Asbury Park Press
February 4, 2008


Panel leader pushed diversity

Former Mayor Thomas G. Hall, in his Jan. 26 letter, "Volunteers not easily found,'' implied it was his and the Middletown Township Committee's effort that recruited me to become a member of the Middletown Human Rights Commission in 2006. "I can't seem to recall any diverse members referred to the talent bank or this mayor by (Carolyn) Schwebel during my tenure,'' he wrote.

He is incorrect. My recruitment was due to former commission chairwoman Schwebel's efforts. She submitted my name to the Township Committee, which appointed me. It was well documented via e-mails she sent to the committee in late 2005 and early 2006.

I am chairman of the commission's education subcommittee. One of the projects we are working on is the racial group disparity on the staff in the Middletown School District and many other school districts in New Jersey. Statistics show various minority racial groups are underrepresented in certificated staff in comparison with the percentage of students. This appears to be a systemic issue across New Jersey, and not just an issue for Middletown.

Don M. Tow