Author Archive: Bill W

Update on Bergen County Democratic Organization

Updated by Jason: It was pointed out to me that the last time these by laws were last amended as of January 22, 1994

Promoted by Jason Springer: The BCDO gets an A for effort putting up the bylaws, but their “html version” isn’t very clear or searchable. A helpful reader has posted a real html version.

County Committee members should have received a letter from BCDO Chairman Michael Kasparian detailing his progress with the programs he promised to implement back in January.

Here are the highlights:

A BCDO ethics training, spearheaded by retired Superior Court Judge Daniel Mecca, will be held on May 20th. Governor Corzine has been invited, and plans to participate. The BCDO web site is up and running. (It looks a little wonky on Firefox, but it works.) Looks like they’ve got a decent bit of content there, including the BCDO bylaws and a list of all County Committee members and Municipal Chairs. (Addresses are not included, and I think that’s an understandable precaution.) An independent financial assessment is being conducted by Bederson Associates. An Executive Committee meeting was held in March, and another will take place in June. A fundraiser will be held on May 21 at Le Jardin in Edgewater; invitations will be forthcoming. Executive Director Daniel Ortega, Fund Raiser Marissa Heluk and Treasurer Mat McCarter are leaving their positions. The new executive staff includes Executive Director Matt McHale, Fundraiser Allison Zayas and Treasurer Donald Lenner.

I like that the web site is up, and overall it looks like progress has been made. I’m not familiar with most of the individuals named in this letter, though, so I can’t speak to what sort of direction the staffing choices suggest.

Any other thoughts?

Michael Kasparian Releases Party Reform Platform

Promoted by Jason Springer:  Bill W gives us the scoop on what’s going on with the Bergen Democrats.  What do you think?

Bergen County Democratic Committee members should be receiving a correspondence from Mike Kasparian outlining his platform for party reform should he be elected BCDO Chair. Skipping to the meat of the matter, here are the six points he lists :  (retyped by me, so I’ll take credit for any typos)

1. Mandatory ethics training: Our reform package must start with Ethics Reform. All BCDO Officers, members of the Executive Committee, staffers and candidates must receive mandatory ethics training similar to that which Governor Corzine mandated for all State Commission and Advisory Board members.

2. Internet Accessibility of BCDO Information: Posting on the Internet of all County Committee members names, along with all BCDO by-laws, governing documents and notices.

3. Independent Audit: We must conduct an independent third party audit of BCDO finances and make that information available to all members.

4. Open and Fair Conventions: All special conventions will be admnistered by an impartial third party, such as a retired member of the judiciary.

5. Charitable Outreach: BCDO should establish a fund in support of outreach organizations, such as Meals on Wheels, YMCA/YWCA and the Red Cross as examples.

6. A Committee Process: In accordance with our by-laws we must conduct regularly scheduled sub-committee meetings and seek the input of the full County Committee on all issues including fundraising, candidate selection, and policy issues.

Now, you can count me as skeptical of a candidate who seems to be drawing the support of all the wrong people, and lacking the support of many of the right people, but if he did manage to implement these six ideas, and if they were carried out conscientiously and fairly, I think it would be a good step in the right direction. I know, though, that’s a couple of big “ifs”.

One I find somewhat puzzling is the “Charitable Outreach” business — it doesn’t seem to me something that a party organization would typically involve itself in. Do other County Committees do this?

Any other thoughts on these proposals?