On Wednesday evening, during the public comment section of the Henry Hudson Regional Board of Education meeting, Atlantic Highlands resident Stephanie Ladiana asked the members of the board to take "into consideration " the results of the April 2010 school elections before the board made a decision as to whom they were going to appoint  to the vacant board seat of Chris Meyer.

Everyone knew that Ms. Ladiana was alluding to Art Weimer. Mr. Weimer was among two well qualified and exceptional candidates from Atlantic Highlands who had applied for appointment for this seat.

Everyone also knew that Art Weimer lost his seat last year when he ran for re-election to the regional board from Atlantic Highlands.

One would have to ask what the 2010 election results has to do with an appointment several months later to a vacant board of education seat?

Lets us look at the facts.

FACT: Art Weimer was one of the 90% of board of education incumbents who lost their seats in the 2010 schools elections.  That means that most incumbents who had opposition running for re-election lost.  Voters last April, just as they were on November 2nd, were in an anti incumbent mood. Should losing an annual school election prevent a board of education from appointing a well qualified citizen from serving on their respective board of education? I would hope not!

FACT: If one would follow Ms. Ladiana's logic then Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama would have never been elected President of the United States. They all lost elections for various office, some two, three and four times. In his first campaign for public office Barack Obama was soundly defeated by Congressman Bobby Rush.

FACT: In terms of Art Weimer, he was caught between a rock and a hard place last year. He could not actively campaign for re-election (with the exception of his children delivering his biography door to door) because he was in the middle of negotiations with the staff at Henry Hudson. He had a "gentlemen's agreement" with the school staff that he would not use contract negotiations as a campaign issue in the last school elections.

FACT: Art Weimer kept his word last year. In doing so he knew he would be defeated because the citizens of both Atlantic Highlands and Highlands wanted to know what was going with the contract dispute. When the residents of the Henry Hudson Regional School District found out that Art Weimer was not only fighting for the students and taxpayers of the district, but also the district's inept administration at the time, people came up to him and apologized for going into the voting both and casting a vote against him, rather than trusting his word and judgement.

 

Sincerely yours,

Joseph Hawley
Atlantic Highlands, NJ