Montclair Election News: Selma Avdicevic Picks Up Three Candidate Petition Packets

Selma-AvdicevicSelma Avdicevic, who ran unsuccessfully for the 2nd Ward seat as an independent candidate in 2012,  picked up campaign packets for Mayor, At-Large, and 2nd Ward Councilor yesterday.

Speaking to Baristanet, Avdicevic says that she is currently unsure which position she may run for.

“Currently, I am having conversations with several individuals in town who have expressed interest in either running with me as part of the slate, or helping with the campaign, says Avdicevic.

“The final decision will be made when I am certain that the slate and the team assembled are people like myself, individuals of independent leaning, not beholden to any outside interest, or having any grand ambitions, but only intent on providing the best public service to the residents of this Township.”



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  1. If you want the BOE stacked with Montclair Kids First members and sympathizers, then by all means vote for Selma for Mayor. She after all is a card carrying member of that organization, according to their website.

  2. Really? With all the documented emails of the MCAS folks who destroyed a seated Board of Education Superintendent’s career for spite, you’re gonna make up a story about Selma? I don’t know if it’s nerve or stupidity.

  3. MKF is one thing…how about just taking stock of reality.

    Who decides to run against incumbents without knowing either what position for, or with whom, or at least saying what the current people have done wrong and what issues most need improving on.

    For a campaign “announcement” – this just appears more like another vanity, self-aggrandizement play that’s not been thought through.

    “I want to run..therefore I’m needed.”

  4. I love Selma and she does more for Montclair than any of you know. She also thinks for herself, which is refreshing. But in the end, it won’t matter. That is, once the New York Times prints it’s hit piece again the day before the election.

  5. I’m sure she’s a real nice person who means well, but if her idea of thinking for herself includes publicly joining a divisive group when she’s trying to gather as many people under her tent (which is what’s needed to win an election), I’ll pass.

    What story did I make up? her name is on the list, right along with the rest of the charter/corporate ed. supporters If this is not her position, then she can explain herself. I’m all ears.

  6. Stu: you were making the right calls when the inanities of the Jerry Fried Council leadership almost ran Montclair into the ground, but you are clearly missing the boat here not seeing how divisive this MKF group has become.

    Selma is another core member of this group.

    It’s not just because they want education reform, better teacher performance or improved learning standards for all. Everyone wants that. Instead, they fostered a nasty, anti teacher’s union mind-set and continued to support the former Superintendent’s over-testing, conservative education rigidity that’s clearly not right for this community.

    Besides Stu..didn’t you run off to Glen Ridge to avoid paying your Montclair taxes? If so, that takes you out of the recommendation game today to tell the rest of us who should be our leaders.

  7. For a town as politically engaged as Montclair, I am disappointed, though not surprised, by some of the comments here. If you disagree with Montclair Kids First’s positions, so be it. Most people I know were extremely disappointed by the court case brought against Sean Spiller. But can’t we at least wait for an official “I’m running, and here’s my platform” announcement from Avdicevic before sharpening the knives?

    Unlike previous elections, no one seems to be stepping forward to run. The failed Fried and Remsen councils certainly had something to do with that. Besides Advicevic and the Civil Rights commissioner, I have not read any other names, besides the seven current council members. Are we not-so-secretly hoping for an uncontested election, USSR-style?

    Let’s hear Mayor Jackson’s platform (he has a strong record of achievement to run on), let’s hear Avdicevic’s platform, and then have the discussion.

  8. Thank you Devon. Spot, I still have my home in Montclair and rent it out to some very nice families, so technically I do still have a horse in the race. And so far, I have not witnessed anything substantially damaging that MKF has done. Like Selma, I agree with some of their positions. It’s not always easy being in the minority. But many times, that minority ends up being correct.

  9. spoton, I tend to agree with you, but try to keep in mind that those of us who know Montclair, but don’t live there, are often the ones who can see the forest for the trees. You don’t have to listen to us, but we’ll be giving our two cents regardless.

  10. Objecting to a union rep on a committee that validates school budget (most of which is teacher salary) doesn’t make one “anti-union.” It makes one anti-conflict of interest.

    Fieldingmellish: it’s absurd to suggest that aligning with group means she is not independent mind. You would have cheered if she aligned with MCAS. And if you really abhor “divisiveness,” you should tone down your rhetoric; talking about “sympathizers” and “card carrying members” is ridiculously overheated. Finally, you may have had your fact right this time, but you have been caught “misrepresenting” (to put it politely) here before. I never trust your facts.

    I don’t know or care where “Stu” lives but I like hearing from him.

  11. As someone who cares deeply about our schools, I say heck no to an MKF member. Spooky, don’t worry too much about that Superintendent that came in a messed up our schools for a couple years. She’s already re-employed and I’m sure busy ruining something else.

  12. Let me get this straight. The mayor has not officially announced that he’s running. Advicevic has not officially announced that she’s running. Yet the snarky comments begin.

    “Who decides to run against incumbents without knowing either what position for, or with whom, or at least saying what the current people have done wrong and what issues most need improving on.”

    Actually, the Montclair Times reported that Renee Baskerville also took petitions for 3 positions – 4th ward, At Large, and Mayor – yet where is therealworld’s criticism of that maneuver? 4 years ago, several candidates took petitions for multiple positions, including Bob Russo (At Large and 2nd ward). Again, where was the outrage? Newsflash: Avdicevic is probably hedging her bets. Imagine that – a candidate hedging bets. Wouldn’t make her the first to do so.

    “I want to run..therefore I’m needed.”

    Again, courtesy of therealworld. Name for me one candidate, ANY candidate, in the history of elections who wasn’t ambitious to some degree? Every candidate who runs for office – local, state, federal – wants to run. Every candidate feels he/she is “needed.” So what?

    Go back and look up Mayor Jackson’s first race for mayor in 1988. NY Times, May 12, 1988. One of the “charges” against Jackson at that time was that he was – wait for it – ambitious. His opponents claimed he wanted to use the mayor’s seat as a springboard for higher office.

    So really, we’re going to criticize Advicevic for “wanting to run”? Really? Maybe there’s something to devonklein’s USSR theory.

    I say all this while also believing that Mayor Jackson should be re-elected. He has run a steady ship. I suspect voters won’t want a change, especially considering our recent mayors: Remsen, Russo, Fried, Farley, Bishop. There’s a reason why NONE of them were re-elected.

    The negativity here has to stop.

  13. Are you scolding us for discussing possible candidates before they’ve filed some forms? Do you work at DMV?

    Your right that nearly all are ambitious, but to different degrees, which can be work discussing. And not all are ambitious; there is long tradition of the “reluctant” politicians who is perrsuaded to run against their wishes. Coke Stephenson, many time texas governor who had congressional seat stolen by LBZ is *obscure) example. Coolidge, “I will not run/will not serve) might be another.

    Were not going to know how Jackson did until his grand developments are up and running.

    Back to thread topic, I approve of Selma’s slightly plump, bespectacled good looks (and that is non-gendered remark because I comment on male looks as well). And I admire that she’s in MKF, and that I might not be able to pronounce here last name (diversity!) That’s all I know about her to this point. I approve this message.

  14. johnlayne,

    I don’t think you have the stomach for this. The above is, at very best, the preliminaries to the preliminaries. The “fun” part in Montclair is the word-of-mouth campaigns ( and, kudos to stu, the very lame, last minute Old Gray Lady), not the bloggers. You are acting just a tad bit naive.

    Your reference to physical attributes weirded me out…followed by ill-advised attempt at the gender equalization. You should just keep that stuff to yourself. As to pronouncing her name, I want to believe she once associated her name with the Honda Civic. I’ll let you figure out the rest.

  15. Frank, I am not sure what you mean by questioning johnlayne’s “stomach for this”. Reading his comment, and the comments he apparently took exception with, it sounds like he agrees with my general proposition: let’s hear the platforms when candidates actually announce, and then offer our critiques. Undercards (or, as you put it, “preliminaries to the preliminaries”) never much excited me. It’s all about the main event.

  16. Disappointing display of over-sensitivity Frank. And you’re accusing johnlayne of inadequate stomach for this?

    I will trust the moderators to decide what’s unacceptable speech here, but if you prefer, I can provide lookism trigger warning next time i happen to compliment candidate on their looks so that you aren’t weirded out of your safe space.

    The spelling joke was a …joke. You are uncharacteristically humorless tonight. Plus Selma…Honda, I just don’t get it.

  17. The Mayor is a councilor with 2 extra powers, but that’s it. They are essentially all equal. I don’t care about the title. I get to vote for a majority of the council. Good enough.

    elcamino, I assume the moderators are fully willing to give your enough rope to do yourself in as you did not violate any of their policies. Yes, I am without humor tonight. Took the night off.

  18. “I will trust the moderators to decide what’s unacceptable speech here, but if you prefer, I can provide lookism trigger warning next time i happen to compliment candidate on their looks so that you aren’t weirded out of your safe space.”

    Good point, elcamino. Of course, double standards may apply. If a male compliments a female politician on her looks (Kirsten Gillibrand or Nikki Haley), you run the risk of being labeled a “sexist.” If a female compliments a male politician on how he looks (Scott Brown), it probably doesn’t generate much of a discussion.

  19. “I will trust the moderators to decide what’s unacceptable speech here”

    —stop with the martyr routine. feel free to be as creepy and boorish as you please—the anonymity of your phony name allows you to speak consequence free.

  20. The realworld said:

    “Who decides to run against incumbents without knowing either what position for, or with whom, or at least saying what the current people have done wrong and what issues most need improving on.”

    A couple of you missed the point here. He’s right. It’s not just about being clear what position she is going for, or not saying anything about any issues at this point, IT’S ABOUT RUNNING AGAINST INCUMBENTS without addressing those two points in any way, but yet still announcing she is running and taking an election packet.

    Taking a packet is effectively an announcement you are running.

    Very amateurish. Serious candidates don’t come out of the gate saying, “I think I want to provide public service again and I’ll let you know with whom and what I stand for when I’m really ready.”

    More red meat needed on the bone to start when facing incumbents and a potential incumbent slate. Otherwise why bother telling us. Announce when you really have it together and have something to say.

    The incumbents have a different standard. They have a record and you know who they are and why they are there. So whether Rene Baskerville, takes out for one or three spots – doesn’t matter. Whether the mayor is 100% all in yet but still takes the packet doesn’t matter.

    For this Selma, it does. She comes off lame.

  21. the peanut gallery should calm down. One of our fellow residents who is a taxpayer and mom thinks she wants to help shape the direction of the town as an elected official. now she gets to be called an amateur (duh, she’s running for a seat on our council not for president), an enemy of our kids and teachers (I don’t see u giving free wifi to poor people mesh) and other things (el Camino what the hell was that?). Whether you agree or disagree with her positions is immaterial at this point….we should want choices so I applaud anyone who tries to run. we have a little while until we get to vote so let them all make their case.

  22. A “duh” cspn55 back to you on those running for a council seat.

    Montclair is a $100 million plus Education budget. $80 million as a municipal budget. We really don’t need more “amateurs” who can’t say from the start why they want to run, what they stand for, or what specifically needs to change.

  23. Montclair’s town governance has a town manager who is the professional and supposed to have that experience. There should then be a citizen council that keeps watch and provides guidance. You seem to want only professional politicians to be able to help shape the direction of the town. I guess there is no place for regular citizens to try and help out. The realworld is where democracy fails and politics becomes a full time profession.

    But more likely, she probably didn’t know that the moment you picked up a packet to throw your hat in the ring is the time you must outline your platform and have the entire campaign in place. I guess you won’t vote for her which is a shame because you seem so savvy.

  24. Selma Avdicevic recently won a Montclair Township Preservation Award. A town who’s identity is characterized mainly by valuable vintage real estate needs a mayor with that mind set. I hope that Selma Avdicevic wins so that the public doesn’t have to waste so much time defending themselves from master plan and re development failures. (more than ten years of that is enough!)

  25. cspn55 – who said an entire platform and entire campaign had to be presented? How about just something concrete and professional like: “I’m running for x because I think a, b or c. Or we need to do this or that better because of 1,2,3,4.”

    Instead we got “individuals of independent leaning, not beholden to any outside interest, or having any grand ambitions, but only intent on providing the best public service to the residents of this Township.”

    Come on…..

  26. Amateurish? Really?! Doesn’t she have a degree in finance? I think I read that in the last election bio. Doesn’t she own Montclair Pop-Up, a successful small business that supports local women artisans and artists? Isn’t she one of the organizers of the Joe Walsh concert and the Montclair Film Festival? And every other damn event in this town. Wherever I go I see her standing there with a clipboard…

    Enough with the devaluing of the work the women of this town do behind the scenes and receive 0 credit and payment for. THAT is REAL public service. It is easy to be in “public service” and receive a paycheck and health benefits from the town, county, or the state, as half of our current council does. Mayor, Russo, Schlager, and Spiller all collect from our tax coffers. Hell no, I say.

  27. Ah, jcunningham, the baristanet bot, weighs in with more spite but no substance. The sad little automaton doesn’t recognize that most commenters here do so anonymously. Comically, the poor “creature’s” self-referential loop doesn’t even recognize that it is operating anonymously (googling “jcunningham Montclair” yields nothing). And it’s so artificially UNintelligent that it considers complimenting a public figure on their looks “boorish.” Poor, poor jcunningham, if only we could power it down.

  28. You’ve proved therealworld’s point normalandcounting.

    According to you the Selma’s campaign platform should be coordinating organizational details for a rock concert and volunteering at a film festival.

    No one said she doesn’t have the smarts to sit on the Council (except fieldingmellish because she joined MKF), only that this “amateurish” announcement or campaign reveal offers no basis to judge that and no reason stated even why she wants to serve.

    It’s not unreasonable to expect this and most know to do it — that when you announce you are running for political office – that you start to tell people “why”. Otherwise who cares?

    Nuff said.

  29. I have to post just to express my support here for elcamino’s intelligent and refreshing contributions. He is spot on as usual. The irrational aggressors and the oppressors are demanding trigger warnings!

  30. “Taking a packet is effectively an announcement you are running.”

    We are really scraping the bottom of the barrel here.

    Taking a packet is more like, “I’m thinking about running” or “I’m thinking about thinking about running.” Looking back at the last election, when everyone thought they’d be better than Fried & Co., more than 30 people took packets. In the end, 18 people ended up “running” (meaning, were on the ballot in May).

    Seems like an unnecessary discussion.

  31. elcamino,

    My humor is back – in spite of stressful visit to Montclair Center tonight. Bloomfield Ave around Grabowski Central has been reduced to a road diet of 2 lanes and people are clearly not going to be denied their Downtown Saturday Night 2 weekends in a row.

    Anyway, don’t fret. The monoculture is restricted to the posters. Remember there is a diverse and expanding universe of readers who have better thing to do than post.

  32. normalandcounting,

    You are so right. There should be something – maybe a national organization for women – to address this. I’ll give more thought to a proper acronym.

  33. Last time around I thought Selma was thoughtful and mature, not wallowing in personal attacks and petty gossip that some others were eyeball deep in. I’m interested to hear more from her. And no I’m not a friend and have never even met her.

  34. “You go girl”? I realize that’s an expression, Jon, but I think an adult female should be called a woman.

  35. ah, the micro aggression police are here. So “grrrl power” is offensive and female toddlers are “baby women”?

  36. “ah, the micro aggression police are here”
    …said the name caller…

    to be clear, elcamino, i found your comments “creepy and boorish”. i didn’t find them—or label them—“offensive”—that is your word.

    it’s almost as creepy as you writing about googling me…good thing your googling ability is right up their with your couth…

  37. the jcunningham bot can’t keep track of comments; my latest was about someone objecting to “you go girl” and not its “creepy boorish”

    Since you frequently criticize me for posting anonymously (but curiously, not other such posters), I googled “jcunnigham: to see if you were an actual person and not, as I suspect, a bot. I found nothing and mentioned it here so others would know you are effectively posting anonymously;using “J”gives you plausible deniability.

    If you can get that through your little bot “brain” you should quit objecting to me posting anonymously and just object to what I post. Or, if you prefer, you can reveal your full name continue to criticize me for not doing so.

  38. Selma knows why she wants to run. And I (and many others) know why I am glad that she’s running. As far as getting the paperwork for several positions, to able to decide later, that makes total sense. She is having discussions with other people. If somebody strong, in her ward, wants to help her, then she can run for at-large. So much [lame] snark over something so simple.

  39. I haven’t seen the packets for councillor or mayor. Does Montclair have different requirements for the various posts? A certain number of signatures from each district, for example, when seeking at large seats.

    It could make a difference in planning or organising a campaign.

  40. At Large and Mayor require approximately 280 signatures. The wards vary; the 3rd ward is the smallest ward, so it requires the fewest signatures (around 70, is my understanding). The 2nd ward is the largest.

  41. I’m glad she’s not offended by this. We wouldn’t want her hiring a lawyer in response to such satirical comments, almost like taking Montclairvoyant so literally/seriously and writing op-ends against his role as a satirist.

  42. Thanks for the info, devonklein.

    I thought there was a difference in the number of signatures required. It could make a difference in organising an effort town wide.

  43. Calling Montclairvoyant a “satirist” is like calling Gallagher’s watermelon smashing “observational humor.” He’s a compulsive punner with 100% predictable liberal views. Satirists, ike Jon Stewart, sometimes make fun of their own side and they don’t rely exclusively on puns for humorous effect. I will concede, however, that his puns are sometimes good (as far as puns go) and that I prefer his column to Pat Kenschrafts never-ending letters.

  44. elcamino, I plead guilty to being liberal most of the time — but not 100% of the time. Heck, I supported renaming Mount Hebron for Buzz Aldrin despite that admirable ex-astronaut being a Republican. Also, I use a lot of puns and wordplay in my column but far from 100% of the time. I think it’s 36.5% of the time — and 36.6% during Leap Years. But I’m not sure — my counting skills have eroded since I began looking at Pearson’s math worksheets… 🙂

  45. daveastor: How sad it is that you consider the Mt Hebron re-naming a Democrat vs Republican
    issue. Buzz Aldrin is a true AMERICAN icon. His incredible accomplishments transcend partisan politics — at least they should.

    ONLY in Montclair.

  46. To some extent, it was a Democrat v. Republican issue for many. It was also a “flawed American hero” v. an “unflawed American hero” issue. Just a lot of baggage in general.

    Let’s just hope our municipal elections don’t cross-over this year to an Dem v. Rep. Wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it would be just nicer if one of our little local trappings didn’t go by the wayside.

  47. I was surprised that the most vocal online attacks of Aldrin came from the daughter in law of the boe president. Sort of amazing how weird that was.

  48. darkprince, I totally agree with you that Buzz Aldrin transcends partisan politics! I was responding to elcamino, who had said my column was 100% liberal, by giving an example of a stand I took that was in a sense not liberal. When I supported the school renaming, Aldrin’s politics were irrelevant to me — he’s a Montclair native with incredible accomplishments, as you said so well.

  49. I have a question about the article posted. It says that Avdicevic picked up packets. Has everyone who has picked up packets had an article with photo posted here? Will Baristanet be covering everyone who is considering running for one office or another, or has she been singled out for some reason?

  50. If she is the only potential candidate to be mentioned this way, then yes, she is being singled out; that’s not my opinion but a fact. I do wonder why.

  51. flynnie,

    She is not the only one to be singled out this way. She is apparently just more interesting to readers.

    The previous 3 articles last month on packets elicited exactly 2 comments – both about the Mayor.

    I’m surprised you didn’t object to the packets for the 2 (or more?) anonymous candidates.

  52. She might win just for the “enough is enough” factor but she also has the potential to do an excellent job in preserving Montclair’s character and making it sustainable.

  53. “by giving an example of a stand I took that was in a sense not liberal”

    you are very brave….that’s some stand you are taking – recognizing someone who has fantastic accomplishments even if that person does not conform to your views politically. Would the normal liberal or conservative move be to mandate that everyone be totally inline with one’s own political views in order to be recognized for their achievements? I’m sure you have accomplishments to be proud of yourself (and we all know the Mtc Times column is comedy gold week after week), but how is it “not liberal” or “a stand” to recognize someone who is a Montclair native, West Point Grad, engineer, jet fighter pilot and oh yeah…astronaut who was the 2nd man to walk on the moon?

    Anyway back to Selma A. – if this was a campaign press release, it’s one thing, but if she just took the application and Baristanet decided it was newsworthy, then we all should wait for her to start her campaign (if she decides to do so) before supporting or defaming in the comments section.

  54. “… but if she just took the application and Baristanet decided it was newsworthy, then we all should wait for her to start her campaign (if she decides to do so) before supporting or defaming in the comments section.”

    Correct. As I commented several days ago: “Let’s hear Mayor Jackson’s platform (he has a strong record of achievement to run on), let’s hear Avdicevic’s platform, and then have the discussion.”

    Now that 2 more have taken petitions, including one of Montclair Kids First’s most public members, perhaps there will be an “opposition” slate in the making.

  55. Thanks for your comment, cspn55. Again, I didn’t bring up Buzz Aldrin out of the blue — a poster here said I have “100% predictable liberal views,” so I gave an example of a stand that might not be considered liberal. Perhaps I should have given a better example (such as my occasional swipes at President Obama’s policies) rather than bringing up Buzz Aldrin — who, again, I believe is an amazing person who transcends partisan politics.

  56. daveastor, consider that an ‘amazing person who transcends partisan politics’ happens to be a Republican. Consider replacing the word ‘Republican’ in the following sentence with another label: ‘Heck, I supported renaming Mount Hebron for Buzz Aldrin despite that admirable ex-astronaut being a [ ].’ This is an invitation for you to be an even more amazing, transcendent person than you are.

  57. ‘Heck, I supported renaming Mount Hebron for Buzz Aldrin despite that admirable ex-astronaut being a [climate change denier].’

    There you go.

  58. Thanks for the very kind invite, montclairrepublican, but I’m just not GOP-membership material. 🙂 And great comment, relax people! While I admire Buzz Aldrin’s accomplishments, I do not admire his skepticism about climate change — which is as real as real can be. I wonder if Mr. Aldrin has read Barbara Kingsolver’s novel “Flight Behavior” — which has a title the ex-astronaut could relate to, and which takes a very sobering look at climate change.

  59. Montclair does not need charter schools. Why those people choose Montclair to fight their battles is beyond me. Anybody who supports MKF has made a huge mistake and should not be running for mayor.

  60. Relax Dan. MKF is for stuff like free wireless for disadvantaged students and eliminating conflicts of interest on the Board of School estimate, not charters.

  61. So – has a specific date been announced for the Buzz Aldrin middle school renaming ceremony ?

    Can’t wait to see this thing finally happen. It will be a proud and historic day for Montclair.

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