One More Reminder
Let us look back to August 2007, when the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC) report on Plainfield came out. A monitoring team had studied the district through early 2007. In April 2007, Wilma Campbell and Martin Cox won re-election to the school board and Christian Estevez came aboard. The state gave the district only 11 percent for governance, among other low scores. Should Estevez have shared the shame?
Looking at school board election results online at the Union County Clerk's office, one can see that among sitting members, Cox was on the board at least from April 2001. Agurs Linward Cathcart Jr. won first in 2002. Lisa Logan-Leach was among winners in 2003. Wilma Campbell won in 2004. Bridget Rivers and Patricia Barksdale won in 2005, Estevez in 2007. The newest members are Brenda Gilbert and Katherine Peterson, who won in April. Many, many others have served and are gone.
So how to sweep away the school board?
Why don't we stick to the old-fashioned way? Four seats will be up in April 2010 and three more each in 2011 and 2012. Those whose terms are up next year are Estevez, Campbell and Cox, along with an unexpired term resulting from Rivers winning a City Council seat. In 2011, the successor to Rivers will have to seek reelection, along with Peterson and Cathcart.
Anyone who wants to serve on the school board starting in April 2010 should start now to get a campaign together and seek support of like-minded people. New members are required to take training and commit themselves to a rigorous schedule of meetings. It takes a while to understand the role, as older members can attest. Doing away with a sitting board, even if possible, might result in a loss of knowledge and experience that Plainfield needs.
If you really want change on the board or feel certain members deserve re-election, please consider taking part. School board election turnouts are notoriously low. Do you want to have a say? Plan ahead.