Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Phantom Candidate

Save the date: The League of Women Voters' School Board Candidates Night- Tuesday, October 24th at 7:30 pm, Public Safety Building, 73 South Van Brunt Street.

Bill Feinstein
Column 5
We started this School Board Election season with a record number of 10 Candidates vying for 3 seats on the Englewood Board of Education. Candidates in the 9th and 10th columns dropped out of the race prior to September 6. Their names will not be on the ballot. We now have 8 candidates competing for those same 3 seats. 4 of those candidates are still a mystery to "we the people". The 4 candidates here are off and running.

April 2012 School Board Elections were a bit odd with unexplained events throughout. 2 Candidates ran who did absolutely nothing to win. They simply put their names on the ballot and became Spoilers.

One, we know. His name is David Popkin. Mr. Popkin was one of a few people who attended every school board meeting and challenged anything mathematical. He and I were once the only 2 residents who waited out a Board meeting that lasted until 2:00 am in the morning. He was a Math teacher in his early years and has lived in Englewood a very long time. He is known to keep the Board on its toes about many issues including accepting gifts from vendors. He was his very own Board Watch for many years. 2012 was not the first time that Mr. Popkin had run for the Board. He told me that he never campaigns and never signs petitions. 

Dierdre Paul
Column 7
When asked why he runs, he said that he just wanted to make it interesting.  I didn't try to understand, for fear of a math problem that I would never be able to comprehend. Mr. Popkin got over 200 votes without doing anything other than putting his name on the ballot.

The 2nd candidate was literally a "Phantom". We never saw her. No one knew who she was. We thought she did not exist. We searched the registered voter list to make sure that she was a real person.

She is a real person. Her name is Jennifer Kim. She never revealed herself throughout the campaign. She did not attend any of the debates or "meet the candidate" events. On Election night, the Asian news media was there with cameras waiting alongside us for the outcome of the election. I assume they wanted to see her also. She never showed. We call her the "Phantom Candidate".  She got votes from every single ward and district in the City. Jennifer Kim earned 233 votes. She did even less than Mr. Popkin. She and Mr. Popkin simply took nearly 500 votes from other candidates who may have done better had the Spoilers not participated. One will never know whom they were both set on derailing.

Last night a friend and I went over the voting patterns in Englewood School Board Elections for the last 6 years. It came to me that we have not seen or heard anything from 4 of the 8 Candidates. We have no photographs of them. School Board is very personal and somehow closer to the people than other elected officials. They make decisions that are closer to our hearts. They have the power to change the futures of our children. Yes, they do.

Betty Griffin
Column 4
Phantom candidates become what the political world calls spoilers.

We have not heard from 4 of the 8 Candidates. Matthew Garrison, we have seen in and around town as a child and a teenager. He did not attend Dwight Morrow High School. Most of us have not seen nor heard from Matthew since he went off to college. Did Matthew really want to be on the Board of Education? Did he personally carry a petition and get signatures? One wonders....

And who is Brent Watson? He has attended 2 of the same Board meetings and has a face.  He holds the #1 Column on the ballot and may join the ranks of those elected simply because of that. Voters, please read the names and attend the events scheduled to give you a chance to meet and question the candidates.

Did Michelle Marom and Dalia Lerner really want to throw their hats into that ring of fire? Who knows? Perhaps the 3 of them will show up at the League of Women Voters "Meet the Candidates event scheduled for Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 7:30 pm, Public Safety Building, 73 South Van Brunt Street.

Howard Haughton
Column 3
In years past, published candidate photographs and campaign statements prior to the election. This blogger has no idea what the protocol will be this year. As it stands, the people should not have to wait. There are very important decisions to be made.

Do we have 3 "Phantom" Candidates in 2017?

.....And how are the children?

No comments:

Post a Comment