Keep Teaneck Non-Partisan
You may have seen them with the clipboard already. There’s a proposal underfoot to change the way elections are done in town.
Save money and get more people out, what could you possibly have against it?
As far as pitches go, this one is fairly simple – and the clipboard is currently seeking signatures to move Council’s non-partisan elections to November.
But we should remember H.L. Mencken: “For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”
Why are Non-Partisan Municipal Elections in May?
We moved the election from November to May in 1930, when Teaneck was nearly bankrupted by partisan forces. Since then, powers in Trenton have tried many times to move back to partisan elections, with a first step of moving the Municipal Elections to November.
Attacks started right away. By 1938, this was reported:
As of 2021, Teaneck has always resisted the move to November.
In 1942, the Bergen Record published a major editorial entitled: The Battle of Teaneck.
They decried the possibility of a return to partisanship, concluding:
Some 20 years later, here’s what Mayor Matthew “Matty” Feldman had to say in 1962:
“In order to continue attracting the Werner Schmids [ed note: Mr. Schmid was the manager after Paul Volcker reitred], the Clara Christensens and the Marion Browns to Teaneck’s employ, we must maintain our aloofness from partisan politics.
This is not to suggest that Teaneck’s citizens are to isolate themselves from the mainstream of American politics; on the contrary, we have active Democratic and Republican, Clubs, and that is all to the good. But we cannot permit the intrusion of these political groups into our Councilmanic elections. Under our form of government, there is no room for politics and this is a concept which we must guard jealously.”
Continue reading “A May-November Relationship”