By Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald
New Jersey for years discussed moving April school elections to November, but the idea was always killed by either inertia or special interests.
Finally, though, by bringing all the stakeholders to the table and forging a compromise, we passed a major reform measure in a matter of weeks in December and January that allows school districts to move their elections to November.
Now, my solution is proving to be a quick and astounding success, with nearly 42 percent of the state’s elected school boards already making the move to November school elections as of Feb. 7.
This truly remarkable momentum benefits both taxpayers and democracy and shows we can get things done when we work together for sensible reform.
Come to think of it, the overwhelming success of this legislation and its adoption by so many begs the question, what was all the fuss ever about?
April school votes are a costly charade, but because of this law school boards are giving voters better control while saving property taxpayers the costs of yet another election. The progress we have seen on this issue is a great example of what we can accomplish by bringing people together to find solutions, instead of relying on name-calling, divisiveness and 30-second sound bites.
Everyone realizes this law is long overdue common sense. I’m pleased to see it embraced by so many districts and look forward to seeing it embraced by even more. We’re controlling government spending and property taxes and increasing public participation in our democracy. These are all good things.