District 17 Montgomery County Central Committee Member Jennifer Hosey ended up unintentionally livening up Tuesday night’s lengthy MCDCC meeting to select a new nominee for the open delegate slot in District 18. After stating that “I met with every candidate today,” Hosey abstained to the consternation of several local observers, particularly longtime Somerset Mayor Jeffrey Slavin.
Here are excerpts from the Zoom chat:
Jennifer G. Hosey, MCDCC Member (8:09 PM): I met with every candidate today.
Jennifer G. Hosey, MCDCC Member (10:32 PM): I abstained for very specific reasons. Please reach out to me with any questions.
Dolly Kildee (10:38 PM): Abstentioners go home!
Jennifer G. Hosey, MCDCC Member (10:39 PM): Dolly, That is an irresponsible statement to make without the full explanation, which I offered for myself.
Mayor Jeffrey Slavin (10:41 PM): I feel it’s a dereliction of duty for central committee members to abstain.
Dolly Kildee (10:41 PM): Jennifer, it’s irresponsible of you not to vote!
Mayor Jeffrey Slavin (10:42 PM): We elected these people to make decisions for us. For those that abstain we will not forget on July 19.
Mayor Jeffrey Slavin (10:43 PM): The only reason to abstain is if you have a conflict of interest.
Jennifer G. Hosey, MCDCC Member (10:43 PM): Dolly, I do not see you asking for my full explanation either in public or private.
Ed Fischman (10:43 PM): I would urge those who abstained in the 1st round to participate now. We might object to the committee’s role, but not exercising the responsibility to weigh in is a problem…
Mayor Jeffrey Slavin (10:43 PM): Anyone who abstains does not deserve to be re-elected in July.
Jennifer G. Hosey, MCDCC Member (10:44 PM): Ed, I do not see you asking for the full explanation in public or private.
Beth Tomasello (10:44 PM): I agree with Dolly. If you are here, you should vote. I hope that those MCDCC members who abstained will explain why in the chat. Thank you to all MCDCC members who have worked so hard to fulfill their obligations tonight.
Eric Hirschhorn (10:44 PM): So what is your explanation?
Mayor Jeffrey Slavin (10:44 PM): Jennifer. You are making a big mistake by not voting.
Mayor Jeffrey Slavin (10:46 PM): The only reason anyone should abstain is if they have a conflict of interest. Check Roberts Rules.
Jennifer G. Hosey, MCDCC Member (10:47 PM): Mayor Slavin, those voting need to fully know if there is a conflict of interest. This was prevented.
Mayor Jeffrey Slavin (10:48 PM): Jennifer, please tell us what is your conflict of interest.
Mayor Jeffrey Slavin (10:51 PM): We don’t elect central committee members to abstain from voting on anything unless they have a conflict of interest. I would submit that those who abstain do so because they are afraid to make an enemy. That’s a lack of courage.
Jennifer G. Hosey, MCDCC Member (10:54 PM): Please email me at [email address] for any questions.
Mayor Jeffrey Slavin (10:54 PM): Jennifer, your lack of transparency is appalling.
Mayor Jeffrey Slavin (10:55 PM): Anyone who abstains should announce their reason.
Mayor Jeffrey Slavin (10:58 PM): We want central committee members to be clear in their convictions and to make decision where required….not to be afraid of political consequences for themselves.
Mayor Jeffrey Slavin (10:59 PM): What would happen if a majority abstained.
Jennifer G. Hosey, MCDCC Member (10:59 PM): Please email me at [email address].
Hosey never explained why she abstained. She hasn’t been more forthcoming via email. When Mayor Slavin contacted Hosey privately later, she said that he would have to make an appointment! I reached out to her but have not heard back.
As people in the chat pointed out, it wouldn’t even be a conflict to vote for a family member since central committee members can and did vote for themselves. If Hosey nevertheless felt she needed to abstain due to a conflict, I wonder why she wasted the time of the people who wanted the appointment to the vacancy.
This is not Hosey’s first abstention after meeting with candidates. She also abstained on a previous vote regarding an appointment to the central committee. Hosey faces opposition from Gloria Aparicio in the Democratic primary.