In Harry Potter, “Cornelius Fudge” was described by the headmaster as the man who stepped aside and allows Voldemort or the “evil one” a second chance to destroy the world.
We are at that moment of history in Edison again. Vested interests are rearing their ugly heads and if we, as citizens of this great town, do not rise to address the challenges facing us, we will allow them to take over our education system. We will all become Cornelius Fudge.
Gene Maeroff is one person who comes to my mind at this time. He was a former Board of Education (BOE) president who passed away soon after he left the board. He was a catalyst in bringing the much needed change to Edison. He transformed the Board of Education from a system based on granting favors to friends and relatives, to a system that stands strongly opposed to nepotism and is based solely on accountability and the advancement of our children. Gene worked tirelessly to make sure that the interests of students were always given the first and foremost priority by the board. Being a senior citizen himself, he understood the pains for living on fixed income and ensured that each tax dollar was spent wisely.
However, in the last few months, vested interests are promoting their cronies whose only agenda is to destroy the current system and put their own people in power so then can go back to their old, corrupt ways. They are spending money in order to manipulate the dynamics of the Edison education system according to their interests rather than those of our students. I would urge all residents living in this town to not vote for any candidate endorsed by the union. Being endorsed, in most cases, means returning favors once elected. Please do the research on candidates and vote only for the ones who are independent in the upcoming election.
Now, more than ever, I am reminded of the famous words by the statesman Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” In Edison, many people don’t vote unless it’s a presidential year. They are unaware what affects them the most is the local politics, and unfortunately, they remain mere bystanders to the decisions that affect their lives and the lives of their families.
For disclaimer: I will be casting my vote for Paul Distefano, Jerry Shi, Falguni Patel and Beth Moroney. This is the only independent group not funded by any special interest group.