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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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Jersey City school elections to move to November, thanks to City Council's vote

By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal
November 29, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Jersey City?s school elections are moving from April to November next year, thanks to a nearly unanimous vote by the City Council last night.

Voters overwhelmingly approved a non-binding referendum earlier this month approving the change, a ballot initiative the council had intended to use as a guide to determine whether the community was OK with the switch.

Ward E Councilman Steve Fulop championed the move, saying it would save taxpayers about $200,000 a year and would increase voter turnout. Voters this November, who approved the change 73 percent to 27 percent, ?spoke loud and clear,? Fulop said last night.

In Hudson County, Guttenberg, Hoboken and Kearny have moved their school elections to November.

The council approved the change 7-1, with Councilwoman at large Viola Richardson voting ?no.? Richardson said she is concerned that the referendum's supporters didn?t know that once school elections are moved to November, school budgets that don?t have tax increases above the 2 percent tax-levy cap do not have to be approved by voters.

?I think that perhaps people didn?t really understand, and I didn?t really understand what it would mean,? she said.

Fulop said it?s ?presumptuous? to think that the 24,000 voters who cast their ballots in favor of the change didn?t know the consequences of the decision.

Fulop has played an influential -- his critics say overreaching -- role in local school-board politics. In the last three school elections, all nine of his picks have won election.

Richardson?s thoughts echoed comments made by about a half-dozen residents, including her cousin and aide, Lorenzo Richardson, who pleaded with the council last night to keep the school elections in April.

Making the change would increase the role politics plays in school elections, and it would also leave the community with no say in how the district taxes residents, said the residents.

Riaz Wahid voiced objections to the City Council's decision to move school elections to November.

?We are giving up our ability to work on the budget,? said Riaz Wahid, a frequent critic of Fulop and a constant presence at Board of Education meetings.

Wahid added that a November ballot with school candidates included will be ?very confusing? for voters.

The Jersey City council?s decision essentially increases the length of the terms of three sitting school board members ? Carol Lester, Angel Valentin and Sterling Waterman ? whose terms were set to expire next April.

Board member Gerald Lyons, who was appointed in September to fill a vacancy on the nine-member board, will also see is temporary term extended until after next November's election.

468 school districts in the state have moved their school elections to November, according to the New Jersey School Boards Association. Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill into law last year that permits school boards, voters or municipal councils to make the switch.

NJSBA spokesman Mike Yaple said schools boards that have OK?d the move were attracted by the idea of ?budget stability.?

School districts with elections in November do not have to seek voter approval for budgets unless they come with tax increases over 2 percent. In that instance, voters are faced with approving or voting down just the tax increase, according to Yaple.

This November, three school districts asked voters to approve tax increases. Two of those districts succeeded.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_school_elections_t.html

Posted on: 2012/11/30 3:42
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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Moving Jersey City school elections to November to be on City Council's agenda

By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal
November 08, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Jersey City schools elections would move to November under a measure set to be added to the City Council?s agenda, thanks to the results of a vote on Tuesday indicating voters overwhelmingly approve of the idea.

Ward E Councilman Steve Fulop, who champions the idea as a way to increase voter participation in low-profile school elections, said the results of Tuesday?s vote indicate voters side with him.

?While there were good arguments on both sides of the issue, I took this approach because we want the residents to decide the future they see best and not always have elected officials assume they know best for residents,? Fulop said in a statement. ?The residents of Jersey City spoke loudly and clearly on this issue.?

Voters approved the referendum Tuesday night 20,249 to 7,425, not counting non-machine ballots that have yet to be counted.

Fulop has been active in at least the last three school elections, throwing his support behind nine candidates who all won their races. Before one of them resigned earlier this year, all nine members of the Board of Education received the Downtown councilman's backing.

His role as come at a cost, with Fulop's critics saying he is much too involved. Critics say he had an active role in selecting the district's new superintendent, and they point to a secret meeting he had with state Education Commissioner Chris Cerf last year as proof.

Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill into law last year that allows municipalities or school boards to change the date of school elections. Guttenberg, Hoboken and Kearny have already made the switch.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... sey_city_school_elec.html

Posted on: 2012/11/11 17:36
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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at least someone, somewhere gets it -

http://www.nj.com/hobokennow/index.ss ... dum_on_hoboken_schoo.html

No referendum on Hoboken school board election date change

?Using tax dollars to conduct a public opinion poll is not an appropriate use of public money and that is why I am not going to support it,? Council President Ravinder Bhalla said.

Posted on: 2012/2/16 12:48
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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JC council "fails," to take a position and make a decision under the state reform law permitting the shift of school elections to November - by school board vote, municipal council vote or public referendum (by petition).

the council instead initiated their own referendum that is non-binding and has the effect of an opinion poll. should the public under the state law gather petition signatures to place a binding referendum on the ballot - voters would be truly confused by similar competing referendums.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... ty_council_votes_for.html

Jersey City council puts switch of school board elections to November from April on this fall's ballot as a referendum question

Jersey City voters will choose this November when they want to hold school elections.

The City Council voted unanimously last night to place a referendum on November?s ballot that will ask voters whether they want to move school elections from April to November. The change is possible due to legislation signed into law last month by Gov. Chris Christie.

Ward E Councilman Steve Fulop, who spearheaded the measure, said he is personally in favor of moving the election date but wanted the city?s voters to ?chart your own course.?

School districts across the state have opted to make the move, including Kearny, with supporters of the move saying it would boost turnout and save money. Detractors say they fear school elections will become more politicized if they are held when higher-profile campaigns are on the ballot.

Ward D Councilman Bill Gaughan said he has ?reservations,? saying that adding school elections to the November ballot will lead to a crowded, confusing ballot. Still, Gaughan voted in favor.

?I also will let the public speak on this, hoping that they know more than I do,? he said.

The New Jersey School Boards Association has not taken a position on whether school boards should make the move, but spokesman Mike Yaple said the group supported the state legislation because it did not force districts to change the date.

?It leaves these decisions in the hands of the community,? Yaple said.

Posted on: 2012/2/9 14:59
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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http://www.nj.com/hudson/voices/index ... chool_elections_is_b.html

Shifting school elections is big, says Assembly majority leader

New Jersey for years discussed moving April school elections to November, but the idea was always killed by either inertia or special interests.

Finally, though, by bringing all the stakeholders to the table and forging a compromise, we passed a major reform measure in a matter of weeks in December and January that allows school districts to move their elections to November.

Now, my solution is proving to be a quick and astounding success, with nearly 42 percent of the state's elected school boards already making the move to November school elections as of Feb. 7.

This truly remarkable momentum benefits both taxpayers and democracy, and shows we can get things done when we work together for sensible reform.

Come to think of it, the overwhelming success of this legislation and its adoption by so many begs the question, what was all the fuss ever about?

April school votes are a costly charade, but because of this law school boards are giving voters better control while saving property taxpayers the costs of yet another election. The progress we have seen on this issue is a great example of what we can accomplish by bringing people together to find solutions, instead of relying on name-calling, divisiveness and 30-second sound bites.

Everyone realizes this law is long overdue common sense. I'm pleased to see it embraced by so many districts and look forward to seeing it embraced by even more. We're controlling government spending and property taxes and increasing public participation in our democracy. These are all good things.

ASSEMBLY MAJORITY LEADER LOU GREENWALD
VOORHEES

Posted on: 2012/2/9 14:37
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Re: Fulop’s Referendum Shows Respect to Jersey City Voters
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Posted on: 2012/2/4 0:31
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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CatDog wrote:
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GrovePath wrote:
Moving Jersey City municipal elections to November could create chaos inside the voting booth, according to City Clerk Robert Byrne.
IT'S ABSOLUTEL MADNESS IN THERE PEOPLE ARE VOTING LEFT AND RIGHT AND OH MY GOODNESS KING HERE COMES MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE WITH A FOLDING CHAIR


R.I.P. Macho Man Randy Savage

Posted on: 2012/2/3 18:03
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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Moving Jersey City municipal elections to November could create chaos inside the voting booth, according to City Clerk Robert Byrne.
IT'S ABSOLUTEL MADNESS IN THERE PEOPLE ARE VOTING LEFT AND RIGHT AND OH MY GOODNESS KING HERE COMES MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE WITH A FOLDING CHAIR

Posted on: 2012/2/3 17:06
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Fulop’s Referendum Shows Respect to Jersey City Voters
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Dear Editor,

As a Jersey City resident and voter, I was pleased with the decision of Ward E Councilman Steve Fulop announcing that he will introduce an ordinance at the next City Council meeting that will place a referendum on November?s ballot that will allow voters to give their preference for the date of school elections.

As everyone in our city knows, Mr. Fulop supported the past two board of education elections which led to the majority in the current board. It would be so easy to let the current board members to decide to keep the election on April or to move it to November with a very simple vote, especially if they have the majority.

Mr. Fulop chose to let the Jersey City residents and voters decide what they want to do.

I would like to thank you personally because you set an example of empowering the voters and residents. I know you believe like many of us that if we all work together we can make a big difference in our city?s? future.

Sincerely,

Nabil Youssef

Former City Council Candidate
Jersey City

http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... ct-to-jersey-city-voters/

Posted on: 2012/2/3 16:43
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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This should reduce the cost of running the elections and increase voter turnout. What else needs to be said?

Posted on: 2012/2/3 15:31
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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Jersey City councilman says voters should have say in moving school election date to November

January 31, 2012, 3:00 AM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Jersey City residents may have the chance to say for themselves whether they want to move school elections from April to November.

Ward E Councilman Steve Fulop announced yesterday that he will introduce an ordinance at the next City Council meeting that would place a referendum on November?s ballot, allowing voters to give their preference for the date of school elections.

The referendum is possible thanks to new state legislation that permits the change. Voters can move the date through a referendum, or the date can be moved by school boards or municipal councils.

Fulop said in a statement yesterday that he supports holding school elections in November because the change would boost turnout and cut costs, but he believes voters should make the final choice.

?I think the residents deciding themselves, rather than the politicians making this decision, is the best approach always,? he said.

Several Board of Education members who spoke to The Jersey Journal last week said they were mixed about a possible election-date change, but Marvin Adames supports Fulop?s proposal. Adames was one of three successful BOE candidates Fulop backed in last April?s school election.

?I have been one that thinks April elections are better. However, this is a positive approach to working through a tough decision,? Adames said. ?Empowering residents to decide the direction of the city is always best.?

The council?s next regular meeting will be Feb. 8, starting at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 280 Grove St

Posted on: 2012/1/31 17:07
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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The article's title is misleading.
Fulop wants US to decide.

Posted on: 2010/3/10 13:23
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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Jersey City council warned against moving elections to fall; Fulop calls for voters to decide

Wednesday, March 10, 2010
By MELISSA HAYES
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

Moving Jersey City municipal elections to November could create chaos inside the voting booth, according to City Clerk Robert Byrne.

In fact, if there were a lot of municipal candidates and candidates for governor or the county Board of Freeholders as well, he said city residents could possibly face two separate ballots at the polls.

The law allowing municipalities with May nonpartisan contests to hold municipal elections in conjunction with the November general election was passed and signed before Gov. Jon S. Corzine left office in January. The thought is that more people would be drawn to vote in local elections.

Ward E Councilman Steve Fulop plans to introduce an ordinance tonight to allow voters to decide whether to move the election to November and also eliminate the runoff election.

"All I'm saying is respect the voters, give them the opportunity," Fulop said.

But several council members sided with Byrne, who created a mock sample ballot for Monday's caucus meeting to show how confusing it could be.

"I personally think the ballot would be so cluttered and confused we wouldn't get the benefit we're looking for," Councilman Michael Sottolano said.

Hudson County Clerk Barbara Netchert and Superintendent of Elections Marie Borace attended the meeting and said they too were concerned about the ballot being confusing.

Netchert also pointed out that the state law provides that municipalities that move their elections cannot move them back for 10 years, even if officials and residents decide it's not working.

Posted on: 2010/3/10 12:57
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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There is no way that New Jersey or Jersey City will agree to IRV. The sad fact is, this City and State are stuck in the past and the voters aren't motivated enough to vote for change. Witness the poor showing by Dan Levin. The vote can be held on any day of the year and you will still never get more than 50% of the electorate to participate.

Posted on: 2010/1/12 21:44
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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With instant run off elections though, the way the winner is calculated can change the odds in favor or against certain candidates.

Posted on: 2010/1/12 21:09
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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T-Bird wrote:
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blogcityblog wrote:
There's also the question of municipal runoffs, quite common in JC.


There is an answer for that: instant runoffs. They are conducted quite successfully in San Francisco, Oakland, Minneapolis and St. Paul, among other places.


Instant runoff would do far more for democracy than save money, likely more than moving the election date. By allowing you to vote for your first choice candidate, rather than worrying about vote splitting in a large field and voting for the one you like less but think is electable, it opens the door for alternative and dark horse candidates. Even if they lose, there's a clear record of their real support, which can influence the policy of the winners.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant_runoff
Instant runoff voting (IRV) is the American English term for a voting system in which voters rank candidates in order of preference, most commonly in single-winner elections. If no candidate is the first preference of a majority of voters, the candidate with the fewest number of first preference rankings is eliminated and that candidate's ballots are redistributed at full value to the remaining candidates according to the next ranking on each ballot. This process is repeated until one candidate obtains a majority of votes among candidates not eliminated. The term "instant runoff" is used because the method is said to simulate a series of runoff elections tallied in rounds, as in an exhaustive ballot election.

Posted on: 2010/1/12 16:57
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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blogcityblog wrote:
There's also the question of municipal runoffs, quite common in JC. Will we then be holding runoff elections right after Thanksgiving? or in early December? How's the turnout for that gonna be. Mayor Healy made that point in an interview on blogcityblog.com (in case you wanna take a listen).


I understand the argument, but I disagree with the conclusion. While not uncommon, I believe that run-offs are still the exception, not the rule, right? For example, if one city council seat requires a run off and suffers due to low runoff turnout in late November/early December, isn't that better than all council seats suffering from low voter turnout by holding the election in May? I also think that plenty of other cities have figured this out and we could leverage their creative ideas for handling run-offs.

Posted on: 2010/1/12 15:05
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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blogcityblog wrote:
There's also the question of municipal runoffs, quite common in JC.


There is an answer for that: instant runoffs. They are conducted quite successfully in San Francisco, Oakland, Minneapolis and St. Paul, among other places.

Or move to partisan elections - you could still have five people running for mayor, they would just be narrowed down by a primary. Or you could be an independent and skip the primary altogether. There are solutions to all of these things. The primary and November general elections already exist - you'd still eliminate the unnecessary and lower turnout May election. And yes, move the school board elections to one of either June or November as well.

The desire to preserve non-partisan elections with the notion that we will keep party politics out of local issues and keep the focus on local issues is noble. But the very idea that it is the Hudson County DEMOCRATIC Organization that seems to be most opposed to the change is quite telling, to me. Our elections are already partisan, the only thing that gives the impression that they aren't is that this is essentially a one party town. I suppose, technically, the Soviet Union held non-partisan elections too.

Posted on: 2010/1/12 13:48
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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To the earlier point, at first I did skim the article too quickly. The current proposal is not to have a November partisan election, but that the legislature has allowed non-partisan elections to run concurrently with partisan elections in November, meaning no June primary.

This seems a poor idea to have contested multi-candidate non partisan elections alongside mostly uncontested two party elections.

As to the run off issue, perhaps a better solution would be combining non-partisan municipal elections with school board elections with any run off to be held during the June primary election.

Posted on: 2010/1/12 4:46
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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There's also the question of municipal runoffs, quite common in JC. Will we then be holding runoff elections right after Thanksgiving? or in early December? How's the turnout for that gonna be. Mayor Healy made that point in an interview on blogcityblog.com (in case you wanna take a listen).

Posted on: 2010/1/11 21:55
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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On one hand, a May election allows voters to concentrate on their local candidates, which otherwise are drowned out by State and Federal level candidates in November. At the same time, elections three times a year plus a primary plus a separate presidential primary every four years doesn't necessarily make sense either.

Posted on: 2010/1/11 20:55
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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Personally I like that some elections are in May. Having elections only in November is boring. You vote once per year. Having one in May mixes it up a bit.

Having it in Nov wont necessarily help in cases like the Board of Ed election. People were just not interested. They wont become more interested if its held in November. There wasn't a lot of info available for each candidate (only like 5 of them).

Posted on: 2010/1/11 20:42
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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From Politicker NJ:

Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
By Matt Friedman | January 8th, 2010 - 10:06am





Fulop ........... and an aweful lot of other people would like to move our municipal elections to November.

I would like to see our city council act to accomplish this change. Perhaps a special public hearing to provide the opportunity for the public to comment should be the next step.

While we can do this through a public referendum (and will if necessary), we should first work with and through our elected representitives in effort to build consensus and work together in moving Jersey City towards this goal.

For me, this is about increasing voter participation and turnout. Which benefits us all.

Posted on: 2010/1/11 16:56
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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whospeaksforyou: I think you mistook with ianmac meant. What's he's saying is that general elections are moot when Democrats (whether advertised or not as such) are assured to win. Hence, whoever you elected in June will only be christened by the vote in November.

That's isn't to say that it shouldn't be in November. Elections outside of November have weak voter turnout. That said, a challenger has more of an opportunity to win if the elections are on election day.

Posted on: 2010/1/11 15:14
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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Shifting Municipal elections to November is a great idea from an efficiency and cost perspective and should be supported. If the State Legislature passes the necessary legislation, there would be no good rationale to continue to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars needlessly. Jersey City's structural deficit is big enough already.

Posted on: 2010/1/11 14:18
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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You're mistaken, ianmac. The idea is that the whole kit n kaboodle will be moved to November. The municipal elections would remain non-partisan.

Posted on: 2010/1/11 7:38
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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All this will do is shift the municipal election from May, for the non-partisan elections, to June, for the primary elections.

Posted on: 2010/1/10 13:41
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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Yvonne wrote:
The elections were separate (May) because they are non-partisan, not Democratic or Republican.


Which is nice in theory but doesn't seem to be the practice. The HCD(emocratic)O has dominated the seen for a long time. Healy ran with the backing of Corzine and, allegedly, Obama. Menendez's pawprints are all over everything that happens in Hudson County where, presumably, everything is non-partisan. Let's be honest about how things really are - do we really think a switch to November and partisan elections will result in meaningful change?


Isn't another way to help accomplish the non-partisan goal to get rid of the visual groupings on the ballot? So that people don't just hear and see the one big name in the run up to the election (e.g. the person running for mayor) and then just vote that candidates slate for council members... Of course I'm sure they'd never agree to that..

Posted on: 2010/1/9 19:36
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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Yvonne wrote:
The elections were separate (May) because they are non-partisan, not Democratic or Republican.


Which is nice in theory but doesn't seem to be the practice. The HCD(emocratic)O has dominated the seen for a long time. Healy ran with the backing of Corzine and, allegedly, Obama. Menendez's pawprints are all over everything that happens in Hudson County where, presumably, everything is non-partisan. Let's be honest about how things really are - do we really think a switch to November and partisan elections will result in meaningful change?

Posted on: 2010/1/9 17:00
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Re: Fulop wants to move Jersey City elections from May to November
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I am for anything that saves taxpayers' money. The elections were separate (May) because they are non-partisan, not Democratic or Republican.

Posted on: 2010/1/8 22:38
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