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Monday, May 18, 2009

Mayor Sharon: Math-challenged Artful Dodger?

Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs is in full campaign mode, dodging crime facts, exhibiting a truly weird math sense, and raising questions about her understanding of respecting boundaries.

In Mayor Sharon's carnival-mirror world, 'crime' is down.

Depends on what 'crime' you are talking about.

Gang and gun crime are down slightly (5% -- from 485 to 461 incidents, according to Public Safety Director Martin Hellwig -- see here).

But the fact of the matter is that NONVIOLENT CRIME (read: home invasions, burglaries, robberies, car breakins, etc.) are UP -- not only up, but UP BY MORE THAN 12% over the previous year (see the Ledger's April 22 story here, a recent Courier story here, and candiate Adrian Mapp's blog here), and these are the crimes of which Plainfield voters are most likely to be the victims.

Claiming that murders are down 300 percent shows Robinson-Briggs' math is even weirder.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, consider the chart below --

What it looks like to reduce something by 300%.

So as not to damage any brain cells in checking her math, let's use an example any taxpayer can grasp.

Suppose for the sake of illustration that your annual property taxes are $5,000.

Using the chart above, you can see that if your taxes are reduced by 100% they will be at $0, as in the second column in the chart.

If reduced by 200%, they would be negative 100% as in the third column, and if reduced by 300%, they would be 200% below the zero line.

This would make you very happy, since the City would actually be paying you $10,000 instead of you paying the City.

Translating this to murders, it means that Mayor Sharon has undone murders -- from a high of 15 in 2005, to having brought 30 murder victims ... back to life?

Weird math.

In the two mailers she has put out so far, Mayor Sharon has chosen interesting photos. The crime mailer shows her posing with three smiling cops, in uniform, apparently at some event.

Her previous huggy-kissy mailing piece pictured her with youngsters.

Were these photos of the mayor performing official duties and taken by her house photographer, Laurence Rice? If so, why is Mayor Sharon using pictures paid for on the public dime? Isn't that cheating?

On the other hand, it would just be a continuation of her ongoing inability to get the boundaries right between the political and the official -- think of the banner of her sporting a campaign button that is stretched across the front of City Hall.

Charles Dickens created 'the Artful Dodger', a cunning pickpocket who became the leader of a gang of child criminals in Oliver Twist.

Pete Seeger and the Almanac Singers recorded an American folk song inspired by this character in 1941 (see here), including the following lines --
Oh, the candidate's a dodger, yes, a well-known dodger,
Oh, the candidate's a dodger, yes, and I'm a dodger too.
He'll meet you and treat you and ask you for your vote,
But look out, boys, he's a-dodgin' for your vote.

We have a dodger on our hands, folks, but is she an Artful Dodger?

-- Dan Damon

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Anonymous said...

Is it legal for Sharon to have her picture taken with uniformed officers? Were they on the taxpayer's dine while they were posing?

Rob said...

Dodger yes... Artful??? Anything but.Maybe she can manage to reduce property taxes by a parltry 25% or 50% since she was so "magically" able to reduce murders by 300%.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I were talking about that funny math ourselves. My husband walked into the kitchen and said, "Great news honey, Sharon has brought back 30 people from the dead!" What is really sad is that the ads Sharon puts out probably go through so many people AND no one caught that? There have also been quite a few grammatical errors. I am not saying our mayor must be perfect, but if you don't take great care in the details of advertising yourself, how detailed will you be with the ins and outs of running this city? Besides shouldn't we expect a certain level of education and ability in a mayor AND I don't just mean degrees. Thanks for this blog!!

Anonymous said...

The community should file a lawsuit against the administration immediately. My husband is an officer in town and he is outraged by the politicization of the force. Note that one of the officers in the picture was one of Mayor Sharon's personal bodyguards for 3 years. No crime fighting activities for him. It's a low down dirty shame what this mayor has done to the police morale.

Anonymous said...

The politicalization of the police department is sickening. The mayor uses them for her own bidding. Her first mailing showed a group of cops with her but not in uniform. They all have special jobs now. The ne mailer has three cops in uniform. Engaging in politics is against the regulations of the division but I guess since she runs the department it's ok! This was taken on a saturday morning at the Rock Avenue little league field for opening day. 2 of these cops were off duty, meaning they put on there uniforms for the photo opportunity. And the third was on the taxpayers dime! They even called another on duty officer to the field but he didn't make the photo.
Well, they got the chief out of the way so they can use the police for whatever they want!