Entries in Pope John High School (2)

Saturday
Nov032018

Democrat school board candidates in Sparta object to opponents’ religious affiliation

There has been much to be proud of in the conduct of most county elections this year.  The county-wide offices offer the most diverse line-up in memory and yet you wouldn’t know it by the way they have campaigned.  The candidates for Freeholder and Surrogate have ignored the personal differences of their opponents and instead have kept strictly to the issues.  For this they should be applauded… both Democrats and Republicans. 

Not so for one of the team of candidates running for School Board in Sparta.  A supporter of the team of Jen Grana, Kate Matteson and Jen Hamilton attacked members of the opposing team of Karen Scott, Chris Arnold, and Vanessa Serrano for their connection to Roman Catholic education. 

Matteson and Hamilton were Democrat candidates for the Legislature last year, so they have the experience to know better.  Their supporter targeted Karen Scott and Chris Arnold in a letter published in a county newspaper, writing that because they taught at Pope John High School, a Roman Catholic school, Sparta should not have them on a public school board.

This is a narrow and, might we say, bigoted argument.  We hope that the team of Grana, Matteson, and Hamilton will reject such arguments and publicly distance themselves from this supporter.

 

Tuesday
Nov012016

The arrogance of young Nathan Orr

Maybe it's his involvement with the Tea Party?  Or maybe it's just the way he's been raised?  Rarely, very rarely, has there been a more bold-faced exposition of smug, youthful arrogance than the letter to the editor, written by Nathan Orr, and published by the New Jersey Herald on November 1st.

 

But which Nathan Orr is this? 

 

Is it Nathan Orr the law partner, or Nathan Orr the software engineer, or Nathan Orr the accountant, or Nathan Orr the executive, or even Nathan Orr the 4th Grade school teacher?  No, it is Nathan Orr who graduated from Centenary College in 2013, spent time traveling through Europe courtesy of some family money, and whose first act as an adult appears to have been a campaign for political office. 

 

This is worth noting, because young Nathan called the Senator who represents him a "career politician."  Well, if he is, then he came to his career a lot later than Nathan Orr has. 

 

Unlike Nathan Orr, who went straight from undergraduate to political candidate, the man he so casually shits on had other responsibilities after his father died young. He went to work in New York City, met a girl, married, started a family, got involved in the Right-to-Life movement.  He became a Certified Public Accountant and worked for companies like W.R. Grace.  He was a senior financial officer for S&P 500 companies like Young & Rubicam and was sent to Europe to put newly acquired companies back on a healthy financial track.  And all this was before he ever even contemplated running for public office.

 

Remembering how hard his father had worked and his early death, he retired from corporate life to have more time to spend with his growing family.  He got involved as a coach for a number of youth athletic teams -- most notably as a football coach at Pope John High School.  He got involved in his town's economic development committee, local community organizations and charities, then was elected to borough council where he learned about municipal budgets and the problems local governments have to deal with. 

 

He ran for Freeholder and together with Hal Wirths and Gary Chiusano, reformed the county's budget process.  The successes of that board -- and later the board chaired by Jeff Parrott -- are looked upon today as the "good old days" of Sussex County government. 

 

And then, after a lifetime of learning and experience, only then did this so-called "career politician" consider running for the New Jersey Legislature. 

 

Not so Nathan Orr.  No sooner he was birthed from college he had his petitions to run for the New Jersey Legislature.  No place for humility when you are starting at the top.

 

Maybe it's the way he's been raised?

 

A common thread throughout civilizations is respect for age -- which is really just a way of acknowledging experience and the practical learning that comes with it.  Those who give respect, get it in return.  Not so our Nathan Orr. 

 

This young man casually dismisses the generally acknowledged feat his Senator accomplished by successfully negotiating five tax cuts from a position of weakness, one in which the Democrats controlled both chambers of the Legislature by hefty margins.  And his Senator accomplished this with the Democrats knowing that all they had to do was to run out the clock, wait until November 2017, when they can elect a new Democrat Governor.  Then they could have raised the gas tax as much as they like without any tax cuts.  Against all this, his Senator forged a compromise.

 

But the Senator's accomplishments are casually shit on by a young man whose most noteworthy negotiation to date has been securing his girlfriend's agreement to be engaged to him.  It is an amazing case of arrogance.

 

Maybe it's the way he's been raised?

 

Young Nathan Orr concludes his letter with a threat.  Speaking for his father as well, Nathan Orr writes:  "We accept your offer to meet before we decide whether or not to recall you."

 

Wow.  Somebody told that young man a story about how great he was and he believed it.

 

It's nice that Daddy Orr and Nathan Orr will get to spend some personal time to screw with their Senator.  Father and son can bond as they ignore what their Senator has to say, safe in the knowledge that they have all the answers -- even if they can't say how they got them. 

 

One person who won't be at that meeting is the Senator's son.  He's in public service too.  He's someone Nathan Orr might sneeringly call a "career government worker and son of a career politician." 

 

No, the Senator's son won't be at that meeting, standing by his old man's side like Daddy Orr will be by Nathan's.  And that's because the Senator's son is a U.S. Army Ranger, deployed in the fight to defeat terrorism.  Yeah, like his old man, he's a doer too.

 

Public service (whatever others may sneeringly call it) runs deep in some families.


By the way, did you sleep well last night?