Delivered to 15,000 Plainfield "doorsteps" Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Politicians (mostly) skip Friends of Library gala

You'd scarcely know there was an important election in Plainfield this November, judging from the turnout at last night's Friends of the Plainfield Public Library (FOPPL) gala.

Although the Friends organization is strictly apolitical, as is the Library itself, its events are traditionally a low-keyed occasion for Plainfield's political establishment to come out and press the flesh.

Neither Assemblyman Jerry Green nor his protégé Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs were in evidence as about 150 library supporters gathered to munch sandwiches and salads, and chat with like-minded folks about the library and its programs, happenings in the community, and -- eventually -- who was and WAS NOT present.

'I am quite surprised that the only politicians who are not here are those who LIVE in Plainfield,' said Library board president Anne Robinson. She was making an oblique reference to the fact that though ALL of Plainfield's elected officials were sent invitations, only Republican mayoral candidate Jim Pivnichny (a Plainfield resident, though
NOT an elected official) and Assembly candidates 'Bo' Vastine and Marty Marks were present. The three were very much in evidence and politely working the crowd.

FOPPL doyenne and caterer for the event Sandy Spector and her crew kept busy replenishing the buffet and the red and white wine punches, while in the pool area attendees could fill small paper bags with scoops of snack treats ranging from cheese puff balls or potato chips to party mix.

Guests sat at tables arranged around the fountain in the poolside patio and hopped from table to table as they saw old friends and caught up, or met new ones. The tables were lit with votives perched on small piles of books artfully arranged (I wonder where THEY came from!).

The gala was billed as a 'Thank You' to Friends and supporters and, unlike the very successful wine tastings of the past few years, was offered gratis.

A very nice touch in these times of tightened belts.

-- Dan Damon

View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.


Anonymous said...

Bo Vastine has been sent into Plainfield to divide and conquer us. We are the natives willing to play along. They will always use us urban district. We play along. They say history repeats itself.

Rob said...

So per anonymous at 9:34AM... Bo Vastine and Jim P. show up at a Plainfield function to meet people etc etc -- shake hands, "kiss butt" what have you. This makes them bad. Mayor Jerry and Assistant Mayor Sharon once again, BLOW OFF something involving the citizens of the city and we should take heart knowing that our welfare and improving our city is truly what motivates them?? Ok.. I was born at night, but it wasn't LAST NIGHT.

Anonymous said...

to 9:34 am, if Vastine has been sent into Plainfield to divide and conquer "us" what has Jerry Green's role been for the past twenty years? To placate "us" who live here on the plantation? You write "they will always use us urban district." If the "they" is Union County's democratic party of white Charlotte DeFillippo and white Lesniak and all the other white people, you're right. If you want to discuss race, start with how the white democrats in the county have used Green to keep the "natives" calm. Any black people who question him and the disgrace Plainfield has had under his 20 year "leadership" are called Republicans or race traitors when in reality he should be questioned. He lives in the second ward near Sleepy Hollow and made over $700,000 on a land deal he made with the "white" county Democrats by selling a property to them. That money comes primarily from hard working black people in Linden. Yes history repeats itself by hustlers, who come in all colors, by the way, cheating poor and working class people out of their hard earned money. What has Green done? I'm black and I'm old, and I know that Jerry Green is about Jerry Green. I don't know Bo Vastine, but I know Jerry Green. Jerry Green is rich and he pays lip service to seniors and poor people in the fourth ward by patronizing them and demonizing the people who live in his own ward. He is rich and lives in the second ward. I am working class and he has done nothing to alleviate my heavy tax burden, so don't talk to me about divide and conquer. Jerry did that as the county's "black" way before Bo Vastine ever moved to this area.

Anonymous said...

You must be the campaign manager for Bo Vastine.

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked that the Mayor passed up on the Free food

Anonymous said...

Can Freedom of Information Act find out who really has a card for the Plainfield Library ?? Obviously the out of town employees at City Hall never frequent it either.

Anonymous said...

I passed up the free food too and I don't go to "galas" by the Friends of the Library or the Plainfield Symphony because although I contribute to both, these functions are just too expensive for most Plainfielders including me. And Rob, it was not an open event to which the "citizens of the city" were invited, it was a political "meet & greet" so the Republican candidates could score points with those who are probably going to vote for them anyway. And so Jerry & Sharon could be criticized for not going. We who have worked our way up are not made to feel welcome at these functions so it's no wonder we don't go. It's not race that divides our city, it's money and social class.

Anonymous said...

The missing elected officials may have an excuse. They may have been at the Democratic state conference in Atlantic City.

Even if they were, wouldn't you think well-mannered people would send their regrets?

Bo Vastine said...

I wasn't sent anywhere...I lived in Plainfield for three years and came to know a number of people both socially and politically (I volunteered for the Al McWilliams campaign for Mayor).

Also, the last time I looked...Plainfield is part of the 22nd District. If I am elected, I plan on working with all of the communities in the District...not just the one where I live.

Lastly, defining speaking Truth to Lies as attempting to divide and not only hollow but it sounds extremely desperate. Perhaps the real Truth is that people are fed up with Jerry's tired, ineffective and self serving..."What's in for Me" attitude.

They want real leadership and results...not empty promises and false hope.

Bo Vastine

Dan said...

To 2:14 AM -- Only the FBI can get a library cardholder's name. Big Brother wants to know what (and IF) you read.

Anonymous said...

Way to make something "non-political" political Dan.

Rob said...

Anonymous at September 28, 2009 6:52 AM::: --
You must be confused at what I wrote, trust me ---- I AM CRITIQUING Mayor Jerry and Assistant Mayor Sharon for NOT attending. And, I am taking to task the Jerry or Sharon employee who keeps posting things about Bo Vastine. I find some of the Friends of the Library functions expensive as well, but I do save up to attend one as I believe it's a nice way to support my library and meet people socially. I am all for them..yes, wish I made more money so I could go to more, but those are the facts.

Anonymous said...

to 6:52 am,

Hello--the library event was free, so that was more than a reasonable price! And you said you were not made to feel "welcome" at the library? You must be a shill. Over 50% of Plainfield's population has library cards and uses the library. You clearly don't or you would see the variety of social strata that DID attend. There were all kinds of people there, affluent and working class, literacy volunteers, event volunteers, parents who do events for kids. They were all there because they support the library. Too bad you missed the event and feel the need to bellyache about something you didn't even bother to attend.

Anonymous said...

6:52 commenter, you aren't made to feel welcome? You mean that someone looked snobbishly at you at a library event? In Plainfield? I have been to a lot of those gatherings, and I am always welcome and I don't earn a lot of money. This event was free, but when I have paid to go to these things, I look at it as an investment in my community. The library does so much good work, especially in the literacy volunteers program, and the volunteers who give of themselves for that and for some of the other "friends of the library" events, are certainly not wealthy as a group, even if there are some wealthy patrons. You need to stop feeling inferior. Other members of the working class did not let insecurity or anxiety over not feeling welcomed overcome them. I went. I think it's all in your head.

Anonymous said...

To 9:46 am: read my comment again, more carefully this time. I never said I didn't feel welcome at the Library--I go there all the time. It's the overpriced fancypants events that I avoid and I bet most Plainfielders can't afford them either.

I guess your own perspective colors your reading of comments and maybe other things as well.