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Democrats Prevail in Springfield Recount Lawsuit

In judge's ruling on case, Margaret Bandrowski wins election by three votes.

The lawsuit over Springfield's 2012 election has ended with Democratic candidate Margaret Bandrowski for Township Committee holding her seat by a three-vote margin.

James Foerst, the attorney for Republican candidate Jerry Fernandez, argued that because of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the election—namely the consequences of tropical storm sandy—the results were unrepresentative of the will of the people.

"There was a superstorm," he said during the case. "It was unprecedented. It's clear we have a unique circumstance."

After alleging that people were voting illegally, he said the election in Springfield had either an "incorrect" or "indeterminate" vote.

Attorney Bob Renauld, representing Bandrowski, argued against the case on several grounds, but particularly chafed against Foerst's characterization of the election as a miscarriage of electoral intent.

"He's here for a defeated candidate who wants an office he wasn't elected to," Renauld said.

While Foerst was able to reduce Bandrowski's already slim margin of victory from four to three, he ultimately could not persuade Union County Judge Lisa Chrystal to order a second election. One vote previously thrown out for having non-matching signatures was reinstated after testimony proved that the voter's signature changed because she suffered from the degenerative medical condition Multiple sclerosis. His arguments concerning non-residents voting illegally in Springfield were not successful, however. 

Speaking after the verdict was read on Thursday, Jan. 31, Fernandez said that while he would not seek to appeal the verdict he believed the court case was necessary. 

"Im ok with it," Fernandez told Patch. "I think that under the circumstance of the elction, it had to be done. At the end the difference turned out to be only three votes. We owed it to both sides to be done correctly."

Bandrowski said she was happy the court action was over.

"I am very, very relieved and very exhausted," Bandrowski told Patch. "The minute the judge gave the ruling I realized I was holding my breath. 

 

BART FRAENKEL February 01, 2013 at 02:47 PM
Regardless of whether people agree or disagree with this ruling, or if they support Democrats or Republicans, I do agree with Jerry that given the nature of this particular election it was reasonable to pursue every avenue possible to make sure of the results. We're probably going to read a variety of opinions regardling this and maybe even an article or two by current or past TC members. I would hope that anyone writing an article allows comments by the public, unlike what has been done in the past by certain people and even this past week by Mr. Krauss, in his assessment of Mayor Amlen's monthly message. While I don't agree with Marc's opinion, it's good that he feels so strongly about it to write an article. But in typical fashion he didn't allow comments. One can only assume the reason is an unwillingness to hear a dissenting opinion. This is similar to how the public was treated at TC meetings during the past year. Anyone with an opinion that differed from the majority (at that time) were spoken down to, yelled at or generally treated poorly. That said, there's very little difference between not allowing comments and people speaking poorly of others under the veil of anonymity.
Bob Groder February 01, 2013 at 06:53 PM
I agree Bart. Just yesterday Former commiteeman Mr. Krauss wrote another negative article about Mr. Amlen which is his right. Why dont him or any republcans allow comments when they post a blog or article? If i ever decide to post my own blog trust me id allow comments from anyone as this is the democratic process. Not to say that writing on the patch has anything to do with that subject but the spirit of writing a blog on any website usually allows for comments from either side. Instead i often find you or myself posting on other places of the patch to reply to someone elses post which doesnt allow for comments. While its allowed of course ITS JUST WRONG! I also agree this is a continuation of the 2012 year when the republicans didnt listen to anyone who spoke out against their ideas no matter what it was for. If you are for them great but if you are against them pretty much they hit the Ignore button when letting the public speak. This patch article yesterday you are referring to is pretty much in the same spirit of how the town was run in 2012.
Marc Krauss February 01, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Mr. Groder, I choose not to allow comments on my blog as so to avoid the anonymous diatribe that prevails throughout the comment section on the majority of articles and blogs. It is neither right nor wrong; it’s my choice as the author. This has nothing to do with your perception of how people were treated during township committee meetings. There is no correlation there. You are also quick to criticize my article on the Mayor’s Message but offer no counterpoint to it and only citing your own political rhetoric. Therefore, you agree that his message lacked substance and was of no value. However, I look forward to commenting on your blogs or articles that are free of bias or negativity when you decide to publish your own thoughts instead of commenting on others.
Bob Groder February 01, 2013 at 09:30 PM
Mr. Krauss , I think the Mayors message in January was just an introductary article and not sent in a partisan manner. Why not give the man a chance to show he can run the town in a manner which isnt done in a polical manner. The meetings while only a few so far have been run without any problems from the public. I also would like to point out that not a single person spoke out about the reorganization of the BOH and i am also proud of the fact that a flood mitigation committee was formed which was supposed to happen after storm Irene but didnt get formed until this past month. So far the few actions taken by the TC in January of 2013 were done quite promptly and also with public input allowed. I welcome your reply and input and would love to talk with you like I did with jerry at a TC meeting
Shane Ronan February 01, 2013 at 10:17 PM
I'm curious what anyone thinks a Township level flood mitigation committee will be able to accomplish? Further, speaking out about the BOH reorg would have been pointless because the members of the Township Committee made it VERY clear this was their intent before they were even elected. Why waste my breath. I have my personal opinions about the actions taken so far by the current township committee, but I'll keep them to myself since there really is no point in arguing about them here.
Shane Ronan February 01, 2013 at 10:18 PM
Also, was the Mayors message posted to the patch? Or did our current mayor not make that request?
Curious February 01, 2013 at 10:20 PM
I agree with everything in Marc Krauss' article. The Mayor's message rambled and was quite uninformative. However, I disagree with the tone of Mark's article and I question the purpose as to why it was written. Coupled with his first article, he seems intent on driving a divisive wedge rather than offering support to a new administration and wishing them a successful term (we are still residents and should wish for success, regardless of political beliefs). Reminiscent of Senator McConnell's famous quote, " my number one priority is making sure president Obama’s a one-term president.’
voter February 01, 2013 at 10:26 PM
I commend Mr. Fernandez for his ability to lose gracefully and move forward for the good of the town. His running mate, on the other hand is acting like a sore loser. Time to act like adults. His article was embarrassing.
BART FRAENKEL February 02, 2013 at 12:28 AM
Marc, since you admit you want to avoid anonymous diatribe, would comments made by people who do identify themselves be acceptable to you? Or is the intent of your comments to state an opinion in which no one can disagree or possibly correct an inaccurate statement?
Curious February 02, 2013 at 12:31 AM
Geez, does anyone really care? Leave the man alone. If you want to argue what he wrote, then author your own blog.
Bob Groder February 02, 2013 at 08:22 PM
I agree Shane that speaking out is a waste of time BUT I still do it as thats what I pay taxes for so I can speak for or against any issues in town. It shows me the same BS happened in 2012 when the BOH was reorganized. You should speak out shane as when it comes to the flood mitigation committee and by the way they are making amazing strides as I get their emails. By the way they are made up or ordinary citizens of BOTH parties who were flooded in town. You were effected more than I as your street got hammered in Irene. The Irene storm is what brought me to TC meetings in the 1st place. I always speak out good or bad. I wish you would do the same. You pay taxes like I do and should always tell them how you feel. If they dont hear negative comments at a TC meeting how is the current administration supposed to know how the public is feeling?
Bob Groder February 02, 2013 at 08:22 PM
No further comment. I made my points already and its a dead horse.
Bob Groder February 02, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Correction to myself Shane.... I was referring to the emails I have been getting from "water everywhere". They have made more progress in just over a year than what was done in the past 14 years since storm floyd in 1999. I am very proud of their work so far including my neighbor Bonnie Adams.
Bob Groder February 02, 2013 at 08:27 PM
Bart we can post all we feel and state our opinions but the fact is its totally legal and within the rights of any citizen to publish a blog with comments turned off. I just dont agree with it. Like i said its a dead horse and im moving on. I wish we all would do the same til the next time it happens LOL.
BART FRAENKEL February 02, 2013 at 08:45 PM
Bob, a person has to specifically turn off the feature that allows responses when they submit something on The Patch. And given the past history of not being willing to graciously accept dissenting opinions, I thought at least Marc could be forthright about why he chooses to do what he does. But I do agree, let's move on.
a fan February 03, 2013 at 07:28 PM
are you fools done with the back and forth... no wonder Springfield is a laughing stock.....every time something gets on this site, i can guarantee i will see both your names with comments, trying to embarass your political nemesis'... like a bunch of 6 year olds.... i think you should both run this year, then when neither of you are elected, you will both realize nobody wants to hear you, and you will both realize your only political chance is posting nonsense on this website
a fan February 03, 2013 at 07:30 PM
and here i thought i would read something worthwhile.... out of the 14 comments, half were posted by the same two people - i say you exchange phone numbers and call each other up and have a normal conversation about this, instead of a conversation on this site
Kevin M February 04, 2013 at 01:27 PM
Amen
Springfield Neighbor February 04, 2013 at 05:28 PM
The Bob and Bart Road Show ! The story of 2 pathetic men with nothing better to do than post gripes about anything and anyone in Springfield. PLEASE take your show BACK on the road. No one here cares about your inane opinions.
BART FRAENKEL February 04, 2013 at 06:00 PM
It certainly takes a special type of person to hide behind an anonymous name and speak poorly of others. You are very special. While I don't agree with Marc's opinions, at least he has the courage to identify himself.
Bob Groder February 18, 2013 at 02:35 PM
Ditto as bart says lol. If all of you so called Ziad fans are posting under fake or assumed names explain to me why the turf field boondoggle error made by the BOE and land use lawyer from 2012 will cost the town of Springfield over 1 million in undeveloped land never mind the tax money that will no longer come in? Its front page news right in the local source. Ill be glad to hear your dissenting opinions. Right now ALL CITIZENS in springfield are on the hook for this lost income the township will no longer bring in. I will never shut up when I am paying taxes and disagree with anyone who runs this town incorrectly. This turf field was rushed through without the proper research on the land swap deal and now we all will be paying for it. I also Give Bart credit. At least he has been a mayor and on the board trying to work to help the township of Sprinfield & posts as himself. Instead you haters simply choose to bash us both which I find amusing. Also I give Marc credit as he does post as himself. Bart is right on that too. Most of you I could care less who you are if you dont post as a real name.

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