MontClairVoyant: Mayor Weighs In and Ballots Go Out

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Mayor Jackson endorsed Sean Spiller as his successor this past Tuesday, April 28. Your reaction as voters mail back their ballots for Montclair’s May 12 election?

Sincerely,
Chose a Choice

Given that I enthusiastically endorsed Spiller’s opponent Dr. Renee Baskerville in last week’s column, my reaction is: “April glowers bring May…in a few hours.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Will the mayor’s endorsement help the “Montclair 2020 – Progress in Action” slate, whose six members include Spiller and three other incumbents?

Sincerely,
Forecast Away

Hope not. Jackson and those incumbents have done some good things, but the mayor has been less-than-popular for reasons I’ll mention in the next Q&A after taking a one-minute break to read all eight “Outlander” novels.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Um…those great Diana Gabaldon books are a combined 8,000-plus pages. Anyway, why isn’t the mayor more popular? Is it his support for way too much development and gentrification in our town during his 2012-2020 tenure?

Sincerely,
Up, Up, and Astray

Yup. Plus his abstention on April 7’s rent-regulation vote and his relative quiet about the pandemic at a time when strong leadership is needed. As for “Outlander,” I realize it’s hard to finish 8,000 pages in one minute, so I read 4,000 pages every 30 seconds.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Did you receive your election ballot?

Sincerely,
Poll in One

Yes! I made my choices, sealed things up, walked to a mailbox, and put the envelope through the slot after not seeing a “send” button to click on.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Have you ever voted by mail before?

Sincerely,
The Circle Game

No. I’m so used to touch-screen machines that I touched a screen in one of my apartment windows and voted for “mesh” over “let the bugs in.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
What’s that “bearer” thing mean on the Montclair ballot’s outer envelope?

Sincerely,
Smokey the Bearer

It means I almost asked six people to carry the envelope, like a coffin, to the mailbox. But democracy is alive in our town, even though it seems nearly dead in Washington, DC.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Who did you vote for?

Sincerely,
Sherlock Homes

For reasons I listed last week, the aforementioned Dr. Baskerville and her “Your Voice, Montclair” slate. Of course, I could only choose four candidates: mayoral, at-large (two), and ward. Plus my cat for King of the Universe — surprisingly, an elected position.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Monday night, April 27, there was a virtual forum for the two mayoral candidates to discuss education issues. Impressive that over 300 people logged on to Zoom for it?

Sincerely,
N. Gaged-Citizenry

Yes! I’m also impressed that “Zoom” has replaced “the” as the most oft-used word in the English language. So, some novels have revised titles; for instance, Norman Mailer’s “The Naked and the Dead” is now “Zoom Naked and Zoom Dead.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Um…neither Zoom-ing approach sounds palatable. Montclair’s Board of Education — one of our state’s few non-elected BOEs — has reportedly picked a new, not yet publicly named superintendent. Why was the search process mostly secretive?

Sincerely,
Close-to-the-Vest Quest

Perhaps for two of these three reasons: 1) The pandemic. 2) The more-public previous search resulted in a failed superintendency. 3) The BOE likens the new hire to the secret prize in a box of Cracker Jack.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
But the more-public nature of the previous search wasn’t the reason for the failed superintendency, right?

Sincerely,
M. Portant-Point

Right. I should note that there was some opportunity for public input earlier this year, but not enough. And the six-figure salary the new superintendent will receive has nothing to do with the six figures who almost carried my ballot envelope like a coffin.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Montclair has had two permanent and four interim superintendents since 2012. How long will the new hire last?

Sincerely,
Turnover Topic

Let’s say she or he starts on July 1, 2020, at 9 a.m. That person will last at least until July 1, 2020, at 9:05 a.m.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Hmm…more optimism from you than I expected. But, seriously, that’s only five minutes. How could the new superintendent attend even one BOE meeting?

Sincerely,
Minute Stake

By driving to the George Inness Annex.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Any final words on the municipal election?

Sincerely,
Having a May Say

The ballot is shorter than “Outlander.”

 

Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.

 

 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. For the lack of integrity alone in passing the defective rent ordinance – and particularly Bill Hurlock’s role – speaks poorly of the incumbent’s characters. I am actually for some form of predictability in rent increases and even a basic, short-term price controls.

    However, when this goes to a petition and referendum, I will sign it. Why?

    Because I am sick and tired of the diminishing character of our “ends justifies the means” Montclair culture. How will you define a life well lived? Expeditiously?

  2. Nice to hear from you again, Frank!

    It’s possible there was partly an election-related reason for the timing of when the rent-regulation measure was passed, but I also think there was a genuine desire to help tenants and prevent repeats of the gouging-level rent increases that had happened in some cases. I’m glad the (unfortunately now delayed) measure was approved after it was discussed, negotiated, and crafted for reportedly a year or so.

  3. Yes, glad we can resume our exchanges.

    Yes, we’ve been told more than a few lies and subjected to a fair amount of deception.

    Yes, lives well lived. Go Blue!

  4. Frank, I like your comment’s “Yes”-times-three approach!

    (I have least three Yes albums buried somewhere in my apartment. 🙂 )

  5. Oops — I left out a word in my 7:17 pm comment above. Should be “I have AT least…”

Comments are closed.