It seems that voters in Paterson have a difficult time actually researching candidates before choosing who to elect. For the most part it’s mostly based on party affiliation more than the quantifiable results the candidate has produced prior to seeking office. In November 2016, 10,000 Paterson voters came out to elect a school board member who less than 90 days later has formed an exploratory committee in hopes of testing a possible mayoral run in 2018. The sad part about all of this is that folks don’t seem to take issue with it.
I guess to them it’s ok for someone to run for a seat, win and immediately jump to the next one. Keep in mind this person decided not to seek reelection and instead run for the First Ward seat back in 2015 citing that he: “served his term and was moving on.”
After being defeated in that race he disappeared only to suddenly reemerge to unseat someone who has been a longtime advocate for children. There was no justifiable reason to have taken this action. Especially in light of the fact that the person in question had no intention of ever returning to the school board. This person allowed himself to be used to unseat a veteran board member for no other reason than to politically position himself for higher office. Sadly, this is no isolated incident.
It’s been a common pastime for politics in this city. Until we fix it we have to right to complain about the state and or condition of our city. Most Paterson voters consistently vote ignorantly. I’m not calling anyone stupid. I said ignorantly. Meaning, they ignore the details and vote based on popularity. Unfortunately, popularity won’t save our city. Tangible strategic goals and objectives will. And if you have already committed yourself to work for the children as a school board member you should hold to that commitment or resign from the post and let others with a true commitment to serving on the school board to occupy the seat.
Corey L. Teague
Activist and former school board member