetoric in those statements. Can’t we do better than this?

  9. POSTED BY townie  |  February 29, 2012 @ 11:19 am

    @ROC Could you provide a few specific examples of statements that would not be “empty rhetoric”?

  10. POSTED BY walleroo  |  February 29, 2012 @ 11:28 am

    Here’s what to do about our fiscal situation: Elect only hedge fund managers and investment bankers to the council. The 250m in debt is beer money to them. Or we could simply sell the town to a private equity firm and let them streamline it.

    Another problem solved.

  11. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 29, 2012 @ 11:31 am

    “We will institute a 2% growth cap on ALL municipal spending”

    “We will institute a 4 year moratorium on all non-maintenence capital borrowing”

    “We will cut all department budgets by 10%”

    “we will base decisions on a sound financial basis FIRST and on environmental issues SECOND”

  12. POSTED BY johnqp  |  February 29, 2012 @ 11:33 am

    How about “read my lips, no new taxes” …. ??

  13. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 29, 2012 @ 11:43 am

    “we will institute a radical openness policy; The entirety of Municipal and BOE spending will be made available to citizens online.”

    “we will end the upstairs “pre-session” council meetings. All (non-personnel) meetings will be held in public”

    “we will start the process to change the township’s form of government to the ‘Mayor-Council Plan’ in order to provide direct political responsibility for township governance. Any changes in our plan, would by necessity, come into effect after our terms of office”

    I could go on all day…

  14. POSTED BY walleroo  |  February 29, 2012 @ 11:48 am

    “Fire all municipal employees except one cop and one fireman.”

    “Declare a moratorium on fireworks for 100 years.”

    “Name Steven Plofker superintendent of schools.”

    “Ban all bicycles that aren’t made of carbon composites.”

    “Prohibit garbage.”

    “Burn 205 Claremont to the ground.”

    “Fire all teachers and hire them back without benefits, tenure.”

  15. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 29, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    “we will deliver a report on the efficacy of privatizing the Sanitation Department in 6 months and decide upon action within 1 year”

    “we will end the Parking Authority.”

    “we will, by force of an ordinance, require the township to create a website detailing ALL the township’s and BOE’s debt in one place”

    “we will fully publish all proposed ordinances on the township’s website 2 weeks before any vote.”

    “we will publish the results of all council votes (detailing how each council person voted) , on all voted upon ordinances within 2 weeks of a vote.”

  16. POSTED BY walleroo  |  February 29, 2012 @ 11:51 am

    “Ban all anonymous posting.”

    “Require council members to remove all clothing during public meetings.”

    “Hire Cary Africk at $400 per hour to clean Watchung Plaza once per week.”

    “Ban abortion.”

    “Require each resident to carry a firearm at all times.”

  17. POSTED BY walleroo  |  February 29, 2012 @ 11:53 am

    Whew! Between the two of us, ROC, I think we’ve got it covered.

  18. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 29, 2012 @ 11:54 am

    “we will stop the unnecessary South Park Street project”

    “we will not fund 1 million dollar for artificial turf at the high school”

    “we will not fund ‘affordable housing'”

    Would you like more?

  19. POSTED BY bebopgun  |  February 29, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    Verona and the Caldwells, Sandy. You might as well live in Pennsylvania or Cedar Grove.

  20. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  February 29, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

    I like ROC’s plan.

  21. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 29, 2012 @ 12:05 pm


    “We look forward to a robust dialog and information exchange that will engage our constituents to work hard with us”

    is, frankly, just the same old Bullsh*t we’ve heard for years.

    Not to single him out, I haven’t heard anything of substance from any of the candidates yet.

  22. POSTED BY frankgg  |  February 29, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

    I would vote to implement ROCs plan of action to save Montclair from being completely in RUIN (physical as well as ethical)….and perhaps some of Walleroo’s plan too.

  23. POSTED BY dazedandconfused  |  February 29, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

    That is some crew! 4 of them have already served and 3 out of the 4 have all been previously voted out of office. What a waste of time for all of them and us.

  24. POSTED BY walleroo  |  February 29, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

    A better name for the party might be: “Montclair: We’ve All Seen Better Days”

  25. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 29, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

    Unless someone starts illuminating specifics I fear all the slates could be titled:

    “Worse than before, better than what’s coming”.

  26. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 29, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

    p.s. that’s a rip-off of an old Russian saying: “”it’s worse than last week, better than next”

  27. POSTED BY kay  |  February 29, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

    Holy Cow! Who’da thunk, RoC and Roo, perfect together! That was great, you two!

    Here are my nominees for a slate and you all can duke it out on who gets to be Mayor and Deputy after you win.

    Carl B.
    Andrew G.
    Stu (even though you defected to G.R. you still have a house here so I’ll allow it.)

    That’s 7.

    I would also recommend creating a new position of Chief Drinkmaker at Large and give the post to Holly.

  28. POSTED BY nickcharles  |  February 29, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

    I just worry that both Baristanet and Patch have just posted, in toto, this press release by political candidates. Asking them some questions would be nice, especially when four of the six candidates have already sat on the council before. Why should voters think they’ll do anything different than the current bozos?

  29. POSTED BY PAZ  |  February 29, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

    Because they repented?
    Because they learned a valuable lesson?
    Because hindsight is 20/20?
    Because they’re bored out of their gourds in the private sector?

  30. POSTED BY cathar  |  February 29, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

    Could someone please inform me what Jackson’s prior mayoralty was actually like and accomplished? There doesn’t seem to be much on that above. Plenty of snark, but few actual remembrances. And how is Murnick doing as a councilman? (It sometimes seems as if Cary Africk, for better or worse, merits all the councilmanic coverage here, but he’s not running again.)

    And no questions for the new slate? That seems like laziness.

    Just going by the photo above, however, Jackson’s team seems properly diverse. Which I’d expect to play well in Montclair.

  31. POSTED BY townie  |  February 29, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

    @ROC Nice start, extemporaneous too. How about organizing the list and making the effort to invite all who are running to offer their stances?

  32. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 29, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

    I wouldn’t do any good townie. What these slates know is that to get elected in our little town you have to offend as few people as possible. They run milquetoast campaigns full of platitudes and when in office, they pursue their pet projects and try at all costs to, again, not offend anyone. My prediction is that nothing will really change until things get REALLY bad.

  33. POSTED BY stu  |  February 29, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

    Thanks for the nomination Kay.

    Unfortunately, I’m sure if I can serve on the same slate as Prof. He still hasn’t forgiven me for getting the heck out of dodge and for moving to whitey whitesville.

  34. POSTED BY stu  |  February 29, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

    And I don’t think Carl lives in Montclair either.

  35. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  February 29, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

    ROC, can you give us an idea of REALLY bad might look like? I’m out of town and can use a little jolt.

  36. POSTED BY martinschwartz  |  February 29, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

    ROC has posted some interesting campaign positioning points. However, the initial slate announcement is not necessarily the place to get into that level of detail. Specificity like this is needed and should be flushed out but during: in-home candidate “coffee” presentations…on web-sites and in follow-up articles. That’s where those running can start to really get into details and issues. But not one of the slates revealed any short hairs like what ROC is requesting in their first roll-out announcement. And I wouldn’t expect this ticket to be any different.

    When people haven’t communicated the detail by say 2-3 more weeks…..then I think you can start bitchin’ and asking ‘where’s the beef.’

    a lot of these teams came together late. So there will now be a shortened, but hopefully more intense window for platform communication.

  37. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 29, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    Feh. Excuses. There’s no time like the present, Martin. What you can discern from the lack of specifics is that they have not yet formed any specific ideas. All they’ve decided is that they want to be elected.

  38. POSTED BY nickcharles  |  February 29, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

    Martin, if we can’t expect one current councilman, two former mayors and one former councilwoman to actually give specifics, even in a roll-out, then none of them are serious candidates, as far as I’m concerned.

    The election is in, what, two months? When are they going to tell us what they’ll do? The day after Election Day?

  39. POSTED BY walleroo  |  February 29, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

    I believe that ROC has stolen the content, if not the exact expression, of my idea of 12:32 in his remark of 12:35. I demand reparations.

  40. POSTED BY martinschwartz  |  February 29, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

    You are mixing your communication metaphors guys. There is roll out….there is platform. Sometimes candidates use one or two platform issues as signature positioning points to distinguish themselves when rolling out….ie. “read my lips”…..

    Most of the time not. Just give the slates a moment. If you don’t get the goods in due course….you’ll know exactly who to eviscerate and dismiss.

    And you will not get the goods from some. No excuses to cover that from my end. But a moment to pull it together given the musical chairs dating to date is not unreasonable to expect.

  41. POSTED BY walleroo  |  February 29, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

    The idea that “this is not the time and place” might have some merit if there was ANY CHANCE WHATSOEVER that we’ll actually ever get specifics. Even CCM was deficient in that area.

    I am also weary of people who throw their hat in the ring and ask us to vote for them on the basis of some degree or other or experience working here or there. The skills required for mayor (or councilor for that matter) in this town seem to me to be completely different from those required in most occupations–political leadership in difficult circumstances being the most important. That more than anything else is what makes this election year different from the one four years ago.

    So please, candidates, give us a plan, and spare us the hoohaa.

  42. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 29, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

    “You are mixing your communication metaphors guys.”

    Good grief. Metaphors? We’re drowning here, the ship is going down. And Martin says, be patient.

  43. POSTED BY nickcharles  |  February 29, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

    But a moment to pull it together given the musical chairs dating to date is not unreasonable to expect

    I think it is. There are two months or so until the election. The musical chairs for Jackson’s slate, it seems, is over, so there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to say: here’s what we want to do.

    That his slate is so filled with old-timers doesn’t bode well for its political success, I’m afraid. Bob Russo’s inclusion alone should disqualify them all.

  44. POSTED BY martinschwartz  |  February 29, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

    ROC – your over the top unreasonableness is showing itself again. 2 weeks to regroup after 3 teams just solidified their groups is not patience….it’s reality. Sharpen your knife in the meantime.

    The closet door awaits ROC…come out…come out!

  45. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 29, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

    p.s. Doesn’t “roll out” usually presume there is some shiny new car or beautiful product to wow the senses and gawk at?

    “roll out” it’s laughable.

    I don’t know who is advising any of the various slates, but my advice would be “you only get one chance to make a first impression” and what is our first impression of ANY of the slates?

    “For Montclair Real Progress 2012” : same old crap.

  46. POSTED BY townie  |  February 29, 2012 @ 4:28 pm

    @ROC Martin’s reference to patience may relate to the election being in May. Since you have two months, why not try? Put together a comprehensive list of questions, work collaboratively to refine them and to get them in front of would-be council members and publish the results.

  47. POSTED BY nick danger  |  February 29, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

    What would be helpful reporting would be a timeline showing candidates and events. I for one do not recall Mr. Jackson’s mayoralty and Mr. Russo’s only slightly. I’d like to see who was where, when and what were the major events associated (plus and minus) with each. I’d also like to see what became of reelection attempts. I’d like to be better able to sort out the solution from the problem.

  48. POSTED BY frankgg  |  February 29, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

    Viva ROC!!! (walleroo too…but sometimes I wonder if they are the same person)

  49. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  February 29, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

    Ohhh. Walleroo / ROC. Have we ever seen them together? Hmmmm. Perhaps they are one and the same.

  50. POSTED BY complainerpuss  |  February 29, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

    Instead of reprinting press releases, I would love for Baristanet to actually profile these candidates in the weeks ahead. During the last election, I never really got to know any of the candidates. I knew that Jerry Fried was a bike advocate. But going into the voting booth, I never actually had a sense of whether or not he was qualified to be mayor (and this was even after he came to my door to ask for my vote). As for Kathryn Weller-Demming, I’m frankly still mystified at what qualifies her for public office.

  51. POSTED BY walleroo  |  February 29, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

    The closet door awaits ROC…come out…come out!

    Over the many years I have been posting here, I’ve seen this pattern, oh, at least a dozen times. Cary practically drove himself crazy trying to get ROC to reveal himself. That’s probably why he had to withdraw from the race–the pressure of not knowing who ROC really is. Is he some powerful person in town? Someone on the BOE? Some rich backer of local politicos? Someone you see every day? Imagine sitting on the town council, being skewered every day by this anonymous poster who happens to be ridiculously, impossibly smart, who knows your weaknesses and your foibles, who always manages to poke the soft spot in your argument. And every time a resident gets up to the microphone at 205 Claremont and clears his throat, you’re thinking, “Sh#t, is this ROC?” After a while, you start have trouble getting to sleep, you wake in the middle of the night with palpitations, every time you walk into Raymonds you look around and wonder, which table is he sitting at…

  52. POSTED BY walleroo  |  February 29, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

    I wonder if they are the same person

    Je suis flatté, mais non.

  53. POSTED BY walleroo  |  February 29, 2012 @ 9:09 pm

    If the Baristas really wanted to attract readers this election cycle, and perform a valuable public service at the same time, they would persuade ROC to interview each mayoral candidate (via email, of course) and publish it as a series. ROC is already the most widely known poster on this site, by a longshot.

  54. POSTED BY Frank Rubacky  |  February 29, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

    @Stu & RoC,
    Whatever you do, DO NOT read the Montclair Times this week!
    Don’t read about Mtc12. Don’t read about the proposed alternative to outsourcing trash. I implore you!

  55. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  March 01, 2012 @ 8:58 am

    It would not be appropriate for an anonymous poster to interview candidates.

    But, here would be my first question.

    in 1988, when you ran for reelection as mayor your “principal campaign theme was the need for more housing for Montclair’s elderly and low- and middle-income residents.”

    Is that still your main concern?


  56. POSTED BY Tudlow  |  March 01, 2012 @ 10:27 am

    Forget the mayoral race and interview by ROC. I think that most people who know of ROC have one pressing question: What job actually allows you to post in such abundance???

    Maybe you’re paid by the American Enterprise Institute or some other conservative think tank to push their agenda in such a progressive town? Who knows.

    But, with Andrew Breitbart’s untimely passing, maybe you will feel the calling to actually enter the public realm to fight against communism/socialism. Go for it.

  57. POSTED BY nickcharles  |  March 01, 2012 @ 11:28 am

    I mostly disagree with ROC on everything aside from some local issues, but is it really necessary to chide him for posting here? That’s what this is about, right? Commenting on local issues as presented by Baristanet? It’s not anyone’s business whether he’s doing it at work or not.

  58. POSTED BY Tudlow  |  March 01, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

    No, nickcharles, it’s not my business whether he’s doing it at work or who he really is for that matter. I obviously am not interested for the time being in disclosing my true identity, either, so I can’t be hypocritical here.

    But this person has a lot of time to pay attention to details that most people who work do not have. And that could be a very good thing. However, he obviously has a very strong political agenda and on a national level, he distorts politics so it seems rather likely that he does so regarding local politics. Most of the threads about local politics turn into a cercle jerk, anyways. However, a gadfly serves its purpose…

  59. POSTED BY njgator  |  March 01, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

    @Frank Rubacky – Forget about the alternative for outsourcing trash. I am still laughing over the idea of sharing our tax assessor with other towns. Maybe she can show another town how to blow $10M+ like she did here.

  60. POSTED BY dazedandconfused  |  March 01, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

    njgator – I am still laughing over this taken from the Montclair Times.

    “Our team has uniquely great relationships with some of the leading officials of some of the surrounding communities, folks in Bloomfield, folks in Glen Ridge, with whom we’re going to have to sit to make this thing work and come up with ways we can share services and new revenue ideas. We already have those relationships. We don’t have to go build a relationship with Mayor [Peter] Hughes in Glen Ridge or [Borough Administrator] Mike Rohal in Glen Ridge. We know those guys.”

    Now THAT is funny – that is the dumbest thing I have read in a while!

  61. POSTED BY nickcharles  |  March 01, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

    I’m also laughing at this week’s Montclair Times, for its editorial that seems to blame Jerry Fried’s decision not to run for a second term on anonymous blog comments.


    “For Montclair’s mayor and council members, intense demands on their time, expertise and judgments are unrelenting. Denunciations are quick to come, usually slathered through cowardly Internet anonymity. Praise is that faint whisper in the distance, too often unheard in the howling blather of blog-screed.”

    Of course, the editorial itself is essentially anonymous, but I guess it’s okay for The Montclair Times to complain anonymously about bloggers, but it’s not okay for anonymous bloggers to complain about a public official.

    Even more of a knee-slapper is the editorial’s description of Fried’s job as “arduous.” He has to hold the gavel at meetings! He appoints BOE members!! He attends ribbon-cutting ceremonies!!! Somebody get Jerry Fried a Purple Heart!

    The newspaper should really consider submitting this week’s opinion section in a humor contest somewhere. It’s sure to be the front runner.

  62. POSTED BY walleroo  |  March 01, 2012 @ 11:56 pm

    Denunciations are quick to come, usually slathered through cowardly Internet anonymity. Praise is that faint whisper in the distance, too often unheard in the howling blather of blog-screed.

    Isn’t this just what the Montclair Times would say about the online competitors that are kicking its butt?

  63. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  March 01, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

    I loved that oped. We’re essentially given credit for hounding Fried from office by the force of ideas and rhetoric alone. A great service has been done for Montclair! We should be proud!

  64. POSTED BY walleroo  |  March 02, 2012 @ 12:34 am

    The funny thing is, the editorial was unsigned–ie, anonymous. Apparently the Times editors don’t have much of an ear for irony.

  65. POSTED BY nickcharles  |  March 02, 2012 @ 9:17 am

    Exactly, walleroo. It seems an almost weekly complaint from The Montclair Times’ anonymous editorials that anonymous bloggers are ruining the town. And yet I don’t think I’ve ever read the editorial even slightly criticize a public official. I guess we’re the problem, and not the people actually running Montclair.

  66. POSTED BY stu  |  March 02, 2012 @ 10:07 am

    I don’t exactly understand why the vast majority of posters here feel the need to hide behind a moniker. IMO, it simply weakens your argument, greatly.

  67. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  March 02, 2012 @ 10:11 am

    …. says “stu”

  68. POSTED BY nickcharles  |  March 02, 2012 @ 10:16 am

    I don’t exactly understand why the vast majority of posters here feel the need to hide behind a moniker.

    There are tons of reasons. You may be employed locally and don’t want public officials you complain about to take it out on your business; you may not want the entire community to know your political persuasion; you may be a public official yourself, and you don’t want Marc Dashield to ban you from posting here.

    The list goes on and on.

  69. POSTED BY walleroo  |  March 02, 2012 @ 10:46 am

    The Montclair Times editorial writers never say anything to offend anyone in power. (Am I wrong about this? If I am, please let me know. I confess I don’t read the editorials religiously, since they’re usually pointless.) Even the remark about anonymous posters was a backhanded swipe, a throwaway line.

    Whether anonymous posting is constructive or destructive to the politcal dialog of this town is a legitimate question, and an important one. I would love to see the Montclair Times (or anybody else, for that matter) address is seriously. If the editorial writers really think anonymous posters are so awful, why not write an essay that makes that argument coherently, with examples of specific issues, specific posters, and even quoting some of the posts? Maybe then they’d move the needle forward a few grooves, rather than mere moan ineffectually.

    My personal opinion (which of course comes from a particular point of view) is that quasi-anonymous posting has contributed greatly to the airing of issues here. Sure, there’s gratuitous nastiness (mea culpa, I try to be nice, really I do, and I like to think I succeed most of the time), silly statements and lots of repetition and hot air, but also many valuable points get aired that wouldn’t have otherwise. The Watercooler crowd–in which group I include Fried and the Montclair Times–are control freaks who have no real sympathy for the mess and disorder of the town hall. They prefer the classroom, where everyone sits in neat rows, hands in the air, hoping teacher will call on them.

    Quasi-anonymous posting, by the way, is much different from anonymous posting. We may not know ROC’s real name, but his posting handle is consistent, he has forged relationships with people on this site over many years, he has a reputation, he has a personality that in some ways he has to answer to. The same goes for croiagusanum, jerseygurl, nickcharles and even (god help me) deadeye. I don’t agree with these people much of the time, but I accord them basic human respect, plus whatever additional respect they earn through their show of humor, intelligence, wit, passion and kindness over the days and weeks and months and years of posting on this site. To lump all “anonymous posters” into one category and paint them as an ugly mob is just jejune.

    I am eager to see which among our new slate of candidates chooses lively engagement over the same tired caution.

  70. POSTED BY nickcharles  |  March 02, 2012 @ 11:20 am

    The Montclair Times editorial writers never say anything to offend anyone in power. (Am I wrong about this? If I am, please let me know. I confess I don’t read the editorials religiously, since they’re usually pointless.) Even the remark about anonymous posters was a backhanded swipe, a throwaway line.

    No, The Montclair Times editorial writers are too scared of public officials to write bad things about them, aside from a generic “TAXES ARE TOO HIGH!” every once in a while. And considering how milquetoast our political leaders are, that’s really a shame. If someone’s too afraid of Jerry Fried or Nick Lewis to editorialize against them, forget about folks with more power like Joe DiVincenzo or Nia Gill.

    In fact, as election season comes upon us, you’ll notice that The Montclair Times doesn’t even endorse candidates in local elections. They supported Barack Obama and Jon Corzine, but they’re too timid to support Karen Turner or Harvey Susswein. My guess is they’re petrified of supporting a loser and having the winner mad at them. It’s total nonsense. There’s one newspaper in town. I’d rather hear what they think about Karen Turner than Barack Obama.

    The irony of the anonymous editorial take on anonymous posting on blogs is particularly rich. My guess is, if you confronted the editors about this, they’d say, “This isn’t anonymous. It’s written by the great-and-powerful MONTCLAIR TIMES.” In reality, it’s just a bunch of people mouthing off their opinions without having the courage to sign their names. Just like the comments here.

  71. POSTED BY walleroo  |  March 02, 2012 @ 11:24 am

    Back before the Montclair Times was sold to its current owner, in the 1990s, editorials used to stake out positions on important issues of the day. When the current regime took over, that editor–I forget her name, someone help!–moved to Maine, I think. That was a real loss.

    But there’s no going backwards. We now have Baristanet and It Who Shall Not Be Named, which have to step up to the plate. (And the onus isn’t just on the Baristas, it’s on us, too.)

  72. POSTED BY nickcharles  |  March 02, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    You ain’t kidding, walleroo. It’s laughable to look at the topics the editors of the paper have covered recently.


    How anonymous bloggers force nice folks like Jerry Fried from office


    A send-off for Frank Alvarez, who doesn’t leave for another few months. The editorial gives us a history of desegregation, yet fails to mention the district’s middling test scores.


    Parking is bad in Montclair! Another brave stance.


    Pro-gay marriage. That’s an actual issue, at least, though it has zero local angle.


    Something about Iran, as if people go to their local weekly to find out what to think about Iran.


    A piece about re-districting. It’s a local issue, but it seems to exist to give the editors a chance to show off their vocabulary. There’s no stance, yet again.


    Here the editors tell us elections are approaching, and they won’t endorse anyone. Thanks for nothing.


    A kind of obituary for the Bonsal Preserve sewer line.


    Advocating charitable giving for the holidays. Yet another brave stance.


    Buy American made products! An editorial written, no doubt, on a foreign-made computer.

  73. POSTED BY walleroo  |  March 02, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

    Walleroo’s Ideas for Montclair Times Editorials:

    Anonymous posting: The End of Democracy
    Fluoridation: Obviously a Commie Plot
    Spring: It’s Coming Early This Year
    Spring: It Indeed Did Come Early This Year
    Summer: Will It Come?

  74. POSTED BY frankgg  |  March 02, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

    Mon cher Walleroo…vous avez toujours toujours toujours raison!

Featured Comment

I'm struck by how much attention is being paid to the details of a parking lot, as opposed to the attention paid to the future impact of the monstrous projects being planned.

Tip, Follow, Friend, Subscribe

Links & Information