The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

PARSA appointment complications

Readers tend not to hold high hopes for Mayor's performance.
Was I misled by the PMUA?

When I reported on the PMUA's August board meeting that the agency was anxious to have its new executive director, Duane Young, appointed to the PARSA (Plainfield Area Regional Sewerage Authority) board in place of the retiring David Ervin (see post here), I took the matter as discussed at face value.

Turns out things are more complicated than they seemed at the time.

I questioned whether Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, not known for being a 'quick draw', would get the nomination to the Council in time for its August business meeting and duly reported after that meeting when the expected nomination did not appear (see post here).

PMUA Board Attorney Leslie London had made assurances at the PMUA board meeting that the nomination letter was ready and would be in the mayor's hands posthaste.

So snarky Dan put up a poll, asking readers to opine on the chances the nomination would be made in a timely fashion.

But at last night's Council meeting, it turned out the whole appointment is more complicated than seemed.

First off, it turns out that the letter to Mayor Robinson-Briggs that was 'ready' at the time of the PMUA board meeting was never sent out by the PMUA until August 24 -- long after the Council business meeting at which I had expected it might be presented.

Header from the PARSA website (see here).

So, Mayor Robinson-Briggs gets points for getting it to the Council at the next busines meeting, though she did not present it to the agenda-fixing session last week (by which time the Mayor had had it for over a week), reminding us once again of Council President McWilliams' plea with the administration to get backup information to the Council in a timely fashion.

That, however, was the least of the matter, since it turns out there IS NO VACANCY on the PARSA board.

Mr. Ervin's term does not run out until next year, according to Corporation Counsel Dan Williamson, and the seat does not automatically become vacant just because Ervin has retired from the PMUA.

Both Mr. Williamson and Mr. Young seemed overly polite about how to approach Mr. Ervin about the matter.

I have always known Dave Ervin to be a standup guy, so why not just approach him directly and ask for his resignation so that the current executive director can get busy representing Plainfield's interest on the agency's board?

Why not?

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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