Blog for Highland Park

Welcome to the Blog for Highland Park, a weblog chronicling events in Highland Park, NJ from an alternative perspective to the often one-sided slant of the official borough newsletter.

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Location: Highland Park, New Jersey, United States

I am a freelance writer and community activist who has worked on many progressive and Democratic political campaigns over the last 25 plus years and a lifelong resident of Highland Park, NJ. I have a BA in Journalism from Rutgers University, an MA in Middle East Studies from Harvard University, and an MEd in English Education from Rutgers Graduate School of Education. An enthusiastic amateur astronomer, I have just completed Swinburne University Astronomy Online's Graduate Certificate of Science in astronomy and am pursuing a Masters of Science in astronomy at Swinburne. I am also an actress with experience in theatre and film and have written a full length play. I am currently working full time on a book "The Little Planet That Would Not Die: Pluto's Story."

Monday, June 06, 2011

Gary Minkoff Needs YOUR Vote for HP Mayor: Councilman's Wife Organizes Against Him!!!

Anyone who plans to stay home and not vote tomorrow, Tuesday, June 7, needs to know that the Democratic mayoral race is not uncontested anymore. Gary Minkoff, Democratic Mayoral candidate, needs your votes, our votes. This IS very much a contest--a contest resulting from subterfuge and deceit.

Unfortunately, those of us who thought the days of polarization and division have been left in the past are dead wrong. Why? Because Anne Sherber, the wife of a sitting Democratic council member, is waging a midnight last-minute write-in campaign against the party's mayoral candidate, Gary Minkoff. Talk about being underhanded!

While publicly professing support for the entire Democratic line, Line A, a hardcore group of Meryl Frank supporters is still working at extending her "tentacles" (Frank's own choice of words) into our community and sabotaging a candidate with a strong record of public service to this town, a soft-spoken decent man who is a uniter, not a divider--Mayoral candidate and current Borough Council member Gary Minkoff, who won the support of his own Democratic Municipal Party Committee and who is running with the support of current Mayor Steve Nolan.

Even worse, Sherber and her fellow conspirators, who want to bring back the days of Frank's divisiveness, are inappropriately using email lists designated for purposes such as child care or religious services to promote their secret write-in campaign.

The messages below were sent to these four groups: , , , and , all inappropriately. The first two are non-partisan parents' play groups, which are geared toward parents who want to promote activities for their young children. The third is to a progressive Jewish school, and the fourth is to the Highland Park Minyan, an egalitarian religious group that has been holding religious services for about 25 years. In 1999, after the Minyan list was hijacked by Frank supporters to campaign and spread political messages, the Minyan leadership issued a new policy against any using the Minyan email list for any political communication, meaning these messages sent against Gary Minkoff by two individual Minyan members working with Sherber equal a violation of Minyan policy.

Here are the textsof the messages trying to divide our town and politically stab Gary Minkoff in the back. I plan on sending them to the chair of the Middlesex County Democratic Organization:

Message 1
From: Elizabeth Estes

Subject: [hpnjplaygroup] Write-IN Candidate for Mayor FW: Tomorrow's primary
To: "Playgroup" 

Date: Monday, June 6, 2011, 6:25 PM

Playgroup friends,

Just wanted you to know that Elsie Foster Dublin, who has served for years as Borough Council President for Highland Park, has decided to run as a write-in candidate for mayor.

There is more information in the posts below, in case you are interested.

You can also email elsie directly at Elsie Foster-Dublin

Elizabeth Estes 

Message 2
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2011 14:07:04 -0700

Subject: Tomorrow's primary
To: ; ;


Below are 2 messages from friends who are supporting Elsie Foster-Dublin as a write-in candidate in tomorrow's primary election for Mayor of HP.

For what it's worth, Muffin and I have know Elsie for many years and have worked with her on many community endeavors---we will enthusiastically be writing her name in. Please pass this message along.....

Muffin and Ellen

Message 3
Highland Park friends,

Tomorrow, tuesday June 7, is the time to vote in the official primary elections. Polls will be open from 6am to 8pm. Check your sample ballot--my polling place for district 9 has changed temporarily from the congregation Ohav Emeth to RCHP.

I am writing to let you know that my dear friend Elsie Foster Dublin has decided to run a write-in campaign for mayor. As Ann Sherber notes in her email below, Elsie has dedicated 10 years of service on the borough council to making our town a great place to live. More than anyone I know, she has especially worked to create one Highland Park -- unifying the Woodbridge Avenue and Raritan Avenue sections of town. She worked 10 years to get the new traffic light on Woodbridge by Dubois Lane -- it's such a dangerous place. (Editor's note: The last reference should read "Duclos Lane"; the traffic light resulted from the collective efforts of all council members and administrators).

Elsie succeeded in placing HP banners on Woodbridge, the Welcome to HP sign, the solar-powered bus stops, TREES lining Woodbridge, just as they do Raritan Ave. She has worked tirelessly on our human rights commission. She worked hard on Governor Corzine's Immigration Panel and she provides hands-on help and support for our most disenfranchised residents--people with immigration problems.

I will be writing-in Elsie Foster Dublin's name on my ballot. I hope you will consider doing the same. If you feel strongly about Elsie as a candidate, you can help her run as an independent in November by signing her petition.

There is a copy of the petition on my front porch: 311 N. 4th Avenue. Please help get the word out about the write-in campaign. Also, if you live near a polling place, and would like a lawn sign, send me an email.

Instructions for Writing IN are on the sample ballot, go to the PERSONAL CHOICE column and press the button next to WRITE-IN across from the office you wish to write-in, then use the alphabetical keyboard to type in the name.

Thanks for your time and consideration,

Liz Estes

Message 4 (written by Sherber, wife of a sitting Democratic Borough Councilman)

---------- Forwarded message ----------


Hi all:

As you probably know, primary elections are being held this Tuesday. If you are registered to vote in Highland Park, you've already received your sample ballot.

I am writing to let you know that Elsie Foster Dublin has decided to run a write-in campaign for mayor. If you are disappointed by the candidate who is running on the Democratic line for mayor, as I am, I would like to suggest that you consider writing Elsie in as an alternative.

Elsie has served on the borough council for more than a decade and has deep connections with every part of our community. She has demonstrated over and over her passion for public service and Highland Park. I feel certain that she would be an excellent mayor.

Although Elsie is already on the ballot as a council person, I am asking you to write her name in for mayor. The instructions on how to write in a candidate are on your sample ballot. You can also ask a poll worker for help if you need it.

Thanks for your consideration.

250 Grant Avenue

Highland Park, New Jersey 08904
(732) 247-1740

What exactly disappoints these people about Gary Minkoff? No one on the Borough Council has worked harder in support of efforts to make our town green. Minkoff has served as liaison to many borough boards and commissions, and his years of service to our town are as long as Foster Dublin's.  This is not in any way to disparage Foster Dublin. She is on the ballot, but as a candidate for Borough Council, not for mayor. I hope she has nothing to do with this last minute write-in effort against Gary Minkoff, who has worked side-by-side with her on the Borough Council since 2002 and deserves equal credit for all the accomplishments Sherber credits to Foster Dublin. To run on one ticket and then secretly plot to run against that ticket in November would not speak well about anyone's character or fitness for public office.

The organizers of this subterfuge already have lawn signs! Clearly, this is not a spur-of-the-moment effort but something planned well in advance by a group that will stop at nothing to hold on to power.

Maybe the disappointment is really in the genuine openness and transparency that have characterized borough government since January 2010, when Mayor Steve Nolan took office--an openness and transparency Minkoff is committed to continuing.

Or maybe it is a reaction by hardcore Frank supporters to having lost the iron grip they had on borough government and on the Democratic Committee before Frank's resignation as mayor.

Or could the objection be due to the fact that Minkoff is an Orthodox Jew, taking advantage of the fact that the primary occurs on the eve of a Jewish holiday?

What Highland Park least needs is a return to the days of closed government, exclusion of anyone who doesn't blindly follow one person, cults of personality, and subversion of our weak mayor/strong council form of government.

Tomorrow, in huge numbers, let us reject the politics of division and exclusion. Vote Line A all the way, from Barbara Buono for State Senator to Gary Minkoff for Highland Park Mayor to all the people running on Line A for Democratic Municipal Committee. Our town's future is at stake. This is not an election to sit out.

Polls are open 6 AM-8 PM.