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Monday, March 14, 2011

Dem City Committee meeting: No Friday night fever here

...except when Chairman Green slipped the shiv to the Mayor...
Friday night's meeting of the Plainfield Democratic City Committee was a rambling and amicable get-together except for Chairman Jerry Green slipping a shiv to the Mayor. Even so, it never reached the fever pitch of a Friday night high school football game.

After learning from treasurer (and Councilor) Bill Reid that the committee's bank balance stands at $262.47, chairman Green moved along to business, which included acknowledging Freeholder Linda Carter, introducing the Democratic Freeholder candidates and hearing from Councilor Mapp, who brought greetings from Council President Annie McWilliams who was unable to attend.

Chairman Green talked about --

  • Solaris' financial difficulties;
  • The prospects for the sale of the Muhlenberg property;
  • Questions about the continuation of the Satellite Emergency Department;
  • The fate of the Urban Enterprise Zone program;
  • Noted that he is staying out of this year's Board of Ed races altogether;
  • Explained his daylaborer center idea; and
  • Noted he is not supporting the school voucher plan or any more charter schools.
Though he worried aloud that some of the details he divulged would be spread 'all over town', it seems he worried in vain (you can read Tony Rucker's two posts on the meeting here).

Two replacements were made to the City Committee for persons who have moved away.

The real interest of the evening to me was when Green slipped the shiv to Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs.

Green invited Robinson-Briggs to say a few words.

The Mayor chose to promote her scheme for the City to get involved in a project for what she repeatedly referred to as 'the Amory' (meaning the ARMORY, at East 7th Street and Leland Avenue). In a mostly fact-free presentation, Her Honor gushed over having the building renovated to house an unnamed charter school (the Obama Green Charter HS) which would use it in the daytime, leaving it 'free for community uses in the evening'.

To questions from Committee member Frank D'Aversa about who would pay for remediation, renovations, ADA-compliance, etc., Mayor Robinson-Briggs said that the management company she was touting would get a loan to do the work.

Cost to the City? Nothing, she said. Would the City be on the hook? No, she said. (But what does it mean the City would be this company's 'guarantor' as everyone is saying, if not that we would be on the hook?)

Then it got interesting.

After Mayor Robinson-Briggs had finished and while she was still standing in place, chairman Green allowed as how he had spoken with Council President McWilliams and had been told the Council was NOT IN FAVOR OF ANY CITY INVOLVEMENT IN AN ARMORY PROJECT, and he was not pushing for the Mayor's proposal. Furthermore, he said, it was no secret he was opposed to charter schools.

Mayor Robinson-Briggs stood there, mouth agape, looking like she had been slapped across the face.

It was not a pretty sight; there was scarcely a ripple in the water, though blood was everywhere.

When all was said and done, there was friendly banter as we shuffled out of the hall into the night.

Another Friday night in Plainfield.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

Glad you wrote the overview. I was there and had no clue what Jerry was droning on about.

Rob said...

"Mayor Robinson-Briggs stood there, mouth agape, looking like she had been slapped across the face.

It was not a pretty sight; there was scarcely a ripple in the water, though blood was everywhere."

HOW COULD THAT NOT HAVE BEEN ENTERTAINING??? You should have written this up as entertainment wrap up...If Jerry truly is finally letting Sharon flap in the wind like a battered flag, so be it. She is getting what she has sown. Much like Rashid Burney...the only surprise should be that Jerry finally treated her like he has been doing to everyone else. His priority is Jerry Green, not his dutiful lap dogs he keeps around him, much to their surprise, one by one.

Anonymous said...

Another project at "no cost to the City". Sounds the the $250,000.00 + free Senior Citizen Center or the $450,000.00 spent on the (yet to be used) Tepper renovation. The scary part is that even Jerry sounds like he's beginning to make sense.

Anonymous said...

Dan your bias is showing again, no surprise, or maybe you were distracted. Mr. Green didn't say he was opposed to charter schools, he said we already had enough charter schools and he opposes using tax money for vouchers to allow people to send their children to private and parochial schools. The mayor cited a current charter school as possibly moving into the Armory, she wasn't talking about a new charter school coming to Plainfield.

Anonymous said...

Dan - you are too kind to Jerry Green. You totally forgot how JG said the Cubans who first came to Plainfield were intelligent. But -the spanish people in Plainfield today are uneducated.

???Que'??? I wanted to say something but my understanding is if you are a guest (not a committee person) you cannot speak. So -Jerry did not know there was a Latino present.

Me llamo Milagros S.

Dan said...

@ 5:21 PM -- Jerry did say he was opposed to 'more' charter schools; my oversight. He did complain that charters were going to cost the District $13 million this year.

Now, if he supported charters up to this point -- as you seem to suggest -- why is there any surprise about the money being taken away from the District.

As the for the charter for the Armory, if you note my brackets you will see I referenced the existing charter which is being discussed for the move.