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THESE TIMES: For one weekend, we were 18 again
West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Jun. 5, 2014 4 years ago

LETTER: Open letter to the West Orange community

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The West Orange Political Alliance Board of Directors has carefully reviewed a petition gathering initiative currently ongoing in our community. The W.O.P.A. Board is in opposition to petitions seeking partisan elections for county commissioners, county mayor and all county charter officers.

The Alliance is very concerned about out-of-county political forces seeking to turn our county commission, county mayor and all county office elections into divisive political battles and to shorten the mayor’s term and other countywide officer’s terms to end in 2016.

Out-of-town groups are funding a petition drive to change our county charter. A Washington, D.C., group gave $47,500 and a La Jolla, Calif., group gave $9,000 to another group called “Citizens for Informed Elections,” which is paying people to gather signatures to get their petition for their proposed amendments to our county charter on the ballot. If they get enough petitions signed and their change to our charter passes, their charter provision would trump all other provisions of our county charter and make our county commission a partisan battlefield.

Changing our county commission to partisan elections from our current non-partisan elected officials would lead to a perception of partiality by the public. Moreover, with such a large percentage of our county voters who have chosen to register with no party affiliation, partisan elections would disenfranchise a very substantial percentage of our voters from a critical part of the election process.

W.O.P.A. is strongly opposed to the hijacking of the publics’ best interest for the benefit of any political party, much less by out-of-town special interest groups. Please consider our future carefully before signing any such petition. The people asking you to sign those petitions are being paid by out-of-town interests to get your signature.

Randy June, chairman, West Orange Political Alliance

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