Bobby & me

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The 2018 Board of Education election has made for some strange bedfellows. Take Bobby and me.

Turns out we both support one of the same candidates for Board of Education.

I’m supporting this young candidate because he is clearly among the best and brightest and is direct and honest with voters, even when it does not advantage him in his campaign. That honestly is impressive. He’s also a young father with a vested interest in doing what’s right.

Bobby is likely helping this candidate because of an old friendship with an uncle of the candidate we both back. No matter, because Bobby backing someone isn’t a reason in and of itself to not back a highly qualified, independent candidate.

This is Lyndhurst. Everyone knows everyone else, for the most part.

And I know Bobby.

Mayor Bobby’s is an old master at jumping off sinking political ships and on to victorious ones. This last minute twist isn’t shocking to me.

This year, Bobby is forced to back BOE Trustee Sheri Jarvis. After all, Bobby’s 2017 running mate, Commissioner and Plumber Richard Jarvis, is Sheri’s father-in-law.

I suspect Sheri is going to lose badly on November 6. And the Bobby I know well, would think he can’t afford to be on the losing side of all three school board seats up this year, because it will make him look even weaker than he already does look to most.

But political strength isn’t my point.

This Lyndhurst School Board election isn’t about who wins and loses in terms of who (Bobby or me or anyone else) backed which candidates who won. It’s about who wins in terms of their abilities and the future of this Township. It’s about real stuff, like electing QUALIFIED PEOPLE FOR A CHANGE, not someone strictly because they’re your friend or relative or someone else’s friend or relative.

If your brother was a moron, would you elect him Mayor in a financial crisis? In the privacy of a voting booth I doubt few would, unless they were morons themselves.

Bobby, in my opinion, lacks as a Mayor. But even a broken clock is right twice a day.

And this year, because of Bobby’s personal friendship with an uncle of this one BOE candidate, Mayor Bobby accidentally or calculatedly, made one right choice this year for one BOE seat.

Bobby, you have about two years left as a public official. In my opinion, if you run, you aren’t going to be re-elected in 2021.

This year’s Board of Education election is, hopefully, the start of a transformation of Lyndhurst, from the politicians of the past to the leaders of the future.

It’s about people like Frank Ferrandino, whom I single out because of the impressive campaign he’s run for BOE. If Lyndhurst has a future Harry Truman (as in telling it like it is), it’s him. Ferrandino not only has a great business background and clearly thought out independent and ethical positions, Ferrandino also displays a humanity apparently forged in family challenges that he seems to have met with strength and grace as a father. Ferrandino happens to be in the zone, in terms of age and experiences and the character development that resulted. Watch this guy. Lyndhurst should cultivate Ferrandino as a future citizen turned political leader, as opposed to electing more idiots with familiar political names.

Rick Pizzuti and Giovanni Gaccione offer similar potential. They have the right backgrounds and perspectives to energize the BOE and Lyndhurst government in general. I hope they both show more of Ferrandino’s clarity and fortitude.

At this point, even Mayor Bobby can see the BOE incumbents aren’t being returned to office (Jarvis, Vendola and Barnaskas). And the other two candidates opposing Ferrandino, Gaccione and Pizzuti (Tunnero and Mizeski) are not options for most voters.

If Ferrandino, Gaccione and Pizzuti all win it will be a clear message that the voters of Lyndhurst want to move on from the nepotism, corruption and fiscal mismanagement that has been the hallmark of the Stellato/Giangeruso/DiMaggio/Vuono era over the last four decades.

If that happens, it’s time for Mayor Bobby to stop thinking of his next campaign and start thinking about his legacy. Bobby can redeem himself in his last years in office by stopping the abuses of the Police Department, stopping the relatives getting jobs, stopping the corruption, and asking for help. Bobby, you need it.

Mayor Bobby and the entire current Board of Commissioners’ days in office are very likely numbered. They should all make better use of the time they have left. These pols can best use the power they do have today to give the people a real opportunity to create a better, new form of local government for tomorrow.

Mayor Bobby, we need to change the form of municipal government, from the current Commission form to something far more modern, efficient and professional. You and your fellow Commissioners have opposed this for years, because you can’t hire relatives and friends as easily in a professional form of government as you can with a Commission that controls hiring and firing.

Bobby, you know those days are over. We’re watching now.

But it’s time to formally end the days of incompetent part-time corrupt local pols directly managing divisions of a $40 million municipal government. That’s why the streets and everything else are a mess. People with no training or education beyond High School are running the local government because these pols gave voters free hot dogs at a rally.

Mayor Bobby, use your illegitimately won power to fix this.

Get your Board of Commissioners to put a Charter Change Study Commission question on the ballot in 2019. Give the people of Lyndhurst the opportunity to vote to create a new form of government now, so when they elect all new officials to replace you and your colleagues in 2021, Lyndhurst can finally be run right.

If Mayor Bobby does this, he will be primarily remembered as the Mayor who came to see the light and helped a new generation create a new form of government that would succeed him. There are worse alternatives a Mayor can face at the close of his career.

Come ‘on Bobby, you and me.

Let’s all work together to give Lyndhurst and future generations who will grow up here a chance to do better.

On this, can we also agree?




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