Have you checked your mailbox yet today? Many Montclair residents received a two-page mailer this morning from the Montclair 2012 team, with the  headline, “We Can’t Trust Karen Turner To Protect Montclair.” The mailer goes on to state that at a 2010 Township Council meeting, Turner “questioned the need for a public library and public arts programs.”

The other side has a photo of Robert Jackson headed “Robert Jackson Will Protect Montclair” followed by this quote from Jackson: “Our families cherish public libraries, arts programs and our schools. I will protect them.” 

In an email to Baristanet, Montclair 2012 attached the minutes from the 9/30/10 Montclair Council Meeting when Turner made the comments, and made the following statement:

It’s important that we stand up for the Montclair Public Library, a resource and town asset we cherish, and for public arts programs in town. We wanted to contrast our unwavering commitment with the position of someone who has questioned the value of the Library and town arts programs. Strategically, because of the implications of abandonment, we decided it was necessary to take a firm stand.

Baristanet has reached out to Turner for comment.

35 replies on “Montclair 2012 Blasts Turner on Library, Arts Support”

  1. Dear Candidates:

    On behalf of your friends and neighbors living in Montclair, I thank you for your involvement in this year’s municipal election process.

    Running for office is no easy task. As we can tell from the many posts over the past several weeks, candidates are often treated like punching bags, the recipients of mass pummeling fueled by public frustration and political disillusionment. For this, I am sorry. You deserve our attention and our applause for engaging in this very important civic debate, and having the stamina and thick skin to stay in the game. But every time a candidate resorts to dumbing down the focus of the issues, we your constituents can only assume that you have nothing substantial to say and thus, we tune out.

    The greatest threat to your candidacy and the election process is apathetic voters.

    So I respectfully ask that you, as potential stewards of our community’s civic and economic health, stay on point and tell us how you will rebuild Montclair’s capacity to be an economically sound and socially responsible municipality. How will you establish priorities once elected? In your opinion, what investments are necessary for economic growth? What do you see are the possibilities for change, if you are elected? How will you increase government effectiveness and efficiency here in Montclair?

    Extra votes for originality, creativity and a measure of detail.

    Good luck on election day.


  2. Really?!? Was this necessary?

    Jackson, and the rest of Montclair 2012, you just lost my vote.

  3. Politics 101: The mailer is supposed to arrive the Saturday/Monday before the election so opponents can’t respond. It’s supposed to be mailed today, not arrive.

  4. I guess that I can conclude from this is that Montclair 2012 wouldn’t even question the need for some programs? I can see where their budget would be going….UP!

  5. Sorry Montclair 2012 – it is you that we cannot trust! You folks are a part of why Montclair is where we are today.

  6. Everyone wonders why there is such low voter turnout in Montclair… this is why! Each of the slates are equally as bad, dysfunctional and inept that no matter who you vote for, no matter who gets in, its going to be a train wreck.

  7. And now mud-slinging.

    Getting a real clear picture of character here. Is M2012’s kind of politics what we want on the council for the next four years?

  8. Would it have killed you guys to print the comments Karen Turner made? I guess linking to the minutes of that meeting is better than nothing, but not much.

    This is what the minutes say:

    Karen Turner, 74 Highland Avenue, echoed Mr. Cotter’s comments; she believes the Council has not
    followed through with suggestions to reduce the budget. She questioned the need for a public library, public arts
    programs, and the installation of shade trees. Ms. Turner volunteered her time to assist the Council with this budget.

    Turner must be feeling pretty good. Both slates are attacking her, which means both slates think she’ll win.

  9. “Would it have killed you guys to print the comments Karen Turner made? ”

    The minutes aren’t actual quotes by anyone. They’re a summary made by the clerk (Wanat, of botched petition fame). The clerk’s summary should not be viewed as direct or accurate quotes.

    That’s part of the dishonesty of Jackson’s attack.

  10. Montclair voters seem to get bent out of shape over the most banal attack ads. Is this really “disgusting”? If Karen Turner did in fact question the need for library funding or arts programs, why can’t that be used against her?

  11. To present a third-party’s summary of a quote as a quote? Yeah, I think that’s pretty disgusting. Smarmy in the extreme.

    Notice what he added:

    “Our families cherish public libraries, arts programs and our schools. I will protect them.”

    Schools wasn’t even in the minutes.

    This is normal political sleaze like we see all the time. But sleaze it is. I would imagine any opposition Jackson receives while in office would treated in the same sleazy fashion.

  12. Pointing out and questioning someone that is running for offices comments is now deemed “disgusting”?

    It’s no wonder we got this guy in the WH.

  13. Pointing out and questioning someone that is running for offices comments is now deemed “disgusting”?

    Herb, you want to write that in the English language before making another irrelevant comment about Obama?

  14. it even fooled Carolyn Maynard-Parisi:

    “In an email to Baristanet, Montclair 2012 attached the minutes from the 9/30/10 Montclair Council Meeting when Turner made the comments, and made the following statement:”

    We don’t know what comments she made. If we did we could ascertain the meaning from the context.

  15. Nick, it’s dishonest because we have no idea what she actually said or the context.

    If Jackson could put quotes around what she said and we could see their context, it would be fair.

  16. Fair enough, ROC. I wouldn’t go so far as to say disgusting. I’d say misleading, at worst. But no doubt someone is out there getting a video clip of what Karen really said.

    If only there were news outlets that fact-checked what candidates are saying about other candidates!

  17. Baristanet, can you run a query on comment counts for articles related to the mayoral election, occupy, or the intersection of south park and church street?

    I think between the Sienna, fro-yo shops, South Park Bar, and the renovation project South Park Street wins.

    In 5 months from now the articles will be very much the same, Occupy will be going into hibernation for the winter, the presidential race will be upon us (it will be obama who is desperate instead of jackson), there will be fights outside of south park bar, something else will go wrong in the sienna and one fro-yo place will be closing only to be replaced by another within one block.

  18. Kevin57’s take needs to be echoed.

    We should WANT a mayor who will question EVERYTHING!

    One reason that Montclair has racked up more than 250 MILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT and endures crushing real estate taxes is that prior administrations didn’t question enough. There was a real lack of willingness to say no to anything.

    I can’t speak for Karen Turner, but it’s not exactly dastardly or sinister to notice that in the age of Kindles, iPads, nooks and FedEx, maybe the 200-year-old model of a local public library could stand some scrutiny.

    Change can be frightening, but we simply should not settle for “But that’s the way we’ve always done it.”

    Jackson’s approach deserves to be rejected, emphatically.

  19. Tangent: the only two comments here that are indecipherable by anyone who speaks English also contain anti-Obama comments.

  20. Honestly, this just crossed Turner off the list for me. Libraries are near and dear to me and I know the struggles many of them are going through right now. I’ve seen firsthand what happens when a politician who is not supportive of them becomes in charge.
    At this point I’m completely disheartened by all the mayoral candidates. I guess I should be thankful it’s too expensive for me to purchase a home in this town.

  21. His next mailing will claim that she hates shade trees! That will rile up the tree-huggers and global warmers in town…

    But seriously, in tough times do our local taxes really need to support the arts given the level of Federal, State, and private grant money dedicated to “the arts.” Does Montclair really need to take tax dollars to plant more shade trees, don’t we have enough shade trees in this town? And cherish libraries, really? Our families cherish the public libraries so much that most people in town don’t even know where the two libraries are. Cherish seems a bit strong.

    Also, it’s funny how he worked in the schooling issue again. People in town without kids and people like Turner subsidize our public schools by paying full boat on taxes yet not using any of the resources that they pay for. To spin it the other way, it is interesting that the two other candidates have made this such an issue since they obviously love draining town resources by sending multiple kids through the public school system (4 kids in the case of more-bang-for-my-buck Jackson). It is especially ironic given that Jackson boasts about his MKA education.

    I think Kevin57 and Waltermitty have it right. This is almost a pro-Turner mailing that he sent out.

  22. “It is especially ironic given that Jackson boasts about his MKA education…..”

    Ironic is too mild a word.

  23. I smell fear of a woman from 2012 & formontclair. Give me a break on all of this already.

  24. Thats all the Jackson slate has on Turner?…..Some ambiguous statement she made about the library two years ago?

    Karen Turner should be thrilled that the Jackson slate is spending its money helping her get elected!!

  25. This is down and dirty time. I don’t sense desperation, I sense competition.

    From a Turner/RPM mailer, “”… a 40% tax increase in municipal taxes and ‘divisiveness’ on the town council.” NY TImes, May 12, 1988 On Jackson’s 1st term in office.”

    The entire article is here, https://nyti.ms/IAkHtt and reading the full version one realizes the quote is from Clifford F. Lindholm, who won the Mayoral race that year, beating Jackson, who was seeking reelection. Lindholm was being quoted by the NYTimes.

    Reading only the snippet which the Turner/RPM slate has been hammering away with, one comes away with the idea that perhaps this quote about ‘divisiveness’ was from a NYTimes editorial, not just a quote from a competitor in the heat of the race. Nice framing.

    Mudslinging is real world politics. It’s all good.

  26. I’m sure Karen Turner supporters will not be swayed by her actual words, but I think it’s undeniable that her comments weren’t taken out of context. She questioned the need for libraries, school libraries and arts and shade-tree funding. You may agree, but it turns out Jackson’s mailer wasn’t off base.

  27. I just listened – she was asking questions. “Do we need…” was one, so was “can we share with other towns”. I didn’t hear her say she was in favor of closing the library, she was questioning what we need, vs. what we want, vs. what other options might be out there for us. Thinking and questioning. Something that has been in short supply with the current council. I’m thrilled that she is open to questioning how things are done and why.

  28. JerseyGurl — there IS a job for you at spin control central. Kopp, Byrne et. al. will take you in a heartbeat. Go for it!

  29. That photo and video of Karen is from the OBAC presentation to the Town Council. Several in the group took turns presenting. The Montclair 2012 group knows this is the case and are hoping that all of you feed into the scam. OBAC was made of members of the community picked by the Council. Gosh you people are gullible.

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