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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Standing room only at Piv kaffee klatch

Plainfield mayoral candidate Jim Pivnichny drew a standing-room only crowd to a meet-and-greet on Wednesday evening, partly because of the furor over Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs' use of the police to have Pivnichny ejected from a Seniors meeting on Tuesday.

The candidate was kept well past the event's expected 9:00 p.m. finish time as those present peppered him with questions about issues facing the City.

Amiable and low-keyed, Pivnichny detailed his qualifications, background and positions on the issues.

His life experience working in industry for 32 years, ending up heading a department with several dozen employees and a multi-million dollar budget, make him well-qualified to understand -- and manage -- Plainfield's local government workforce and budget, he asserted. Not only that, his experience has taught him both the importance of, and how to go about getting, talented, qualified and highly motivated administrators.

Talking about being the grandson of immigrants, Pivnichny exhibited an empathy for all sorts of people who face difficulties -- from those on fixed incomes or limited salaries who face the burdens of Plainfield's property taxes, to the varied legal immigrants in the community who face the challenges of language, cultural differences and sometimes, discrimination.

Among issues discussed were --
Administrators -- Saying he will owe no one any favors or preference, Pivnichny said he could focus on hiring truly qualified persons as department heads, without the threat faced by those beholden to political power brokers that if they don't hire who they are told to they will only be a one-term mayor. He said he would also like to see these high level employees either live IN Plainfield, or NEARBY, and not be faced with long commutes.

Appointments -- He will seek to make appointments of PMUA commissioners who will be dedicated to running the agency more efficiently and trimming the fat he suspects is there.

Relations with the Council -- Saying he viewed members of the City Council as conscientious, he opined he could work with a Democratic Council, and cited their pushback against the Robinson-Briggs administration over the Monarch condos tax abatement proposal as an example of how his thinking and theirs align.

Contracts -- Pivnichny decried the current administration's overuse of the 'Fair and Open' law, which circumvents public bids, and held that he would want contracts over a $10,000 threshold to be publicly bid. In this area, Pivnichny also said he would like to see activities such as engineering be brought in-house, especially in light of the large contracts currently given to politically-connected firms.

Police Chief -- A question about the Police Division led to a lively discussion with attendees; Pivnichny said he would definitely want to bring back the Police Chief position and consider abolishing the Police Director position and whether the Public Safety director's slot needs to be filled at all.

Communications -- Saying that the website 'needs lots of improvement', Pivnichny held that improved face-to-face communication with residents was even more important and vowed to hold town hall meetings at various sites around the community at least quarterly, as well has having an 'open door' policy at City Hall.
Musing about his reasons for running, Pivnichny recalled how, as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity's Plainfield chapter, his exposure to the Mayor's community involvement came in seeing Mayor Robinson-Briggs and her entourage show up for photo opportunities at two Habitat activities and then promptly leave.

The citizens certainly deserve more involvement than that, he thought to himself.

Who could disagree?

-- Dan Damon

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active citizen said...

I am a democrat and voted for Robinson-Briggs in the last election. I cannot this time and it comes from personal interactions with the mayor that have turned me off. She is a politician first and Plainfield's mayor second. She is well known for getting that photo opp and then leaving. She has to be forced to do things for the people of Plainfield and is not a mayor who sees her job as working for the citizens. I'm going to vote her out. I hope others are paying attention, we can't afford another four years of Sharon.

Yep I Said It! said...

Active Citizen -thank you for coming forward.

At this past Council meeting there were many parents in the back of Hubbard School's auditorium who also voted for the photo opp mayor Sharon and they too expressed their disappointment.

Wwelllll . . . it is time to move forward and I too hope others are Seeing what Sharon is doing . . . or not doing. Listening to what Sharon is Saying . . . or not saying. And most important of all TELL others what Sharon is not doing and what Sharon isn't saying and ask them who would they like in the Mayor's office for the next four years.

I am all eyes, ears and believe me I have a mouth!

Anonymous said...

That big bully Pivnichny gave wittle Sharon a little bit of a scare at the Senior Center.

Shame on him wanting direct answers to questions, expecting the mayor to be accountable, and wanting what's best for Plainfield.

I'm glad that big ole Jerry came to her rescue.

This mess has got to go. Vote Pivnichny - Vastine-Marks November 3.

Anonymous said...

I am trying to understand if people are voting against Mayor Briggs or For Candidate Pivney. Plainfield challenges are great and complex. I am not sure managing a couple dozen folks qualifies and volunteering for Habitat as being up to the job. How long will Plainfield languish in confusion, while the Candidate interviews and select qualified Department heads? How would the candidate eliminate the Director of Public Safety and the process of rehiring a police chief. How long will that take?
I am a pragmatist, I dont vote on pure emotions. History has told me, that never turns out for the better.

Dan said...

To 6:55 AM -- Who did you vote for last time, on a non-emotional pragmatic basis?

And did they win? And are you happy with the outcome?

As for management of people, Mayor Robinson-Briggs never managed any before being elected, and there is scant evidence since then, either.

Anonymous said...

I wasn,t here to vote at the last election. Again, I vote on pragmastism. That would give me comfort if nothing changes. Change will not happen until the people change. Are we ready for what it would really take to get us back on the right track? I agree with your comment about the current Mayor. Lack of experience is a major factor when I decide my vote.
Another factor is who are the people around you. I have no clue who Piv will select as his Police Chief (after eliminating Public Director), City Administrator, etc. That lack of information causes me pause too. Sometimes the Devil you know is better than the Devil you dont.

Yep I Said It! said...

Be careful 6:55AM-JG!!!

Look at that lil young Community Organizer that is now in the big ole White House.

Nah nah nah nah naaaaah!!!

Rob said...

Hey 6:55: Assistant Mayor Sharon couldn't even "MANAGE" to get herself into office..she needed Jerry to do that for her. Now we can only hope she will manage to leave. Her managements skills are notoriously grade school at best. But, since we know how terrible she is, we should keep her..Lord knows how much worse someone else could be, right ???

Anonymous said...

I agree with there being very little experience in the white house, but he at least surrounded himself with very very experienced people. The jury is still out. I guess your logic is we can't get any worst? We shall see. Have you heard the saying "becareful what you ask for".

Yep I Said It! said...

Shame on the person who ASKED FOR Sharon!!!