When man-of-the-people Jimmy Davis sends Emperor Mark Smith packing out of City Hall, one of the first things he’ll do is convert the appointed Board of Education into an elected body. Power to the people! It’s no secret that I’m looking for a teaching position in Bayonne, and I can’t wait for the change. About a third of Bayonne’s registered voters participated in the May 13 mayoral race, but less than 11 percent took part in April school board elections around New Jersey. With a low turnout like that my teacher friends and I together with our families and supporters should have no trouble packing the board with the right kind of people, folks who know how to put the teachers and their demands first. If the Smith crew tries to tell you that an appointed board actually provides more accountability because the mayor faces an election every four years, just say you’ll take the voice of the man in the street any day. If they say that elected boards lead to a high and disruptive turnover of superintendents, just say, “Hell yes, thank goodness.” And if they quote you that self-satisfied politician who said “Show me an elected urban board and I’ll show you a dysfunctional school system,” just laugh in their faces.
Another dreadful quote you’ll often hear coming out of the mouths of Smith diehards is, “Show me a city where the police, the firefighters, and the teachers are thrilled with the mayor and I’ll show you a town in trouble.” What cynics. Under Mayor Jimmy Davis, Bayonne’s finest, its bravest, and its most learned will be smiling ear to ear.
Back in the Jim Crow South Governor Earl Long of Louisiana feigned shock that in state hospitals white nurses had to care for black men, and so he hired black nurses. You might like the outcome, but it’s just this kind of sneaky subterfuge that the Jimmy Davis team is sworn to root out of city hall. We live in the age of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden and our call is for transparent government. Good government, though it sounds pretty, is for fairy tales and Frank Capra films.
The Smith team even departs from the Christian Gospel: “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” Trenton is packed with wolves and Hudson County is swimming with sharks. We on the Davis team have the manly nerve to be simple and transparent as doves. With the County Great Whites circling, the pathetic Smith team huddles inside the submerged protective cage while we Davis bravos jump right in.
Another bonus: Mayor Davis will reinstate rent control. I confess, along with Nancy Pelosi and Saul Alinsky, I love sticking it to the landlords, the real estate investors, the propertied class. Can you blame me? With rent control’s return I’ll lock in my $400 per month for generations to come.
MERRILL C. JACOBSON