Thanks to a successful signature gathering effort, Teaneck will get to conduct a little experiment in direct democracy. As the Record reported yesterday, the Township Clerk has 20 days (now 19) to check the 2,200 signatures collected in favor of an ordinance on public contracting reform, aka a ban on pay to play. It would be rather surprising if the ordinance did not pass by a landslide.
That's not to say there are not any legitimate arguments against this type of legislation. As discussed here before, it is possible that the measure could unnecessarily handcuff local officials when they choose contractors for municipal business. Practically speaking, however, it seems rather unlikely that there is a large constituency out there ready to mobilize and get out the vote for preserving the rights of large political contributors. Whether those who might oppose such a measure would be willing to spend the time, money, and effort to mount a defense of their right to grease the palms of local government officials without penalty remains to be seen, but it seems doubtful.
There are, on the other hand, at least a few thousand voters who were willing to sign a petition in favor of rules against pay to play, and given the low turnout expected for this November's elections, that should be more than enough to carry the day. If the vote is even close, there will be a lot to discuss. Boy would that send a message ahead of the next Council elections!