Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What Council candidate Tracey Brown does NOT bring to the table

Council candidate Tracey Brown refuses to discuss details of her public service.
By all accounts, Plainfield city council candidate the Rev. Tracey Brown is a dynamic and successful leader of a growing congregation that is engaged in service to the community in which it is set.

And she has chosen to run for public office, a seat on the City Council through which she would represent voters and residents citywide.

A fair question is what basis voters can use in deciding whether or not to cast a vote for Rev. Brown.

Is it because she supports President Obama's re-election bid? But all Democrats support Obama, including Brown's opponent Roni Taylor and the other candidates in the Democratic primary -- whether on the official party line or not. So, that is not reason enough to decide.

Is it because she has received 'numerous proclamations and resolutions'? How does that show voters what they will get if they vote for her?

There is one place voters look when a candidate has a record of public service -- to their record in the public role they freely accepted.

The Rev. Tracey Brown has served both as a member of the Board of Ed and as an appointed commissioner of the Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority (PMUA), yet she has declined to discuss the nuts and bolts of her service in either capacity.

Consider that Tracey Brown has served as a PMUA commissioner when all the following happened and she never once raised the teeniest, tiniest voice of challenge or resistance --
  • Explosive growth of PMUA staff from 122 to 173 in three years (2007 - 2010);

  • Abuses by the Commissioners of travel, entertainment and conference expenses;

  • Support for annual solid waste and sewer service rate increases (this year being the exception, where interim exec Duane Young managed a slight reduction in rates -- his thanks? being bumped from consideration for the permanent position);

  • Refusal by the Commissioners to meet annually with the City Council as provided for in the Interlocal Services Agreement establishing the PMUA;

  • Supporting an unprecedented four-year contract with former executives Eric Watson and David Ervine (all previous contracts had been for one year only) that laid the ground for an illegal $1 million settlement to them after they voluntarily resigned;

  • Failing to speak out against the illegal derailing of the arbitration process by Commissioners Dunn and Sanders, and setting up the conditions of the $1 million cash settlement;

  • Enabling the passage of the settlement by failing to take part in the vote -- whether or not she was able to be physically present -- which ratified the $1 million cash settlement;

  • Actually proposing that PMUA workers should be forced to take unpaid furloughs in order to generate cash for the settlement to Watson and Ervin.
These are all matters of candidate Brown's public service and relevant to how voters should decide who to vote for in next Tuesday's primary. Yet she refuses to discuss them.

What candidate Tracey Brown fails to bring to the table is openness and candor about the decisions she has taken as part of her public record.

At the FOSH candidate forum last week, Tracey Brown refused to take any position that would put her at odds with Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, her friend and parishioner. All this with full knowledge that there are many points of contention between Her Honor and the Council, involving everything from responsible use of the public purse to fairness in administering recreation opportunities for all the city's young people.

One can only surmise that her silence on such issues means that she would follow Mayor Robinson-Briggs' lead on such policy issues, the taxpaying public be damned.

In that light, it is refreshing to note that Annie McWilliams, the current at-large councilor, who is not running for re-election endorsed Brown's opponent Veronica 'Roni' Taylor in the following words --

...Sitting on the Plainfield City Council is not an easy job.  A good councilor must be balanced and fair in decision making.  Yet, she must be strong on those issues that are critical to Plainfield residents...A good councilwoman must be willing to listen to all constituents, understand all viewpoints and represent the needs of every resident.  She must also be willing to make tough decisions and face public criticism...It is for these reasons that I am proud to endorse Roni Taylor for Councilwoman At-Large.  (See McWilliams' complete endorsement here.)
Those who are tired of the dysfunctionality of the Robinson-Briggs administration will do well to consider what candidate Tracey Brown does NOT bring to the table.

'Going along to get along' cannot be a path to a better future for Plainfield.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Bob said...

Amen to that!

Anonymous said...

With all the blog posts about why people should not vote for Rev. Brown, I have read NOTHING on why we should vote for Ms. Taylor. I attended BOTH forums recently held, and haven't read anything on the blogs regarding the NAACP candidate forum. At that forum, Taylor had nothing to say, and Mapp gave no clear answers on issues (except that he was against non-profit organizations).

The only thing (besides attacking Brown) that I hear out of Taylor's mouth is that "she's been knocking on doors". But she seemed to have completely disregarded her OWN neighborhood. I live right down the street from her, and no one had knocked on my door or even asked me a question. I have several family members and friends who live in the 4th ward, and they have not had a visit either. She has NO IDEA what the ENTIRE city needs. But it seems to me that she has the Friends of Sleepy Hollow in mind only.

Also, I think it's sad that there is no balance on this blog. You all are cleary for Taylor and Mapp and hardly allow anyone to comment who says anything against them.

If Taylor's only campaign strategy is to attempt to "trash" Rev. Brown's name, then she'll have a tough time winning. As Rev. Brown stated at the FOSH forum, she knows the REAL concerns of the people in the City of Plainfield. One of those issues being crime, And I know that I'm concerned about gang violence in this community (my house where small children and seniors live was shot at in a drive-by last year). And Taylor's answer to this problem is to install gunshot detection devices???? But I'd like to see initiatives taken to stop the trigger BEFORE it's pulled. Rev. Brown understands what type of programs are needed to address violence and gang activity and that'sjust one of the reasons I'll be voting for her.

Bob said...

I have to agree with you Dan. She smacks too much of Sharon and only seems to think in terms of her neighborhood and not the city. She's hiding something already, so why would I trust her. Just because you put Rev. in front of a name, doesn't convince me to vote for a person. There are other factors to consider.

Anonymous said...

Tracey Brown gets $4500 a year from the pmua. She has no problem paying her bill with that cash and she also gets free medical benefits! She said at the forum that the pmua isnt forcing people to lose their homes. The mayor owes over $1500 to the pmua and corp counsel dan williamson who is going to be the new director owes over $2000. tracey Brown wants to furlough the workers to pay the $1million settlement, one of the workers lost his leg on the job and she wants to furlough him to pay watson and ervin the illegal settlement! These people don't care about anything but giving each other freebies while we suffer. We got a phone call from someone calling for Brown saying that the bible doesn't say anything about separation of church and state. No wonder no other pastor with a church in Plainfield will endorse her, with her on the council their congregations would suffer even more.

Anonymous said...

It appears the only candidates Plainfield IE Democrats can produce are criminals, hacks incompotents and party followers. I am also saying the Republicans are not much better. Lets just keep electing the same trash and watch them steal a few more million dollars we will never see again.