Sunday, January 17, 2010

Will Voters Care in April?

As hot as things sound on blogs and forums regarding school board issues, will more people take an interest in the annual school board election in 2010?

Here are the results of the April 2009 school board election:

For three three-year seats

Patricia I. Barksdale ------881
Brenda Gilbert ------------717
Rasheed Abdul-Haqq -----453
Joseph M. Ruffin Sr. ------ 577
Mahogany Hendricks ------558
Joanne Hollis --------------635
Lisa Logan-Leach ---------675
Personal Choice --------------1
Total --------------------4,497

For an unexpired term:

Terrence Williams --- 302
Katherine Peterson -- 583
Tammy Westbrook -- 495
Total ---------------1,381

Now keep in mind that for the full terms, each voter could choose three, so the total voter turnout did not mean nearly 5,000 people went to the polls. Now here is the pathetic part: In April 2009, the total number of registered voters in Plainfield was 21,784.

School board elections are notorious for low turnout, but with all the issues in the Plainfield district, it just seems a shame that more people do not want to have their say on who sits on the board.

The same scenario will occur this year, three three-year terms and one unexpired term. That's four of the nine board seats, enough to approach a critical mass for change. Prospective candidates have been busy figuring out slates and strategies in advance of the March 1 filing date for the election. The election itself will be April 20, giving voters enough time to get to know more about the candidates. But then you have to make your way to the polls on Election Day to vote for those you deem best qualified.

The four who come on board this year will join the five others in facing likely big sweeps in state education policy and funding. All will need the best board skills they can muster in order to serve the district in a time of major change.

--Bernice Paglia


Blogger olddoc said...

One more reason for an appointed board. The blame would now be on tne mayor"s shoulders not the lack of public participation.1,300+ votes out of more than 8000.

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The really interesting number is how many people actually bothered to vote. It's disgraceful that so few turn out. Maybe olddoc is right.

12:19 AM  
Blogger RASRAHMATAZ said...

Bernice-- I certainly hope the people of this fair city will come out and full force not just on April 20th, but during the various forums/debates and AFTERwards to keep the BOE on track and to stay and/or engage in community involvement. I PRAY it so! In Jesus' name AMEN.

2:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Bernice!

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The people don't care. Let's stop ruining our children's lives and send them to other school districts that have a good educational agenda. The HS is in year 7, I repeat 7 years, of low performance.

I keep hearing about how Plainfield cares about their kids - well, prove it and send them somewhere where they can get an education and have a chance at a good life. Obviously neither Plainfield nor some members of the BOE care.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:49 PM  
Blogger olddoc said...

Sorry about my numbers; less than 1400 voters out of nearly 28000 registered voters is an abomination.

Does anyone know what is the largest voter turnout at any election in Plainfield? Must have been 2008 Presidential.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vouchers, Vouchers, Vouchers! Finally our kids might get a chance at the education of the surrounding towns. It's a shame that we pour all of these taxes into a system that has been failing for 7 years. If it's not successful, let's cut our losses and move on - not for financial reasons but for the sake of our children. We have TOO much to lose if we don't provide them with 21st century skills.

5:56 PM  

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