The West Orange Chronicle offers apologetic endorsement

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By Owen Petrie | Essex County Politics
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October 30, 2014

Someone's got to keep an eye on these guys. On October 30, 2014, the West Orange Chronicle presented its readers with what may be the most milquetoast political endorsement in the history of New Jersey governance, the way the newspaper backed mayor Roberts Parisi's reelection bid.

The paper could cite no accomplishment or tout any achievement attributable to mayor Parisi.

The Editorial Board noted that, "West Orange has certainly had some difficulties in Parisi's first term." The Chronicle absolves the mayor of any culpability in the "difficulties," and instead blames the township's municipal pains on "the times" in which we live, not the politicians we have elected to guide us through these trepidatious waters. Of course, what is not mentioned is how neighboring towns such as Montclair, Orange, Millburn and South Orange are rebounding quite nicely from the economic downturn of the past decade. I guess we're to surmise that those municipalities are just luckier than West Orange.

"Taxes are too high; that is an incontrovertible fact," The Chronicle observed... but West Orange supplies "beneficial services for the tax money." They really wrote that. 

They are essentially asking West Orange residents to reward mayor Parisi because government has still managed to function under his leadership.

In regard to the township's skyrocketing crime rate, the newspaper suggests residents chalk it up to being the byproduct of living in densely populated Essex County ... But why were the Mayors in Orange and South Orange able to produce results and lower crime? Those towns are in Essex County, too, right?

"Parisi told the Chronicle that he has been working with the county prosecutor and with judges to see what can be done to keep criminals in jail, rather than releasing them on bail."

That's it. That's the mayor's big ideai: to subvert the Constitution of the United States of America.

During the mayoral debates and amongst the barrage of mailings I've received during this election, Eldridge Hawkins is the only candidate that has a list of accomplishments on which to base his suitability to be West Orange's next commander in chief.

Hawkins has won millions of dollars in federal aid by writing successful grants which allowed him to replenish Orange's police department. He has reduced crime and spurred development and commercial growth.

By the Chronicle's own admission, those are bureaucratic accomplishments at which Parisi has failed ... but he tried hard ... and he loves the town. So, there's that. 

Hawkins accomplished his successes during the same time frame, in the same densely populated region of the state that Parisi uses as the excuse for his ineptitude.

As I was reading the Chronicle endorsement, I kept anticipating the punchline but by the end I realized that the joke was on us.

I wouldn't dare tell you who you should vote for on November 4th but I strongly encourage you to vote for someone who offers you a plan and has a track record of success.

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commented 2014-10-30 19:58:25 -0700
OK Owen…if that’s your real name….[points finger]