MontClairVoyant: A Local-Lens Look at an Election’s Selections

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

In what way did you or will you vote in the November 2 election?

Sincerely,

Ballad of the Ballot

The second of these options: 1. Mail ballot. 2. In person on Election Day. 3. Carrier pigeon. 4. Frigidaire pigeon.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Appropriate that you mentioned AC, because you’re Assuredly Crazy. Where’s your polling place?

Sincerely,

Poll Vault

Nia Gill Middle School, where I’ll choose Buzz Aldrin for State Senate. Oops, Buzz Aldrin Middle School, where I’ll choose Nia Gill for State Senate.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

She certainly has a history in Montclair and a history of helping our town. Who do you favor in the gubernatorial race?

Sincerely,

All You Need is Guv

NOT Jack Ciattarelli. He feints being a reasonable Republican but has partly supported far-right liar Trump, whose popularity in Montclair ranks somewhere between a pothole and Satan.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Might Satan be at the bottom of that pothole? Anyway, I suppose you’ll vote for Gov. Murphy, the incumbent Democrat who had a double-digit lead in polls as of yesterday, October 27.

Sincerely,

Have Your Phil

Either him or Green Party candidate Madelyn Hoffman, who’s done great work with the New Jersey Peace Action organization that used to be near Walnut Street Station and the animal shelter. An area where “Cat” Stevens sang “Peace Train.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Did not. Are you forgetting the elephant in the (voting) room — the referendum on whether to change Montclair’s Board of Education from appointed to elected?

Sincerely,

Ella Fint

I haven’t forgotten, but my last two columns discussed my preference for an elected BOE so I didn’t want to be repetitive. But I can be duplicative if you’d like.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

For gooodness sake, drop the thesaurus!

Sincerely,

He Who Is Without Synonym

No can do. I was using an online thesaurus.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Can you restate why you want Montclair to change to an elected BOE, aside from the obvious reason that most other New Jersey towns have one?

Sincerely,

Entity Identity

Sure. Our appointed BOE has a spotty record since the last appointed vs. elected referendum in 2009 — the 200th birth anniversary of former Montclair schools superintendents Abe Lincoln, Charles Darwin, and Edgar Allan Poe.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

I don’t recall seeing any of those three in the George Inness Annex. That said, can you again mention some negatives the appointed BOE has been responsible for or associated with during the past near-decade?

Sincerely,

Beam Me Up, Spotty

There have been too many superintendents, deteriorating school buildings, standardized-testing overkill, an “enemies list,” the suing of the Montclair Education Association to try to force MEA members to return to schools before COVID vaccines were widespread, etc. All that isn’t student-friendly, teacher-friendly, or parent-friendly; the jury’s out on whether it’s Friendly’s ice cream-friendly.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

But some people say an elected BOE might end Montclair’s wonderful magnet system, whose many benefits include helping (however imperfectly) to integrate our schools. Comment?

Sincerely,

Galactic Scare Tactic

Don’t forget that the Montclair NAACP’s education committee recently endorsed an elected BOE. And the magnet system is so widely cherished that if any board members tried to end it their popularity would rank somewhere between a pothole and Lucifer or Beelzebub or Old Scratch —

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Enough synonyms! I just blocked every online thesaurus on your computer.

Sincerely,

Block Island

I have an off-line paperback thesaurus, too…also…as well…in addition.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

I thought an asteroid destroyed the thesaurus 65 million years ago. But what if some elected BOE members DID try to end the magnet system, or tried to weaken it by, say, reducing funds for school busing?

Sincerely,

Saba Teurs

They’d be fought tooth and nail — and not only by local dentists and carpenters.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Any final words?

Sincerely,

Love Me End-er

It’s too early in the school year for finals.

 

 

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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