The needler in the haystack.

Monday, March 7, 2011

PMUA Commissioner perks: Jerry, DumpPMUA join conversation

In this past Friday's Plainfield Today, I raised a rhetorical question -- in light of an expected meeting between the City Council and the PMUA Commissioners -- as to whether it was time for the PMUA Commissioners' perks: a stipend plus gold-plated health benefits (and participation in the Public Employees Retirement System) to be given up (see that post here).

The fact is that Housing Authority commissioners -- who also once received a stipend, but no longer do -- was partly behind my reasoning. The other thought was that local Planning and Zoning Board members certainly have as heavy a responsibility and work as hard if not harder than the PMUA commissioners -- all without remuneration or perks.

Assemblyman Green (or someone writing in his name) took great exception to the suggestion (see here), engaging in an ad hominem attack without addressing the issues I raised. (My partner was indeed a PMUA Commissioner from 1998 to 2006, which fact I have alluded to previously in this blog -- see all entries here -- and is also well-known in the community. My question still stands.)

Assemblyman Green's sharp and immediate reaction -- amounting to a protestation in favor of the status quo -- only underscores my argument that taking away the perks would take away the suspicion that commissioners were chosen because they were friends and supporters of Mayor Robinson-Briggs and Assemblyman Green.

As for the Assemblyman's assertion that he 'does not make the decisions concerning the city of Plainfield', I offer in evidence a Courier News story from 2007 entitled 'King of the Queen City: Jerry Green has become a political power in Plainfield and beyond'.

But Jerry wasn't the only one who decided to join the conversation. I received an email from Philip Charles of DumpPMUA attaching a example of a monthly tally of all the health benefits (and life insurance premiums) for the agency, including the COMMISSIONERS (see the information online here).

If anything, it turns out I have underestimated the cost to the ratepayers of this largesse.

The question remains: Should the matter be brought up by the City Council when it meets with the PMUA Commissioners?

It's interesting to note that the proposed meeting between the Council and the Commissioners, which has been in the works since last summer, and was postponed by PMUA chairperson (and former Plainfield mayor) Harold Mitchell, has now been called off -- unilaterally -- by a letter in the name of the Commissioners included in this week's Council packet.

How any of this advances the PMUA's cause is anyone's guess.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

It's possible that the PMUA may be violating the law. We can certainly have Gov. Christie make that determination. Green is using the same sleezy homophobic attack on you that he used on Councilwoman Williams, even though you, like she is, are out. by referring to your partner as the "love of your life" he is trying to say guess what folks, Dan is gay. How dare he presume to know about your feelings in your private life. If you and your partner are so bad why did he show up on your porch to beg your partner to come back on the PMUA commission? He and his puppet Sharon remain the biggest embarrassments to Plainfield.

Anonymous said...

Not only is "Jerry's" (if that's who it is) post ad hominem, this person has trouble constructing a sentence. Oops, was that an ad hominem attack on my part?

Anonymous said...

It should also be noted that at the last PMUA meeting, one of the commissioners referred to the renumeration as a "pittance" and "does not even pay for gas".

Remember folks, these are the people who are supposed to represent YOU and get HEALTH BENEFITS as well as $4,500 (from you).

I say log into DUMPPMUA and find out how we can bring the state in and get these greedy, money grubbing, parasites, out of PMUA.

Rashid Burney said...


Anonymous said...

I cannot believe what lows Green resorts to. If I may say, he sounds a little homophobic too. I am not proud to call him my Assemblyman. He makes a fool out of himself all the time.

You, on the one hand, address the problem, while on the other hand, Green distorts it.

Anonymous said...

Time to dump the bums!

Alan Goldstein said...

A representative of PMUA should be reporting to the Council quarterly upon 30-days written notice, per the InterLocal Agreement. Barring that, and in due regard for Sunshine Week (also on the agenda), maybe Council should just subpoena the batch of them and give them the third degree.

As for Assemblyman Green, let's just say he reaps thousands upon thousands of dollars of campaign contributions from those receiving professional service contracts from PMUA, which is a pretty good business considering he's not the 'decider' when it comes to affairs of the city.

The choice is, keep the gravy train or drain the swamp.

Anonymous said...

Given the recent developments at the PMUA, perhaps the Commissioners decided that if Ervin and Watson are gone, we will stop asking questions so they canceled the meeting with the council. Given that the Commissioners will be appointing new personnel, Ervin and Watson may be there for a long time. As to James Perry, Happy Retirement! I am sure you deserve some rest after the loops you had to jump through not to get involved in the wrongdoing. Apparently you did not need to eat expensive meals or send flowers to your friends on our dime. I always thought you would be the scapegoat. Glad to know you got out of there though! Either way, I wish the three of them well. It isn't your fault that no one ever told you not to steal from the ratepayers. There is no training available for that at the conferences you attend.

Anonymous said...

Are we blind fools, these costs are unbelievable and what are the taxpayers waiting for. The staffing is definitely patronage and political payoffs. I reviewed the number of employees and without much effort could cut 25% or more of the staff and still run an effective operation. I am not belittling some of the hardwork that is entailed in sewer and solid waste. But there are departments that cannot possibly be that necessary to operations or could not be combined with others. If this is an example of how other major departments are staffed it is no wonder our property taxes are out of control. Wake up people we cannot continue to support this house of cards because there are not enough private rate payers to support the public sector. Think of an upsidedown pyramid if you need a visual picture.


True American Patriot said...

Knowing how valuable Truth and Honesty are, it is very heartening to see that our elected and appointed officials use them so very sparingly!!!!

Anonymous said...

Well Mr. Green, another member of your party has been indicted. Your next door neighbor. A Sheriff, in fact. What are your thoughts on this? After all, bloated Under Sheriffs, as well as investigators, are appointed positions under a Sheriff. A lot of people think a sheriff and his underlings serve no purpose. I share that belief. Do you?

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. If I hadn't read the spreadsheet for myself I would not have believed it. To use Carol Brokaw as a example, she received $1376.00 in benefits, exclusive of any pension contribution, for May 2010. Annualized, that's $16,512.00. And that's just one commissioner. FOR WHAT!? Unanimously voting with the director? THAT'S VILE, CORRUPT and HAS TO STOP!

Rob said...

and people are surprised by Jerry again, why ???
Keep voting the right down the line get what you ask for.
Plainfield is forced to layoff average pay WORKERS who actually do work for their pay and benefits whilst the party goes on for the Democratic Party homies at the local patronage mill.
Jerry does what he does, because he knows you'll all vote for him again!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Ms. Brokaw appointed by the McWilliams administration? I believe other commissioners were too.