26 February 2008

Some Contest

Yesterday was the last day to file a petition to run for a seat on one of the local Boards of Education. The Courier News has a breakdown of all the candidates that have filed in Somerset, Hunterdon, Union, and Middlesex counties. It was very sad to see that in many towns these races will be completely uncontested. The worst example of apathy is in Tewksbury, where there are three seats up for grabs with no takers - not even the incumbents are willing to have another go!

Here is a story that appeared in the September 21, 1946 edition of the New York Times. You can decide which story is scarier - today's candidate story in the Courier, or this one from 62 years ago.


Somerset County Coroners Have No Duties, Get No
SOMERVILLE, N.J., Sept. 21 - Somerset County voters will go to the polls in November to choose a pair of coroners, an office that exists only on paper and for which there are no candidates. It is a legal must on the ballot.

In the personal choice column of the ballot will appear the caption for coroners and opposite it "Vote for two." If the voters select two candidates who qualify, the two will have no office or duties nor will they be in a position to collect for anything done.

Since Somerset County has a county physician to do the work a coroner might be expected to do and formerly did, the office of coroner apparently is a vestigial remnant of the law that still provides for three in the county. One actually holds office now, but there is little in the records to show where he resides or might be located, if needed.

These are my personal views as a Hillsborough resident and homeowner, and do not reflect the opinions of the Hillsborough Township Board of Education.

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