A commenter on a previous post said:
The fact that no one would run for the seat Charles Reilly now holds speaks volumes about what the citizens think of our BOE. But I suppose you don't see it that way, now do you?
Setting aside the commenter's sarcasm, it's a legitimate question, and I do think about it from time to time.
I suspect there are many reasons people don’t run for the Board of Ed, and I suppose “what the citizens think of our BOE” could be one for some people. For others it could be the hours. Or the sheer size of the challenges. For some it’s too much responsibility. For some it may not be enough responsibility and they’re not comfortable working as part of a group. Some may not want to be criticized in the newspaper or on blogs or whatever. Some might be afraid of making a mistake. Some don’t like confrontation. Some choose other ways to make a difference in their world. Some feel they can’t possibly make a difference in a system they think is broken. Some have small children, so they don’t have time. Some have grown children, so they’re tired and want to enjoy their empty nest. Maybe a few have heard it described as a “thankless job.” Maybe others like to watch TV on Monday nights. Some people are happy to let others of their choosing handle it. Some are happy to let anyone (but them) handle it. And some just, plain and simple, do not care.
I’ve heard all those things and more, both before and after I was involved with the Board. Heck, I’ve probably said most of them myself, at one point or another. As a resident, it bothers me when no one shows up to run. It’s not the way things are “supposed” to work in a democracy. But it is what it is. Getting involved with an elected position is a personal choice that everyone makes for their own reasons.
Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org