The needler in the haystack.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Robinson-Briggs on Plainfield and Stimulus Plan: Stimulus? What stimulus?




Will Plainfield benefit from President Obama's economic stimulus package, which is on a fast track to final passage?

Probably not, given the lack of leadership by Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, who has evidently fluffed a major opportunity to get in line for help. This, despite her unique position to benefit from the stimulus bill.

Expecting the passage of the bill and a scramble to get some of the funding, the NJ League of Municipalities launched a campaign IN DECEMBER (see here) to get municipalities to submit proposals by January 6 to get in line for funding.

Mayors were sent a letter and details on submitting a proposal as well as having the information put on the League's website.

Can you guess where this is going? Check the list of 132 towns and their submissions here (PDF). What you will NOT FIND is a submission from Plainfield.

What is particularly painful is that Assemblyman Jerry Green recently crowed about Mayor Robinson-Briggs' election in November to the EXECUTIVE BOARD of the
NJ League of Municipalities (see here).

Speaking of the impact of the national crisis on local governments, Assemblyman Green says --
What touched me particularly was the fact that the conversations regarding these [national] issues revolved around the truth that we ALL have to work TOGETHER to progressively conquer and overcome the crises that was birthed on the federal level, and has poured down to the state and local governments. These blunders, as we all can see, are negatively affecting our ability on the state and local level, to deliver services to our communities.

Further, Assemblyman Green notes how important Mayor Robinson-Briggs will be in representing the interests of New Jersey's 566 municipalities (including her own) to all levels of government --
I would like to take this time out now to share with you a portion of the press release announcing Mayor Robinson-Briggs’ nomination:

On Friday, November 21, 2008, New Jersey’s mayors elected Sharon Robinson-Briggs, Mayor of Plainfield in Union County to serve on the Executive Board of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.

As a member of the League’s Executive Board, Mayor Robinson-Briggs will help lead the Association of New Jersey’s 566 municipal governments. Mayor Robinson-Briggs will represent the interests and needs of New Jersey’s local elected officials to county, state, and federal governments.

When asked at Monday's City Council agenda session about a submission for the stimulus funds, Mr. Dashield said there was no submission by Plainfield to his knowledge.

With the passage of the bill by the House on Wednesday (without a single Republican vote), the stimulus package will now be debated by the Senate (see story here).

Across the country, the rush by state and local governments and other institutions in preparing submissions for consideration in allocating the precious resources once the bill is finalized is in full swing.

The Press of Atlantic City headlines its story: "Early towns may get check from Obama stimulus funds". The Bergen Record headlined its story: "Municipalities angle for Obama stimulus funds".

Time is of the essence.

Except, it seems, in Plainfield, where
Mayor Robinson-Briggs evidently doesn't find this stimulating enough to get on board.

Report Card on Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs.

Like the report cards we used to take home for our parents' review and signature, Mayor Robinson-Briggs will be earning grades ranging from A to F (plus E for effort) --

ITEM

GRADE
LINK
COMMENT
01/29/09: Stimulus Program? What stimulus?
F
See story HERE.
Failed to submit proposal.







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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

This mayor has 3 count them 3 people on her staff to look out for her. One full time and two part time positions - and she cannot do this!

Are you sure, Dan? This cannot be believed if it is true - but then again...

olddoc said...

Dan, I asked the question if Plainfield was getting any of the "Obama funds" remarking that NYC was receiving a billion dollars. Dashield's answer was yes, but he was talking about the mortgage relief funding that a New Brunswick bank and a church have been the dispensers for use here.I think Jerry Green has taken crdit for this.
I had asked 5 or 6 questions regarding the budget but have no record of replies. I am sure that everything is being done to avoid producing a disatrous budget and are awaitng mandatory state intervention.

Sonce the 2010 budget process is supposedly to start in May are we not in a time bind?

Anonymous said...

One would think that the Mayor, in her position with the League of Municipalities, would not only ensure Plainfield was on-board with the submission of proposals for funding, but would be following up with every municipality in New Jersey to see to it that they all submitted proposals.

Perhaps there needs to be a change in the manner that correspondence is sent to the Mayor. Perhaps all the Mayors mail, especially correspondence from the State Offices, should be sent to the City Clerks office and a copies provided to at least the City Council President. It's obvious that there needs to be a system in place for checks and balances. There have been too many reports over the years of lost funding because Plainfield did not submit anything, submitted too late, or even lost funding because a project was not started before a specific deadline.

How do you score this on a report card? An 'F' or "Did not Participate'?

Rob said...

She and Jerry were elected as a leader on the League ??? I mean, she was elected as a leader on the League??? Talk about a ship that won't be leaving port for any meaningful destination. Hopefully salvation is down river so all this ship needs to do is float along as she has not exactly moved, guided, steered or piloted Plainfield toward any meaningful destination. Would it be to quick to simply say, " NO STIMULUS " money for Plainfield?

Dan said...

To Olddoc --

Yes, Plainfield has applied for money Union County is expecting, for 'mortgage assistance'.

But this is the Stimulus Plan that is still being shaped up and has nothing to do with the previous award.

And the NJ League got this initiative under way in DECEMBER, with all mayors being sent letters, etc.

I don't think Mr. Dashield would confuse it with any other program if he were aware of it.

Dan said...

One further thought, Olddoc.

This is about a Board member of the NJ League evidently not participating in a project the League is sponsoring: to gather all these projects together.

Why wouldn't one do that as a member of the Board and a team player?

Anonymous said...

Again Plainfield suffers because of the dummies. I was about how stupid can she be, but i guess she really proved how stupid she is.