The needler in the haystack.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Will Robinson-Briggs lose favorite pay-to-play trick?


Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs has been hard at work for more than four years now trying to show her support for those who helped put her in office in the first place (Remington and Vernick comes to mind). But the favorite trick of Plainfield pols (and others) -- awarding highly lucrative contracts by the 'fair and open' process -- may be facing its demise.

In its July newsletter (see here, PDF), ELEC's chairperson Jerry Fitzgerald English argues that the 'fair and open' contract awards process should be dropped.

A huge loophole,
'fair and open' allows contracts to be awarded without public bidding to those firms on a list of vendors whose 'qualifications' have been solicited through advertising or on the municipal website, and which list has been adopted by the governing body. Although everything takes  place (theoretically) in public view, there is no public bidding.

The lists of 'qualified' vendors just happens to include major donors to the politicians, and it is all legal though it stinks to high heaven.

At least up until now.

ELEC chairperson English wants to see several changes made --
  1. A SINGLE pay-to-play law covering state and local situations;

  2. Eliminate the 'fair and open' contract-awarding loophole';

  3. Lower the reporting threshold on contracts to $17.500 per year;

  4. Raise the contribution disclosure level from $300 (to $1,000 is suggested).
All of these would help to further cripple New Jersey's notorious pay-to-play culture, of which the 'fair and open' abuse is a leading example.

Let's hope the Legislature sees it the way ELEC does.



-- Dan Damon [follow]

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8 comments:

Bob said...

The Robinson-Briggs administration is perhaps the most corrupt administration I've seen in the 26 years I've lived in Plainfield. She may appear to be not too bright on the outside, but she knows how to manipulate people and situations and send money to friends and herself. Fortunately, we should be rid of her by the next election or sooner.

SEXY said...

Bob I agree By law the mayor only has to sit in that seat for 6 months - time is up! The old saying, "Move over bacon make room for sizzlean."

Rebecca Williams said...

This would be an important reform--I am all for it, and I can't imagine that anyone on our city council wouldn't wholeheartedly support it as well!

Rebecca

Anonymous said...

Of course your all for it Rebecca. Your campaign was/is financed by all those rich folks up on the hill and at the Country Club. The non-New Dem doesn't have a chance without some sort of vendor contributions.

And by the way didn't Adrian Mapp host a fundraiser at his house a few years back for/with Al McWilliams with a bunch of vendors. All of which where expected to contribute to the New Dems.

Remember that event Dan?

Don't get me wrong I do believe there needs to be reform but let's not be hypocrites.

Concerned said...

Why do we "in this city" always find the way to need reform or laws to do what is right? Mayor Briggs and her cronies should be kept in check by council with or without such laws. Our city deserves a council who are doing what is right by their elected constituents.

The PMUA issue, 287k for demolition, or $1 land deals, QC Baseball, audit, etc and you'll see that many don't have the citizens best interests at heart.

Anonymous said...

The citizens don't have their best interest at heart. We need to get all of Plainfield involved, regardless if we own or rent.

It is evident that there is a lack of understanding as to why people who do not own should get involved. It is easy to understand. Whatever happens to this city affects your rent - if taxes go up alot, your rent goes up alot - if businesses do not come into the city, we pay more taxes, and your rent goes up alot. And so on. Get involved, and make this city better.

Anonymous said...

they am not be corrupted.
TRhis adminstrations is the bests they help us and keep citys bueatfull

Anonymous said...

Some of us should not drink before we post