“Which office do I go to get my reputation back?”
– Labor Secretary Raymond Donovan after acquittal
Speaking freely on topics of concern is important. Having smart people discussing issues on both sides of an issue and opposite ends of a spectrum informs the electorate about various issues.
But when petitioners choose to smear an employee merely for doing his job and an “editor-in-chief” decides to allow their publication to smear an employee to a larger audience, it does nothing to foster debate, argue issues, or help the community.
As you may have seen, the Township clerk replied to a petition submitted to his office. The reply is posted here and you can read the entire thing for yourselves.
Petitions chose to issue a statement, in which they imply that the Township Clerk acted inappropriately.
Ms Goldberg then chose to describe the issue thusly:
“Teaneck Clerk Tries to Thwart popular Grassroots Initiative” and has sent out the following to her mailing list:
In the email, Goldberg includes the petitioners’ press release, without the letter from the clerk stating the statutory deficiencies of the petition effort, which says in part:
“It is no surprise that the One Town One Vote petition is being challenged by the Township Clerk, who is appointed by the Teaneck Township council. The council majority has been fiercely opposed to the proposed change to the status quo.”
The clerk did not “thwart” anything. He did his job. If there’s a disagreement over how he did so, there’s an appeal process.
To make such a claim, absent evidence is bad enough. To disseminate that statement, without corroborating it, compounds the injury.
One reader of Teaneck Today wrote me to say:
“I don’t know the town clerk, I don’t care what his politics are. He had a right to do his job free from abuse or being used as some kind of a tool, and he in turn has an obligation to carry out his duties in accordance with the law and free from bias. I have never heard otherwise. This nonsense all started with Ron Schwartz forcing him to pose for photos as if he was receiving the civil rights act.”
Petitioners, Ms. Goldberg, and any others that shared this should immediately apologize to the Clerk. He did his job. He should not be scorned for doing so.
I’ve also been informed that Mr. Stephen Gruber of Teaneck Newsroom shared this message as well. I reached out to Mr. Gruber and he indicated that he was going to contact Petitioners seeking a correction.”