Sunday, April 10, 2011

Newark City Council Elections THIS TUESDAY--posted 04/10/2011

Newark City Council elections—this Tuesday the 12th

If you live in west Newark, you may live in District 1, in which case you will be able to vote in Tuesday’s election. Paul Pomeroy has been the council person for District 1 for several years, but he is not running for re-election. There are four (count them, four) candidates for this seat. Voting takes place from 7am to 8pm at Pilgrim Baptist Church at 1325 Barksdale Road.

I am not endorsing either candidate, but would like to share some information about them, especially the two which appear to be the most viable.

I heard three of the candidates at the UUFN/Newark Post candidate forum ( All three present candidates were very nice, and I appreciate each being willing to serve in this often-underappreciated role. Michael Conway did not participate. Kevin Brown did, however I did not find him as prepared to serve as the other two.

Robyn Harland is a very worthy candidate. She is retired, and has volunteered for area senior programs, and has served on a city committee. She has a passion for justice, and is always willing to stand up for her convictions. She is similar in her approach to Newark City Council to council person Ezra Temko, who has endorsed her. If you like Ezra, you will likely like Robyn.

Mark Morehead is also a worthy candidate. I would characterize him as similar to Paul Pomeroy, caring about the city and the community, and also placing fiscal responsibility as a high priority. I suspect that Mark will ‘work better’ with the rest of the current city council than will Robyn. This could be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.

One of my top concerns with city council in recent years has been the balance between the city and the University. I have found that the city council has refused to stand up for itself, and has permitted the University to roll over it. The most egregious example is when the University Bookstore was approved by the council without requiring that the University provide the $1 million to be used to ameliorate the parking problems that have grown in recent years and which will be sharply worsened with the Main Street location of the new Bookstore.

If this same type of situation were to come up, I suspect that (if elected) Mark Morehead would side with the University, and Robyn Harland would oppose it.

Perhaps you will find this information useful when you cast your vote on Tuesday.

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