Tuesday, April 16, 2013

City employees get a free ride to the polls

Candidates from opposing slates chatting amiably this afternoon in front of Hackensack's Fairmount Elementary School on Grand Avenue, one of the polling places for today's school-board election. The Ford Crown Victoria parked at the curb carried a license plate with the letters "MG" (Municipal Government), and a man soon left the school, got in and drove away.

At least two Hackensack employees used city owned vehicles to drive to the Fairmount Elementary School to cast their votes in today's school-board election.

The polls opened at 2 p.m. and were to remain open until 9 tonight. 

Six candidates, including two incumbents, were vying for three vacancies on the Board of Education, which has been divided by politics.

Sasson campaign

Victor E. Sasson, an independent City Council candidate in next month's non-partisan election, voted in the school cafeteria, then returned about 15 minutes later with copies of his platform folded inside official applications for mail-in ballots.

Sasson was careful to stay at least 100 feet away from the school entrance, as the law requires, before approaching voters.

Still, a car pulled up and City Clerk Debra Heck got out and handed Sasson a copy of the law on "prohibited actions in polling place on election day."

Heck said she received a report that Sasson had approached voters within 100 feet of the polling place.

Mrs. Heck also was upset that in proposing a residency requirement for city employees, Sasson had mistakenly told voters at a recent forum for council candidates that she was one of the city officials who lived outside Hackensack.

The candidate apologized. 

Dissing Hackensack

The Record's coverage of the contested school-board election in Hackensack was weak, typical of its famously lazy assignment editors, who long ago developed a distaste for covering local contests.

Today's front page again shows that Editor Marty Gottlieb continues to ignore the needs of North Jersey readers.

Christie mismanagement

Why relegate to A-3 the latest version of Governor Christie's irresponsible tax-cut plan?

Three corrections run on A-2 today, including fixes to a misspelled name and an incorrect Page 1 map -- basics that a daily newspaper should be getting right.

Local yokels

In head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' thin Local news section, the only Hackensack news is a follow-up to charges against City Council candidate Kenneth Martin, a retired cop, who is accused of removing his opponents' campaign signs (L-3).

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