The needler in the haystack.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Robinson-Briggs set to fire City Administrator?


A management style inspired by Alice's Queen of Hearts?

Plainfield City Hall was electric with rumors yesterday that Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs is planning on firing City Administrator Bibi Taylor even as Taylor plans for her maternity leave and tries to lay a foundation for stable day-to-day operations while she is away.

Observers have noted Robinson-Briggs' hostile body language and rudeness toward her City Administrator at public meetings over the past several months, but I don't think anyone dreamed the famously petulant mayor would go this far.

Taylor has been welcomed as a breath of fresh air, reasonableness and consistency since her arrival at City Hall over a year ago -- and this by staffers, Council members and residents and business people alike. After years of mediocre and sycophantic appointees in the top slot, folks warmed up to an obviously capable person who did her homework, got back to people in decent order and looked them in the eye whether it was good news or bad.

What had everyone buzzing yesterday was three memos critical of Taylor issued during the course of the day by Mayor Robinson-Briggs, each warning of possible disciplinary action and/or termination.

One is said to concern a tabulation error in the proposed FY2011 budget that has just come to light (has the Mayor forgotten former Administrator Dashield's $1.8 million error, which she so blithely overlooked?). Another is said to be critical of Taylor's handling of the Council's budget amendments in relation to communicating with department heads.

These memos follow on the heels of a harsh email from Mayor Robinson-Briggs (cc'ed to all Council members) after the November business meeting taking her to task in highly critical language. (There is some question of whether that email violated Taylor's confidentiality rights and lays Mayor Robinson-Briggs -- AND THE TAXPAYERS -- open to a lawsuit.)

The Council was concerned enough by the prospects of Taylor's upcoming maternity leave to invite Mayor Robinson-Briggs to Monday's agenda session to clarify for the Council and the public her plans to cover day-to-day operations for the duration. As I reported yesterday (see here), Robinson-Briggs snubbed the Council on Monday. The Council has extended another invitation for next Monday's business meeting.

I was actually given a tip several weeks ago that the Mayor was planning such a move and had put Recreation Division director Dave Wynn to work sounding out Council members for their support. While the Wynn rumor checked out, I must admit I didn't think Robinson-Briggs would put the taxpayers in the crosshairs of a potentially costly lawsuit. Could I have misjudged the mayor?

While Robinson-Briggs' management style runs the gamut from non-existent to anarchic, the one consistent thread in her 5-year tenure is her incredible foot-stamping stubbornness.

She is said to want what she wants, when she wants it, and will brook no advice, warning or opposition about getting her way (see the WBLS matter, for just one example).

Residents and taxpayers watching this unfolding drama may well wonder whether the mayor suffers a personality disorder, or perhaps whether she has something to hide.

In any event, if Robinson-Briggs does move to fire Bibi Taylor, I think she will find herself outmatched and outclassed by someone more clever than she by far, even if Taylor doesn't favor red blazers.



-- Dan Damon [follow]

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25 comments:

Bob said...

Of course this mayor has something to hide and she is as crooked as the these days are cold. Her behavior shows a self-centered, often incompetent who tends to blame others for her shortcomings. I think our mayor should seek a psychologist, but that would be a waste of time, since only Jerry and she can make the right decisions.

I'm tired of people pussy-footing around the issue, but I think this mayor has to go and go soon for the health of Plainfield. To even think of firing a competent person would be madness, nothing new for our mayor. I love Plainfield and it is evident that our mayor loves herself too much to care about anyone or anything else.

Concerned Citizen said...

Dan, you won't be satisfied until our city is in total disarray or you are appointed Plainfields new Public information officer. I'm not a big fan of the mayor but give me a break. The Mayor needs Bibi Taylor more than ever and now she's going to fire her! I think you need a reality check. She's not going anywhere and unfortunately neither are you!

Anonymous said...

This is extremely serious, Dan. Extremely serious.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the mayor listens to anybody, even Assemblyman Green. Bibi Taylor has been a breath of fresh air sorely needed in our city and to force her out would be a colossal blunder. On the other hand, it would make "Dagger Dan" very happy by giving him lots more to complain about.

Anonymous said...

This is another bad message sent to the taxpayer's. I hope that the council do their homework. to do something like this to the City Administrator whom the community trust will be bad. I say to the taxpayer's if the City Council of this great City of Plainfield allow this to happen then we must get together and VOTE THEM ALL OUT. Where is Mayor Sharon Robinson Briggs mentor on all this Boss Green why are you allowing your mentor to fall flat on her face. Mrs Taylor is Pregnant in spite of this she is doing a great job and The Mayor wants to Fire her. LAW SUIT BIG LAW SUIT taxpayer's get ready.

Anonymous said...

This is a disgrace. i guess Assemblymen Green have someone else he wants to put in that position. What a Shame. Shame o nthe City of Plainfield they are a disgrace to all the other counties.

Anonymous said...

Dan continue to inform the community of what is going on. I read your blog everyday and I'm glad I do. If I didn't I would not be aware of this mess. I just can't believe that the council will stand for this mess. I hope we have some competent council member's on the council that will not allow this city to go to the ground. How many Votes do it take to overturn the Mayor's decision? If the mayor and the Assemblymen wants to run the city in the ground then we have to count on our city council member's to save us. This is ridiculous. I'm running for mayor. Community let's get together and impeach her. I will sign the petition

Anonymous said...

To writer's 8:25am and 8:32am this is very serious the City of Plainfield have no one in th cabinet seasoned but the Mayor and Dan Williamson to get ready of Mrs Taylor would drive the city of plainfield in the ground. I have been to several City Council meetings and watched Mrs Taylor in action she do a wonderful Job. The problem is she will not allow the Mayor to do anything illegal and the Maypr can not handle it. She is not a rubber stamp and she lives by th law. Plainfield wake-up. There is an election approaching if you are not registered get registered. Let's start a petition to have the Mayor impeached.

Anonymous said...

Good job at reporting, Dan. Unfortunately, some citizens are more concerned about protecting the Green machine and its minions than listening to the news. If Dave Wynns has been sounding out council members on replacing Bibi Taylor, who instigated that? He on his own? If Council is looking to cut the budget, I would suggest defunding the Recreation Division. Obviously, Dave has too much free time on his hands.

Rob said...

Well..can't say if in fact the Hot Mess that is the elected leader of the USS Plainfield is going to do something so STUPID, as I don't know EXACTLY what she is thinking ( thank you Lord for such small things at times )...but would it be ill conceived and show lack of planning ??? Yes.
Were history our guide, which so often it is regarding "Mayor" Sharon, I think it's a foregone conclusion.
Personally..I hope she does do. They what little sense of order her administration has will begun to crumble and the taxpayers will be on the hook for a nice lawsuit!! AND I BET SHE'LL STILL WIN THE NEXT ELECTION because voters in Plainfield are morons.

Anonymous said...

To Concerned Citizen - you are thinking logically. The mayor has mental issues and cannot process logic. Wait for awhile and you will see that your opinion of the mayor not firing the city administrator is wrong. The mayor is on a rampage to get rid of Bibi, and I hope you will stand up for Ms. Taylor and let the mayor know she is wrong.

While Dan may not be going anywhere, there is a real possibility that the city administrator may be if the mayor is not put in her place - which is in another city hopefully.

Anonymous said...

When you look at the word "sociopath" in the dictionary, there is a big picture of Sharon.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure its illegal to fire someone while they're on maternity leave.

dr. emc2 said...

The mayor and her cronies are dastardly people and should be removed from office. There is no question that Jerry is the puppet-master and the dysfunctional city government is under his control. The mayor and Jerry are both incompetent and in way over their heads.

Anonymous said...

Every concerned resident should come to the Council Meeting on Monday and demand that the City Council do the right thing for the City and restore Mrs. Taylor to her position.

Get rid of the crook said...

I wouldn't put it past the Mayor to try to get rid of Bibi. Bibi must know about the fraudulent charges that the Mayor has tried to keep a secret. A see a Green castle ready to FALL!

It's going to be great because she will rat out Green quicker than he can say WBLS.

Anonymous said...

I hope that Ms. Taylor has been keeping (or begins to keep) a log regarding everything that takes place. If her performance was that bad, she would have been terminated long ago. Firing her during her maternity may give Ms. Taylor grounds to file a discrimination complaint with the U.S. EEOC based on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1963. Even if pregnancy is not the real cause of termination, the fact that it may have the appearance of being so may cause the Mayor and the City problems as well as lots of money and even more negative publicity. If it looks like a duck....

Anonymous said...

The Mayor and dave wynn are joined at the hip. They have been in collusion with many things together unhealthy for Plainfield. Violent movies for family oriented events, gun play (laser tag) for summer camp activity (remember the little camper with an assault rifle on the front page of the Courier, Jason "the murderer" Williams, harassing and duplicating an already established baseball league and so much more. Bibi was a danger because she is an intellegent woman.

Watch how many people are duped by dave wynn into coming to the Council meeting on his behalf. They all know how rotten he is but they will believe his plea and come out anyway.

Anonymous said...

How could wynn possibly solicit the council's support. I'm quite sure he's aware how much they loathe him. Oh that's right he can turn on the charm when he's after something. Just ask all the people who come to speak on behalf of recreation. The only thing is they are told that the council is trying to hurt the programs which has never been the case. But they believe him anyway. Folks are certainly gullible.

Anonymous said...

Is 8:25 for real. Not a big fan...cut me a break. What does this blogger have to say now? Good job Dan.

Anonymous said...

I have some swamp land in the Everglades that I want to sell to Concerned Citizen.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Concerned Citizen lives on another planet.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that none of us have the courage to stand up and say "enough already!" Enough to a mayor who knows nothing about competent leadership. Enough to a PMUA commission that knows nothing about competency. Enough to a city council full of capable people who like to posture but haven't actually done anything to turn the city around. We'll just continue to write anonymous comments while the city continues to decline and become nothing but a joke. OR, we'll all show up at Monday's council meeting and demand change. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

The only one in need of a reality check is Concerned Citizen.

Anonymous said...

It seems as though the mayor has studied dave wynn's strategy book. Just ignore requests or just don't show up. If you do that long enough more and more time will go by without you being held accountable and nobody can seem to do a thing about it. Obviously there are skeletons to be dug up. The wheels of justice turn much too slowly.