Who knows why Suzanne O’Connor, unanimously chosen by the Glen Ridge Board of Ed to fill a vacancy last summer, was snubbed by the CCC? For reasons that seem as mysterious to us as a papal nomination, the town’s unofficial official nominating committee — which generally puts up a slate of candidates for an uncontested election — didn’t tap O’Connor for the school board election on April 18.

Well, she plans to run anyway. Another untapped candidate, Karen McGinn, will also seek a seat.

More on this uncharacteristically interesting race in today’s Ledger.

23 replies on “What Do You Call That Thing Where More than One Person Competes for Public Office? Oh Yeah, an Election”

  1. That ccc thing really amazes me. Could someone explain to me who these CCC people are, how they got this kind of “power” and do the people really like this system?
    In Bloomfield we have had a full range of board members – stay-at-home-moms, chiropractor, teachers, business owners, corporate execs, turnpike employee, police, DJ…

  2. Stasha Cohen CHOSE not to return for a second year at GRHS, actually if you want to know I can take full blame for her not coming back. Having your mother teach your friends (and potentially you) while also having their parents call our home at their discretion was a less than enjoyable year for everyone in my family. She also W was a first year teacher that was called by Dan Fishbien four days before school started to replace a teacher that had quit. She has won numerous accolades at Clifton and also has great experience outside of teaching as she has practiced law for nearly 15 years.
    This is all I will say, because her 22 year old daughter shouldn’t defend mindless attacks on her. I just originally congratulated my mom because it is exciting to see family members names in the paper, especially when you are 200 miles away and don’t have easy access to such things. Thanks to Barista for posting it.

  3. The CCC delegates are people who live in town. The community organizations (Women’s club, Friends of the Library, Home and School Associations, etc.) each send a couple of delegates, and there are 6 or 9 delegate spots open to anyone in town. It is a subject of debate, but it seems to consistently be a system that finds good candidates to run for office, who might not otherwise toss their name in the hat.
    Sometimes they win (like when they run uncontested) and sometimes the lose (like almost every time Carl ran). Nothing stops anyone else from running for office, as past elections, and this one, have demonstrated.
    W – what makes you think Mr. Cable works for a cable company, other than his name? He works for a watch manufacturer or something like that, is active in town, and has three kids in the system. He should make a fine addition to the board.
    And what rule says that a teacher in one town cannot serve on the Board of Ed in another town?

  4. Ridger – Thanks. Appreciate that explanation. To answer one of your questions: a teacher employed out of town can certainly serve on the board of ed for the town where they live. There are certain limitations on their participation, though. First example that pops into my head is they cannot be on the negotiation team for teacher contracts. However, I think that most anyone who serves on a local board of ed will at one time or another, if they go strictly by the book, would have to recuse him/herself from a discussion or a vote.

  5. as per the Star Ledger, “After Schiller resigned, the board unanimously chose O’Connor to serve until the April elections. She won out over five others, Schoenfeld among them.”
    Who has more knowledge of what the BOE needs, the BOE or the CCC?
    I say, go for it Suzanne! I’ll be voting for you.

  6. Civic Conference Committee. Set up to thwart the partison bickering among candidates and having neighbors bring the best people forward who would normally avoid the expense of a campaign and the personal attacks. Apparently modeled after some New England style town committees.

  7. I believe I have to start this out by saying that I do not believe in the concepts that the CCC promotes. That being said, I do know Mrs. Cohen (and certainly her daughter) and think that she would p[robably be a very good candidate for the school board. I fully realize that I’m dealing with a lot of super-partisan people, so allow me to elaborate on how this is not self-contradictory.
    The CCC was, indeed, invented to try to remove the pressures of partisan politics in a small town. This is a very nice statement. It seems to gloss over the fact that the committee by its very nature overrides any sort of democracy, but everything has its flaws. Personally, I enjoy having a little partisan pressure in my town. I also thoroughly believe that the people of Glen Ridge should be free to make their own decisions, rather than a shady group of people operating behind closed doors.
    That being said, it is important to remember that the purpose this election is not to make a statement against the type of government, but to elect somebody to the school-board. I imagine that some people might say that this is a chance to stand up for my principles, but in my opinion the most important thing in this election is to make sure that our schools are well run, and to jeopardize that for my own personal reasons seems rather selfish to me, at least.
    The fact that there are two people running in this election represents a tremendous accomplishment in that it has given the people of Glen Ridge a choice. So no matter how you feel about the CCC, go out and vote for who you feel is the best candidate for the job. Believe me, the CCC is gonna be around no matter who you vote for, and opponents will be around as long as there’s an organization to exclude them. While I ma not support Mrs. Cohen’s politics, I support her candidacy completely. People might ask why I feel a need for two candidates when I’m going to pick the CCC one anyway, and I would respond by saying it’s the difference between choosing chocolate cake on a menu, or having it thrown at you from across a dark room. It doesn’t matter if it’s a choice between cake and rotten cheese, it’s still nice to be asked (no offense to the other candidate, just making an example!)
    Hey, maybe we don’t need the CCC after all. Maybe the people of this town can act civilly enough to choose the best candidate regardless of their party affiliation. Maybe we’re smart enough that we don’t need a bunch of elitists telling us what to do.
    …but maybe not.

  8. I have absolutely no stake in any election in Glen Ridge, but a few questions arise after reading that amazing statement from the “first son” (whose, I wonder.
    If you don’t believe in the “concepts that the CCC promotes,” and you also don’t support Ms. Cohen’s politics, why then vote for her? And why term the CCC a “bunch of elitists” and then seemingly opine that Glen Ridge might still need these elitists? What’s with the weird chocolate cake analogy, too?
    These questions are just a start. I’m sure local residents will ask far harder, more salient ones. I’ll be greatly disappointed if they don’t, if only by way of clarifying to a non-GR resident a truly baffling post seemingly distinguished mainly by its avuncularity.

  9. The problem I have with the CCC is that if there are three spots on the BOE they offer three candidates. If these three candidates run on a post then the voter dosen’t really have a choice (unless they write in)and this is not an election. If there are three spots open on the BOE offer me five candidates and let me decide. I am capable. This by-the-way is something I mentioned to the head of the CCC but it went completely ignored. Last election there were only three candidates – all CCC endorsed – I did not vote for any of them. I mean what did it matter, my vote would not make a difference.

  10. The CCC is not some elitist organization, it is comprised of people from all parts of the town. If you are in any way active in town, I guarantee that you know a bunch of them. It’s not a secret who they are, their names are at the CCC website – https://www.glenridgeccc.org
    The CCC does not stop anyone from running from office, and in the past has had a hard time finding three candidates to fill three seats.
    The fact that there are only CCC candidates on the ballot in other years is not the CCC’s fault, it is because no one else bothered to file a petition and run for office. It’s as simple as that.
    If the CCC didn’t exist, I would imagine that there would be NO candidates running for office. Remember a few years ago when there were NO CANDIDATES on the ballot? None.
    So, we should be thanking the CCC delegates for taking the time to find and encourage qualified candidates to run for office, and at the same time thank all 5 candidates for putting their names on the ballot, and their willingness to serve in this important position for no pay.

  11. “The CCC does not stop anyone from running from office”
    That is true, but they don’t help those candidates who run for office on their own as they do for the candidates they endorse. The CCC will actively campaign for their candidates. If you run for office on your own you are paying for flyers and handing them out yourself.
    I know several people who have gone for the CCC endorsement and been turned away – so while they may say they are unable to get candidates, I think they are really saying they cannot find candidates they approve of.
    I also have many friends who are on the CCC so I agree that it is not an evil organization. They could however, make some changes in their policies and actions that would create a better public image.

  12. I was once told by a councelman in Glen Ridge that there was “No room” in this town for partisan politics. Of course he was a CCC endorsed candidate! The CCC should just hang it up…..

  13. what seems strange to me is that the CCC includes members from both the democratic and republican organization. So instead of running opposing candidates, in our town they get together to pick a slate. Seems more like power sharing than democracy.
    Also was interesting that at the last candidates forum (not a debate since the candidates were unapposed) it was suggested that for relief for our tax problems we needed to look to the elections for other positions (county, state, federal). How odd . . .weren’t they all contested? How is it we can be trusted to participate in them?
    to be sure, I think we have some great elected folks who work tremendously hard for the town, but the way we pick them is wack!

  14. As a former “shady CCC elitist”, all I can say to “#1 son” is join your neighbors on the CCC and take a turn at the wheel of your town instead of b…ching & moaning. “This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco”, this is life in your small town waiting for you to step up to the plate.

  15. The last post by PAZingr (AMiL) pretty much sums up what’s wrong and scary with the CCC . . . “join your neighbors on the CCC and take a turn at the wheel of your town” When did we agree that you get a turn at the wheel? Shouldn’t the elected officials be the ones at the wheel?
    Is this an admission that they are running, or trying to run the town?

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