MontClairVoyant: It’s Mayoral in Montclair!

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Some education “reformers” who wrongly allege that teacher unions have too much power are actively opposing the mayoral candidacy of Councilman Sean Spiller, vice president of the New Jersey Education Association. Comment?

Sincerely,
NJEA in Play

 

I’m assuming none of those “reformers” live on or near Union Street.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Does any of this mean that Montclair’s other mayoral candidate, Councilwoman Renee Baskerville, is weaker than Spiller on public education?

Sincerely,
Classroom With a View
 

No! Dr. Baskerville is quite strong in that area. And I prefer her to become mayor because of her many years of tireless work for Montclair and for other reasons listed in my April 23 column, which can be found on this site and on refrigerator doors — if people tape their phones to those doors.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Um…you know a column can be printed out, don’t you? Anyway, is Spiller being hurt by the active opposition of “reformers” — who often support too much standardized testing and, in some cases, charter schools?

Sincerely,
Miles on Mission Street
 

Doesn’t look like it. Spiller has some “friends in high places,” and the campaign budget to do lots of marketing — including many mailings touting him and his slate. I’ve received 14 glossy fliers as of May 5, with the funerals for dead trees postponed for social-distancing reasons.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Frequent fliers, Miles. Why are the education views of a Montclair mayoral candidate important?

Sincerely,
Peta Gogy
 

The mayor appoints members of our town’s unelected Board of Education, traditionally serves on the Board of School Estimate that votes on the district budget, and decides if “Vampire High” is must-see TV.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Speaking of the BOE, that board was planning to name a new superintendent at its meeting last night, May 6, after there have been two “permanent” and four interim superintendents since 2012. Thoughts?

Sincerely,
Perch Search
 

That meeting happened after this column’s deadline. But if a pick was announced, I’m confident the new person will break the recent mold and remain in the job until the end of time — if BOE members sang the Evanescence song “My Immortal.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
The night before — Tuesday, May 5 — the Township Council voted 5-0-2 to urge less leaf blower use during a pandemic time when more people are home (so noise is especially bothersome) and there’s more concern about breathing problems (which pollution can exacerbate). Comment?

Sincerely,
Rake News, Not Fake News
 

No teeth, but still welcome. Mayor Jackson and Deputy Mayor McMahon abstained, as they also did with last month’s 5-0-2-passed rent-regulation measure, earning them — wait for it — UNANIMOUS induction into the Abstention Hall of Fame.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
As the May 12 election date looms, mail-ballot voting is nearing an end. Could a mailbox win a seat on the Township Council?

Sincerely,
Postal Post Possibility
 

Well, we do live in a mostly blue town.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
But don’t you support not only Dr. Baskerville but her six other “Your Voice, Montclair” slate members — none of whom is a mailbox?

Sincerely,
Some Like It Slot
 

Yes. That impressive slate includes 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Ward candidates. Voters who want a mailbox on the Council are also candidates…for the Psychiatric Ward.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
So Montclair has a 5th Ward?

Sincerely,
Five Uneasy Pieces
 

I’ll take the 5th on that question.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
I had a 6th sense you’d say that, so I’m in 7th heaven. Anyway, I’d like to talk about the 25th…anniversary of Park Street Auto. What do you think of that place?

Sincerely,
Near-the-Y’s Guys
 

Love it. Joe Bollo and his staff are skilled, honest, and friendly. When I go there, my car feels totally relaxed.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Your car has emotions?

Sincerely,
Moe Tur-Vehicle
 

Maybe I’m thinking of emissions.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
It was emotional when Gov. Murphy emitted an announcement May 4 that New Jersey schools continue with remote learning for the rest of the academic year. Reaction?

Sincerely,
From a Distance
 

Expected and necessary, but such a shame for students (even as teachers continue to do a great job with online instruction). Students have had no in-person interaction with teachers and fellow students, end-of-year events will be canceled or vastly different, spring sports seasons are gone, and Peeves the Poltergeist is lonely in Montclair school halls.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Doesn’t that ghost from the “Harry Potter” books haunt Hogwarts, not any of our town’s schools?

Sincerely,
Uncle Specter
 

You’re right. I was thinking of the Watchung Wraith.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Alliteratively speaking, might Hogwarts ghost Nearly Headless Nick take up residence in Nishuane or Northeast?

Sincerely,
Our Neck of the Woods
 

Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington? Don’t think so. But there’s a 5th Ward council seat for the taking.

 

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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