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Howard Fox Drops Out of GR Council Candidate Forum

Candidate's Night forum for Glen Rock council hopefuls has been cancelled, though the forum for school board candidates will still be held Tuesday night at Borough Hall.

There will be no debate between three citizens opting for two seats on the Glen Rock Borough Council Tuesday night, the League of Women Voters and candidates confirmed Monday morning.

Howard Fox, a Democrat, will not be participating in the League of Women Voters Candidate's Night on Tuesday due to what he called "a conflict."

Because Fox is the only Democratic challenger against incumbents Carmine Nogara and Joan Orseck, that section of the public forum has been cancelled, Sonya Loren of the League of Women Voters said Monday morning. 

"In a contested election, three candidates vying for two seats for Borough Council in this election, candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties must participate," Loren said in an e-mail to Patch. "If only the candidates of one party accept the invitation, as has happened, there can be no debate. It is inappropriate for the League of Women Voters to hold the forum as planned."

The Candidate's Night portion for school board candidates will still be held Tuesday night beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Glen Rock Borough Hall's Council Chambers.

"Unfortunately, I am not able to discuss it publicly at this time," Fox said when asked why he would not be participating. Fox, who previously ran for council in 2011 but was unsuccessful, will not be dropping out of the race, however.

"I intend to win," he told Patch in an e-mail.

"I am very disappointed that the Candidates' Night debate has been cancelled," Nogara, a Republican and the council president, remarked. "I was looking forward to using the forum to express my viewpoints on several important issues that Glen Rock is facing."

Orseck, who previously ran as a Democrat but is now on the GOP ticket, expressed similar sentiments as Nogara. Though disappointed, Orseck said her and Nogara's record on the council and in community service "speaks for itself."

Barbara Steuert and Gene Calderon are hoping to reclaim their school board chairs, while James Chung and Elizabeth Carr are looking to unseat the pair. A total of three seats are up for grabs, each a three-year term.

It's unclear if Sean Massaro, a teen "hero" who is on the ballot, will be participating. Massaro's candidacy has been in doubt after his mother announced he'd be focusing on his college education.

Terry Moore, appointed to the school board in 2011 after the resignation of Anita Kalra, has elected not to run for re-election.

This article was last updated at 5:10 p.m. Monday to include comment from Orseck.

Correction: Fox unsuccessfully ran for council in 2011.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Minna M. Greenberg October 08, 2012 at 08:34 PM
League of Women Voters rules mandate that the League not support, nor appear to support a particular candidate or party. When challengers are unable to appear, or there are only the same number of contestants as there are seats, the League of Women Voters can not hold a forum.
James Kleimann October 08, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Here's the full notification from the LoWV: As a service to the voters of Glen Rock, the League of Women Voters of Glen Rock sponsors a public forum "Candidates Night", for the candidates running for Board of Education and Borough Council of Glen Rock, elected offices. The League of Women Voters does not endorse or oppose any candidate or political party. The purpose of the League is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government. On November 6, 2012 we will be voting for three seats on the Board of Education and two seats for Borough Council members. The Board of Education “Candidates Night” forum, a NON political event, was held as planned on October 9, 2012 at 7:30 pm in the Chambers of the Municipal Building. There are five candidates vying for three seats on the Board. The term of office is three years. The “Candidates Night” Borough Council forum, a political event, was scheduled for the evening of October 9, 2012, after the Board of Education. In a contested election, three candidates vying for two seats for Borough Council, Candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties must participate. If only the candidates of one party accept the invitation, as has happened, there can be no debate. It was inappropriate for the League of Women Voters to hold the forum as planned. Regretfully, we announced that the "Candidates Night" for Borough Council was canceled.
John Hahn October 11, 2012 at 02:43 PM
The LoWV candidate's night is not very effective. Last year the audience had to submit questions in writing. Then (3) LoWV officials sifted through the questions, often combining them and making it frustrating for citizens to get questions asked. In the past these debates were public forums. Citizens asked questions directly. No middle person. No it is almost a waste of time.

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