The failures of the elected School Board

To the Editor:

One of the biggest issues Mayor Davis ran on was the Board of Education. After being elected Mayor Davis followed through on his promise and restored the Board of Education to that of an elected one. With how this decision and election unfolded I consider the election for the Board of Education a major failure for a couple of reasons.
The first reason is voter turnout. In the 1970s the decision was made to make the Board of Education an appointed board because of the pathetic voter turnout. Well, as was seen in this election, that turnout has not changed much. In the most recent mayoral election there was an enthusiasm from the voters of Bayonne which has not been seen in quite a while. After sometime as Jimmy Davis (or is it Joe Demarco?) as the leader of this city, it is apparent that the honeymoon is over. The enthusiasm displayed in the mayoral election did not carry over to the Board of Education election. Bayonne has a total of 32,711 registered voters, yet when looking at the number of votes cast there was only a total of 6,496 for five seats that were up for grabs. I was never a genius in math but according to my calculations that comes out to only 20 percent of registered voters who cast a vote for the Board of Education election. I cannot even come up with the words for how pathetic that turnout is. Was it even worth the money invested by the county, the municipality, and the candidates themselves?
The second reason that electing a Board of Education was a failure is the politics involved. I have several questions about this. The major reason Bayonne wanted an elected Board of Education was to take politics out of it, but by using the promise of an elected Board of Education as a political ploy to gain votes, that in itself makes it political from the very beginning. Also, in putting something up for an election does that not technically make it political by definition? Last, the decision by Joe Demarco … sorry I mean Mayor Davis, to make an endorsement made this election nothing but political. Mayor Davis should have kept the politics out of it and not made an endorsement, but then again does anything really change in Bayonne/Hudson County politics?


© 2000, Newspaper Media Group