The needler in the haystack.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

David Rutherford details Jerry Green's jobs technique

Is Jerry Green Plainfield's answer to Mephistopheles?

Neither fans nor foes of Plainfield Assemblyman Jerry Green will want to miss David Rutherford's firsthand account of Jerry's jobs technique.

David's post is entitled 'The Patronage Mill' and you can read it here. In it he describes Jerry's attempt to recruit David.

It appears to be just a coincidence that on Tuesday Jerry put up a rambling post protesting his innocence and non-involvement in local affairs, attacking the bloggers, and rambling disconnectedly. Is it any wonder that his nickname at the Statehouse is 'Mumbles'? (It seems possible, from stylistic evidence, that the entry was dictated to someone -- a much younger staff person?)

The bloggers extract their own revenge -- Olddoc took a scalpel to the Assemblyman today (see here).

And Bernice caught Jerry in one of his usual non sequiturs, contrasting actual slimy Jerry words about a candidate for public office and his protestation that he is innocent of such behavior (see her piece here).

At any rate, you can file Jerry's post under 'Fiction' and consider David's, Bernice's and Olddoc's under 'Fact'.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Councilors Storch and Williams host Family Fun Day Saturday

Leland Avenue Park is a popular neighborhood venue.
Here, youngsters take a break during a cleanup day.

Councilors Cory Storch (Ward 2) and Rebecca Williams (Wards 2/3 at-large) are hosting a Family Fun Day and Community Picnic on Saturday from Noon to 4:00 PM at the Leland Avenue Playground. The event will feature refreshments and games for children and adults. Arrangements are under the supervision of the Plainfield Division of Parks & Recreation.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What will Watson appointment mean for New Dems?

What does this move mean for the New Dems' future?

Plainfield's New Democrats were caught completely off-guard by Mayor Adrian Mapp's surprise selection of former PMUA executive director Eric Watson as the acting head of the Department of Public Works and Urban Development.

Along with the rest of the community, they must make sense of this appointment -- which is entirely within the Mayor's prerogatives -- and try and discern its impact for the future, both for Plainfield and for the New Democrats.

Mayor Mapp has said he bases the selection on Watson's experience and told Courier News reporter Sergio Bichao that Watson 'could easily hit the ground running' (see the Courier story here). He is also a resident, which removes that question from being a consideration as it has been in recent personnel moves.

Reactions to the Watson appointment have been varied. (For a list of links to some of my previous coverage of Watson, the PMUA, and his role in the Robinson-Briggs re-election campaign, see here.)

A few people have said to me that Watson's qualities as an administrator should outweigh public perceptions about the severance package he was awarded by the PMUA board. In the view of these folks, the matters can be separated, the hubbub will subside in a few days, and Plainfield will move on.

Many more, though, have expressed reservations and worry about the effect Mapp's decision may have on Councilors Rebecca Williams and Cory Storch, the only New Dems besides the mayor to hold elected office.

Williams, the Wards 2/3 at-large representative who won a contested June Primary without the backing of Assemblyman Jerry Green, is on the November slate which is headed by Cory Booker and Bonnie Watson Coleman.

Storch, who represents Ward 2, faces the likelihood of a challenge if he chooses to run in next June's primary. His current term expires December 31, 2015. Storch is quoted in the Courier story as saying he will vote against Watson's appointment.

There is strong community feeling that Watson's settlement with the PMUA was egregious and tarnishing and will leave unresolved questions over his and Mayor Mapp's heads concerning Watson's long and close relationships with Assemblyman Green and PMUA commissioners Malcolm R. Dunn and Cecil Sanders, the architects of the PMUA settlement.

New Democrats must try and figure out if the Watson appointment is a coup for Mapp, a catastrophe, or something in between. Only time will tell.

For now, there is nothing but consternation.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jerry finds work for Sharon, Mackson

Jerry comes through for Sharon.

Those who fretted that former Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs left office without landing the traditional pol's perk -- a government job -- can rest easy.

Word in the street is that Sharon is ensconced in a job with Union County, thanks to the good offices of Assemblyman Jerry Green, her erstwhile mentor and chair of the Plainfield and Union County Democratic committees.

Same is reported of Lamar David Mackson, formerly with Plainfield's cable TV station, who is now regularly posting Union County press releases on his Facebook page.

Robinson-Briggs had burned all her bridges in the final years of her second term and was on notoriously bad terms with former UCDC chair Charlotte DeFilippo, who complained bitterly that Sharon never returned her phone calls.

Sharon's further decision to challenge the party's designation of Mapp for the mayor's line made her persona non grata with Green. But evidently that is all water over the dam and Robinson-Briggs is once again in his good graces after spending months at the mike at Council meetings spinning cotton-candy versions of her administration while lambasting Mapp.

It all fits in with reports that Jerry was badmouthing Mapp as he handed out free phones this past weekend in the Twin City parking lot.

So, is Jerry at the top of his game? Or perhaps a little around the bend?

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mapp hires Eric Watson for DPW. What do you think?

Eric Watson makes full circle, returns to Public Works.

Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp has hired former PMUA executive director Eric Watson to be the new head of the Department of Public Works and Urban Development, replacing the well-respected Eric Jackson, who was elected mayor of Trenton in May. Watson is slated to start work Monday.

Mayor Mapp says he has contemplated several candidates and that Watson brings the skills and experience to the job which will make him a good contribution to the Mapp leadership team.

The appointment of department heads is the mayor's prerogative, with the advice and consent of the Council. While residency has been an issue with recent hires, it will not be a concern when Watson's name is brought forward as he is a Plainfield resident.

So, what do you think?

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Netherwood Heights house tour today


Netherwood Heights Neighbors Association is holding its 'Tour of Homes' today from 1:00 to 5:30 PM.

Eight of the district's gracious homes will be open for visitors. Day-of tickets are available at 1201 Denmark Road for $35.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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