The results gathered immediately after an election are always unofficial - Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi posts the official results the Monday after the election. Click here to see Union County election results.
If you are interested in the number of registered voters, you can check the Board of Elections web site about a week before each election. Go here to see the current figures.
So out of 20,711 registered voters, only 1,320, or 6.6 percent, came out to vote. Every year people deplore low turnouts for school board elections in Plainfield, but the trend continues.
While some are hailing the win of Alex Edache, Jameelah Surgeon and Dorian Hurtt as the seal to a 7-2 majority on the board, this characterization is somewhat demeaning to both the newcomers and the incumbents, implying a lack of individual thought before a vote. There have been important votes where at least one "Grand Slam" board member voted "no."
The fourth candidate, Lenny Cathcart won his second term in 2008 with 658 votes; this time around, he lost with 623, according to the clerk's numbers. A new blogger pins part of the blame for Cathcart's loss on Courier News columnist Jay Jefferson Cooke's harsh commentary the day before the election. Strictly speaking, it was not an "editorial," as the new blogger calls it. Cooke writes (or types, as he says) in a free-wheeling way that goes beyond the pale for editorials, in Plaintalker's opinion. Repercussions, if any, remain to be seen.
Next year, incumbents Patricia Barksdale, Lisa Logan-Leach and Brenda Gilbert will have to file for re-election. Even at that remove, incumbents who were present for the hiring of Steve Gallon III may find themselves fairly or unfairly being assigned blame for the subsequent debacle.
Let's hope the next search will not be so secret and that those who vote on hiring the next superintendent will choose a seasoned administrator well-versed in New Jersey education rules and practices. The Plainfield district needs to be in good hands to get through the rest of this decade; flash and style can be parked at the door in favor of solid ability and experience.