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November   1

Holy Cow!

It's early November, when it's always open season on sacred cows. Still, the Barista was shocked and a bit titillated to discover that, during her absence,The Glen Ridge Paper editorialized against the CCC and the Ridge's one-party version of democracy:

... the people of Glen Ridge, since 1913 β€” nearly a century β€” have not, themselves, been able to decide, for the most part, who the best candidate for an election is, because the CCC has arrogantly asserted itself as the body best suited to choose candidates.

In fact, one requirement of being a CCC member is that he or she must be involved in some kind volunteer organization. Does this mean that someone who is not currently involved in a volunteer organization in Glen Ridge is unfit to serve as an elected official? The answer is no. In fact, we whole-heartedly assert that there are countless people in Glen Ridge who may not be involved in volunteerism, but who would be well-suited to be an elected official.

True, as the editorial points out, the town's current mayor, Carl Bergmanson, was that rare public official who ran and won without the CCC pedigree. But next Tuesday the town will elect two new members to the borough council, and both seats are uncontested.


Imagine if this were to happen on the state or national level? Do you think for a moment the American people would stand for it? With that said, we wonder why for 92 years, the people of Glen Ridge have tolerated it on the local level? Could it be because the CCC is just too powerful an organization? Could it be because the people of this borough have simply had no other choice? We believe so.

A true democracy is one that invites people to come to the polls with a chance to bring their viewpoints and desires β€” and to choose their elected leadership. It’s about time the people of Glen Ridge get that opportunity.

This editorial got us to pull out our sample ballot, where we discovered that one of those uncontested council seats will go to Art Dawson, who lost control of the Glen Ridge Republican Committee to Brian Fisher in June 2004.

Meanwhile, as far as we can tell, no buildings fell and the intersection of Ridgewood and Bloomfield didn't get sucked down into middle earth as a result of The Glen Ridge Paper tossing this molotov cocktail. Perhaps that's because dead-tree journalism requires those quaint things called letters to the editor, and it's not Thursday yet. Anyone want to jump-start the earthquake here?

November 1, 2005 in Controversy | Permalink


Civilian Conservation Corps?

Posted by: Confused Citizen | Nov 1, 2005 12:19:07 PM

Crazy Cackling Cynics?

Posted by: Appletony | Nov 2, 2005 9:18:06 AM

Actually the original name of the CCC was "The Glen Ridge Party". The CCC was founded in 1913 when the last of the lawsuits seeking reunification with Bloomfield was dismissed.

This was very much a sectarian dispute as Bloomfield was becoming more and more Catholic (Sacred Heart 1885, St. Val's 1899) while Glen Ridge was more Protestant and centered around the Congregation Church (est. 1888). Catholics sought another vote but needed the approval of the town council. The Glen Ridge Party was formed to keep Catholics off the council by dismissing partisan politics in favor of a system that took represetatives from local social organizations. However, Catholics were not allowed in those organizations and the council stayed Protestant and the town stayed independent.

The name "Civic Conference Committee" was chosen to replace "Glen Ridge Party" to fit the acronym "CCC" which was chosen to show affiliation with the Congregational Church.

To those wondering the setup of the CCC nor anti-Catholocism were unique to Glen Ridge as both were pretty common in New Jersey at the beginning of the 20th century. However, the CCC is thought to be the last surviving "civic" group with most of the rest fading away with the election of John F. Kennedy and the civil rights era.

Posted by: sickandtired | Nov 2, 2005 3:23:02 PM

I am shocked. This sounds like the Polit-Boro? Where is Stalin?

For such a "well-educated" place, that by the way has a lot of Jewish families now living within it's borders, sounds like a change is well over-due.

I am trying to buy a house in Glen Ridge, should I run away? Sounds more like Chatham and Harding Township as opposed to Essex County...

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