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Referendum Sample Ballots Not Received by Some Residents

Days before the fields vote, some voters are concerned about not being informed prior to Tuesday's special election.

Prior to any election, the Morris County clerk's office is expected to mail sample ballots to residents in hopes of making them informed voters. But just days before the Tuesday Parsippany Board of Education fields referendum, some voters have yet to receive the document. 

One of those residents is Michael Espejo, who told Patch that he and many of his neighbors in the Brooklawn Drive area did not receive that ballot.

"No one on Brooklawn Drive that I know got it," said Espejo.

He called the county clerk's office where he said an employee told him that whether the sample ballots arrive or not, the election will go forward Tuesday from2-9 p.m. as scheduled.

"I'm concerned," said Espejo. "The sample ballot is the only way some people are going to know about the election."

He specifically mentioned seniors and those without children, who may not have direct contact with the schools and therefore may not know an election is being mounted.

Adding to his concern, he said, is the fact that the day before the election is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday when mail will not be delivered.

Patch contacted the county clerk's and elections offices in Morristown. An elections supervisor who refused to give her name said that sometimes things get lost in the mail, adding that she had received only one call complaining about the missing ballot.

The woman said the sample ballots went into the mail on Tuesday and that after hearing from the Parsippany resident, she contacted the Morris Plains Post Office, which serves the Brooklawn Drive area.

"All I can say is the Morris Plains postmaster said they were dealing with it," the election worker said. "[The ballots] went to the same post office we always use on Tuesday and from there they went to Newark['s post office]. Newark has the responsibility to send them."

The elections employee said the sample ballot can be found online on the Morris County Clerk website

Patch is attaching the sample ballot to this article, so that proactive citizens may print copies to deliver to senior centers and other residents is they choose to do so.

The school district website offers details of the referendum. More information, including .

Espejo said that in the interest of democracy, he hopes his fellow Parsippany residents get the message—and visit the polls Tuesday.

"Regardless of whether they vote for or against [the school board's $7.7 million high school athletic improvements plan], I want people to be aware.

"And I want them to vote."

Robyn M. January 20, 2013 at 02:32 PM
What's "simple" is that you can't trust the people who are entrusted to care for the new $7.7 million taxpayer investment with a houseplant.
Carol M January 20, 2013 at 02:43 PM
The info hasn't been on the district site including polling places and the ballot is very complicated,vote yes or no to bonding for the project that will provide a multi-purpose turf field for everyone and their mother to use day and well into the night,handicapble access and parking, new 6 lane track,new fencing, lights that you will be able to see from the moon,and restrooms where God knows what will take place at night.Just ask our former Gov McGreevy what happens at public restrooms at Garden State Parkway rest stops.YUK!!!The link is currently not working and in the the article.You might have missed it if you were anxious trying to find out where to vote and looking for the ballot that should have been mailed to you by law.Its too bad that I have tried to use the much needed improvements of our fields as a platform for my personal agenda like attacking my fellow residents every step of the way or like trying to point out concerns when you actually live by to the school & don't want lights because you are extorted for confiscatory property taxes. It's too bad that I can't put my personal issues aside for the 7000 students,who rank poorly for academics,who will benefit from these Cadillac Plan type fields.I wonder if I were back a few years ago with my time machine would I play he lotto numbers or bet on sports to make money?We are all grandparents first,have easily kept ourselves very informed and are all voting NO because it's the right thing to do for the 7000 children.
Kristen Ritter January 20, 2013 at 02:45 PM
(1 of 2) Carol - you don't know how I'm going to vote, and I've been supportive of the BoE having control. Beth can even tell you that Ive attended all meetings and vocalized support for the fields if controlled by BoE. And I've written an open letter here on the Patch thanking the BoE. Not sure if your comments were directed at me. If so, is say a tad unfair and grossly misdirected. I have had no idea what the exact ballot wording is. Although supportive, I wanted to see exact scope and cost. It's my legal right as a resident (not even a taxpayer) to have advance access to the materials by mail. That what I was asking. (Sent from my iPhone. Pardon typos).
Kristen Ritter January 20, 2013 at 02:47 PM
(2 of 2) The BoE supposedly mailed their own flyer, which I never received either. I know the clerk mails, and I know the post office is blamed, but my point was that since we've known about this so long, there was no need to wait to mail until the last minute - especially since people commented this has happened before. Wouldn't it be in the BoE interest to have something out early? inform voters and get them out to cast! The clerk mails at the direction of the town/BoE since they need wording and guidance. The clerk doesn't decide what to mail and how to word it. It's provided to them. So BoE and town do have some ownership of the process and could have been more proactive. For general elections, I've received the ballot a good week or two ahead. I like being vocal on issues like this because we as residents and taxpayers can help influence change. I do have a strong personal feeling that this could have been handled in a more proactive way to make sure people who don't surf the Patch and local government sites, and largely don't participate in town activities could even know about the vote. Thank you, kindly, for the link with ballot info. I'm checking it out now. (Sent from my iPhone. Pardon typos).
Kristen Ritter January 20, 2013 at 03:19 PM
One more thing... Has anyone received the BoE mailer? What does it look like and what does it say?
George L. Blair January 20, 2013 at 03:41 PM
I have no desire to spend anytime with you, doing anything.
Beth Bluj January 20, 2013 at 03:47 PM
Kristen - contact me offline - I think you have my email address.
Michael January 20, 2013 at 04:30 PM
I wonder how much use the "Parsippany" Soccer club will have of these fields. They already use the majority of our town's fields free of charge and from what I was able to discern, (correct me if I am wrong) only 3 players from their national champion team are actually from Parsippany. It is not really a "Parsippany" team. Yet, we pay for the fields, the lights, the maintenance, etc. This does not seem right to me. I want my tax dollars to go towards actual Parsippany residents.
Michael January 20, 2013 at 04:41 PM
One other point - with the majority being not from Parsippany and playing for surrounding high-schools, we are actually helping make these players better, with our tax dollars who then compete against our own high school teams.
Peter B January 20, 2013 at 04:47 PM
No ballots on my street. It's a shame more was not done to inform the public. It just perpetuates the impression that this is not all above board. Could inadequate public notification render the vote void? The BOE flyer is incredibly one-sided supporting the referendum. Some notable misleading statements are: "the BOE can set aside in a capital improvement reserve account $40,000 tp $50,000 to fund the cost of replacement" - that estimate is for ONE field, not TWO. It's also misleading to say in the flyer the replacement cost should not have a significant impact on yearly operating budgets.... It's still tax dollars! The promotion of the referendum by using the cost to an average homeowner does little to help. Why don't they tell the public the relative % increase in school taxes? That would apply to everyone.... My guess it that approach would cause many to realize this is much bigger than they want us to believe. If you go the Hills high school.. take a look at the flag pole at the field and in front of the school. those are 25 feet tall.... the light towers will be more than 3 times the height of the flag poles!... These will be an eyesore when the lights are off... not to mention when they are on. Why is that information not mentioned in the BOE flyer? The flyer makes no reference to the incremental operating expenses associated with the fields.. either the BOE does not know or they choose to not tell us... but we all know there's more expense here.
Beth Bluj January 20, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Same response as on the other article - this is not about the PSC - this about our High Schools having competitive, safe, ADA compliant, 21century fields.
Michael January 20, 2013 at 05:46 PM
Beth, Regardless of if someone is for/against the project. Do you think that everyone in the city should have received a sample ballot prior to this vote? Especially those who may not be aware that a vote is even taking place - for which the sample ballot would be the only notice they receive? Regardless of what the referendum is for, do you feel voters should be informed?
Analli Citall January 20, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Peter, those that distributed the flyer want the referendum to pass. If there is anyone that doesn't want the referendum to pass they could just as easily spend their time and money on making a flyer that is slanted towards a NO vote. Someone could go door to door and pass out these flyers or even post billboards or yard signs. I do not see anyone taking the initiative to get out the NO vote.
Michael January 20, 2013 at 06:11 PM
Analli - you are 100% wrong about part of your statement. The flyer was sent from the BOE - we all paid for this flyer to go out with our tax dollars.
Monica Sclafani January 20, 2013 at 08:43 PM
The above comment (9:43am - Sunday) is NOT Carol M. Whoever you are, why don't you try posting under your own name or handle instead of hijacking someone elses. Coward. Natalie - this is happening too many times - isn't there anything that can be done about this?
Peter B January 20, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Analli, as Michael said the flyer was paid for with our tax dollars. The BOE should share all the facts, pros and cons with the tax payers. The flyer was not objective. Clearly the BOE is on the side of the recreation groups,and wants to avoid the difficult decisions if the referendum does not pass. If they were doing their job, and really wanted the residents to decide, they would do a better job of being objective when communicating on this topic.
clyde donovan January 20, 2013 at 09:10 PM
We need a referemdum on buying $15 million worth of Mercedes-Benz luxury buses so the kiddies can travel to school with heated leather seats.
Kristen Ritter January 20, 2013 at 09:12 PM
Beth - just saw this now. I don't have your email. I'm at kristen_ritter@yahoo.com. I just don't have the BoE flyer yet, but was able to see the sample ballot that Carol put the link to on here. I'm in agreement with Peter (above) as my neighbors across the street who aren't involved at all in town and don't read Patch or go to meetings had NO idea that there was even a vote at all. And that scary since they pay taxes in Paraippany and would be affected. No vote or sample ballot for them yet -- and the next chance for them to get it is on voting day. Just sloppy work.
clyde donovan January 20, 2013 at 09:20 PM
Just like Nancy Reagan told you to say NO to drugs, the sensible people of Parsippany are asking you to say NO to parents who are addicted to wasteful school spending.
Natalie Davis (Editor) January 20, 2013 at 09:27 PM
Monica: We are aware and working on it.
Analli Citall January 20, 2013 at 09:47 PM
Why does anyone think the BOE has to be objective? They have their own objectives and want to pass them.
Analli Citall January 20, 2013 at 09:50 PM
Just because your tax dollars pay for that propaganda don't think you have a say in what the flyer says. You don't have a choice in the day to day decisions in how your tax dollars are spent.
Monica Sclafani January 20, 2013 at 11:32 PM
Actually the post may have been Carol M after all. I think I may be incorrect.
Scott Dean January 20, 2013 at 11:41 PM
Monica, Maybe it was actually Fran or Debra posing as Carol M??
Monica Sclafani January 21, 2013 at 04:06 AM
Scott - really? You need to get a life! Fran and Debra, if they chose to post, would put together a much more intelligent comment and would use there own names. Someone is hacking into accounts; I did not write the 6:32pm post. If you click on the name of a person, you can see all the comments they have made. When you click on my name on the 6:32pm post you only see the one comment. But perhaps you know this already......
steve revette January 21, 2013 at 04:50 AM
Yes seriously who ever is doing that it needs to stop. Whether you agree or disagree with somebody it is totally disrespectful to make names pretending to be somebody else. It is not good for patch. Be respectful of EVERYONE's opinion whether you agree or disagree. We don't need to do name calling and immature stuff like that. Remember We're ALL suppose to be ADULTS now start acting like it.
Carol M. January 21, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Oh look, there's another Carol M here. I see that you feel completely the opposite of how I feel; it's just too bad that you are not capable of stringing your OWN words together in coherent thought and that you must resort to a copy paste to communicate at all. I've heard that imitation is the highest form of flattery so I'll accept your admiration, thank you. It's also too bad that you do not feel empowered to post as yourself, could it be a daddy issue? You might try and seek some help for that, there are professionals out there who specialize in those sort of issues.
Rick January 21, 2013 at 08:09 PM
I resist the temptation to read the patch let alone to add any comment. Although I think the Natalie’s work here is commendable and the Patch has served as a balanced resource for information about Parsippany, it’s obvious that most on here (not all) intend only to use the comment section for diatribe. Worse yet they hide behind fictitious names in cowardly attacks on one another. My name is Rick Nogueira and I live on Brooklawn Dr.; and I am using this posting as a record. I, like so many others impacted, have not received any sample ballot. I am a resident of Parsippany Troy Hills and I am likely the most impacted by this referendum because of my proximity to the field. My position on the referendum is irrelevant; the issue is the democratic process which is based on principles of democracy. Democracy is a form of government where all citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. How can an uninformed citizen cast a vote? Those ballots should have been sent to ALL who will be affected by this vote. That is the only way a democracy can work.
Carol M. January 22, 2013 at 01:46 AM
Mrs Sclafani you were correct, the 9:43 post was not mine. You can double check on whether a post is valid by clicking on the poster's name. If you are directed to the profile page then it is valid but if you are directed elsewhere, it is probably a mimic post.
Monique Varga January 23, 2013 at 12:43 AM
I just received my ballot, along with all of my neighbors today at 4:00PM. The day of the voting!!

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