Thoughts on the Primary and June Meeting

Smear page for the Primary
The Hainesport Happening Page

 

I didn’t think anything could be more divisive for Hainesport than the General Election last year…until we went through the Republican Primary.

Sure, I had an anonymous smear campaign directed at me last fall, but the accusations were toothless. This June, an individual associated with the “Reform” Republican campaign (who doesn’t even live in Hainesport) created an anonymous smear Facebook page called Hainesport Happening, which spent 3 weeks decimating the reputations of their opponents.

I’m not going to get into the details of whether or not the accusations leveled against Tony Porto and Mick Dickinson by the page were true (some were, others were twisted) or fair (are anonymous slurs ever truly ‘fair’?). I’m more interested in two other questions: 1) should we hold candidates accountable for extremely negative campaigning? and 2) Is there any way to move Hainesport into a kinder, calmer mode of local election?

Primary
A Stock Photo from the Smear Page

The Darnold & Evans campaign issued a statement condemning the smear page on May 18th. The Costa & Schneider campaign issued a statement at some point disclaiming the page (which is not the same thing) and that statement has since been deleted. There is also evidence linking the smear page to the person who has been proven to be an Administrator of their actual Campaign page. I hope that, when Hainesport chooses its representatives in November, its residents will take into account the complicity of the Republican candidates in the smear page, and judge any claims those candidates make on ethical leadership and dignity accordingly.

At the June Township meeting last night, I observed during public comment that Moorestown and Mt Holly DO have a kinder, calmer mode of local election. They elect committee members as a block of 2 or 3, to serve for 4 year terms, which means they only have local elections every 2 years. Hainesport could use that breathing space for recovery! Plus, it would probably save money as personnel would be constant for two years. No need to change name plaques, stationery, business cards etc. every year.

Solicitor Gillespie responded by explaining that Hainesport operates under a different form of government, the traditional ‘Township‘ mode, whereas the other two towns have adopted the modern ‘Council-Manager’ mode under the Faulkner Act, and that it would require complicated measures like a Referendum for a Charter Study Commission to change now.

So I did some research on this.

In addition to the benefits of an election-free year and cost-savings described above, I found that:

In each Faulkner Act municipality, individual citizens also have the right of initiative to propose and place ordinances on a ballot for citizens of that municipality to vote on, thus bypassing their elected representatives’ legislative authority. This right is intended to “arous[e] public interest and plac[e] in the hands of the voters … direct means of controlling proposed … municipal legislation.” [James M. McCreedy and Brian Rans, New Jersey Law Journal October 29, 2015]

In other words, residents in a township whose government operates under the Faulkner Act have MORE power (and officials have less) than those in a traditionally governed town. It seems to me that the idea of changing Hainesport’s form of government might deserve at least an exploratory committee, and definitely more than Solicitor Gillespie’s cursory dismissal.

Meanwhile, I hope that, with the incumbents dispatched in the Primary, we can anticipate a gentler, more policy-based campaign this fall. Hainesport does not need the divisiveness of fake smear pages run by outsiders.

New to Anna M. Evans

New to Anna M. Evans?

new to Anna M. Evans
Anna with Piper

If you are new to Anna M. Evans & Dreaming in Iambic Pentameter, you might find it useful to visit a few of the most popular articles, grouped below according to subject.

Hainesport Township Council

Vote Evans & Schneider for Hainesport, 2016 — An introduction to me and our Democrat platform.

Hainesport Township Altercation Video — Watch Committeman Fitzpatrick intimidate me at the Primary Election Returns.

June Hainesport Township Meeting — includes video  of heated exchange between Committeeman Porto and Hainesport resident Pat Macken.

July Hainesport Township Meeting — includes video of Health Benefits motions.

Metrics and the Sonnet

Where Should a Sonnet Turn? — The turn or volta of a sonnet classically appears between the octave and sestet. Where should a sonnet turn? Examples by Shakespeare and Wordsworth suggest.

Sexy Sonnets — A look at five classic sexy sonnets, including Shakespeare’s Sonnet XX and Millay’s Sonnet XLI, that inspired me to write the Sisters & Courtesans sonnets

Female Historical Persona & Character Poems

Why Write Female Historical Persona Poems? — Sisters & Courtesans, female historical persona poems that look at history from ancient Rome to now through the eyes of nuns and women of easy virtue.

Female Historical Persona & Character Poems — Female historical persona and character poems, with examples by poets such as A.E. Stallings, Margaret Atwood, and Kevin Young.

Poetry & Alzheimer’s

Working with Poetry and Alzheimer’s

Poetry by the Sea: A Global Conference

What Poetry by the Sea 2015 Meant to Me — A description of the inaugural Poetry by the Sea 2015 Conference, which took place in Madison, CT in May 2015 with keynote Marilyn Hacker

Translation

Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, Translation of Verlaine — Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, translation of Verlaine’s essay which appears in his 1884 book Les poetes maudits.

 

The Worst Blog Hiatus Ever!!

Over three months. What can I say? It’s been a busy summer? Well, that’s certainly true–I’ve had the kids off school since June 14th. They are renovating Hainesport School and so not only was summer break extended, but there was also no township recreational program. All of which means the driving has been crazy, and I’ve had very little free time that wasn’t urgently required by editorial firefighting or ice skating.

So, what’s new? Well, importantly, I’ve just brought the new issue of The Barefoot Muse online. Do go and check it out! The featured poet is Jehanne Dubrow, and there are poems by familiar faces such as Carol Taylor, Peter Branson and Maryann Corbett, as well as some new names I think you will love, like Eric Norris, David Hirzel and Laura Maffei. My editorial also sheds more light on my lackluster blogging!

Three of my NaPoWriMo poems have already been accepted for publication! Tilt-a-Whirl took “Triple Lutz” and “Waiting for the F Train,” and US1 took “April 6th.” Soundzine also took three poems, although I don’t think the issue is up yet, and Atlanta Review took a sonnet, “The Pre-History of Music.”

My panel proposal for AWP 2011 was accepted, which I’m really excited about, and I probably have a gig teaching formal poetry at the West Windsor Art Center in the Fall.

In over five years I have never been late getting The Barefoot Muse online, and today is no exception, despite the fact that we are leaving for a ten day trip to the UK tomorrow. Let me go finish packing! When we get home and the kids go back to school, then I promise…aw, heck! No promises…!

And According to the New Rules…

Today is TRR day. I’ve caught up on correspondence and subs and updated the website. Of course, I really need to write the editorial and consider the questions for an upcoming interview feature, but I don’t really have time for either of those before the kids get home so I WILL blog!

For my local readers, I’d like to draw attention to the new Medford Arts Center, which I toured on Tuesday. I’ve been advising the Medford Cultural Arts Commission on their Literary Program since last Fall, and in June the Commission opened the new Arts Center, conveniently located on Medford High St. Plans are afoot to began a Reading Series and put together a schedule of workshops and seminars for 2010. But for now, Burlington County residents might be interested to learn that the MCAC is sponsoring a local poetry contest for the second year running. Entry is free for up to 3 poems–simply visit the Medford Township website and download the entry form. (Please note: I will be judging, so please do NOT enter if you are a close personal friend or previous student of mine.) [Read more…]