Susswein's Campaign Manager Questions Turner's Support For Pre-K

David Grill says he's worried about the institution's future


Another 24 hours brings another avalanche of emails and press releases from the various candidates and slates running for office in Tuesday's local election.

From David Grill, campaign manager for mayoral candidate Harvey Susswein, who is leading the For Montclair slate, comes a letter sent out to friends and supporters related to the Montclair Community Pre-K.

An Open Letter to all Montclair Community Pre-K Parents, past and present:

As one of the founding board members of Montclair Community Pre-K and its first board president, I am distressed that one of our mayoral candidates still doesn’t ‘get it’ about the program.

Karen Turner, who in the past has proposed closing the Montclair Community Pre-K and proposed issuing vouchers to attend underprivileged children, still plays fast and loose with the facts about the program and builds a totally misleading narrative about it. 

As recently as May 2 she said that MCPK is the most expensive program in town. This is totally false. In fact MCPK tuition is in middle of the pack. Moreover, none of the others have a sliding scale tuition based on income, and working families often find MCPK to be the LEAST expensive alternative in town. Plus MCPK deliberately caters to working parents and their hours and its cost per hour is below most if not all other programs in town. 

Ms. Turner, speaking of scholarships, was also quoted as saying “They’re all our kids. You can’t just hand pick a few.”, implying that kids needing scholarships are turned away. This is also totally false and misleading. MCPK is a Montclair program for Montclair kids, coordinated with the Montclair Public Schools. Montclair families get priority over others and scholarship subsidies go ONLY to Montclair children and they are offered to ANY Montclair family with limited means. No child gets turned away, period! No other program in town can say this.

Can someone who can’t or won’t stick to the facts about the Community Pre-K be trusted to be the ‘strong supporter’ she now claims to be?

I fear for the future of Montclair Community Pre-K in a Turner administration. One of the reasons I am supporting the For Montclair slate and volunteered to be Treasurer and Campaign Manager is that I trust these candidates with the future of the program. I trust them to keep their word that they will support the program while looking for a stable, multi-year source of funding, including the possibility of rolling it back under the Board of Education.

I urge you, on May 8, to cast your ballots for Line C, For Montclair.  Susswein, Barr, Hurlock, Springer, and Jacobson.


David Grill

A. Gideon May 06, 2012 at 01:45 PM
"you never, ever find anything wrong with RPM" That's false. I was one of the first to raise a concern about Ms. Turner's lack of children in the public schools. That might have been before you were hired to participate here, though. FWIW, I don't work for any slate. More, I've been posting here (and elsewhere) under my own name for quite a while (probably too long {8^). I also appear - under my own name again - regularly at BOE meetings and occasionally at council meetings. I've spoken at both. Do you participate where ever you live? I'm also a member of two PTAs, which is something I'm permitted to say because it violates zero PTA or IRS rules despite certain claims otherwise. I mention this because, in retrospect, it was the attacks on my volunteer peers that participated in that ad that got me annoyed about the antics in this campaign season. That annoyance may be what you're sensing, along with my disdain for hired posters. ...Andrew
Peter Simon May 06, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Count me among those who dislike anonymous commenting in local blogs. I'm with Andrew on that point. I have my own concerns about the RPM slate, but I don't really appreciate (or factor into my deliberations) the negative comments that have little or nothing to do with the substance of their policy declarations.
Tell it Straight May 06, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Andrew, Like i mentioned to you in an earlier post, when your kids need some community service points for entry into the National honor Society, send them over to clean out my basement and i will sign their forms, just like RPM was going to do for delivering their mail. Terry Gorman adamently stated that no e-mail was ever sent out to MGC members asking them to back karen Turner. Bold face lie, I presented the letter, which was given to me, by someone who doesn't even live in Montclair or know the person who sent the e-mail. That would indicate to any logical thinking person, that it went out to anyone and everyone possible. Karen Turner announcing to the audience that she has already begun to meet with officials from Montclair state is not only a bit premature, but it is obnoxious. The Plofker event was a set up [direct from the mouth of someone who attended] and just because he gave equally to each slate means nothing. His power is derived from their wealth and he uses it.
A. Gideon May 06, 2012 at 03:19 PM
"Like i mentioned to you in an earlier post, when your kids need some community service points for entry into the National honor Society, send them over to clean out my basement and i will sign their forms" You see that as analogous to working for a campaign? I won't argue that a campaign (or most any organized effort, I expect) doesn't include a lot of "grunt work", but it is for a cause much larger than someone's basement. You cannot see that? Perhaps you cannot see the difference between cleaning the basement of a church, school, or other public building and your own personal basement? Fortunately, I don't believe our middle school or high school students are this limited. My own kids - still in elementary school - recognize the difference come to think of it; the last lemonade stand the kids on the block - pre-K through 4th grade - ran was for charity. [Though I admit this was the brainchild of a 2nd grader that's not one of mine.] I think these kids could teach you something. ...Andrew
A. Gideon May 06, 2012 at 03:28 PM
"Bold face lie, I presented the letter" You presented a letter. Even if we're to accept the letter as something other than a complete fabrication - and your credibility isn't stellar given some of your postings that I've cited above, even if we're to ignore your apparent interest in nothing but attacking your employers' opponents - you've failed to counter that a member of this club in question indicates that he or she didn't receive it. That is, even if the letter exists your claim that it was sent to all members is apparently false. ...Andrew


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